Other Internship Policies

Paid Internships

Most school districts do not support paid internships. Saint Leo University may accommodate students who may be eligible for a paid final internship if the school district has a policy supporting paid internships. In order to qualify for a paid internship, a student must have exemplary evaluations from the practicum experiences, recommendations from the center director/department chair, and a 3.0 minimum GPA. Requests for a paid final internship should be made and approved by both the education faculty for each center and the Intern Coordinator.

The student must have the support of the school district and a principal who is interested in hiring the student as a long-term substitute or a full time teacher (if they already have a B.A. degree) during the internship period. The university is not responsible for finding such placements. The intern, as a paid substitute or teacher, would have sole responsibility for the classroom, but must have a mentor teacher assigned to him/her.

This mentor teacher must meet the state requirements for a cooperating teacher including all of the following:

  1. Three years of teaching experience
  2. Certification in the content area
  3. Clinical educator training

This cooperating teacher must be available to the intern for periodic observations and frequent meetings for feedback and consultation.

Students in final internship may be eligible to move from a traditional to a paid internship if the opportunity to work as a long-term substitute teacher arises and after the intern has completed at least ten weeks of the internship and six weeks of full teaching responsibility. The university supervisor must notify the center liaison or Internship Coordinator of the possibility. The center will consult with the Internship Coordinator before such a move is approved. In addition, students accepting paid internship positions should verify the specifics of the district’s agreement and obligation to them.

Variety of Placements

Middle Grades Education majors are expected to complete two field placements in at least two different settings.

During field placements, students should be exposed to a variety of socio-economic, rural and urban settings. For English specialization majors (beginning in 2008), at least one practicum must be completed in a classroom with at least one student who is an ELL (English Language Learner) and with a teacher who is ESOL-endorsed. Pre-interns or final interns may not be placed in a school where a family member is a student or cooperating teacher.

Placement Application

The semester prior to taking EDU 450 and the accompanying methods course (EDU 451, 452, 453, or 454), students will complete an application for a practicum placement. The semester prior to embarking on the final internship, students must apply for a final internship placement. Both applications include a criminal records check and a Higher Education Disciplinary Standing Disclosure Form. Placements are made at the discretion of the school and can be terminated by the school, the district office, or Saint Leo University.

Fingerprinting & Disclosure Statements

Florida Law requires that all practicum students and final interns complete a thorough criminal background check, including FBI fingerprinting.

Fingerprinting is completed through the school district where the student will be placed for practica and final internship. The cost varies by school district. The average cost in 2010 was $56-$90. The student is responsible for the cost of fingerprinting, and it must be completed before the student enters the field placement. A copy of the proof of fingerprinting must be provided by the student and should be kept on file with the university/center and may be required at the placement school.

Students are required to complete a Criminal Record Information Form and a Higher Education Disciplinary Standing Disclosure Form each semester at the time of application. This information must be current and may be shared with the appropriate personnel at the receiving school and/or district who will determine the placement.