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Student Teaching/Field Experience

The Office of Student Teaching (OST), www.mcgill.ca/ost, is responsible for arranging the placement and evaluation of all student teachers in supervised Field Experiences.

Field Experiences

About Field Experiences

Field Experiences:

  • are required courses (with the subject code EDFE) for all students in B.Ed. programs from first through fourth year;
  • are the sole responsibility of the Faculty of Education and are organized by the Office of Student Teaching. Under no circumstances should students make their own placement arrangements;
  • must be taken in the required sequence;
  • require that newly admitted and returning students follow registration procedures (see Registration) or risk not being placed in a host school;
  • are completed in schools within anglophone school boards in the province of Quebec in the majority of cases, with the exception of the B.Ed. TESL program Field Experiences, which take place in schools within francophone school boards in the province of Quebec;
  • can be specialized in some circumstances. Refer to the OST website for information regarding such opportunities (distance, special needs, resource room, adult education, etc.);
  • could require that students travel some distance to their host school and students should therefore budget time and money for this purpose;
  • require that students be placed at host schools for specific periods of time ranging from 10 to 40 days;
  • may begin before the first day of lectures or end after the last day of lectures;
  • may continue during the University-scheduled Study Break in the Winter term;
  • may continue through May into the Summer term (refer to the OST website or Minerva for exact dates).


Registraton for the Student Teaching/Field Experience

Newly Admitted Students

Registration for Newly Admitted Students

Newly admitted students:

  • in B.Ed. K/Elementary, B.Ed. TESL, B.Ed. Secondary programs must be registered for Field Experience 1 by the end of August (see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates for deadline);
  • in B.Ed. Secondary Science and Math program should consult an adviser during the August advising sessions prior to registering for Field Experience courses;
  • in B.Ed. Music, and B.Ed. Physical and Health Education programs must register in February for Field Experience 1 (Summer term);
  • who are registered for a Field Experience will receive instructions for accessing the online Student Teaching Placement Form at their official @mail.mcgill.ca email address. Forms must be submitted by the date indicated in the email;
  • who have acquired formal teaching experience prior to admission to the Bachelor of Education program may be granted exemption for Field Experience 1. See Exemption and Transfer Credit.

Returning Students

Registration for Returning Students

Returning students:

  • must register for Field Experience 3 on Minerva by mid-April of the preceding academic year (see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates for deadline). Field Experience 3 begins in late August before the start of lectures. (See Minerva or OST website for details.)
  • must register for Field Experience 4 on Minerva by the beginning of November (see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates for deadline);
  • who are registered for a Field Experience will receive instructions for accessing the online Student Teaching Placement Form at their official @mail.mcgill.ca email address. Forms must be submitted by the date indicated in the email;
  • must be in Satisfactory Standing and have satisfied all prerequisite and corequisite course requirements (refer to www.mcgill.ca/edu-sao/current). Minerva does not necessarily prevent students from registering for courses that they should not take. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of prerequisites, corequisites, restrictions, and Faculty regulations that apply to the courses in which they register. Students should consult an academic adviser for assistance;
  • in B.Ed programs who wish to transfer from one program to another will not be required to repeat Field Experience 1.

Student Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the policies and rules governing all aspects of Field Experience, including pedagogical and professional behaviour, available at www.mcgill.ca/ost.

Students should not engage in any type of employment during Field Experience, nor register for any course that might interfere with the successful outcome of a Field Experience.

Guidelines (Syllabus)

Guidelines (Syllabus)

Detailed guidelines and evaluation forms for every Field Experience are posted on the OST website, arranged by program and year. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the objectives, evaluation criteria, and forms for each level of Field Experience, and must submit all completed evaluation forms to the OST on the first business day following the end of the Field Experience in order to receive a grade.

Attendance and Absences

Attendance and Absences

Punctual attendance is required at the assigned school for the entire Field Experience. Alternate dates cannot be arranged at the request of the student. Unexcused absences from intensive courses and professional seminars may result in exclusion from the course, course failure, and/or removal from any associated Field Experience.

Days absent due to illness or McGill exams must be made up at the end of the Field Experience. Absences due to illness longer than a few days require a valid medical note (see www.mcgill.ca/studenthealth/clinic/notes) to be submitted to the OST, and the outcome of the Field Experience will be evaluated on an individual basis. Student teachers must contact the following people as soon as possible on the morning of the day of their absence:

  • School office
  • Cooperating teacher
  • Office of Student Teaching, telephone 514-398-7046
  • Field supervisor

Student teachers are permitted to be absent for religious holy days, as outlined in McGill's Policy for the Accommodation of Religious Holy Days; see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates/holy-days. Students must notify the OST, cooperating teacher, and field supervisor before the Field Experience begins if possible, or at least two weeks before the planned absence. The missed days must be made up, usually at the end of the Field Experience.

Absences related to McGill Intercollegiate Sport events are evaluated by the director of the OST on a case-by-case basis. Student teachers must submit a signed copy of the Intercollegiate Sport Event Accommodation form (see www.mcgill.ca/files/athletics/IntercollegiateAccommodation.pdf) to the OST at least two weeks in advance of each conflict.

Absences for any other reason, including but not limited to: marriage, family parties, vacation, university extracurricular activities, employment, or conflicting courses, are not permitted during Field Experience under any circumstances. Students should consult an academic adviser if they need to rearrange their course schedule.

Judicial Record Verification

Judicial Record Verification

See Faculty Regulations for Undergraduate Programs > Judicial Record Verification for Students in the Bachelor of Education Programs for information on the requirement to obtain this security clearance. Additional information can be found on the OST website.

Work Permit for International Students

Work Permit for International Students

International students (students who are not Permanent Residents or citizens of Canada) must apply for an internship/co-op work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as a requirement for their mandatory Field Experiences. This is not the same as an off-campus work permit. The internship/co-op work permit is free of charge, but takes time to obtain and may require a medical exam. Detailed instructions are available on the OST website. For assistance with the application students should contact International Student Services, www.mcgill.ca/internationalstudents. Students must submit a copy of their valid permit to the OST before the Field Experience starts.

Grading and Credit

Grading and Credit

Field Experiences are graded "Pass/Fail." Students must submit all completed evaluation forms to the OST immediately following their Field Experience in order to receive a grade.

Where a student is experiencing serious difficulties in a Field Experience but has demonstrated some potential to successfully reach the required standard, the student will be granted a "D" grade. In this case, the director of the OST has the authority to grant special permission for a student to repeat a Field Experience during the next term in which the course is offered. This special permission will be granted once only in a student's program. Students receiving a "D" grade are also required to repeat the corequisite seminar or other corequisite course as specified by the director. The original grade for the corequisite seminar or course will be excluded from the GPA and credits; only the second grade will be retained.

Students must receive a Pass grade in order to proceed in the B.Ed. program. Failure (F, J, KF, WF) in any Field Experience places a student in Unsatisfactory Standing, requiring withdrawal from the Teacher Education Program. Students who fail in a Fall term Field Experience may be allowed to continue taking courses in the program to enable transfer to another faculty.

A student may appeal a failing grade or termination of a Field Experience by making a formal application to the Executive Director, Student Affairs.

Termination of Field Experience

Termination of Field Experience

At any time, students may be removed from their Field Experience placement at the request of the host school administrator and cooperating teacher, or at the request of the Director of Student Teaching. Students who are removed from a Field Experience placement will be informed of the reason for the termination and will meet with the Director.

Circumstances that could lead to termination include, but are not limited to:

  • Prerequisite courses not successfully completed.
  • Exceeding the number of permissible unexcused absences for corequisite courses (consult the syllabus for each course).
  • Failure to pass a judicial record check, if required by the school or school board where the student is placed.
  • Unprofessional behaviour; behaviour that contravenes the Code of Ethics for Student Teachers.
  • Failure to make the improvements outlined on a Notification of Concern by the date indicated.

The final outcome for a Field Experience that is terminated will be decided by the director of Student Teaching.

Possible outcomes are:

  • Reassignment during the same term, subject to availability of placements.
  • "W" – Withdrawal (normally without refund).
  • "D" – Student will be permitted to register for the Field Experience again during the next regularly scheduled term.
  • "F, J, KF, WF" – Failure in any Field Experience places the student in Unsatisfactory Standing.

If a student cannot continue the Field Experience due to illness, see Withdrawal from Field Experience.

If a student chooses to end his or her Field Experience, the director of Student Teaching will evaluate the circumstances and determine an outcome. Possible outcomes are the same as those listed above.

Withdrawal from Field Experience

Withdrawal from Field Experience

  • Withdrawal (with refund) for any reason must be done at least two weeks before the start date of the Field Experience. The student is responsible for notifying the OST in writing by this deadline.
  • Students having to withdraw for any reason, including illness, from a Field Experience that begins in less than two weeks or that is underway must immediately inform the OST. Based on the circumstances of the withdrawal, the director of the OST will determine the final outcome of the Field Experience and the Student Affairs Office will determine eligibility for refund.

Exemption and Transfer Credit

Exemption and Transfer Credit

Students who have acquired formal teaching experience prior to admission to the Bachelor of Education program may be granted exemption from the first Field Experience and corequisite seminar. Written requests must be made to the Director of the OST by August 31 of the year of admission. Requirements for supporting documentation can be found on the OST website, www.mcgill.ca/ost. Exemption does not reduce the number of credits students need to graduate. Students should consult an academic adviser to discuss their plan of study.

Students who previously completed a Field Experience at another university may be eligible for transfer credit (advanced standing). Contact an academic adviser to discuss this possibility. Students may need to submit a syllabus for the course so that the OST can determine equivalency.

For general information about exemptions and transfer credits at McGill, see www.mcgill.ca/students/transfercredit, as well as Faculty-specific information at www.mcgill.ca/edu-sao/new/advancedstanding.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2012-2013 (last updated Nov. 12, 2012) (disclaimer)