The Clinical Experiences and Student Teaching (CEST) Office works closely with Chicago area schools and school districts. To better serve our teacher candidates and PK-12 colleagues, the CEST Office has established school-university relationships and partnerships.

Clinical and student teaching placements are solely managed by the CEST Office. Due to the complexity of the placement process, teacher candidates are asked not contact schools or school districts or intervene in the placement process. While teacher candidates may request one or more placement sites to be considered, placement sites are selected to assure compliance with CAEP Standards, Illinois State Law, and NEIU College of Education policies and procedures. As a result, a placement site cannot be guaranteed. 

Clinical and student teaching placements are made in urban and diverse settings in Chicago, and portions of Cook, Du Page, Lake, Kane, and McHenry counties. Placement sites are selected to prepare candidates to teach students with special needs; English Language Learners; students in high needs schools; and students from racial, cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups which differ from the teacher candidate. All teacher candidates will have one or more placements in a diverse and/or urban school. All teacher candidates also will be placed within a 25 mile radius of the NEIU Main Campus and will have a minimum of one placement in a public school.

Efforts will be made to provide field experiences across the spectrum of grades/ages covered on a teaching license. All clinical and student teaching placements are made within the age/grade span covered on the Teacher Licensure a student is seeking to earn as follows:

Teacher License


Early Childhood

Birth-Grade 3 (old program)

Early Childhood Birth-Grade 2 (new program)


Grades 1-6 


Grades 9-12 (specific subject)

K-12 Special Certificates

Grades K-12

Placements will be made to assure that no conflicts of interest occur and that teacher candidates have varied educational experiences. Teacher candidates will not be placed in schools they have either worked in or attended or where family members attend, are employed, or serve on school boards.

Teacher candidates who meet the requirement of Illinois Administrative Code 25.620 (see the Illinois State Board of Education for definitions and conditions) may apply to student teach in their own classroom. In order to be considered, teacher candidates must make an appointment with the Director of Clinical Experiences and Student Teaching to obtain the additional requirements and documentation necessary.