Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions
Field Experience Office
Activities West, 1st Floor
Boston MA 02215
8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily or by appointment
- Where are students placed for practicum?
- What are the prerequisites for a practicum?
- What if I do not pass the MTEL Literacy and Communication exam, can I still register for my practicum?
- When should I begin planning a placement?
- What are the resources available in the Field Experience Office?
- Can I find my own site?
- Can I get paid?
- How will I be supervised while I am in my practicum?
- If I have a learning disability or any type of disability, should I disclose this information to my site supervisor and/or cooperating practitioner?
- Is it true that Child Life Undergraduate students can do a 400 hour practicum Off-Site?
- Should I call a site or teacher I am interested in doing a placement with?
Wheelock has a commitment to serving the Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline communities in which the College is located. Students are placed primarily in these urban communities, in schools, hospitals, and agencies with which the College has partnerships and longstanding relationships.
All undergraduates are expected to pass the Wheelock College Literacy and Communication Exam (WLCE) by the end of their sophomore year. Per the College's policy, they must have completed this requirement the semester before entering a pre-practicum, practicum or internship. Students need to plan ahead so that they have passed all sections of the WLCE in this time frame. Please note that students will not be sent out to interview at sites until this prerequisite has been met. All Education students must pass the Literacy and Communication portion of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL), both the reading and writing sections, prior to entering an education practicum.
Students must also review their academic map and their MTEL map with their advisor.
Students who receive an incomplete the semester before enrolling in a practicum must complete all work and receive a grade prior to beginning the practicum.
3. What if I do not pass the MTEL Literacy and Communication Exam, can I still register for my practicum?
No. All education students must have a passing grade on the WLCE and the MTEL Literacy and Communication exam before they may register for their pre-practicum or practicum. If you have taken the MTEL and are waiting for your scores to be reported, this will not be sufficient. You must have the passing score on file with Wheelock to register.
The Field Experience process is time intensive and begins in early spring or mid-fall the semester prior to your placement. Placements are usually completed by late spring for the fall semester and by early-December for the spring semester. After meeting with their advisor to plan a practicum, students must begin the placement process by contacting the Field Experience Office.
The Field Experience Office is responsible for the field-based experiences of all Wheelock students, both graduate and undergraduate with the exception of Social Work. Wheelock students complete practicum and clinical experiences in over 285 programs serving children and families throughout the metropolitan Boston area. In keeping with the vision of the College, we seek placements that offer students opportunities to work in settings rich in diversity. The placements reflect the College's historic involvement in the community and emphasize the importance of dynamic integration of theoretical and practical knowledge.
The staff of the Field Experience Office works closely with faculty, supervisors and supervising practitioners to ensure that students have a broad range of field-based experiences while at the College. The staff of the Field Experience Office seeks to make a match that works to the mutual benefit of the student, supervising practitioner and children. We are happy to assist students in exploring placement options based on their course requirements, interests and professional goals. Our offices are located on the first floor of Activities West (ACW).
Undergraduate students in Human Growth and Development II (HGD) may have the opportunity to select their own placement. A self-placement must be approved by the HGD professor and a Self-Placement Form must be submitted to the Field Experience Office by the first day of placement.
All other undergraduate placements are through the Field Experience Office and the Coordinator of Social Work Field Education.
Undergraduate placements that fulfill pre-practicum and practicum requirements cannot be paid positions.
Students are supervised by a member of the Wheelock College Faculty who serves as the connecting link between the student's placement and the College. The Wheelock supervisor shares the responsibility for the student's professional development with supervising personnel at the site. Wheelock supervisors observe the student's work and provide ongoing feedback and suggestions. In addition, the Wheelock supervisor is another professional with whom a student can process events, sort out experiences and develop her/his own emerging interaction style and philosophy.
Wheelock College was one of just 10 higher education institutions in the US lauded for its strong student teaching program in a report released in July 2011 by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). The report, based on a two-year study by the Council, described Wheelock's program as a "model" design because the college requires that mentor teachers are fully qualified and also actively participates in the selection of mentor teachers.
9. If I have a learning disability or any type of disability, should I disclose this information to my site supervisor and/or cooperating practitioner?
This is a personal decision . You are not legally obligated to do so, but some people find that it is beneficial It is recommended that students registered with the Office of Access and Disability Resources here at the College make an appointment with the Director of Access and Disability Resources to discuss whether or not to disclose, how to disclose, and/or what information to disclose.
Yes, students in the undergraduate child life program, may, in consultation with their advisor and the Field Experience Office, do an off-site or "off campus" placement for this internship.
Please do not call sites without notifying us. Placement sites can get overwhelmed with calls and visits. We urge you to keep in close contact with the Field Experience Office, and contact us with any questions at any time. Our role is to support you and keep the process as streamlined and hassle free as possible for both students and sites.