Curriculum and Instruction Policies

Abscences - Students and Cooperating Teachers

Student Abscences

You must follow proper notification procedures when you become ill or have an emergency that necessitates an absence. Notify your cooperating teacher, the school office, and your university supervisor any time you are absent from a placement. If your assignment is interrupted by an extended absence, you may have to make up time lost through an appropriate extension of your assignment. Consult with your supervisor and faculty program chair regarding extenuating circumstances.

Extended absences, personal leaves, or any deviation from the participation dates listed in your assignment letter MUST be approved in writing by your cooperating teacher, university supervisor, and faculty program chair. Student teachers in their final semester of student teaching may request to be absent for educational recruitment fairs and job interviews.

Cooperating Teacher Absences

A student teacher MAY NOT serve as a substitute teacher at any time. A certified teacher must be assigned to the classroom, either the cooperating teacher, another teacher on the staff, or a substitute teacher. Although cooperating teachers are not required to be physically present in the classroom during the times that the student teacher is taking a lead in the instruction, the cooperating teacher is responsible for the classroom and should be available to the student teacher if necessary.

A cooperating teacher may not just "look in" on a student teacher. Assigning an aide to the classroom in place of a certified teacher is not acceptable and a student teacher may not work under the supervision of a classroom aide. If a student teacher's cooperating teacher is absent, a substitute teacher must be hired. If a student teacher's cooperating teacher is asked to substitute for another teacher or is assigned to a different classroom for a day or half-day, the student teacher may not remain in the cooperating teacher's room as a substitute teacher.


Education Document number 463 states, in part, that each academic department at UWM has established procedures for handling matters such as complaints pertaining to grades, treatment by faculty, and academic action, as well as appeals of decisions concerning these matters. If you have difficulty or a problem with the School of Education, you should contact the chairperson of the department that offers your program.

The School of Education Appeals Committee considers appeals for academic decisions adversely affecting undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certification students. Because the committee is an appeals body of the School of Education, students should first exhaust the possible remedies available at the department level.

Criminal Background Investigation

All UWM School of Education students must pass a Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) background check prior to beginning any fieldwork in any district. Failure to pass the background check renders a student ineligible for fieldwork. The criminal background check form is called the "Application for Participation in a Clinical Education or Field Placement Program" and is available online or in person in Enderis 209.

UWM must provide MPS with the fully completed original application at least 30 days prior to the date on which the student is scheduled to commence his/her participation. Students are notified upon enrollment in their first field experience, Introduction to Teaching, to complete the application. These are valid for only two years.

Should a background check expire while a student is still enrolled in field experiences or student teaching the Office of Field Experience will request that a new "Application for Participation in a Clinical Education or Field Placement Program" be completed. Students are expected to return the form promptly. Delay in the return of the form will result in the delay of field work that semester.

When filling out the"Application for Participation in a Clinical Education or Field Placement Program" we strongly advise students to answer all questions completely. Failure to report all convictions will result in failure of the background check. It is the policy of MPS that if an application is rejected for failing to list all convictions, a student may reapply after one year. Then, if all convictions are listed, MPS will evaluate the age and nature of the convictions. Reapplying after one year does not guarantee that a background check will be passed.

The fee is $10.00. The application and fee (check or money order only, payable to UWM) should be submitted to the School of Education, Office of Academic Services, Enderis 209. If you are a UWM student and registered for CURRINS 100 "Introduction to Teaching", students will be billed on their tuition bill as a course fee.

Dismissal Policy - Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence

Students may be dismissed from the Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence if they have:

• A grade of C- or below in any course in the professional program or student teaching experience
• A negative evaluation of performance by faculty team in Block I, II, III, or IV of the program
• Voluntarily withdrawn because of poor performance or other reasons
• Graduated without certification from any other UWM teacher preparation program because of poor performance or other personal reasons
• Been dismissed from any school-based field placement because of poor performance
• Failed to meet program standards in any block as required by PI 34 in the state of Wisconsin
• Been evaluated by the program faculty or the university supervisor to be harmful to students, out of compliance with student teaching responsibilities, or in violation of commonly accepted standards of professional practice

Students who are dismissed from the program are no longer eligible for endorsement for certification.

Eligibility for Student Teaching

Criteria for admission to student teaching vary among programs but include competence in the area of academic specialization, competence in the professional sequence, and successful completion of pre-student teaching field experience. Detailed eligibility requirements are outlined on the program sheet.

Listed below are the minimum eligibility requirements for approval to student teach. Some certification areas have unique prerequisites, including a higher grade point average, demonstration of language proficiency, and additional coursework.

• Admission to a School of Education Certification Program
• Completion of all required course work including teaching methods and pre-student teaching fieldwork as outlined for each program during the semester prior to student teaching
• An overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and a GPA requirement of the student's specific program. A GPA of 2.75 in all professional and major/minor courses is required to qualify for student teaching
• Passing score on the Praxis II content test
• Removal of all F or I (incomplete) grades in courses that count toward graduation or certification
• Evidence of freedom from tuberculosis
• A criminal background check prior to accepting a student for clinical placement in the district

The student's record is reviewed by the academic advisor one semester prior to placement to determine eligibility for student teaching. Students who meet all the above criteria and any addition criteria required by the program will be approved to student teach.

First Aid, Medication, and Bloodborne Pathogens

To protect yourself from blood borne pathogens, keep a pair of protective gloves in your pocket during fieldwork and student teaching. It is generally inadvisable for teachers to give medication, even aspirin or cough drops, because they could be harmful for some students. Because you can be sued for improper treatment, avoid treating injuries. Administer first aid only in case of an emergency such as choking or profuse bleeding.


Health and Accident Insurance

Health and accident insurance is NOT provided for you by UWM or by the district in which you are placed for fieldwork and student teaching. Check to ensure that your personal health insurance is in effect and will cover you.

Liability Insurance

As a student enrolled at a UW-System campus, you represent the University and the State of Wisconsin in the performance of your duties as part of your professional training placements and you are protected under the State of Wisconsin program of Self-Insurance for Liability Protection.

If a liability action should arise from a field experience, protection for that action would be provided by statute and, if need be, you would be defended by the State of Wisconsin Attorney General's Office. This coverage is meant to include only those situations in which you are performing duties related to the professional training placement. In cases in which you are employed by the school district or an agency and the employment is part of your University learning experience leading toward a degree or a certification, the University does not provide liability coverage to you for acts or omissions which may lead to suit.

The National Education Association (NEA) offers 1 million dollar liability insurance as a benefit of membership in the Student Wisconsin Education Association (SWEA). More information on SWEA is available in Enderis Hall, Room 294. The UWM Risk Management Office encourages all students to carry personal insurance policies that provide protection in the event of a personal injury and damage to or theft of personal possessions. Neither the UWM School of Education nor the state of Wisconsin provides such coverage to you. Do NOT transport students in your personal car.

Labor Disputes

The teacher education programs at UWM depend on local school districts for field experience and student teaching. When a work stoppage occurs in a school district it is university policy that students are nonparticipants to either party involved. In the event of labor actions/dispute that results in a cooperating teacher not being available to directly supervise a student, it is the policy of UWM to temporarily remove the student from that placement pending the resolution of the labor action/dispute.

Students are not allowed to teach in a classroom unless appropriately supervised by the designated and approved cooperating teacher. If the labor dispute/job action should continue for an extended period of time, the University will at that point review alternatives for all student teachers involved in this or similar situations.

Out of Area Student Teaching Placement


Students may request an out-of-area student teaching placement if relocating outside thearea.Requests will be granted on a case-by-base basis.


An out-of-area placement should be requested in writing using the Request for Out-of-Area Placement Form.

Requests should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the start of the semester to allow for processing of the instructor approval, criminal background check, and contract paperwork. The student submits the form to the program director for consideration or processing through the appropriate program committee. The student is informed of the decision by his or her academic advisor.

School Regulations

When doing fieldwork or student teaching, you are expected to act in accordance with all local school regulations governing pupils and professional personnel in the school to which you are assigned. At the beginning of your placement, ask your cooperating teacher or building administrator for a copy of local rules and regulations.< /p>

Second Supervision

In the event that your performance as a student teacher does not meet your program's expectation of minimal performance (C grade), a request for a second supervision is made. The purpose of this supervision is to provide a second objective observer and, when indicated, generate recommendations that will facilitate the attainment of satisfactory performance.

Your first supervisor discusses the need for a second supervision with your cooperating teacher and informs you in writing about specific areas of weakness. Your supervisor informs the building principal that a second supervision has been requested and submits a written request to your program chair at UWM. The program chair designates a second supervisor who then schedules observations as needed, confers with you and your cooperating teacher, and makes a recommendation to your primary supervisor. The assignment of your final grade remains the responsibility of your primary supervisor.

Sexual Harassment

UWM's sexual harassment policies cover students, staff and faculty members.

UWM's policy defines sexual harassment unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where the two parties are of unequal power. The policy notes that harassment between equals is also possible.

Sexual harassment also includes any conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational performance or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for work or learning. UWM policy prohibits all sexual harassment including consenting amorous or sexual relationships between an instructor and student or an employee and supervisor. Contact the Office of Equity/Diversity Services at 414-229-5923, or email for more information.

Universal Precautions

Universal precautions is a system of infection control which assumes that all human blood and certain body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV and other bloodborne pathogens. All healthcare workers and emergency response personnel routinely use appropriate barrier precautions to prevent skin and mucous membrane exposure when contact with blood or other body fluids is anticipated.

Students should carry a pair of non-sterile gloves to the sites of fieldwork and student teaching and should put them on before contact with blood or other body fluids, mucous membranes, non-intact skin, or items or surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids. Gloves are available from your school or clinical site.

If you are contaminated with blood or other body fluids, remove the gloves and wash your hands and other body parts immediately and thoroughly. Change gloves after any contact. Should you have an exposure incident, you should file an accident report with your school administrator as soon as feasible. Immunization against Hepatitis B is recommended before fieldwork and student teaching in early childhood exceptional education programs.

Termination of Field

The School of Education reserves the right to remove you from any placement if you are not performing satisfactorily or if other circumstances so warrant. In addition, the School of Education recognizes the right of the cooperating institution to terminate a student's participation for any reason. Students who fail to appear for an assigned field experience during specified placement dates and who fail to notify their cooperating teacher, university supervisor, and field experience coordinator at UWM will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from the course.