School of Education  

Field Placements


Field placements provide invaluable experience for the student and they also provide the Aquinas College School of Education with professional assessments of the student performance in the field. Recommendations for certification are based not only on academic and classroom performance but also on successful work in field placements. This includes, but is not limited to, professional attitudes and actions with cooperating teachers, supervisors and students encountered in pre-k thru grade 12 classroom settings. All improprieties will be documented in a “Concern Form” and some improprieties may result in immediate dismissal from the education program. All assessments are taken into consideration when a recommendation for teacher certification is to be made.

Many, if not most, of the education classes are offered in the evening but will require a “DAYTIME” field placement (field component.) It is the intent of the Aquinas College School of Education to give students a global perspective of education systems. Students will have experiences in a variety of settings; public, private, urban, suburban and rural school districts. The School of Education has a placement policy denying placements in a school setting where the student has formerly attended or is either employed, has a spouse or other family member employed, or where their children attend.

Additionally, students should not expect to be placed in the same school for their Directed Student Teaching placement where they have completed their EN 201 Introduction to Education .

Please Note:
Students should keep a record of all field placements as they progress through the certification program. Special notation should be made of the course number, the placement (school and district), cooperating teacher, the grade and subject area. This information will be requested on the Directed Student Teaching Pre-Application and should be documented in the AQ SOE Portfolio

Field Placement Policies for EN 201, Introduction to Education

Placement Purpose:
The purpose of field placements in the EN201 program is to give the Introduction to Education student an opportunity to observe and experience teaching in the real life context of today’s classrooms with the guidance of a cooperating in-service teacher and the benefit of feedback from an experienced external observer. This is an opportunity for you to experience the classroom as a teacher and decide if this is what you would like to further pursue as a profession. It provides us with an opportunity to see you work with children and provide guidance for your future preparation to attain a teaching certificate.

Placement Procedure:
The Director of Field Placement arranges ALL placements. Whenever possible, placements are set up to accommodate the student’s requests in terms of location (see below), days and times, grade level, and content area preferences. Suggestions by the student for a specific placement will be considered as long as it does not violate the stated requirements and limitations for placements in this program. Do not contact teachers or principals to arrange your own placement. This will result in an automatic cancellation of that placement. This is done formally through the Aquinas College School of Education.

Students will be notified of their placement by phone and/or in writing and you are required to call the contact person indicated to establish exactly when to arrive at the placement. No placements will be made until the student has submitted all of the required paper work: a Pre-Placement Information form, a Student Information for Cooperating Teachers form, a Student Criminal Record Information form, and documented negative TB test results. Placements are typically made within the first four weeks of the beginning of the semester.

Placement Policies:

  • Students will not be placed in the same buildings where they formerly attended school.
  • Students will not be placed in buildings where relatives are working or attending.
  • Students cannot in any way be paid for the time they are working in the placement. School employees will need to work in classrooms during non-paid times, make up the time in some other way, or have pay deducted for that time.
  • Field placements for EN 201, Introduction to Education, will be limited to public and private schools in the Kent Intermediate School District : Byron Center , Caledonia , Cedar Springs, Comstock Park , East Grand Rapids , Forest Hills , Godfrey-Lee, Godwin Heights , Grand Rapids , Grandville, Kelloggsville, Kenowa Hills , Kent City, Kentwood , Lowell , Northview, Rockford , Sparta , Thornapple-Kellogg and Wyoming .
  • Students who answer “YES” to any one of questions 1 through 6 on the Education Student Criminal Record Information form will not be placed until the documentation required by the School of Education has been submitted.
  • In the case of a student currently serving probation or other court ordered sentencing, the student will be asked if permission is given to inform the principal at the placement of the situation. If the student refuses to give permission, they will either not be placed or they will be removed from an existing placement. If permission is given, the placement school will be informed and the school will have the decision as whether to continue the placement or not.
  • Student teaching assignments will not be in the same location as the EN 201 placement.
  • Students are not to arrange their own placements.
  • Students are not to access their placements until they have been notified by the Director to do so, have contacted the cooperating teacher, and have received the packet of information to give to the cooperating teacher. The packet will include a formal Placement Notification form, Student Information for Cooperating Teachers, a letter of introduction, a copy of the Field Evaluation Checklist, and Guidelines for Classroom Cooperating Teachers.

Field Supervisors:

Experienced field supervisors will be assigned for each student’s placement in EN 201. Field supervisors are required to visit the student at least four times during the length of the placement and observe the student actively working in the class for an average of 30 to 45 minutes. It is expected that the field supervisors will give feedback to the students as soon as possible and turn in a written account of the observation to the Director after the debriefing.


See the “Student Teaching” web page for detailed information on procedures and requirements pertaining to this important field placement.