Frequently Asked Questions
A Field Services Overview
The Department of Field Services handles the collection of clearances, field placements for Early Field Experiences (prior to Student Teaching), Student Teaching field placements and coordination, Advanced Professional Studies (APS) applications and Certification.
The information below provides an overview of each area. More detailed information can be found in the links provided in each section below and in A Guide for Field Experiences. Teacher Candidates are responsible for this information.
Field Experience Placement Policy
Important information about your field placement location.
Professionals within the School of Education select sites believed to best continue students' professional development. All placements are contingent upon the availability of an educational partner-approved cooperating teacher, the appropriateness for the student's major, a student's prior field placements, the availability of a supervisor and more.
Teacher Candidates are responsible for the information provided in 'A Guide For Field Experiences'. Teacher Candidates are expected to follow the 'Professional Conduct' guidelines as outlined in 'A Guide for Field Experiences' as well as to adhere to the procedures and policies of the School District or Educational Partner they are visiting.
The Department of Field Services places Teacher Candidates within a service area defined as approximately 50 miles from the University or depending on supervisor availability.
- Teacher Candidates are responsible for their own transportation to and from placements.
- Millersville University (MU) is affiliated with educational partners in Lancaster, Lebanon, and York Counties. With their cooperation, the University is able to place Teacher Candidates within the appropriate educational settings in the region. This responsibility rests solely with the University. In a limited number of instances, the University will make requests of educational entities to secure placements outside of Lancaster, Lebanon, and York Counties. There is no guarantee that by requesting such a placement, the Department of Field Services will be able to accommodate the request. Requests for out-of-county placements that cannot be secured within a reasonable interval of time will result in the Teacher Candidate being placed within an MU-affiliated district. While the Department of Field Services will work to accommodate out-of-county placements, Teacher Candidates may experience greater driving distances should the initial request be denied.
- Teacher Candidates may NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, contact educational partners to arrange their own placements. Please note that our educational partners consider this unprofessional behavior, and such contact may jeopardize the placement assignment. MU has Affiliation Agreements with participating educational partners and we must abide by the terms set forth in these agreements. Selected sites are believed to best continue the Teacher Candidates’ professional development.
- Teacher Candidates must update clearances and TB test results on a yearly basis unless employed* by the educational partner hosting the placement. All updated clearances, TB test results and required documents must be on file with Field Services. Clearances are defined as Act 34 Criminal Record Check, Act 114 Fingerprint clearance and the Act 151 PA Child Abuse clearance. *Additional documents may be required.
- For Teacher Candidates with a clearance infraction/violation*, the Department of Field Services (using our best professional judgement) will search for a placement opportunity for a total of three (3). If three School Districts/Educational Partners refuse or deny working with the candidate in question, the Department of Field Services then resigns all responsibility in making a field placement for the Teacher Candidate during his/her enrolled semester. It will then be the responsibility of the Teacher Candidate to work with the course professor, or department chair for student teaching, to decide how to best resolve the course/semester requirements. *If an infraction/violation exists, Teacher Candidate must sign the Field Services’ Statement of Understanding.
- Teacher Candidates must report to the assigned placement provided by the Department of Field Services. Teacher Candidates are assigned to cooperating teachers, not schools or school districts. Teacher Candidates must immediately update the Department of Field Services should an individual within the educational entity change the placement.
- Once the Department of Field Services has confirmed a field placement, it may not be altered under any circumstances (for example: financial hardship does not constitute a compelling reason to change a placement).
Transportation - How do I get to my Field Placement?
Transportation is the responsibility of the student and is not coordinated by the Field Services Office. Options available to students include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Their own vehicle
- Public Transportation
Additional information may be found on the Millersville University Sustainability web page. Sustainable Campus - Transportation
Clearances - What are they and why do I need them?
What are “Clearances”?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all Education majors to obtain the ACT 34 PA State Criminal Record Check, ACT 151 PA Child Abuse History Clearance, ACT 114 FBI Fingerprinting Clearance and a TB test (Tuberculosis Skin Test).
When do I need to obtain my clearances, and what do I need to do with them when I receive them?
Your clearances are a very important part of meeting the class and state requirements for field placement. Students must have valid clearances on file, including negative TB test results, in order to partake in the field experience portion of courses that require a field experience.
Valid clearances are clearances that are within one year of the issue date and do not expire during the semester with the course involving field experience.
To participate in field experiences, complete clearance packets must be on file prior to the start of the semester in which a student is taking a course with a field experience.
Clearances must be submitted to Field Services by the advertised deadlines. Deadline information is available in the 'Clearance Deadlines' table on the Clearances Home Page. Students submitting clearances after the deadline date will be dropped from any course(s) requiring clearances. See the Clearances Home Page for more information.
We highly recommend that students obtain initial, and subsequent, clearances during the summer prior to their first year of study when possible (see deadlines posted on the Clearances Home Page). Clearances/TB tests obtained in summer and renewed each summer are the best and most convenient, and will be good/valid for the entire academic year. Please note that deadline requirements change for student teaching.
Students should maintain a file of their original clearances/TB test on campus where they may easily access them if needed for their field placement. PDF scans must be filed with the Field Services office according to the clearance/TB test submission procedures.
Social Work Students - To verify if you are registered for a course that requires Education clearances, see the course listing links in the 'Clearance Deadlines' table. These clearances must meet the requirements outlined. Otherwise, contact the School of Social Work for clearance requirements and submission procedures.
Advanced Professional Studies (APS) - What is APS?
Advanced Professional Studies, or APS, is criteria developed by Millersville University for admission to and retention in APS courses. MU has developed this criterion to prepare you to meet the requirements which The Pennsylvania Department of Education has established for certification to teach in Pennsylvania.
Students must apply for, and be granted, APS in order to progress through the Educational Programs here at MU.
The most up-to-date APS admission requirements for both Post-Baccalaureate and Undergraduate teacher candidates can be found on the APS web page.
Certification Testing - What are they and when do I need to take them?
Testing is required to progress through the program and ultimately, to be certified to teach.
Please visit the Certification page to find answers about Certification, testing requirements and registration information.
Thinking Ahead - International Student Teaching
How can I student teach abroad?
If you are interested in completing your student teaching abroad, advance planning is the key. Visit the Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) in Cumberland House for more information. International Student Teaching