Field Experience Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Office of Field Experiences hours of operations?

  • During the academic school year: Monday - Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.
  • During the summer: Monday - Thursday, 8:00am-5:15pm, closed Fridays.

What is the GPA requirement to be in the education program?

  • All undergraduate students must maintain a 2.75 GPA to be accepted into and remain in the education program.  A cumulative grade point average as deemed appropriate in the academic major and a 3.0 grade point average in the teacher education sequence, as deemed by the appropriate certification program. Some programs have additional GPA requirements.  A 3.0 is required for graduate students.
  • WPUNJ students with less than 60 credits as of August 31, 2014:

    *must pass a test of basic skills for all new teachers:  Core Academic Skills for Teachers #5751 from ETS.  Information is available at .

    *must pass the College of Education Speech and Hearing assessments

    *must have a minimum cumulative gpa (cgpa) of 3.00 to take education courses

    *students graduating with an education major after August 31, 2014 must have a final, 3.0 cgpa to be recommended to the state for teacher certification.

    * all education majors must maintain a 3.00 gpa in the education major

  • To determine what your GPA is, you can access the GPA Calculator provided by the Advisement Center. Or, try it on your own! Here's how:

    Go to Student Services and click on WP Online. Select the grade file and choose the most recent semester. Next, using the CUMULATIVE data as your reference, divide the total QUALITY POINTS by the total QUALITY HOURS. That is your cumulative GPA. You can predict how your GPA will be affected by assigning grades to the courses in which you are currently registered and adding those figures to the cumulative totals listed. To do so, you must know that the number of credits you're taking are added to your QUALITY HOURS total. To determine the quality points earned for the semester, you must multiply each grade you receive by its' point value. For example: A=4.00, A-=3.7, B+=3.3, B=3.0, B-=2.7, C+=2.3, C=2.0, C-=1.7, D+=1.3, D=1.0, F=0. IF YOU ARE TAKING A COURSE PASS/FAIL, DO NOT FACTOR IN THE QUALITY HOURS OR POINTS. Add up the points for the semester and add them to the QUALITY POINTS total and then recalculate.

Where can students get applications?

Which applications do students need for each certification program?

  • Undergraduate K-5, K-5/5-8: CIEE 3010 and Student Teaching
  • Undergraduate P-3: CIEC 2000, CIEC 3000, and Student Teaching
  • Post Bac. K-5: CIEE 5170 and Student Teaching
  • Undergraduate Subject-Field K-12: CISE 3520 and Student Teaching
  • Post. Bac. Subject-Field K-12: CISE 5300 and Student Teaching
  • Undergraduate Special Education: SPC 3550, K-5 (CIEE 3010) or K-12 (CISE 3520), and Student Teaching
  • Undergraduate Music: MUSI 3290, MUSI 4290 and Student Teaching
  • Post Bac. Special Education K-5: SPED 5750, CIEE 5170 and Student Teaching
  • Special Education Certificate Endorsement: SPED 6540
  • Physical Education: PETC 3970, PETC 3980, and Student Teaching

Why do applications need to be signed by an education advisor?

  • Designated faculty in each academic department assist students in planning their certification program.
  • Advisors need to sign all applications to make sure students meet the prerequisites required to complete field experiences.
  • Meeting with an education advisor also gives students the opportunity to ask questions related to the certification program and their academic progress.

How can students find out who is their education advisor?

  • Upon acceptance into the certification program, students will receive an acceptance letter and an advisor should be assigned at that time.
  • If students do not know who their advisor is, they can access WPOnline, or contact the department relevant to their certification program:
    • Dept. of Elementary/ Early Childhood Education: Chair: Dr. Linnea Weiland, Secretary: Elaine Bush -- 973-720-2331
    • Department of Secondary/ Middle School Education: Chair: Dr. Kabba Colley,  Secretary: Priscilla Stevens-- 973-720-2120.
    • Department of Special Education & Counseling: Chair: Dr. Manina Urgolo-Huckvale, Secretary: Elsie Tlatenchi-- 973-720-2118
    • Department of Exercise & Movement Science-- Chair: Dr. Kathy Silgailis,  Secretary: Elinore Vitale-- 973-720-2166
    • Department of Music-- Chair: Dr. Carol Frierson-Campbell, Secretary: Lois Green--973-720-3128

What is a biographical data form, why does it have to be typed, and why do four (4) copies have to be submitted with every field experience application?

  • A biographical data form includes important information that school districts should know about students who are seeking field experience placements. This form acts as a resume and gives the students a chance to showcase themselves.
  • A biographical data form must be typed because it is a professional document. It also should be proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. It is also beneficial for students to have an education advisor to look over the form to get a professional opinion.
  • The Office of Field Experiences needs four (4) copies attached to each application because the biographical data form is mailed to the district a request for placement is being made, given to the student's supervisor, and one kept in the student files.

Why do students have to have at least one urban placement?

  • Students need to complete one urban and one non-urban field placement for two reasons. The William Paterson University, College of Education values diversity and expects that you will learn to be an excellent teacher in all settings. You are being certified to teach in all types of New Jersey classrooms and it is very important that your experiences include diverse settings in New Jersey.
  • To better understand what constitutes an urban school district, please visit the NJ Dept. of Education website for criteria on District Factor Groups.
  • We encourage students to consider a yearlong placement as a TLC student in an urban Professional Development School. Please see TLC and PDS below.

Why are students not allowed to complete their field experiences in a district with which they are affiliated?

  • The Office of Field Experiences wants students to have the best possible experiences in the classrooms. It is beneficial to complete field experiences outside of affiliated districts because it affords students the opportunity to network outside districts where they already know a teacher or administrator.
  • Also, students with diversity in their placements have a larger range of marketability to display on their resumes.
  • It is also important for students to have an objective learning experience in their placements and completing a practicum or student teaching in an affiliated may possible prevent that.

The acronyms "TLC" and "PDS" are used by the Office of Field Experiences and mentioned by professors in education classes as well. What do these terms mean?

  • Please refer to our Special Programs webpage for information on these and other exciting programs. 

How does a student cancel a practicum or student teaching placement request?

  • All withdrawal/cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. A withdrawal form can be obtained from V3108 or on the Office of Field Experiences website. Students must also withdraw at the office of the Registrar. All withdrawal dates in the Master Schedule must be followed.

How are students notified about where they are placed?

  • The Office of Field Experiences has a bulletin board with the status of student placements that is updated regularly.
  • Once a school district has accepted a student or accepted a student for an interview, the Office of Field Experiences will e-mail a letter to the student using their WP e-mail address. Student must schedule interview appointment immediately. 

What should students do if their address or telephone number has changed since filing any applications with the Office of Field Experiences?

  • Students must notify both the Center for Student Services and the Office of Field Experiences if any name, address or telephone number changes occur.
  • Please remember that updating the new information with the Registrar's Office DOES NOT update the Office of Field Experiences and vice versa. Students must notify both offices of any changes to avoid complications with mailings and emergencies.

Why do students need to have a substitute teaching license and a mantoux test for their field experiences?

  • The substitute license is required by the Office of Field Experiences because the criminal history background check that is conducted helps ensure William Paterson University is not sending students into school districts with a criminal background.
  • Having a substitute license also affords students the opportunity to substitute teach  to gain valuable teaching experience, as well as build those resumes!
  • A substitute license also affords students the opportunity to accept a permanent substitute teaching position in a district following student teaching.
  • Most districts require a substitute license.
  • The mantoux test is required by anyone who is employed or volunteers in a school.
    • The mantoux test checks for tuberculosis and takes only a minute or two at a doctor's office or on campus at the Health Center for a nominal fee.
    • The mantoux test is valid for only one year and must be current during the time students are in school districts for a practicum or student teaching.

  • All students must submit copies of valid substitute licenses and mantoux test three months in advance of their field experience to the Office of Field Experiences or they cannot complete their practicum or student teaching to their assigned school.
  • Students must also bring copies of valid substitute licenses and mantoux results with them on their first day of practicum/student teaching.

Why do Teacher Candidates need to take and pass the PRAXIS exams(s) in all appropriate certification areas before they can student teach?

  • All Education Departments require Teacher Education Candidates to take and pass the PRAXIS exams(s) in all appropriate certification areas before student teaching because a passing score(s) on the PRAXIS exams(s) is required by the state for certification.   Passing PRAXIS scores must be submitted to the Office of Certification by August 1st for student teaching in the fall semester and January 1st for student teaching in the spring semester.

 Are the events in the Office of Field Experiences that students have to attend throughout the school year mandatory?

  • Absolutely. Students will receive e-mails (wpunj e-mail) and information in the orientation packets indicating important dates and times for particular events and being punctual is important!

Where can students obtain information regarding certification and the Praxis tests?

  • Please contact the Office of Certificationfor questions regarding certification and Praxis tests.
    • Director: Liana Fornarotto -- 973-720-3685
    • Program Assistant: Michele Wright-- 973-720-3685