In the Field Experience - Office of Teacher Preparation - Christopher Newport University

Office of Teacher Preparation

In the Field Experience

One of the hallmarks of any successful teacher preparation program is the quality and variety of field experiences it offers. CNU’s partnership with the award-winning Newport News Public Schools makes possible rich field experiences close to campus. You can also get paid for substitute teaching or tutoring in Newport News schools while enrolled in the program.

Field experiences are divided into three primary types:

  • Course-based field work
    Some of your courses will include classroom experiences that may include observation, tutoring or working with students in small groups.
  • 120 hours
    Between gaining acceptance into the program and beginning your teacher internship, you will complete 120 hours in the school system, whether paid or as a volunteer. Potential experiences include substitute teaching, serving as a teaching assistant or tutoring.
  • The Student Teaching Internship
    Your internship, 14 weeks teaching with Newport News schools, includes two weeks at the beginning of the school year and the remainder during spring semester at the conclusion of the program. As your internship progresses, you gradually assume all duties of a regular classroom teacher, including lesson planning and delivery, grading and parent conferencing.

All field experiences, except for the 120-hour requirement, are arranged through the Office of Teacher Preparation or individual course instructors and are completed in the Newport News Public School System. Be sure to download any required forms you may need to complete your field experience.

120-Hour Requirement

Upon admission to a graduate or licensure program, you may begin collecting hours toward the 120-hour requirement. To do so, you should:

  • Complete your hours during the school day or as a co-curricular activity
  • Be directly involved in instructional activities (i.e., not just observing or “babysitting”)
  • Log your hours with a supervisor’s signature on the appropriate log form, or attach pay stubs in lieu of signatures
  • Complete your hours in a public school setting (although some other settings may also count. See below.)

As a student in the professional year, the 120 hours is an excellent way for you to earn extra money. Opportunities for this primarily occur in three ways:

  • Being an AVID tutor
    • Being a substitute teacher (including school- and home-based instruction)
  • Being a paraprofessional / teacher’s assistant or long-term sub
  • If you choose one (or a combination) of these opportunities to complete your 120 hours, you may count ALL of these hours toward your 120 hour requirement, so long as the hours are completed in a Newport News public school (NNPS).

  • Field work done in a Newport News public school as part of any departmental internship (for example, PSYC 491) May count ALL hours toward 120.
  • Field work done as part of a departmental internship AND in a public school setting that is NOT in Newport News: May count 70 hours toward the 120 hours; HOWEVER, you will still need to do 50 hours in Newport News Public Schools.
  • Field work done as part of a departmental internship that is NOT done in any type of public school setting BUT still involves working in an instructional, mentoring or advisory capacity with children: May count 45 hours
  • Field work done in a NNPS school setting as part of another CNU program or project (such as PLP), may count ALL hours toward 120.
  • Field work done in a neighborhood, home-school or private tutoring capacity (includes music or art lessons) with K-12 children: May count up to 25 hours.
  • Field work done in a child care center, private school setting, private school or public school after-school program, or as an instructional part of parks and recreation (will need documentation of duties): May count up to 50 hours

Note: Hours may start being counted upon acceptance into the MAT program.

All field hours must be logged on a field experience log form, including substitute hours. All forms should be signed by a school or other administrator for verification, except when pay stubs are applicable. In the case of private tutoring/lessons, a parent signature is allowed.

For 120-hour volunteering and tutoring, please contact the CNU Center for Community Engagement.

Peninsula School for Autism is looking for MAT volunteers to work one-on-one with students. Volunteers should be able to commit to a certain number of hours per week through the fall and spring semesters. If you are interested, please contact Sydney Mrowiec at or (757) 223-0558.

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