Field Work and Clearances

An additional requirement for certification is the successful completion of supervised field work in the local community and in local schools before the Education Semester. These experiences allow for increased involvement in school settings as candidates progress through the program and may include school site visits, microteaching, classroom observation, simulation activities, and case study work, depending on the course to which a particular field experience is connected. All students are expected to demonstrate the highest levels of professionalism on each and every visit to a field placement.

Field Work Documentation

Hours spent doing field work must be documented on "Blue Cards" available in the Education Department office. At the conclusion of each semester, and at various points throughout the semester, faculty members will review field hours to ensure that all candidates have met their requirements for the semester. Please note that field hours are required for each course taken in the Education Department; if you plan to take two courses with Education prefixes in the same semester you should also plan to complete the field hours associated with each course. Students must register for Education 060 along with every course taken in the certification sequence, though it is only necessary to sign up for Education 060 one time per semester (i.e. even if two education courses are taken, you should only register for Education 060 once). Instructors in individual courses may have additional guidelines to shape field experiences; these are typically described in course syllabi. 

Professionalism in Field Work

Students participating in field experiences represent Gettysburg College--including the faculty of the Education Department, fellow students, alumni, and indeed the whole College community--when they do. As such, it is expected that students will maintain the highest levels of professionalism whenever contact is made with school personnel, students, parents, or others in the community. We expect students to dress appropriately, communicate professionally, and to uphold the highest levels of professional decorum whenever they enter local schools. In short, when you look good we look good--do your best to represent Gettysburg well not only for yourself, but also for everyone else affiliated with the College.

Clearances

Act 114 of the Pennsylvania School Code requires criminal background checks and child abuse checks on both visitors to and new employees of public and private schools located in the Commonwealth. As such, all teacher candidates must complete the following before beginning any field work:

  • A Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) background check conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  • A Pennsylvania criminal background check, as required by Act 34; and
  • A Pennsylvania child abuse check, as required by Act 151.

These clearances must be initiated through the Education Department office (located in Weidensall 106) during the first class you take in the Education Department, which is typically Education 209 or Education 201. The clearance process takes approximately six weeks to complete and there is a cost associated with each required clearance. Check with Kathy Ambrose or drop by room 106 in Weidensall for more information.

All candidates are also required to have a tine test or obtain similar proof of freedom from tuberculosis before beginning field experiences or being admitted to the Education Semester. If not completed prior to entrance at Gettysburg College, the health center on campus can administer the TB test.