- When should I participate in Practicum?
Generally speaking, you should plan to participate in Practicum I your freshman year, and Practicum II your sophomore or junior year (after admission to the Teacher Prep Program). You must complete both placements before you participate in Partnership and/or Student Teaching unless your program states otherwise.
Practicum by Program Area
All things Practicum on the OPS website, including information about the Orientation
- Can I study abroad during any Practicum or Student Teaching experience?
Yes, but only for Practicum II in school divisions with which OPS has a signed Memorandum of Understanding and only if faculty sponsors exist for the international experience. Available options will be announced at the required Orientation for Practicum.
What meetings are required for Practicum and Student Teaching?
Generally, every placement has its own Orientation meeting to make sure that you and OPS are on the same page. You will also have an opportunity to meet with your assigned University Supervisor prior to the start of the field and clinical experience placement. Important dates are listed on the OPS website. Failure to attend required meetings/sessions can adversely affect your grade and/or result in cancellation of placement.
- What if I attended a previous orientation session? Do I still need to attend this year?
Yes, you will still need to attend the orientation pertaining to this year's offering (be it Practicum or Student Teaching). Information, including some requirements, change from year to year or even from one semester to the next. In order for us to guarantee that you got the correct information firsthand, we require attendance at the orientation event. Some information may be a repeat of what you heard before, but it is a good reinforcement too. Too much knowledge never hurt anyone!
- I missed a deadline. What should I do?
You should schedule a meeting with the Assistant Director of OPS to determine a new plan of action if the deadline had to do with Teacher Prep or placements. OPS cannot make exceptions to deadlines since school divisions count on us to be prompt and accurate with our requests for placements. You will need to work with your advisor to revise your course plan if applicable. Remember, lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for OPS. Plan ahead. Ask OPS questions--even if you think you know the answers. Check with OPS to confirm all requirements are met before it is too late for you to take corrective action if needed.
- Where do I find a list of requirements for Practicum?
Requirements and the applicable deadline are explained at the Practicum Orientation. The presentation is then posted to the OPS website to serve as a reminder.
- I am currently a first year student but cannot complete Practicum I this year. Will I be behind?
You will not be behind as long as you complete Practicum I before the start of your junior year, assuming it is even required for your program area. When in doubt, confer with your advisor and the OPS Assistant Director.
- Can I complete a placement in a school where a relative attends or is employed?
Not if they are in your immediate family. Teacher candidates must notify OPS if they are assigned to a school where a family member attends or is employed. The placement may be cancelled or you may be assigned an "Incomplete." Failure to report this conflict is also a violation of the Longwood University Honor Code and may result in additional disciplinary action. Teacher candidates list schools they attended or have family attending or working on the comments portion of the practicum application in myLongwood.
- How will I receive my placement details?
OPS will email you the placement notification. Some take longer than others to arrange, so please be patient if you do not receive an email notification when some of your classmates/peers are getting theirs. Also, make sure emails from OPS are not going to your junk mail or spam folder by mistake.