Route to Student Teaching

Step 1. Application for Admission to the Practicum

  • Applications are available in the 125 CEDAR Bldg.
  • Completed applications must be submitted to that office one-year in advance of the student teaching semester.
  • Applications are due October 30 for Fall Semester practica and January 30 for Spring.

Step 2. Assignment to a Regional Center

Information about existing centers is available in 227 CEDAR. Center locations are subject to change. The primary SPLED Center is located in the Altoona Area School District. Center assignments will be mailed to local addresses; therefore, updated address and phone number is very important. Notification will occur in November for the following Fall practica and in May for the following Spring. Center supervisors provide housing information for their regional areas. The Off-Campus Housing Office provides advertising service for sub-letting existing leases in the University Park area.

Step 3. Campus Interview With Practicum Supervisor

During the semester preceding the practicum, candidates must be interviewed by supervisors. Attendance is compulsory. This occurs in September for Spring practica and in January for Fall practica. Information about the date, time, location and materials required for the interview is provided in the center assignment letters. These materials are used in procuring the specific school placements. The quality of the materials is very important since this will be the reader’s first, and perhaps only, impression of the candidate.

Step 4. Assignment to a Specific School and Classroom

Each center supervisor procures the specific school assignment for student teachers assigned to her/his center. Students should not attempt to arrange their own placements.

Step 5. Campus Orientation to the Practicum and Certification (NOTE: Important “Mark Your Calendar Info” bottom of page)

Attendance is compulsory for two orientation meetings during the latter part of the semester prior to the practicum.

(1) The Office of Career Services provides information on establishing a professional credentials file and using University resources for resume preparation, reference letters, job seeking strategies and interview skills. (2) The practicum supervisor provides specific information about beginning the practicum. (3) Students will receive orientation information regarding location and time via email.

Step 6. Proof of Course Audit Card and Certification Information

During the semester preceding the practicum, the candidate must complete an official course audit in person and procure a yellow audit card in 228 Chambers. This card ensures that all student teaching prerequisites have been completed and must be submitted to the practicum supervisor in order to begin the practicum. In addition, at the time of this audit, the teacher certification application is distributed with information about criminal history clearances, testing requirements, commencement and interstate certification agreements.

Step 7. Beginning the Practicum

The practicum begins with a compulsory orientation in the regional center. The date, time and location will be provided by the practicum supervisor. The Fall Semester orientation is scheduled in late August and Spring’s is usually the Monday of the week of Penn State’s January registration.


A meeting with Career Services dealing with the topics of setting up a credentials file, job searches, and job fairs will be held on two (2) days. You MUST attend one (1) of these meetings.

The Route to ST Form - Updated 8-12-04