The field experiences within the VWU Teacher Education Program are purposeful, unique, and provide teaching candidates multiple opportunities to build their teaching skills and confidence in teaching. Both the undergraduate-level and graduate-level teacher education programs offered at VWU involve a semester-long culminating internship where teaching candidates are placed with a seasoned teacher in classroom.
To prepare our teaching candidates for their culminating internship, we offer a diverse set of practical field experiences early and often throughout their course coursework. VWU teaching candidates average over 400 hours of authentic teaching experience before completing the program. Field experiences may include, but are not limited to the following:
Tidewater Collegiate Academy: This on-campus lab school provides early access to authentic teaching experiences for VWU teaching candidates. In the picture below, elementary teaching candidates develop and implement hands-on learning experiences for TCA lower school students.
Downstream Collaborative Project: Each spring semester, over 100 fourth graders from Virginia Beach City Public Schools travel to campus for an interdisciplinary experience with an environmental theme. VWU candidates lead several of the hands-on learning stations with state-of-the-art technology.
Virginia Wesleyan Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars: This on-campus environmental science program provides 20 high-achieving, rising 9th grade females an immersive science experience. Summer programs like this allow for paid internships for select VWU teaching candidates. Past VWU interns have led innovative instruction during this camp and taken part in researching the impacts of innovative curriculum.
Course specific experiences: Faculty have developed strong partnerships with several schools in the area in order to develop meaningful teaching and learning experiences for both VWU teaching candidates and K-12 students.
Practicum Experiences: Traditional teacher education programs leave field placement to chance. VWU faculty and select schools work together to place each teaching candidate purposefully with a high-quality cooperating teacher.
Camp Red Feather: VWU teaching candidates cultivate an effective behavior management plan while developing a positive learning atmosphere on campus for participants of Camp Red Feather.