The Initial Practicum semester is the entry experience into the undergraduate special education program. Students will experience two different full-day, four-week placements in special education programs. During weeks when you are not in a school placement, you will be taking introductory special education courses. Close relationships with professors and peers and exploration of career goals are an integral part of the Initial Practicum semester.
A cumulative grade point of 2.75 is required for admission as well as specific course prerequisites (see Eligibility section below). Check with your adviser to see if you are ready.
Why Initial Practicum?
All of us know what the regular classroom is like, but few of us have had extensive experience with students with disabilities. Further, the department believes that by having these early experiences, the rest of your coursework will be that much more tangible and beneficial.
The Initial Practicum semester is designed to give the special education or dual major initial opportunities to learn and experience the daily roles and responsibilities of teachers of students with disabilities.
Benefits of the Initial Practicum:
- It is scheduled early to build an experiential basis to relate current and future coursework.
- Provides opportunities for students to assess how well their vocational goal fits their interests, personalities, abilities, and skills.
- Permits those few students not matched for teaching students with disabilities to change their major early.
Undergraduate students are eligible to apply for Initial Practicum if they meet the following prerequisites:
- Been admitted to the College of Education and Human Services.
- Successfully completed (or will prior to the start of the practicum semester) at least 40 credits
- Successfully completed Spec Ed 352: Children and Youth with Disabilities in General Education, Comm 111: Fundamentals of Speech Communication (C or better), English 101: College English 1 (B or better) and Math 110: Number Systems
- Passed the PRAXIS I (PPST)
- Have a cumulative 2.75 GPA or better
To obtain an application for Initial Practicum, you must attend an informational meeting. Informational meetings to apply for fall semester are held in February/March and spring semester meetings are held in September/October.
Students should try to attend one of the first two meetings as admittance into the program is based on a first-come basis. The last meeting is primarily for transfer students.