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Student Teaching FAQ’s

How do I load my documents into LiveText?

All student teachers are asked to follow the attached directions to create a LiveText file where they can attach all documentation (fingerprints, TB results, subcerts, HIB, Child Abuse and other forms for districts). You will need to have a LiveText Login to access the database. If you do not have a login, please email Mr. Corey Drake at drakec1@tcnj.edu. Please remember to name your documents as instructed in the handout. 

I just learned that I need to apply to student teach for the Fall 2019-Spring 2020 semester. Is it too late to apply? What do I need to do

It is not too late to apply to student teach for the upcoming school year. However, you want to be expeditious in submitting your online application and documentation in LiveText. For more information on what you need to do, click on the Student Teaching Orientation at the bottom of our homepage. Click on the link for the powerpoint presentation and the handout on how to apply. Submit your hardcopy documents to your program coordinator for approval to student teach. The department will send me your application once approved. As soon as you submit your documents to your program coordinator, upload them to LiveText (Resume, Transcript, TB results, Fingerprinting and Criminal Background Check, subcert (if you have one), and other required documents for specific districts. 

If you still have questions after reviewing the PowerPoint, handout and these FAQs, reach out to your Program Coordinator first before meeting with Dr. Fulford in the STEP Office.?

I wasn’t able to make the Student Teaching Orientation Session. How do I get the information?

If you were not able to make the orientation session for your department, you should first, try to attend another sessions listed on our web page (when available). The information is general to all student teachers, so you can attend any session. If you still aren’t able to attend one of the other sessions or none is being offered, then review the PowerPoint that is posted on our website and the handout instructions. Your program coordinator will send the office an approved application and we will seek a placement for you.  If you still have questions after first reviewing the PowerPoint, handout and these FAQs, please reach out to your Program Coordinator before meeting with Dr. Fulford in the STEP Office.

I had trouble completing my application because I haven’t taken the courses listed yet (or my courses are not in the list)

No worries. As we shared in the Orientation Session, the current database is antiquated and no longer able to do all the things we need it to do. Please select something on the list to move the application forward. When you print it off, cross or black out the wrong information and provide appropriate information. When attempting to place you, we work from the approved application that you hand to us because we know of this flaw.

The address for my residency during student teaching changed from what I originally put on my application and I was placed too far away.

We are well aware of the fact that your application for student teaching is solicited a year in advance. If you move, or have any other special circumstance that arises, just email and let us know as soon as you can. The sooner we know, the better.

I am an officer in student government or a club or organization or I play/sing in a instrumental/choral ensemble and want to continue doing so while I am student teaching. Can you find me a placement close to campus?

Yes! Students who need to remain close to campus during their student teaching assignments to remain active in campus clubs, organizations or ensembles should make a note on the hardcopy application that is given to their program’s coordinator. With advance notice, this accommodation can be made on behalf of students.

Do I have to do my clinical placement in Trenton?

It depends. All student matriculating in TCNJ Teacher Education programs must complete one of their clinical placements in an urban district. It does not have to be Trenton. Students who complete an urban placement during their CPI will be placed in a non-urban district for CPII. On the flip side, students who complete a non-urban placement for their CPI placement will be assigned a suburban/rural school for CPII. Students can work with their advisors/professors to negotiate when they will do their urban placement. Due to proximity and willingness to work with our students Trenton, offers more opportunities for students to complete their urban experience.

My GPA is under 3.00. Can I still student teach?

If your GPA is between 2.750 and 2.999, you can participate in student teaching. You will need to get permission from your academic department and sign a waiver that you cannot and will not be recommended for teacher certification until you raise your GPA to the state minimum of 3.00.

I’ve been fingerprinted twice (once as a college student for a practicum and the other for substitute teaching). Which set of fingerprints should I be sending the STEP office and how do I (transfer, archive) them?

Students who have been fingerprinted as anything except a Substitute Teacher will not be able to archive or transfer their fingerprints. Students should only be choosing the substitute teacher option for CE, CP1 or CP2 experiences. Students do not have to send fingerprinting results until they have been placed as a student teacher. So, archiving your results will allow you to send/transfer your fingerprinting results to a school/district faster.

I need an Universal Fingerprint Form and don’t know where to find that form. Can you help me?

You can go to the Clearances Required page of our website and follow the directions under Criminal Background and Fingerprinting. You have to complete that form with the State of New Jersey to get the Universal Fingerprinting Form. It will be sent to you after completing your criminal background application.

I thought we would be placed 35 miles from our home address, not 35 miles from TCNJ!

Actually, we must place you within 35 miles of TCNJ. All students must be accessible to the field supervisors who must travel to their site to evaluate them. If this is an issue and you need to live at home, you are encouraged to meet with your program coordinator to see if they can provide one. If they can, I will be able to place you closer to home. If they are not able to find a supervisor to visit you, you will have to be placed in a district that may be further from your home. The Hardship Waiver Form is online under forms.

Is it safe to work in Trenton?

Yes, it is safe to work in Trenton! The College of New Jersey, like any other college has a responsibility to place you in schools and districts that are safe for our students. The schools that we send our students to in Trenton are as safe as any other school in any other district that we send students too. 

I don’t like where my student teaching assignment is located and want to be moved to a different district/school?

Any concerns about placement locations should be communicated to the Assistant Director overseeing Clinical Placement 2 (full time), as soon as possible and prior to placement. Once offered a placement in a district, students will not be removed from a placement without the approval of the Dean of the School of Education.

Will I be notified when my fingerprinting results are ready?

Approximately two weeks (or 14 days) after you are fingerprinted, you can go to the Criminal History Review Status website to download your results. You will need to put in your social security number and your birth date and year. You can print or save the pdf document. Please attach a copy in LiveText.

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