Field Education

Throughout their preparation, teacher candidates from both the initial and advanced preparation programs must complete classroom-based field experiences. These field experiences provide students with opportunities to apply instructional and leadership techniques learned in coursework in a classroom, school, or community setting.

The field experience office coordinates all early field experiences and internships for initial and advanced preparation programs. Staff members collaborate with local school and community partners to identify meaningful and relevant placements with exceptional mentor teachers, allowing teacher candidates to gain diverse learning experiences in multiple settings.

Teacher candidates from initial preparation programs complete:

  • Early field experiences, which provide teacher candidates with 200 hours of field experience, including the mandatory 100+ hours of field experience required by the New York State Education Department. These experiences often provide opportunities for teacher candidates to work in small groups, offer tutoring during or after school hours, and practice the pedagogical skills developed in coursework. 

Note that programs leading to multiple certifications have additional field education requirements. Across TLEL programs, field education is addressed by semester-long, one day a week (or the equivalent) experiences. In some programs, intensive, full-day, week-long experiences are also included.

  • Internships, which provide teacher candidates with opportunities to work alongside a mentor teacher for an extended time period. This allows the teacher candidates to integrate and apply pedagogical skills, gain meaningful feedback and reflect on their teaching practice.

  • Review the Fieldwork and Internship Handbook for Initial Certification Programs  for more information.

Teacher candidates from advanced preparation programs complete:

  • Advanced field experiences focused on the techniques or methods described in coursework. Students in these programs will be required to complete these field experiences and coursework opportunities within their classroom (if appropriate) or may need assigned placements. Students should speak with their program advisor regarding the expectations of their program and appropriate field experience placement.

  • Internships, which can be completed either alongside a mentor teacher or in the individual’s own classroom or school setting. These extended clinical experiences provide opportunities for demonstrating the pedagogical skills and professional competencies developed in coursework.

  • Review the Fieldwork, Practica, and Evaluation Handbook for Advanced Certification Programs and the Special Education Program Internship Handbook for more information.

Faculty and staff members expect teacher candidates and students in advanced preparation programs to demonstrate the professional dispositions required of an educator during all classroom-based field experiences.

For inquiries about field education requirements, contact Christina Mack, assistant director of clinical experiences, at or at 607-777-5205.

Substitutes with a Purpose (SWAP) Program

This unique opportunity allows students to complete necessary fieldwork requirements while receiving compensation to substitute teach. Through this program, students will establish connections and relationships with local school districts, gain experience by providing instruction, and manage the learning environment.

Students must be available to provide instruction and manage the learning environment in the absence of a classroom teacher for two days a week when the BT BOCES school districts are in session. This does not include Binghamton University's winter recess. Students will also be expected to report to the mentor teacher one day each week (or the equivalent) to observe, teach small group lessons, and provide assistance in daily classroom routines. The position reports to the principal and mentor teacher at the assigned location. Contact the Field Education Office if interested. 

Felony Statement

Candidates should be aware that some states, including New York, may restrict or deny professional licensure for people with felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions or actions taken against them by a professional organization. Binghamton University's Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership cannot guarantee licensure upon completion of the program.

In addition, candidates in teacher and educational leader preparation programs must complete field experiences, including internships, in schools or other educational settings. For placement into field experiences, candidates are required to provide personal information, fingerprints and may be subjected to a criminal background check. Candidates admitted into the program are not guaranteed a field placement or internship placement as schools, districts and other educational settings have the right to refuse placement based on information collected during any background check results or the candidate's own disclosure.

Candidates with such situation(s) should consult the state's certification board and the program coordinator before submitting an application for admission.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Students entering programs that lead to certification are required to complete clinical experience as part of the degree requirements. At this time, and for the foreseeable future, many of our off-campus placements for students require full vaccination for COVID. Sites may have varying requirements; religious exemptions may not be available and the site may have very narrow guidelines for medical exemptions. Any religious exemption granted by Binghamton University applies only to the University setting; it does not apply to off-campus affiliated activities or locations. Being unable to complete the clinical experiences will affect a student's ability to progress within and graduate from the program.