Teacher Education Practicums

In our Teacher Education program, we focus on getting students in the classroom early. With over 9 practicum courses throughout the program, students are connecting the theories and deepening their knowledge learned in the classroom through hands-on experience in public school settings. The active learning environment is what sets this program apart; we provide students the opportunity to gain insight into their own skills as future educators, to collaborate with current educators, and to enhance career readiness through practical experience.

Student teacher writing on white board

Our Placement Process

Background Check and ID

Before a teacher candidate can work in public schools in extended practicums and clinical practice (student teaching), a criminal background check must be completed. Local district background checks may be required in addition, however, the SUU background check will always be the base requirement. Background checks must be completed PRIOR to the start of the semester. If the background check is not completed before the first day of the semester, the student will not receive their clearance email in time to do their practicum hours and will need to drop and take the course another semester. There are a couple lower division courses where completing a background check will be part of the curriculum.

Additionally, students must have a red SUU ID badge before entering their practicum experience; badges can be used through graduation. Red ID badges will NOT be administered unless their background check has been cleared; badges will be revoked if a student’s background clearance changes at any point within the program.

Request ID Badge

Sonia Portal

Teacher Education has adopted a software management program to help manage the administrative load that comes with placing hundreds of students in schools. Placement location preferences will be done through the Sonia portal. Students will also submit required information like whether they’ve cleared a background check, received an ID badge, or their Foundations of Reading Assessment score. The goal is to keep all information in one location while increasing efficiency in allocating students to sites. This will only need to be completed once.

Depending on the course, the student will also use the Sonia portal to submit their location preferences for their practicum experience; location preferences MUST be submitted by the end of the first week of each semester or a placement will not be guaranteed and the student will have to drop the course and take it another semester. Not all courses will allow the student to have a preference. Some courses will have specific schools assigned to that experience and local students will have to choose between those specific schools. Online students outside of Iron County will be able to choose a location preference within the Sonia portal. Please see the More Information section below to see which courses require a practicum.

Student Teachers will fill out forms, submit timesheets for approval, and develop their portfolio all within their Sonia portal.

Students must be located in Utah to participate in this program/practicum courses. Please feel free to contact us with questions about this program.

Placement Confirmation

Once location preferences have been submitted, we will reach out to districts on behalf of the student. Students are not to reach out to schools or districts on their own. This will allow SUU and school district staff to have a better idea of how many students are in schools and to vet background checks. This process can take up to two weeks at times; the sooner the student can submit their background check, ID information, and location preferences, the sooner we can secure a placement for them.

Upon confirmation from the district, our team will update the student’s Sonia portal or notify the student via email about the details of their placement(s). If a student is taking more than one practicum course and the required grade levels for the experiences overlap, one placement can count toward multiple courses.

Once the student has been assigned a classroom, the student may reach out to the cooperating teacher of that classroom to introduce themselves and schedule their hours.

More Information

Planning on doing your practicum hours or student teaching in Washington County? Additional documentation is required. Please fill out the following two forms and upload them to your Sonia portal under the Documents tab.

Once uploaded to your Sonia portal, our team will review it and sign it. We will then send the documents to WCSD with the student’s placement request.

SPED 2030 - Educating Exceptional Students
  • This course explores the wide range of exceptionalities found in schools. This includes special needs, gifted, at-risk, and disabled students, and programs designed for their care and support.
  • Required grade levels: K-12
  • Required hours: 10 hrs total, towards the last half of the semester
FLHD 2600 - Foundations in Early Childhood Education
  • History and philosophy of early childhood education, recent trends, learning environments, and programs for the education of children from birth to eight (8) years. Develops collaborative teaming skills and ability to work with community leaders, agencies, businesses, and others in promoting children’s learning. Focus on parent involvement and family/community relations.
  • Required grade levels: K-3
  • Required hours: 2 hours per week
ECED 2950 - Integrated Curriculum and Assessment: PreK-3
  • Methods in planning and implementing an integrated curriculum using projects and thematic units and developmentally appropriate instruction for children’s learning. Assessment strategies and data collection, both formal and informal, for use in evaluating the progress of children in kindergarten and primary grades, meeting individual needs and reporting progress to parents.
  • Required grade levels: PreK–2
  • Required hours: 2-3 hours per week
EDRG 3010 - Language Acquisition, Early Literacy, and Phonics
  • This course focuses on methods to enhance early literacy development. The acquisition of both first and second languages, concepts of emergent literacy, and the integration of phonics are stressed. FoRT assessment should be taken after the completion of this course. Practicum hours will NOT be in a public school setting.
  • Required grade levels: K-2
  • Required hours: 10-12 tutoring sessions
SPED 4120 - Creating and Managing a Learning Environment
  • This course helps students understand how to create effective learning environments by establishing and implementing routines and procedures with consistent expectations. Students will learn how to implement personalized learning practices that consider the whole child, including function-based thinking, implementing least restrictive behavioral interventions, trauma-informed instructional practices, and restorative instructional practices. 
  • Required grade levels: K-12
  • Required hours: 3 hours per week
SPED 4130 - Intervention Strategies in ELA for Students with Disabilities
  • This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the curricular and instructional needs of students with mild/moderate disabilities in the areas of reading and writing.
  • Required grade levels: K-12
  • Required hours: 1-2 hours per week
SPED 4145 - Assistive Technology, Collaboration, and Post-Secondary Transition
  • This course reviews collaboration and communication skills necessary for special educators to conduct transition planning for a continuum of students with mild/moderate disabilities. Students will also gain the requisite knowledge in providing assistive technology support.
  • Required grade levels: 9-12
  • Required hours: 1-2 hours per week
EESL 4310 - Introduction to ESL & Bilingual Education
  • The course addresses different aspects of ESL and bilingual education. Students study theories of second language acquisition to support English language proficiency and academic success of English learners in U.S. schools. Federal policies, program models for ESL/bilingual education, and instructional strategies are also discussed. Students are expected to teach a minimum of four different one-on-one lessons on four different days; more lessons may be needed if one hour lessons cannot be achieved. School setting NOT required, practicum optional
  • Required grade levels: K-12
  • Required hours: 4 hours total
Block - Elementary 
  • Elementary Block is a set of courses taken concurrently the semester before student teaching. Students are not allowed to take any other courses in conjunction with the Block courses; all coursework should be completed prior to applying for Block. Both on campus and online options available.
  • Required hours: 2 hours per day, 150 hours total 
    • ELED 3460 - Methods of Language Arts
    • ELED 3470 - Methods of Mathematics
    • ELED 3480 - Methods of Science, Physical Education, and Health
    • ELED 3490 - Methods of Social Studies
    • ELED 3570 - Motivation and Management of Diverse Instructional EnvironmentsElementary Block courses:
Block - Secondary
  • Secondary Block is a set of courses taken concurrently the semester before student teaching. Students are not allowed to take any other courses in conjunction with the Block courses; all coursework should be completed prior to applying for Block.
  • Required hours: 5 hours per week during 2nd half of semester, 60 hours total
  • Secondary Block courses: 
    • SCED 3570 - Secondary Classroom Management
    • SCED 3590 - Instructional Planning, Delivery, and Assessment


Please reach out to Caitlin with any questions or to request more information.