Practicum / Student Teaching Requirements

Student Teaching

Those completing a 1902 initial license will do a semester of full-time student teaching.  Instructions for those doing student teaching (  can be found at the Office of Field Experiences website.  Download the Field Experiences (  Handbook for more details on the semester. 

A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all library coursework is required to student teach.  There are mandatory meetings for those seeking to student teacher, so make sure to meet with your program advisor at least 9 months in advance to make sure you meet all the deadlines.   The program advisor will work with the Office of Field Experiences to set up the student teaching sites. Students must pass the school library media edTPA as part of the student teaching course and develop a capstone portfolio that will include cooperating librarian evaluations, university supervisor evaluation, the checklist, evidence of and reflections on required practicum projects, artifacts demonstrating content competencies from coursework, and a final philosophy statement.


For those ading the 1902 license to an existing teaching license, follow these steps to set up and carry out your practicum done at the end of coursework.

Getting Into Practicum

First you must meet the requirement to enter the practicum:

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the eight library licensure courses.


Selecting a Site

There are two required a experiences at different levels chosen from elementary, middle and high school. The select is based on previous field and professional experiences.  Experience at all three levels must be demonstrated over the course of one's eudcation program and professional teaching.

Each practicum experiences is 100 hours long. For those who are current teachers or librarians on a license with stipulations (formeraly called an emergency license), should see the practicum options for details on how to do these 200 hours through two 40-hour experiences and 120 hours of projects in one's own school.

At least one semester (five months) before you plan to do a practicum, meet with Eileen Schroeder, practicum coordinator, to discuss possible sites. We want you to have the best possible experience, so we will try to help you find a school that has a good program, a full-time 1902-licensed library media specialist who has been there at least a year, and a location as convenient as possible for you. This is not always easy, so we need to get started as early as possible. The practicum must be done AFTER you have completed student teaching and at the end of your coursework. Failure to plan ahead could result in not being able to do the practicum when you would like.

For undergrad minors and those not working in a school: The ideal situation is to do the 100 hours of a placement in consecutive full days (about 14 days). If you are student teaching and doing a high school student teaching experience, we sometimes can work out a situation where you can do the practicum in your prep time, but this is not always possible. We reserve the right to approve your schedule to assure it provides an effective experience.  For current teachers or librarians on license with stipulations (formerly emergency license): The requirement is five consecutive days at each level with additional projects done in one's own school(s). If you are working, there are several options for completing a practicum:

  • Seek a school that has a spring break other than yours and get up to 40 hours during this time. Additional days may have to completed through another arrangement.
  • Use professional development and personal days to get into a school. 
  • Do one practicum in the summer at a school with a certified library media specialist. Only one summer practicum is allowed as this is not a realistic representation of a school program. This option may not be available in many parts of the state.
  • Complete a large portion of a practicum at the beginning or the end of the school year, especially at a school with a different start or stop date. This is often not satisfactory as the activities in the library don't represent a normal week.
  • Use your preparation time to work in a school library in your district or a neighboring district to carry out in-district projects. This is not an option for 5 consecutive days of the combined practicum. 
  • Seek sabbatical or release time from your district.

It is recommended that students do both practicum experiences outside their home district to get the widest possible experience, but it is recognized that this may not be possible in some cases. Students are allowed to do one experience in their home district, but this may not be in the school where they are currently working or where they have children attending school for the 5-consecutive days. The second experience must be in another district. The practicum sites must be approved by the practicum coordinator before finalizing them as each must have a 902-licensed library media specialist who has been there for at least a year and represents best practices in the field.


Steps in Registering

  1. The practicum experiences should be done after your last class or in the semester in which you are taking your last class. Undergraduate students must first complete the student teaching experience in their major. You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all library courses.
  2. Discuss possible placements with the practicum coordinator at least a semester before you want to go out into the schools. Once a site is approved, contact the library media specialist in that library to determine if he/she is willing to take a practicum student. If they are willing, set up dates and times during the UW-Whitewater semester or summer school. (These dates can be found in the schedule of classes). Remember, they are not getting paid for this, so they are doing you a favor. Be as considerate as possible when working out the dates and times of the practicum. Check the dates with the practicum coordinator before proceeding further. For certain sites, the university will have to make the first contact to pave the way. 
  3. Download the registration form - school  or registration form - public library (from the Office of Field Experiences ,Winther 2038, Phone:262-472-1123, Email: Jodi Roehl).
  4. Fill out these forms and get the signatures of both the library media specialist and principal. It is important to get these back as quickly as possible as these are what triggers a contact with the cooperating LMS. These must be submitted to UWW by May 10 for the summer and fall experiences and December 1 for the spring experience. 
  5. Many schools now require a criminal background check. This takes at least 60 days, so make sure to plan enough lead time. Download the instructions and disclosure form.  Contact Jodi Roehl for any additional information.
  6. Practicum courses are at the graduate level:
      • If you are an undergraduate, you will have to complete a non-candidate for degree application for the Graduate Office and get a letter from your department chair allowing you to take graduate level courses. 
      • If you are a special student with full credentials (undergraduate level), you will have to complete a non-candidate for degree application for the Graduate Office (262-472-1006).
      • If you are in a graduate program or are registered as a non-candidate for degree, you should be able to register with no problems. 
  7. Once your signed paperwork is received, you will be given permission to register.  Register for the course by May 10 for summer and fall experiences and December 1 for spring experiences. Check the schedule of classes for the appropriate catalog number. Choose the appropriate 3-credit course (LIBMEDIA 793e, for elementary, LIBMEDIA 793m or middle school , LIBMEDIA 793s for high school, or LIBMEDIA 793c for combined elementary / secondary practicum). If you are doing a public library practicum, it is a 3-credit undergraduate level course (EDFNDPRC 411). Registration is done via WINS over the web.

NOTE: You are not allowed to begin a practicum if you do not have the signed forms returned to the Office of Field Experiences or if you are not registered for the class by the dates indicated.


Practicum Procedures

School Library Practicum

100-hour placements (LIBMEDIA 793e, 793m, or 793s):  Each student should do the following for EACH practicum experience. Each experience should total 100 hours. This is 13-14 days, assuming a full day to be eight hours.  A signed application and practicum agreement is required for each placement.

Combined School Library Practicum (LIBMEDIA 793c): If you are doing a combined practicum, you will do one practicum agreement form and will need an application form for each of your 5-day placements.


  • Meet with the practicum coordinator (Eileen Schroeder ) before starting the practicum (via phone, email or in person). Check with the coordinator for the deadline for this initial meeting.
  • The coordinator will check your cumulative GPA in library coursework.
  • Complete a practicum agreement form following the instructions provided on the practicum agreement webpage:
    • Develop a set of practicum goals, and proposed projects for accomplishing them during the experience, based on your personal goals and the five categories in the agreement. Describe areas (competencies) that your feel need improvement and/or are demonstrated in this project, selecting areas that would benefit you most professionally. If you are doing a combined practicum, all or most of these projects will be done in your own school.  
      • Categories:
        • Collection Development, Organization and Access
        • Technology
        • Administration
        • Information Literacy and Teaching
        • Reading and Literacy
      • Use the checklist of potential activities for ideas.
      • Talk with your cooperating librarian early if you plan to do one of the projects in a 5-day placement.  The cooperating library media specialist can provide ideas and feedback on the proposed project.  If you are doing the two traditional 100-hour placements, the cooperating librarian must review the projects do be done in his/her school.  
      • You should have at least one major goal in each area across the two practicum experiences and others as agreed upon with the practicum coordinator and your university supervisor.
      • For those doing LIBMEDIA 793c (combined practicum) most or all of these projects will be done in the time in your own district, but you could have a project in each 5-day experience.  This might be one involving work with students and teachers in an instructional, literacy, or reference setting.
    • Develop an implementation plan for accomplishing goals, including projected products and evaluation methods.
    • Discuss the goals and implementation plan with the practicum coordinator. This should include details on the timeline for the practicum and a description of the format for the final product / report demonstrating achievement of the goals.
    • The university practicum coordinator and the university supervisor must approve the form before you actually begin the practicum.  In many cases this could be the same person.
  • Set up a practicum portfolio site.  This could be an extension of the site where you are saving materials from your courses.  Send the URL to your university superivsor.  
    • For the traditional 100-hour practicum placements, post weekly updates (log with reflections). 
    • For those doing LIBMEDIA 793c, add an update at the end of each 5-day experience in a school and every two weeks on the projects done in your own district.  Many people find it useful to organize this log by the projects.
  • Carry out the activities detailed in the practicum proposal during the experience. For those doing the elementary and secondary 100-hour practicum experiences, these projects will all be done during those placements.  For those doing the combined practicum, some of this may be done during the on-site hours but most work will be done in your own school to reach the goals, outside of the 5-day experiences..
  • On the first day of each experience, take a few photos that provide a picture of the library and its program (without recognizable students in the photos).  Put these with a short description of your first impressions in your practicum portfolio at the end of your first day.
  • With the cooperating librarian, go over and discuss or do the activities on the checklist (public libraryschool library).
  • Work with the cooperating librarian at each site to go through or discuss the checklist of activities.
  • Visit with the university supervisor twice on-site in the traditional 100-hour practicum experiences. One of these may be the initial goal-setting meeting.
    • For those doing LIBMEDIA 793c, this may be one visit in your own school to observe work on your projects and video or phone visits in each of your five-day placements.
  • Complete a final report demonstrating achievement of the goals / projects by the week before the end of the semester in which the practicum is completed.  This should be in your capstone portfolio.
  • Answer the following questions in your portfolio:
    • How do you see yourself as a library information specialist benefiting students and teachers?
    • How have you demonstrated forward thinking in your work with children and colleagues?
    • How you have helped facilitate curiosity and learning beyond the curriculum?
    • Out of what you have learned in this program, what new things have you done for individual children in your classroom, outside your classroom or in your library?
  • The cooperating library media specialist will complete an evaluation form (PracticumEvalFormAugust2018) that will be shared with you for posting in the portfolio, sent to the university supervisor, and sent to the Office of Field Experiences.
  • The portfolio submitted at the end of the practicum becomes the capstone portfolio used to determine if you will be recommended for the 1902 license.  Additional artifacts from coursework may be added to demonstrate mastery in each area.  Make sure to look at the categories - competencies page for the specific competencies under each. Once this  capstone portfolio is approved and ALL library coursework is finished with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, the certification officer will be notified that the 1902 is completed.  
  • For those working on the 1902 initial license, this portfolio will be submitted at the end of student teaching.  In addition to the GPA requirement, these students must pass the school librarian edTPA to be recommended for the 1902 license.  

Public Library Practicum

This 150-hour placement (EDFOUND 411) takes place at the end of all the minor coursework.   

  • Set up goals for the practicum.  There will be specific programming and collection development activities as part of these goals. Discuss this with the practicum coordinator.  
  • Keep a weekly log of activities and reflections.
  • Work with the cooperating librarian to go through the checklist of activities.
  • Visit with the university supervisor twice on site.
  • At the end of the practicum, post a summary of progress on your goals and reflect on the following questions:
    • What would be your first priorities if you were starting a new library job at the type of library where you have just completed the practicum?
    • What insights would you draw from this practicum experience? Address the following areas:
      • Providing intellectual and physical access to information and ideas
      • Serving a diverse population with changing needs
      • Selecting, acquiring, organizing, and providing access to resources, activities, and experiences that reflect a diversity of viewpoints
      • Ensuring equity and freedom of access unimpeded by social, cultural, economic, geographic or technological constraints
      • Promoting literacy and enjoyment of reading
      • Offering assistance patrons in the use of information technologies
      • Developing, implementing, and evaluating library programs to meet community needs
      • Management of personnel, resources, budget, and facilities
      • Evaluating and selecting resources to build and maintain a resource collection that includes both internal and external access points to support the needs of the community
      • Implementing policies and procedures for effective and efficient acquisition, cataloging, processing, circulating, and maintaining resources
      • Promoting the library program
      • Pursuing opportunities to collaborate with the wider community
    • What goals would you set for yourself in the first year of a new job?



The FINAL TASK is to submit your  portfolio to your university supervisor in electronic format. Students are expected to create an electronic portfolio for each practicum experience, that, along with artifacts from courses to demonstrate the 1902 competencies, becomes the capstone portfolio. This final portfolio is examined by the library media faculty at UW-Whitewater when granting this licensure. It is your responsibility, not the cooperating librarians', to complete this. You should not expect to complete it during your hours in the school.



It is most useful to organize the portfolio by the five major areas:

  • Collection Development, Organization and Access
  • Technology
  • Administration
  • Information Literacy and Teaching
  • Reading and Literacy

For the last two categories, cover both the elementary and secondary levels across the two projects.

Images from the Libraries
Include several images from your practicum placements with captions describing what this tells you about the environment.

Course Artifacts
Projects from library courses as well as examples from the practicum and professional practice can be included to demonstrate the competencies.  See the 1902 Competencies page for a list of competencies by category.

Project Documentation
Each project done in your practicum should results in materials that show what you have done. This may include lesson plans, web pages, documents, photos, etc. These should be included in electronic format in the portfolio. The student may have to scan some of these to turn them into electronic format, but most can be included as Word documents, PDF files, graphics files, HTML documents, or links.  If linking to a file on another server, make sure it is shared to all can see it.

Evidence of Success
In addition to the documentation of the project, the student will need to include the evidence of success, including a summary of this. This may include teacher or library media specialist surveys, written observations or comments (paraphrasing is fine here), test scores with summarization, sample student products with rubrics showing achievement of skills taught, etc.

The daily log with the hours and activities undertaken and reflections about them should be included next. This can be in grid or narrative format but should clearly show how time was spent. The student should make sure to include time spent on projects in his /her own or other schools and / or activities at conferences. For those doing the LIBMEDIA 793c practicum, check with the university supervisor for the frequency of the log entries.

The reflection on each project should describe how the student feels the project demonstrates mastery of the 1902 licensure competencies (see 1902 Competencies page ) and where he / she feels it necessary to continue to develop knowledge and skills, with specific reference to your project. The focus should be mainly on the competencies the practicum agreement said were covered in the project, but the student may reflect on the category of competencies as a whole.   A final reflection on each experience should look at all the student accomplished during the time and describe where he / she feels there are strengths and weaknesses are in the five categories which cover all eight of the program's courses.   Also answer the final questions for the school or public library practicum (see above).

  • Collection Development, Organization and Access (Finding and Using Information Organizing Information, Library Administration, Children's Literature, Young Adult Literature)
  • Technology (Digital Tools)
  • Administration  (Library Administration, Leadership)
  • Information Literacy and Teaching  (Information Literacy)
  • Reading and Literacy (Children's Literature, Young Adult Literature)

See public library practicum agreement form for appropriate categories for that experience.


The portfolio should be organized in the following way:

  • Practicum agreement(s) (student may have to scan the signature page to include it)
  • Practicum checklist of activities (use electronic version in Microsoft Word to indicate what was have done or scan as PDF)
  • Practicum log
  • Artifacts and reflections arranged by the five categories of competencies.  These will represent both the practicum projects and any artifacts from coursework.  Public library practicum goals will have a slightly different format.
    • Collection Development, Organization and Access
    • Technology
    • Administration
    • Information Literacy and Teaching
    • Reading and Literacy
  • Final reflection on experience with response to questions. Do one for the elementary and one for the secondary placement if doing traditional 100-hour practicum)

At the end of the first practicum, the student may have items in only some of these categories. By the end of the second practicum he / she should have at least one project in each category. The projects should be put in the categories where they demonstrate the most competencies but indicate how they might meet competencies in the other categories in the reflection. At the end of the second practicum, the student should include the following for both experiences:

  • Cooperating librarian evaluations
  • University supervisor recommendations (letters only)

The student may have to scan these documents for inclusion. PDF format is the best for this purpose. Make sure none of the files names have spaces in them and all have the correct extension (e.g., .doc, .pdf, .jpg).


The portfolio must be submitted in electronic format. This can be done by loading it on one's own webserver and sending the URL to the university supervisor, or by publishing it on the web through a site such as GoogleSites, Wix,  or Weebly. Make sure the university supervisor has permission to view the site.


Student Authorization to Release Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law that afford students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Under FERPA, school officials, including instructors, university supervisors, and cooperating library media specialists, are prohibited from disclosing educational records or discussing a student's performance in a course or in any field experience without signed authorization from the student.

The written statement of reference written on behalf of a student by a cooperating library media specialist or university supervisor does not provide that person with authorization to discuss the student's performance with anyone other than the student, university supervisor, or other faculty member who has demonstrated a professional need to know, even if the letter is given directly to the student and even if the letter welcomes telephone calls or other inquiries about the student.

Therefore, all students must provide the cooperating library media specialist and university supervisor with a completed and signed Student Authorization for Release of Education Record Information form if they wish to authorize these individuals to disclose educational records or discuss their performance. For information about FERPA and to obtain a copy of the Student Authorization form, go to the website of the UW-Whitewater Office of the Registrar ( On left side of the screen under Quicklinks, click the heading FERPA where links are provided to an overview, basic rules and the form. Questions on this should be directed to the Registrar's Office (262-472-1570). It is the student's responsibility to obtain a signed form. The cooperating library media specialist and university supervisor should keep a copy of the signed form.



Eileen Schroeder (
Barbara Erdman (
Sherry Freiberg ( 
Carolyn Messer (