Student Teaching FAQs

What is student teaching and what are my responsibilities as a student teacher?

The student teaching experience has been carefully designed to be as realistic and as intensive as actual teaching. It is defined as a “full time, supervised, uncompensated experience.” You will have student teaching placements over the course of one semester.  As a student teacher, you will follow your host school’s calendar and not that of SUNY Oswego.  

During student teaching you will demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have acquired through your education classes and previous field experiences. Student teachers are also expected to participate in any required staff development including, but not limited to, Superintendent’s Conferences and faculty/ department meetings.  Student teachers are encouraged to participate in afterschool activities, school functions, etc.  

You will be supervised in your classroom by a certified and experienced cooperating teacher.  Supervision from SUNY Oswego is provided by professionals who have been successful classroom teachers/ administrators. 

 Assignments include lesson planning and adaptation, effective classroom management techniques, effective communication skills, strategies for working with special needs students, and use of developmental and content reading and writing strategies as part of the integration of language arts processes. 

What are SSHS and DASA?

The Safe Schools, Healthy Students (SSHS) online course is required for candidates seeking certification. It costs $200 and is 0 credits. The cost will be applied to your semester bill. This course is offered once per quarter (2 times a semester) and over the summer. You must take SSHS 1020 before you student teach.

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) course sections are posted on the myOswego registration page, with several offerings each semester.  The six-hour DASA workshop is a requirement for graduation and NYS teacher certification, providing training in the prevention and intervention of harassment, bullying, cyberbullying and discrimination to provide a safe and supportive school environment for students in NYS public schools. This course is also required before student teaching.

You may register for SSHS 1020 and DASA 1020 through your myOswego account as if registering for your semester courses. Visit Extended Learning's DASA and Safe Schools page for more information. 

Do I need to be fingerprinted before I student teach?

If you plan to student teach in NYC, fingerprinting is required prior to student teaching. Otherwise it is recommended, but not required. However, you will need to be fingerprinted for NYS certification. Visit NYSED.gov for more information.

How and when do I apply to student teach?

The semester prior to student teaching, applicants must register for student teaching through myOswego the same way you register for all classes. You must also submit a student teaching application through Tk20, including a cover letter and resume. Visit Field Placement for more information.

Return the printable "Student Teaching Application for Academic Review Form" along with your "Degree Works Audit Report" to the C&I Advisement Office, 102 Wilber Hall. Visit our Field Experience and Student Teaching page for more information.

It is your responsibility to submit your application and all required documents via Tk20, and to the Curriculum and Instruction Advisement Office by the deadline given.

Will I need transportation?

SUNY Oswego does not provide transportation, so candidates should arrange in advance for reliable transportation and/or live in the community in which you are assigned. Candidates are responsible for their own reliable transportation to and from field placements. Travel times are generally within 90 minutes and may be as far as 70 miles.

How can I find transportation if I do not have a car?

Options candidates have for transportation if you do not have a car are:

  • Taking a bus via Centro Bus Service
  • Send an email to the field placement office at fpoffice@oswego.edu to obtain contact information for other candidates who will be placed in the same area as you 
Can I arrange my own student teaching placements?

The Field Placement Office is responsible for making all experiential placements for teacher candidates. The FPO works hard to maintain excellent relationships with our cooperating schools; we abide by their placement procedures and comply with all school policies. Therefore, candidates must refrain from seeking their own placement; sometimes candidates can delay placement for everyone when they make an informal request for their own placement. Therefore, all field experience assignments must be arranged through the Field Placement Office. 

Where can I be placed?

We place our student teachers only in areas where we have established relationships with cooperating schools and have experienced, trained college supervisors available.  We cannot provide college supervision outside of the areas listed below and therefore, can place student teachers ONLY in the areas listed.           

While you cannot choose the specific school or district in which to complete your student teaching, undergraduate students will be able to specify a first and second choice of area for your placements. 

The following is a list of areas in which you may student teach along with a general outline of schools that make up that area: 

Abroad:Includes Australia, New Zealand, and England. Candidates work with both International Education and the Field Placement Office to do their student teaching abroad. *
North Country: Includes Watertown and/or a surrounding school district of SUNY Oswego’s choice. NYC:Includes schools in the Bronx and Manhattan. **
Oswego/Syracuse Area: Includes districts from Oswego to Sandy Creek to Syracuse to Auburn to Newark to Sodus, as well as those within this broad border.
Syracuse City: Schools within the Syracuse City School District.

*Candidates must work through the International Education Office to student teach abroad. Further directions and links to necessary materials will be provided in your Tk20 application. 
**Candidates must fill out a separate NYC application. Further directions and a link to the NYC application will be provided in your Tk20 application.

Can I student teach in a different area than those listed?

No. C&I student teachers will only be placed in the 4 outlined designated areas.

Can I change my placement?

The Field Placement Office works very hard to maintain and improve relations with our local schools so we can continue to find enough placements for everyone. When a school and cooperating teacher agree to host a student teacher, we do not like to disappoint them; therefore, you cannot change your placement. 

How and when will I be notified of my student teaching placements?

The Field Placement Office will notify you of your placement via Tk20. Placements that are confirmed within 1-3 days prior to your start date will also be sent by email or phone call.

Is it ok to work part-time and/or take college classes while I'm student teaching?

Student teaching requires a full-time commitment on the part of the candidate, so normally no other courses are taken during this period of time. In addition, student teachers are discouraged from holding part-time, evening and weekend jobs, as these added demands will cut into time that should be spent planning and preparing lessons and materials, and will diminish opportunities for involvement in afterschool meetings and extra-curricular activities.

What should I do if I am sick or have an emergency?

You are required to attend student teaching every day but in the event of absence or tardiness due to illness or other unavoidable emergency you must: 

  • Call your college supervisor, cooperating teacher and the school office as soon as possible but no later than one hour before school starts on the day of the absence.
  • Arrange delivery to your cooperating teacher all materials that are necessary for instruction on the day of the absence.
  • Follow school district policies for reporting and documenting teacher tardiness or absence to the school officials. 

Graduation FAQs

When do I file for graduation?

Undergraduate students who anticipate graduating in May need to file online before October 1st. Undergraduate students who anticipate graduating in December need to file online before February 2nd.

  • Be sure to declare all majors and minors prior to applying for graduation
  • All students must sign their senior checklist to be eligible to graduate
  • August graduates participate in the May graduation ceremony

How do I file for graduation?

Students must have completed 88 credits in order to file for graduation:

1. Log in to "myOswego"
2. Click on the "Student Records" tab
3. Click on "Apply for Graduation" and complete the required information
4. Follow the on-screen instructions
5. Meet with your major/minor advisor(s) to review and sign your checklist form you 

What is a senior checklist?

A senior checklist, or check form, is a document that ensures all requirements for graduation are complete. Once you have applied for graduation, you will download and print your senior checklist. This will be reviewed and signed by Sandra Kyle or Beth Smith* during a one-hour advising appointment. During the meeting, you will discuss course and certification requirements, and post-graduation plans.

*Note: Dr. Russo and Dr. O'Toole meet with their advisees to complete senior checklists.

Where can I find information on jobs after graduation?

Like us on facebook to find posting of current and future job openings. In addition, visit the following links:

OLAS – On-line Application System for Educators
Southern Teachers Agency

Certification FAQs

What are the requirements for NYS Teacher Certification?

To be eligible to be employed in New York State's public schools, individuals must hold a NYS certificate issued by the Office of Teaching Initiatives.  This certificate confirms that an individual has met all degree coursework, assessment, and experience requirements.  In addition, you need to complete coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment and in school violence prevention and intervention among others, all of which are available through the SUNY Oswego SSHS 1020 and DASA 1020 courses.

Further requirements include fingerprinting and passing NYS Certification Exams. Visit our NYS Certification Requirements page for more information.

What is my TEACH account for?

The New York State Department of Education is the institution that grants NYS Teacher Certification. Upon graduation, the college registrar will recommend you to NYSED for teacher certification through a release form you receive with your diploma in the mail. You will then complete the certification process online using your "TEACH" account. 

To access the online system, go to http:www.nysed.gov and click "TEACH Online Services." Here you may view a list of TEACH Services relating to teaching.

Individuals may:
-View/update individual profile 
-View individual certification record 
-View/update professional development record
-View application procedure for supplementary teaching certifications
-View certificate exams or fingerprinting results

School districts may:
-View the certification status of employed teachers and prospective employees
-View/update professional development hours completed by teachers they employ
-Enter superintendent statements for a supplementary certificate of temporary license

What exams do I need to take for teacher certification?

There are currently three NYS Teacher Certification Exams. They are the Content Specialty Test (CST), Educating All Students (EAS) test, and the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA). Visit our NYS Certification Requirements page for more information.

When should I take the teacher certification exams?

Undergraduate students should take the following exams according to the recommended timeline below. Graduate students should refer to their Program Advisement Form.

Certification Exam



Educating All Students (EAS)

prior to student teaching prior to student teaching

Content Specialty Test (CST)

take subject-specific test when most or all content courses are completed and after methods course blocks take Multi-Subject: Teachers of Childhood (Grade 1-6) midway through methods or after block 3


during student teaching during student teaching

You must sign up for each exam at least one month in advance.

Where can I take the NYS Teacher Certification exams?

You may sign up online to take exams at multiple sites. The closest location is the Testing Center in Hewitt Union on the main campus. Visit Extended Learning  for more information.

When should I file for NYS Teacher Certification?

You may file prior to completing your exams, but you will not receive certification until after the passing exam grades have been received and SUNY Oswego has recommended you for certification.

What program code do I use when applying for certification through NYSED?

There is a different code for each program/certification level. Be sure to carefully choose the right one from this list.