Each of Northeastern Illinois University’s initial teacher licensure programs requires supervised field experiences with students in schools under the guidance of a cooperating teacher. The Illinois State Board of Education defines clinical experiences “as that part of the professional preparation program enabling candidates preparing for certified roles to acquire practical experience along with theoretical knowledge prior to entering into the full responsibilities of the role for which they are seeking certification.” 

Pre-Student Teaching Clinical Courses and Hours

The minimum number of pre-student teaching clinical hours varies by initial licensure program.

Initial Licensure Program

Clinical Hours



Bilingual Education-Undergraduate


BLBC 328  Clinical Experiences in Elementary Education

100 hours

Early Childhood Education


ECED 328I   Clinical Experiences in Early Childhood Education Infant-Toddler

40 hours

ECED 328T  Clinical Experiences in Early Childhood Education-Technology Emphasis

50 hours

ECED 328M  Clinical Experiences in Early Childhood Education-Multicultural Emphasis

50 hours

ECED 328S Practicum in Early Childhood Education Special Education

30 hours

Elementary Education-Undergraduate


ELED 328  Clinical Experiences in Elementary Education

100 hours

Bilingual and Elementary Education-Graduate


ELED 415  Interrelating Science and Mathematics With Clinical

50 hours

ELED 416 Strategies of Teaching Social Studies and Language Arts With Clinical

50 hours

Health Education


HPER-PEMT 2037  Field Experience:  School Health Education

100 hours

Physical Education


PEMA 344/PEMT 311/PEMT 341

100 hours

Secondary Education-Undergraduate


MUS 393L    Seminar in Music Education (Clinical Field Experience)

100 hours

SCED 304A  Clinical Experiences in the Secondary School:  Art

100 hours

SCED 304B  Clinical Experiences in the Secondary School:  Biology

100 hours

SCED 304E  Clinical Experiences in the Secondary School:  English

100 hours

SCED 304H  Clinical Experiences in the Secondary School:  History

100 hours

SCED 304J   Clinical Experiences in the Secondary School:  French/Spanish

100 hours

SCED 304M  Clinical Experiences in the Secondary School:  Mathematics

100 hours

Secondary Education-M.A.T Language Arts Program-Graduate


SCED 401L  New Directions in Teaching English in Middle and Secondary Schools with Clinical Experience

50 hours

SCED 407A  Teaching Multicultural Literature in the Middle and Secondary School with Clinical Experience

50 hours

Scheduling of Pre-Student Teaching Clinical Hours

Pre-student teaching clinical experiences are scheduled at dates and times mutually agreed upon between the clinical student and the cooperating teacher(s) and/or school administration.  Teacher candidates must conduct their pre-student teaching clinical experiences while the school is in session and students are present. 

Establishing and adhering to a clinical hour completion schedule is an essential part of having a successful clinical experience. Use the following guidelines to prepare your clinical schedule:

  • Plan to be at your placement site in no less than three hour increments on one or more consistent days throughout the semester. 
  • Complete your clinical hours throughout the course of the semester, not sporadically or within a two or three week period.
  • Arrange other coursework, employment, personal, and family obligations in a way that allows sufficient time to travel to and from the placement site, fulfill clinical expectations at the placement site, and complete any associated requirements such as research, lesson planning, and other work required outside of the placement site. 
  • If employed full-time, make arrangements with your employer to be absent from work for a period of time each week in order to complete your required clinical hours.
  • Provide a written clinical hour completion schedule approved by your cooperating teacher(s) to your clinical seminar instructor/supervisor by the end of the second week of the semester.
  • Once established, do not change your clinical schedule unless requested to do so by your cooperating teacher or university supervisor.

Pre-Student Teaching Clinical Seminars

 All courses with pre-student teaching clinical components include a seminar held on campus. Dates and times will be published in the University Schedule for the semester. Pre-student teaching clinical seminars begin at the start of the semester and continue through the end of the term.

Pre-student teaching clinical seminars follow a defined academic program syllabus and complement the clinical component of the course. The syllabus includes specific content to be learned. Written and other assignments also are required. Discussions will include reflections about the clinical experience and progress toward becoming a professional educator.

Pre-Student Teaching Clinical Evaluation

Clinical students are evaluated by both their cooperating teacher and university supervisor throughout the semester. The clinical student will be observed a minimum of two times by the university supervisor. The observation visit should be scheduled at a time convenient to both the cooperating teacher and university supervisor. 

Clinical students receive a final evaluation from both their cooperating teacher and university supervisor. These evaluations should be discussed with the clinical student in a conference with the cooperating teacher and university supervisor. 

A grade of “A” or “B” must be earned in a pre-student teaching clinical course to enroll in a subsequent course requiring a field experience.