Students in pre-professional education courses, methods or practicum courses requiring field experiences, and student teaching/practicum courses must follow the policies and procedures listed below to be placed in field sites.
Below are the policies governing the field placements of students in sites and schools. All students must comply with the prerequistics for placements and the continuing requirement to report any criminal events, and must acquire tort liability as outlined in the sections which follow.
Field Placement - Prerequisites
GSU students enrolled in educator preparation programs or in education coursework requiring field-based experiences must fulfill the GSU prerequisites set forth below before the University will initiate field placement efforts. However, fulfilling GSU’s prerequisites is not a guarantee of placement for a field-based experience or licensure by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. 1Field placement sites/schools set their own placement requirements and may have additional requirements before a placement is finalized.
As a prerequisite, students must:
- provide written consent to a criminal background check with a vendor designated by GSU for the purpose of obtaining copies or summaries of any criminal records pertaining to the student that are held by any local, state or federal government agency or private entity; and
- if the criminal background report indicates the student has prior convictions , 2as defined by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, or pending criminal charges against him/her, then the student must also provide written consent for the release by GSU of the student’s criminal background report to field placement sites for review and decision regarding acceptance for field placement at the site. GSU will not release the report to field placement sites for placement purposes without student consent. GSU may cross-reference a student’s criminal background history with the information supplied on the student’s application for admission to GSU. Misrepresentations revealed by such cross referencing may result in sanctions up to and including revocation of admission to the University.
GSU will contact the student if his/her criminal background report indicates prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges. The student will have the opportunity at that point to:
- Provide written consent allowing GSU to forward the criminal background report to field placement sites for their review and decision regarding field-placement at their institution for student teaching. No field placement attempts will be initiated by GSU for students with prior convictions or pending charges except with such a consent;
- Withdraw from GSU’s field placement process. Student must also formally withdraw from any corresponding GSU courses for which field placement is a requirement to avoid earning a failing grade; or
- Contest the accuracy of the report with the background check vendor or reporting entities. No further attempts will be taken to place the student in the field unless the student subsequently consents to GSU’s release to field placement sites of the student’s criminal background report or the student submits official documentation showing to the University’s satisfaction that the background check report was erroneous.
Field Placement – Continuing Duty to Report Criminal Events
In addition to the continuing duty Georgia State University students have to report criminal events that occur after application to the University per the Georgia State Student Code of Conduct, students enrolled in educator preparation programs or in education coursework requiring field-based experiences must (1) report to the College of Education Office of Academic Assistance any criminal events described below that occur after the criminal background check required for field placements was conducted (notice to COE Academic Assistance must be made within 72 hours of the student’s notice of the event); (2) consent to a new criminal background check; and (3) provide written consent for the release of the criminal background report and all information about the criminal event to any field placement site at which the student is currently student teaching or at which GSU attempts to place the student in the future. Failure to comply with the notice requirement described herein may result in sanctions up to and including immediate withdrawal from the University. Failure to comply with the criminal background check and release of information requirement described herein will result in immediate removal from all current field placements and courses and denial of future requests for field placement.
- Conviction of a crime other than a minor traffic violation.(such as speeding, following to closely, improper lane change, etc.)
- Criminal charges filed against the student.
- Entering a plea of guilty, a plea of no contest, a plea of nolo contendere, an Alford plea, or a plea under any first offender act in response to charges filed against the student.
Policy Regarding Tort Liability
Teacher education and counseling students are required to purchase tort liability prior to placements in field experience courses, practicums, or student teaching. Students will be expected to show proof of coverage to program coordinators/supervisors prior to field placements. Click here for information on how to purchase tort liability.
Field Placement Procedures
Below is detailed information on how to obtain a criminal background check, tort liability, and the field placement process for varying course experiences.
Applying for a Criminal Background Checks
As outlined in the Field Placement Prerequisites, students who will engage in any experience in a field-based cite (observations, field experiences, practica, student teaching) must obtain a criminal background check prior to placement. GSU’s COE uses the online service StudentCheck to conduct background checks. Click here for information or to apply for a criminal background check.
Applying for Tort Liability
Tort Liability can be obtained through student membership in professional organizations. For educator preparation students, these organizations include the Georgia Association of Educators and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators; for counseling students these organizations include the American Counseling Association and the American School Counseling Association. Click here for information on how to purchase tort liability.
Applying for Placements
Procedures for field placement differ depending on the nature of the field experience (ie. classroom observations, tutoring, teaching), amount of time in the field (greater than or less than 10 hours) and the policies in participating schools/systems. See below for the placement procedures for varying experiences.
- Classroom Observations
Students enrolled in courses which require observation experiences totaling 10 hours or less in schools will manage their own placement process in light of the requirements outlined by the school system in which they would like to observe. Some systems allow students to contact schools directly, others require students to submit a form to the school system placement office, and other school systems expect the students to contact the COE Office of Academic Assistance and for that office to submit a placement request. Click here for information on observation policies in specific school systems.
- Placements related to Field Based Assignments for EDUC 2100, 2110, 2220.
Students enrolled in courses may complete field-based assignments in either public school sites or in other settings as designated by the course instructors.
- Students choosing to complete assignments in a public school site will manage their own placement process in light of the requirements outlined by the school system in which they would like to observe. Some systems allow students to contact schools directly, others require students to submit a form to the school system placement office, and other school systems expect the students to contact the COE Office of Academic Assistance and for that office to submit a placement request. Click here for information on observation policies in specific school systems.
- Students choosing to complete assignments in a non-public school site which requires a criminal background check should (1) apply for a CBC through Student Check and (2) take a copy of the Student Check CBC report with them to the field site.
- Field Experiences, Practica, and/or Student Teaching Placement Process.
Extended field experiences, practica, and/or student teaching (ie. experiences involving interactions with students, tutoring, or classroom teaching in school settings) will be arranged through program coordinators and/or field experience coordinators in the educator preparation departments of students’ major fields of study. Students must follow the prerequisites listed below with respect to securing a placement:
- Apply for a Criminal Background Check through Student Check. (Click here for more information.)
- Obtain Tort Liability. (Click here for more information.)
- Follow program guidelines for applying for field placement. (Click here for a list of department placement coordinators.)
- Students may not contact a school or school system office or report to a school site until they are notified by their department of their placement confirmation.
1The Professional Standards Commission was created by the Georgia General Assembly as of July 1, 1991, to assume full responsibility for the certification, preparation, and conduct of certified, licensed, or permitted personnel employed in the public schools of the State of Georgia. The Commission is also responsible for the development and administration of teacher certification testing. The Commission handles the investigation, advisement, monitoring, and due process of cases associated with educator discipline. In 1999, the Georgia Teaching force Center was placed in the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for administration purposes. The Teaching Force Center is one component of the Georgia P-16 Council's Title II Plan for having a Qualified Teacher in every Classroom in Georgia by 2006.
2conviction includes a finding or verdict of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought; a situation where first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; and a situation where an adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge or the charge was otherwise disposed of in a similar manner in any jurisdiction.