Clinical Experiences


Clinical experiences are guided, hands-on, practical applications of professional knowledge that students gain in the classroom. A clinical experience may also be referred to as: pre-teaching, service learning, lab, practicum, methods course, or clinical residency. Extensive clinical experiences are a strength of Auburn University College of Education as they are an essential part of the preparation of educators.

All educator candidates must be fingerprinted by a service provider approved by the ALSBE and have a clear background check prior to beginning any clinical experience. Completion of the background check typically occurs as an assignment during the EDUC 1010 course.

All educator candidates are covered by professional liability insurance through Auburn University. This fee is charged to College of Education Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate students. However, candidates do not have legal status as a teacher.

Early Clinical Experiences | Clinical Residency | Frequently Asked Questions for Teacher Candidates | Resources for Clinical Educators/School Partners

Early Clinical Experiences

Pre-teaching Clinical Experience

Pre-teaching is an early clinical experience that is part of the admission requirements to the professional educator preparation program. All pre-service educator candidates must complete a total of five full days of observations in a public P-12 school-based setting. Three of the five days must be consecutive. The purpose of the pre-teaching experience is to provide an opportunity for pre-service educator candidates to observe the school as a total organization and to increase their awareness of the profession of an educator.

There is no direct supervision of pre-service educator candidates by university personnel since it is primarily an observational activity and not linked to a university course. The Office of Student Services can be contacted if any questions, concerns, or problems arise.

The pre-service educator candidate arranges their own pre-teaching clinical placement through the school system’s central office using the Pre-Teaching Clinical Experience Request Form.

Clinical Experiences Related to Coursework

Each program has designed a sequence of coursework that requires the application of knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to their area of specialization (or certification area). Candidates work alongside experienced educators that may include observations, study of school situations, assisting in instruction, and supervised teaching. These clinical experiences are designed to be developmental and assist candidates in developing the skills of accomplished educators.

Clinical Residency

Clinical Residency for Class B and Alternative Class A programs is an intensive culminating experience which equals a full semester. The educator candidate progressively assumes full responsibility for no less than 20 full days of teaching including a minimum of 10 consecutive days.

Collaborative Teacher Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Music Education and Physical Education require more than one placement during the semester.

With program approval, an Alternative Master’s Teacher Candidate may complete clinical residency in their own classroom if they are employed by a school system. Own Classroom Form

Frequently Asked Questions for Teacher Candidates

Resources for School Partners and Clinical Educators