A teacher candidate is an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in an initial or advanced educator preparation program for the purpose of earning initial or advanced certification in a teaching field or area of instructional support or for teaching certification.


Prior to admission to teacher education, all pre-service teacher candidates must complete a total of five full days of observations in a public P-12 school-based setting. Three of the five days must be consecutive. The purposes of the pre-teaching experience are to provide an opportunity for pre-service teacher candidates to observe the school as a total organization and to increase their awareness of the profession of an educator.

Pre-teaching Requirement Forms

Clinical Experience is a guided, hands-on, practical application and demonstration of professional knowledge of theory to practice skills and dispositions through collaborative and facilitated learning in field-based assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments across a variety of settings. These include, but are not limited to, practicum, methods courses, labs, and/or service learning.

Early Clinical Experiences are an introduction to the classroom. These experiences are part of a course and could range from 9 to 20 hours a week. Depending on the course, students may be required to observe, make lesson plans, or generally assist students.

Clinical Residency is the culminating clinical experience. It allows candidates to gradually increase their role in the classroom.

Clinical Residency for Class B and Alternative Class A programs is an intensive culminating experience that equals a full semester where the teacher candidate progressively assumes full responsibility for no less than 20 full days of teaching, including a minimum of 10 consecutive days.


Clinical Residency lasts a full semester.


Teacher candidates apply for clinical residency via Tk20 one year prior to the anticipated clinical residency semester.

All clinical placements are made within a 60-mile radius of Auburn University and are coordinated through the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs. It is the student’s responsibility to secure transportation. Some programs allow for clinical residency placement outside of this range, but this requires approval. We do not place students out of state unless they are enrolled in a distance education program.

An Alternative Master’s Teacher candidate may complete clinical residency in their own classroom if they are employed by a school system. Please contact your program coordinator to see if this is a possibility and to complete the appropriate forms.

Yes, some programs allow teacher candidates to complete a portion of their student teaching (clinical residency) abroad through the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST).

Placement information is sent no later than final’s week of the semester prior to clinical residency.

Teacher candidates should not complete clinical residency at a school they have attended or have family attending or employed. This can create a conflict of interest where the role of the teacher candidate may be compromised.

When completing the clinical residency application in Tk20, you may request three school systems. This does not guarantee a placement in one of those systems. Your program coordinator looks at your requests, takes into account past placements, and submits a request to the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs that allows for a diversity of experiences. All placements except for the pre-teaching clinical experience are facilitated by the College of Education. Candidates should not contact districts.

In the clinical residency application, there is a field for comments and information regarding extenuating circumstances.

Teacher candidates are not allowed to be substitute teachers for their clinical educators. Teacher candidates should contact the school’s administration to locate a substitute teacher to be in the classroom while the mentor teacher is absent.

Last updated: 11/29/2023