TEP students must complete and document at least 80 hours of supervised pre-practicum experiences prior to the practicum semester. The hours are embedded in required TEP coursework and provide each student with experiences in a range of educational settings within the Worcester Public Schools (WPS). In collaboration with our WPS partners, TEP provides students with a robust sequence of experiences, including structured observation, tutoring, and co-teaching. Placements are arranged and supported by our Placement Coordinator. Most students far exceed these required hours and all students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to get additional experience in schools.
Through their field-based experiences, students have an opportunity to integrate their classroom learning with classroom practice. The experiences consistently challenge them to reframe and expand the knowledge and skills they have developed in TEP as they discover their own identities as teachers.
Student Teaching Practicum
The practicum, Educ 320, is the capstone experience of the College of the Holy Cross Teacher Education Program. It is a full-time practicum experience of supervised student teaching at the secondary or middle school level. Taken in conjunction with Educ 330 during the fall or spring of senior year (or during a ninth semester), it is a period of experiential learning under the guidance of a supervising practitioner and a program supervisor. During the semester, the student teacher becomes proficient in teaching and achieves competency in the professional standards required for initial licensure.
The goals of the teaching practicum are multi-dimensional. Students will advance their skills in instructional practices, classroom management strategies, and lesson planning. These meaningful practical experiences will be grounded in reflective practices, as students challenge their assumptions and engage with the complexities of teaching and learning. The students will receive constant feedback to help them meet the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers. Upon successful completion of the semester, they will be confident, reflective educators, prepared for licensure.
Students must apply to enroll in the practicum semester. To be approved, students must provide evidence of meeting all academic requirements and have satisfactory reviews from their pre-practicum experiences.
Details about the student teaching semester, including all policies and procedures, are outlined in a Practicum Handbook each semester.