College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Student teaching experience

The University of Minnesota offers an accelerated, 13-month program where coursework and student teaching experience in the classroom build off each other to create a year of intensive preparation, learning, and reflection so you are ready to enter your own classroom in the Fall.

Quote from Connor McCabe

The student teaching experience is incredible: to be able to start and end a school year with a class is immeasurable when talking about experience. I had three practica in my undergraduate program and none of them even come close to this program. It has prepared me for my own classroom, allowing myself to open up with my teaching and really figure out what will work for me in my classroom in the future.

Connor McCabe MEd 2020

Graduate prepared with the teaching experience to manage your own classroom.

You will spend hundreds of hours embedded in a classroom and being part of the life of a school. Our unique co-teaching model allows you take an increasingly responsible role in the classroom until eventually taking over primary teaching responsibilities. You will directly plan curriculum, manage assessments and evaluation, teach in the classroom, and gain hands-on experience in classroom management. In addition, you will gain the benefit of being introduced to school culture and have the opportunity to teach different grade levels (excepting the elementary education license) and find what might be the right fit for you as an educator. You also have the opportunity to start growing a network of potential employers as you become known in your school site.

As you teach, you will have multiple supports in the program--a program coordinator, a clinical supervisor, and a cooperating teacher at the school site. Your triad of support will help you navigate any challenges, solve problems, and be your cheerleaders during your year of intensive engagement. The program is structured for you to succeed in a rigorous environment. You will learn from experienced teachers and experts in pedagogy, curriculum design, and classroom management.

Student teacher in a classroom with students

You will gain valuable teaching experience as a co-teacher.

Student teacher in a classroom with students

Quote from Christina Jensen

My cohort has been focused on community and support since day one. We spend our free time together, we cheer for each other’s successes, and we help each other when things get hard. I’m not sure I could have made it through this program successfully without all of my cohort peers.

Christina Jensen MEd English Education 2019

About this program

Teaching community and cohort

You will be part of a supportive group of teaching candidates pursuing the same teaching pathways. You will take the same courses, share the challenges and joys of working with students in your teaching placements, and develop a community that often lasts throughout your professional life as a teacher. Many of our students share that their cohorts are one of the most valuable parts of the program, as the network of colleagues and friends creates a necessary support for teachers in their first years in the classroom and beyond.

Social justice, diversity, and equity

Our core value is to promote educational equity and social justice in education. We work so that all students have access to an education that will help them thrive and support their needs. To that end, our curriculum is about more than pedagogy and assessments. It is infused with an understanding of how the educational system is structured to perpetuate inequalities for students of color. Our program gives aspiring teachers the knowledge and tools to fight against this inequity. We teach the curriculum through the lense of social justice.

Minnesota has the largest gap opportunity gap in all 50 states in terms of graduation rates between white and non-white students. That’s one of the reasons we have established the Teacher Scholars of Color program which supports aspiring teachers of color with focused mentorship, scholarships, and job opportunities. We need many more teachers of color so that the teaching staff matches the student diversity in the schools. Contact program advisor J.B. Mayo to find out more.

Quote from Erika Storvick

The cohort model is one of my favorite elements of this program; I feel like I have a built in support system. I have grown closer to my classmates through this program than I would have in any part time program. They will be great colleagues to have in the future.

Erika Storvick MEd 2020

Education Minnesota, UMN chapter

Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to join Education Minnesota Student FaceBook group for networking, professional development, and activism. Be part of a group of aspiring educators who are working on improving education and making change in Minnesota!

2 teachers at a table

Co-teaching in action.

2 teachers at a table