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Field experience information

What is a field experience?

Many of the education courses on the certification checklists include field experience hours. A field experience is when a teacher certification student spends time observing, helping the cooperating teacher with administrative tasks, working one-on-one with students and, ultimately, teaching in a public school classroom setting.

What is required?

Background Clearance

Refer to your certification checklist to see which courses include field experience. Any course that includes field experience requires a current background clearance — this is done through the Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR) and it will be good for one year. As long as your field experience course is during that year, you should be approved to register for field experience courses. If the clearance has expired (or will expire) during your field experience session/semester, just contact the Education department ( to run an updated screening.

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 chair for a confidential meeting.

Personal Liability Insurance

Students in field experience courses should also have personal liability insurance. Although this is not a requirement, it is highly recommended. Personal liability insurance helps to protect a student while observing/volunteering in the public schools. Membership in Student-MSTA (Missouri State Teacher's Association) or Student MNEA (Missouri National Education Association) includes personal liability insurance as a benefit.

Setting up your DESE Profile

Education students will now need to set up their DESE Profile prior to starting any field experience courses. Once the profile is created, a DESE Educator ID number will be assigned. The DESE Educator ID number will follow the student from field experiences to working in the field as a certified teacher.

Students must remember their username and password when creating their DESE Profile. Creating multiple profiles will create issues when applying for a substitute, initial or add-on certificate.


Students who work in a public school (or accredited private school) as a paraprofessional, instructional aide or are working in a long-term substitute teacher position may request to arrange a self-placement. Those wishing to arrange a self-placement must indicate that request to the field experience coordinator at their location and obtain the required signatures on a self-placement form. The form must be turned in to the Education office at your location no later than one week before the start of the field experience course. All self-placements must be approved by the field experience coordinator.


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