Information for External Student Teaching

Placement Opportunities

  • 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, SACSCOC, 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.**
  • 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 is willing to work with students to obtain external placements in foreign countries.  Placements must be completed in an accredited public, private, and/or Christian school.  It is recommended that the teacher candidate meet with the Gate 3 External Field Experience Office at least one year prior to your student teaching placement to begin discussion about a possible international student teaching placement. Contact the External Field Team. Additionally, if the teacher candidate is considering an international placement, they should also plan to meet with the staff in the LU Serve.
    • 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.


  • Per the Teacher Education Handbook:
    • Full acceptance into the Teacher Licensure Program.
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above.
    • Successful completion of all Virginia licensure tests PRIOR to the submission of the Gate 3 application
    • Full acceptance of the Gate 3 - Student Teaching Application.

Placement Process

  • Search for potential school or district in your hometown or in another locality in which you would like to complete your placement.
  • Find out if the school is accredited. All public schools are accredited, but not all private and Christian schools are accredited. Examples of accrediting agencies include WASC, Middle States, and ACSI.  For ACSI, be sure the school is accredited through ACSI rather than only a member of ACSI.
  • Find out the name and email address of the contact person for making student teaching/internship placements in the school district.
  • Find out if the school/district requires additional paperwork such as an application, a resume, a cover letter, or an additional background check.  Also, find out if there is a deadline for making placement requests. Ask if they require the teacher candidate to be interviewed before being accepted as a student teacher.
  • Placement 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 K-12 ONLY, you must complete two placements (each 7 1/2 weeks):
      • one in elementary grades (K-6), and
      • one in secondary grades (7-12).
    • If you are seeking dual licensure in Elementary Education PreK-6 and Special Education K-12, you must complete two placements (each 7 1/2 weeks):
      • one in a general elementary classroom (PreK-6), and
      • one in a secondary special education classroom setting (7-12).
    • 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 comprehensive licensure, you must complete two placements (each 7 1/2 weeks):
      • one in elementary grades (K-6), and
      • one in secondary grades (7-12).
  • Supervision Requirements:
    • You will need a cooperating teacher with a minimum of three years of teaching experience who is licensed in the area in which you are seeking endorsement.
    • You will need an on-site supervisor to be the contact person with the cooperating teacher and the course professor.  The on-site supervisor must have a master's degree, three years of teaching experience, and a current teaching license.  The on-site supervisor can be any employee of the school or district who meets these qualifications or it can be a community member or retired educator who meets these requirements.
  • Requesting Placement:
    • *Please review Requesting Placement Procedures for guidelines in what schools you may or may not contact directly.
    • After you do the initial research to make sure that the school is accredited and has the appropriate personnel and after you have been approved through Gate 3, the External Field Placement Office at Liberty will make a formal placement request on your behalf.

Observation and Grading

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


  • External placements are not guaranteed. 
  • NOTEIt is unwise to make plans for an external placement until 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 in an external placement.