Information for External Student Teaching

Student teaching in an external placement is considered a privilege (not an automatic right) and only granted to those teacher candidates who show exemplary scholarship, professionalism and Christian conduct. Please fill out the External Student Teaching Preliminary Packet if you would like to be considered for this privilege. The packet should be completed one semester in advance of student teaching.

External Student Teaching Preliminary Approval Packet


FAQ for External Student Teaching

1.)  What types of schools are acceptable for external student teaching?

External student teaching (Outside U.S.)

Because student teaching overseas offers the inherent value of experiencing another culture, which is consistent with the current educational emphasis on global citizenship, Liberty University has made arrangements for a limited number of external placements in foreign countries.  Placements must be completed in an accredited public, private, and/or Christian school. 

The External Student Teaching Preliminary Approval Packet for international/overseas placements must be submitted with the Gate 3 Application to LiveText (due by Sep. 1 for a spring placement and Feb. 1 for a fall placement).

Although the External Student Teaching Preliminary Approval Packet is due the semester prior to student teaching, it is the candidate's responsibility to process all government documents (passports, visas, etc.) in a timely manner to be fully prepared to travel and begin the placement according to the scheduled start date for the semester.

External student teaching (Within U.S.)

Candidates have two options for completing student teaching within the United States. They may:

  1. Choose an accredited public, private, and/or Christian school anywhere in the United States.  (Accrediting bodies may include ACSI, AACS, WASC, SACS, etc.)  Accreditation (not membership) is required.
  2. "LOCAL" public school placements in Central Virginia MUST go through the Field Placement Office.  "LOCAL" placements would include the following areas:  Amherst County, Appomattox County, Bedford County, Botetourt County, Campbell County, Danville City, Lynchburg City, Nelson County, Pittsylvania County, Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Salem City.

**Please review the list of schools, as some school systems do not permit students to make direct contact or request.  If your preferred school system is listed on this site, you will need to allow the External Field Office to submit the request on your behalf.**

The External Student Teaching Preliminary Approval Packet for external placements must be submitted with the Gate 3 Application to LiveText (due by Sep. 1 for a Spring placement and Feb. 1 for a Fall placement).

2.)  I would like to apply for external teaching. What are the qualifications I have to meet?

Per the Teacher Education Handbook:

  1. Full acceptance into the Teacher Licensure Program.
  2. A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above.
  3. Grades of B or above in all professional education courses including subject area methods courses.
  4. Successful completion of all Virginia licensure tests (Praxis I, VCLA, RVE, Praxis II).  PRIOR to submission of Gate 3 application.  Passing scores must be reported in the LiveText Gate 3 application.
  5. The Preliminary Approval Packet forms are complete, accurate and signed (or emailed) by the appropriate faculty members.
  6. Faculty Affirmation - A passing vote of affirmation from ALL Teacher Education faculty members.  The affirmation will endorse the candidate's competence, work ethic, attitude, professionalism and general ability to succeed in an external placement.

3.)  What is my responsibility in finding out if my placement will be acceptable?

A.  You must contact the school* where you would like to do your student teaching and find out if

  1. It is accredited. (Full accreditation is required; membership does not qualify.)
  2. It will allow you to complete your placement(s) there.
  3. The placement(s) will fit the following requirements:

    • If you are seeking licensure in Elementary Education PreK-6, you must complete one 15-week placement.
    • If you are seeking licensure in Special Education ONLY, you must complete two placements (each 7 1/2 weeks):  one in elementary grades (K-5) and one in the upper grades (6-12).
    • If you are seeking dual licensure in elementary and special education, you must complete two placements (each 7 1/2 weeks):  one in a general elementary classroom (PreK-5) and one in a special education classroom setting (K-12).
    • If you are seeking secondary licensure, you must complete one 15-week placement in your endorsement area in grades 6-12.
    • If you are seeking a comprehensive licensure, you must complete two placements (each 7 1/2 weeks):  one in elementary grades (K-5) and one in the upper grades (6-12).

*Please review Requesting Placement Procedures for guidelines in what schools you may or may not contact directly.

B.  You must find a Cooperating Teacher (or two, if you have two placements) who is willing to mentor and co-teach with you in his/her classroom. The Cooperating Teacher (CT) must be certified in the appropriate subject area with a minimum of three years of teaching experience.

C.  You must find an On-Site Supervisor that has a master's degree, classroom teaching experience and would be willing to observe you, complete your necessary paperwork, communicate with your designated Liberty Supervisor, etc.

D.  After you do the initial research to make sure that the school is accredited and has the appropriate personnel, the Field Placement Office at Liberty will make a formal placement request on your behalf.

4.)  How will I be observed and graded?

You will have four authority figures observing and documenting your progress during student teaching.

  1. Cooperating Teacher - This is the classroom teacher(s) in whose room you are placed.  The Cooperating Teacher (CT) must be certified in the appropriate subject area with a minimum of three years of teaching experience.  The CT will assess your daily lesson plans, informally observe you, and assist with your growth throughout the process.  The Cooperating Teacher completes the TCA forms and provides a suggested final course grade for your student teaching placement.
  2. On-Site Supervisor - This is the supervisor at your K-12 school who must possess a master's degree and classroom teaching experience.  The On-Site Supervisor completes your formal observations.  He/she will communicate with the CT to provide a suggested final course grade for your student teaching placement.
  3. Liberty Supervisor - This is the supervisor at Liberty who you will communicate with by email each week.  The Liberty Supervisor is your lifeline to the university.  All paperwork is sent to this supervisor and he/she will submit it to the Teacher Licensure Office.  Your portfolio in LiveText is graded by this Supervisor.  The Liberty Supervisor posts the final course grade for EDUC 476/477 - your student teaching placement(s).
  4. Liberty Professor - This is the professor at Liberty who you will submit assignment to through BlackBoard.  This professor posts the final course grade for EDUC 475.

5.)  If I meet the academic requirements, will I definitely be approved to complete an external placement?

No.  External placements are not guaranteed.  The faculty must approve your request. 

NOTEIt is unwise to make plans for an external placement until the faculty vote has taken place and you have received confirmation of your approval.  You are advised to refrain from making important decisions that affect your future (e.g., wedding dates, housing contracts/leases, etc.) until you are officially approved to student teach in an external placement.