College of Education and Human Development Fieldwork

All College of Education and Human Development majors must complete field experiences to practice working with children, adolescents or adults in classrooms, training centers or community organizations.

Education majors will observe a professional teacher’s instructional and classroom management methods. The Office of Field Placement helps students find appropriate classroom assignments.

Special Education Fieldwork

Students must complete fieldwork experiences in various stages of learning—observation through independent teaching—and across mild-to-moderate disability student populations, as well as in prekindergarten through grade 12 classrooms.

In addition, students must complete a 12-week, full-time student teaching assignment.

The College of Education and Human Development designates a fieldwork coordinator for students in the Special Education (Pre-K to 12) Major to supervise the ongoing management of their fieldwork placement and supervision. The fieldwork coordinator also

  • communicates with students to ensure their clearances are obtained within the required timeline and communicates the fieldwork requirements and placements;
  • develops and maintains a network of coaches and mentor teachers in areas local to university students that will supervise fieldwork;
  • ensures communication between course instructors and the successes and challenges experienced by students and coaches/mentor teachers in the fieldwork related to the courses taught by those instructors via an advising system; and
  • supports the clearance process to ensure all students, coaches and mentor teachers have the appropriate required clearances (e.g., Pennsylvania Background Checks, Federal Criminal Background Check, Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance and tuberculosis screen).

Fieldwork courses are scheduled such that courses with fieldwork components are typically taken at the same time as a practicum course.


The Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education (Pre-K to 12) prepares graduates for positions in special education throughout the kindergarten, elementary and high school systems.


Career opportunities and mid-career salaries for the Special Education (Pre-K to 12) Major may include the following examples.


Median Salary*

Special Education Teachers, All Other

$61,190.00 (2019)

Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten & Elementary School

$60,460.00 (2019)

Special Education Teachers, Middle School


Special Education Teachers, Preschool

$60,000.00 (2019)

Special Education Teachers, Secondary School


* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) as of October 13, 2020.