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Field Observation Option

Field Experience (Observations)

STOP! Field Observations are an option ONLY for Certification + M.Ed. (CMED) and Stand-Alone Teacher Certification programs. Students must be enrolled in CI 5326, CI 5322, or CI 5363.

Field Observation Option

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  • About Field Observations

    • Field Observations: This is an alternative to Blocks only if you are enrolled in one of the following programs:

      • Certification with M.Ed. (CMED), 
      • Stand-Alone Teacher Certification

      This option allows for flexibility if you cannot make time for two full days a week on a school campus.

      • You complete the coursework online, and you complete a minimum of 30 clock hours of observation during days & times agreed upon between you and a school campus.
      • To take advantage of this option, you must enroll in the appropriate online section of the required course (see your Certification Plan).


    • There are several non-refundable fees that may or may not be covered by financial aid, scholarships, Veterans benefits, etc. You are responsible for understanding the costs and making arrangements accordingly. 

  • Eligibility for Field Observations

    • You must meet certain criteria, including a minimum Overall GPA of 2.75 to participate in Field Observations.

    • Please be aware the Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires a background check for placement on a school campus. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires multiple background checks for progression through the Educator Preparation Program and ultimately for issuance of a standard certificate. Pursuant to Texas Administrative Code 249.16, you may be ineligible for issuance of a certificate upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program due to offenses considered to relate directly to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession. If you have a criminal history, the Office of Educator Preparation (OEP) recommends you

      1. review Texas Administrative Code 249.16, Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate for more information about specific offenses considered to relate directly to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession;
      2. pay for a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from the Texas Education Agency;
      3. schedule an appointment for free legal counseling services through Texas State University’s Attorney for Students; and,
      4. disclose this information to the director of the Office of Educator Preparation at Texas State University.

    • You must meet certain criteria, including Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program.

    • You must hold a bachelor's degree to participate in Field Observations instead of Blocks and you must be enrolled in either the CMED or the Teacher Certification Stand-Alone program.

      Are you eligible or Field Observations? 
      Your degree program Eligible? 
      Bachelor's + Certification No
      Second Bachelor's + Certification No
      M.Ed. + Certification (CMED) Yes
      Teacher Recruitment Program (TRP) No
      Stand-Alone Teacher Certification Yes



    • The school district may require you to submit an updated resume and cover letter. These are not required for the application, but be sure to have yours on hand.

    • Undocumented and DACAmented students are valued members of the Texas State University community. If you have questions or concerns about how your legal status affects your eligibility to complete the Educator Preparation Program, please take the following steps:

  • When to Apply

    • Application Window
      Semester Application Window
      Fall Field Observations First 12 class days of the Fall semester
      Spring Field Observations First 12 class days of the Spring semester
    • Application Timeline

      To help you identify the point at which you should apply for Field Observations, we have developed the table below. However, your path to certification will differ from others seeking the same certificate. 

      Your degree program Your timeline to apply
      Certification + M.Ed. (CMED) When you enroll in the appropriate Field Observation course. See your Certification Plan.
      Stand-Alone Teacher Certification When you enroll in the appropriate Field Observation course. See your Certification Plan.



  • How to Apply

      1. Think about where (district and school) you want to complete your 30 clock hours of Field Observation.
      2. If you are signed up for CI 5326, CI 5322, CI 5363, your professor will provide you a specific application link during the first week of class.
  • Assignments

    • The Texas State University student, CI instructor, and school personnel will determine an appropriate schedule to complete appropriate activities. Activities deemed appropriate for Field Observations include a combination of the following:

      • observations of the cooperating teacher
      • observations of other teachers as recommended by the cooperating teacher
      • aiding and assisting the cooperating teacher
      • providing read-alouds (elementary)
      • providing one to one instruction
      • small group instruction and whole class instruction
    • Observe in the classroom setting and determine types of behavior students display when off-task. What are they doing when not paying attention? How does the teacher re-direct them or get them back on task? What ideas have you gained for building your own classroom management strategies?

    • What strategies does the teacher use when presenting a lesson? Identify and describe each step in the teacher's lesson. What do you see that is effective in engaging children? What do you see that is ineffective in keeping children engaged?

    • Create a lesson plan based on the curriculum you observed your teacher presenting which should include:

      • Objectives
      • Assessment
      • TEKS
      • Procedures/Instructional Strategies
      • Materials/Resources
      • Closure
      • Modifications for special needs children (i.e., G/T, ELL, LD)
    • Describe any activities in which you worked directly with the students. Reflect on the activity in terms of your presentation of the activity, your management of the students, the effectiveness of what you did, and how you would change it next time.

WARNING: Field Observation hours completed outside of the appropriate program or course will not be counted.