Field experience & student teaching

Students pursuing education certification will take part in various field experiences throughout their program. 

This includes time you’ll spend observing classrooms, helping cooperating teachers and working one-on-one with students.


Field experience

Field experience will require background clearance. This is completed through the Family Care Safety Registry . Steps for registering with FCSR are:

  1. Go to the FCSR link above
  2. Click on "Is a Person Registered"
  3. Enter your Social Security number and follow the instructions on the screen
  4. If the website response shows that SSN is not found in the database, click "continue" to proceed with your registration. Do not enter anything in the "Employer Name" box; instead click the drop-down menu in the "Select if No Employer" section and choose "Volunteer." (If your SSN is found, skip to step 6.)
  5. You will be required to pay a one-time registration fee so you will need a valid debit or credit card.
  6. Once you've completed the registration process, contact the Education office to let them know they can request a clearance. 

You only need to register with FCSR once and a background screening is good for one year from the date requested. The Education Office can request updated screenings whenever needed. There are certain criminal activities that can prevent you from being certified in the state of Missouri. If you have concerns, contact the Education Department at for a confidential meeting.

Students in field experience courses are encouraged to have personal liability insurance. Students who are members of a professional association, including the Student MSTA or Student MNEA, may receive personal liability insurance as a benefit.

Student teaching

Field experience culminates with student teaching where you’ll spend 16 weeks in the classroom with the goal of assuming all responsibilities of a classroom teacher for at least 15 consecutive days. In order to be considered for student teaching, students must submit several documents and verifications into the appropriate dropboxes in CougarTeach. These documents include:

  • Letter of Intent (due December 1 for the next fall student teaching; due May 1 for the next spring student teaching)
  • Student Teaching Application form (due, along with the rest of the student teaching packet by January 15 for fall student teaching; September 15 for spring student teaching.)
  • Coursework completion plan (Just submit a Word document or pdf showing the courses you have remaining on your certification/degree checklist and when you are taking them or plan to take them.)
  • Student Profile
  • Resume
  • MoCA (attempted by Student Teaching Application deadline date (see above); passing score required by April 30 for fall student teaching or November 30 for spring student teaching) Missouri Content Assessment

Other items required prior to approval to register for the student teaching course are:

View your Student Teacher Checklist Once all items are completed, upload into the "Student Teaching checklist" dropbox in CougarTeach. The Education office will review your submission and contact you when you've been cleared to register for student teaching (EDUC 425 or EDUC 698).

Important information about EDUC 425 and EDUC 698:

How they are similar:
  • Either course fulfills DESE's requirement for student teaching.
  • Both courses last 16-weeks.
  • Students in either course attends the same Student Teaching Seminars during the semester.

How they are different:

  • EDUC 698 is 9 hours of graduate credit. (Available only to those admitted to the Graduate-Level Teacher Certification Program [post-baccalaureate].) Those taking EDUC 698 can later apply the 9 hours toward the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree after teacher certification is completed.
  • EDUC 425 is 12 hours of undergraduate credit. (Available to undergraduate students or post-baccalaureate students.) NOTE: EDUC 425 is offered through the Evening/CCG schedule and through the Day program schedule. Twelve hours of credit in a semester is considered full time enrollment. Be sure to check out the difference between full time Day tuition and full time Evening/CCG tuition before you enroll.

Other documents are available in the content tabs of CougarTeach.