MAT Field Experiences

General Field Experience and Placement Information


Every course in the MAT program has at its core several field experiences. The documents linked on this page provides an overview, course by course, of what types of experiences the teacher candidate should expect when taking each course, and guidelines for setting up field observations. It is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to be prepared to engage in the field experiences. In many school systems, this will often entail having to complete specific forms and paperwork in a timely manner, having background checks, and even being fingerprinted.  Each school system is different. 


The "Guidelines for Setting Up Field Experiences" provide an information to help you get started with setting up field experiences, including information on what is required in certain counties.  Please take the time to review this document before you begin contacting schools to set up visits. (NOTE: Document updated in October 2018.)


The "Overview of MAT Field Experiences" provide descriptions of the current field experiences and related assignments required throughout the MAT program, including the number of hours required for each experience and in each course. Attached at the bottom of this page are related documents referenced in field experience descriptions in EDTP 600, EDTP 639, and EDTP 645.


The "Letter of Introduction" (also attached below) is a template letter from the Education Department that you may email and/or bring to schools in which you'd like to observe.  It may be used throughout the program and verifies your affiliation with UMUC and the MAT and explains what you will need for your observations.  (It includes the maximum number of hours to observe in any class throughout the program.  Each particular course, and field experience, of course, will vary.)


Please note that these are living documents and are subject to change.


Tk20 and Field Experience Demographics/Verification


Please make sure that you purchase Tk20 before you begin your first class.  You will use Tk20 in every course throughout the program, to submit key assessments and course projects, verify field experience observations, and to collect and store artifacts by InTASC standads in your eportfolio.


Each semester, you will enter into the Tk20 Field Experience Placement Location Form the details about the schools where you complete each of your school-based field experiences.  You can watch short videos on how to access/submit your field experience school and demographic details and other Tk20 items here: http://umuctk20support.yolasite.com/MAT-Student-Support.php   Note that this page has help videos for several Tk20 topics.  The specific video for completing the Tk20 Field Experience Placement Location Form can be viewed at https://youtu.be/EDpnW7yCh6E


Each time you conduct an observation, you will bring a copy of the "MAT Field Experience Observation Verification Form" with you and have the teacher you observe sign off verifying your time.  You will then attach the signed form to the Field Experience Placement Location Form in Tk20 for the particular experience, along with entering the school's demographics.

MAT Diversity Policy and Tracking

Candidates in the MAT program are required to observe in diverse school settings.  Candidates are expected to have field placements in at least two different schools and to satisfy the four diversity categories. By the end of EDTP 639 (the third of five courses), candidates must have observed in setting which are diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, exceptionalities, and English Language Learners (ELL). (Note: ELL was optional for candidates who took EDTP 600 prior to Fall 2016; students taking EDTP 600 are required to experience ELL diversity.) 

Candidates will enter the demographics for each school in which they observe into the Tk20 Field Experience Placement Location Forms associated with each school-based experience. Criteria for a diverse school setting include:

    • Race / Ethnicity (schools with two or more of the following race/ethnicity groups: Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American or Alaska Native, white, and ≥25% non-white) 
    • Socioeconomic Status / Free and Reduced Meals (schools with 25% FARM students)
    • Students with Exceptionalities (schools with 10 students with special needs)
    • English Language Learner (ELL) Students (schools 10 English Language Learners [identified as Limited English Proficient-LEP by MSDE])

      Candidate who began the MAT program in Fall 2015 and after will track completion of experiences in diversity settings on the MAT Diversity Tracking Form (note there is one form for candidate who began EDTP 600 prior to Fall 2016 and a different version for candidates who began EDTP 600 in/after Fall 2016; both are also attached below).  Please read the instructions on the form carefully and thoroughly.  You will submit your MAT Diversity Tracking Form at the end of EDTP 639, showing what schools you visited to meet each of the four diversity categories. 


      As mentioned, for every school you visit for an observation, you will be looking up and entering the school's demographic information in the Tk20 Field Experience Placement Location Form.  Each time you observe in a school that meets the classification as a “diverse setting,” as defined above, you will also then enter that school’s information into the MAT Diversity Tracking Form under the appropriate diversity category.  For example, if you observe at Tom John High School and the school's demographics show that the school meets the criteria for diversity in both race/ethnicity and exceptionalities, you will enter the school demographic information into the MAT Diversity Tracking Form under “Race/Ethnicity Diversity” and “Exceptionality Diversity.” The MAT Diversity Tracking Form will be submitted into Tk20 at the end of EDTP 639 and all required categories should have schools listed that meet the particular diversity requirement.


      For schools in Maryland, the best source for demographic data is the Maryland School Report Card, which has all demographics for all Maryland schools.  Almost all out-of-state schools also have School Report Cards that provide demographics for all state schools. (A quick Google search for "Name of State" School Report Cards" can quickly help you identify the database.) 


      Note, though, that school report cards do not provide the "locale setting" and "locate setting size" needed on demographics table.  For these two items, you will need to look up the schools through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  This site has demographics for schools nationwide.  While NCES does provide other demographics, it does not, however, provide ELL or exceptionality data, so candidates do still need to use other resources, like school report cards.  Also, NCES data is usualy 2-3 years old, so it is preferable to use the state's School Report Card for demographic numbers and just use NCES for "locale setting" and "locate setting size."


      As a side note/tip -

      A good way to ensure that you meet the diversity criteria is to use the non-classroom based field experiences, as these you can self-select and so can choose schools that meet any particular diversity requirement you may still need. 

      FE #4 in EDTP 635, the extracurricular activity, as well as FE #6 in EDTP 639, are great experiences to meet any still-needed diversity requirements.  Because these are public events, you can go through the Maryland School Report Card (http://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/) and view the demographics of the schools of interest to find ones that meet any diversity settings you still need.  You can then view those schools’ calendars and choose activities to attend for FE #4 in EDTP 635 and FE #6 in EDTP 639.  This way, no matter where a district places you, you’ll definitely ensure that you’re satisfy the diversity requirements of the program. For example, if you know a particular school meets the criteria for ELL and FARMs diversity, you can attend an athletic event, club meeting, or other extracurricular activity for FE #4 in EDTP 635 and will know you have those two categories met. 

      Should you have any questions about setting up field experiences, please contact Kristin Kubik, Director of MAT Student Support, kristin.kubik@umuc.edu.


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