Education : Field Services : Observation & Participation FAQ

Observation and Participation FAQ

What are the requirements for O&P?

Please see the O&P section in the Field Services website for details about O&P. More details are also included in the Field Experiences Manual, p. 15.

Can I register for an O&P course without having Praxis I scores?
No, you may not. If a course contains prerequisites, you must meet those prerequisites prior to registering for that course.

How many placements will I get for OP?
You will get one placement per semester/term for OP. If you are not enrolled in a class that requires OP that term, you will not be placed in a classroom for that term.

What if the student is taking more than one O&P course at the same time?
The OP student may have only one placement per semester/term, but must do the required hours for each of the O&P courses they are taking in that school placement. (10 hours for ED 419 + 20 hours for ED 404= 30 hours total)

When does the TB clearance expire?
The TB clearance will need to be renewed every 2 years.

Who needs liability insurance/student teacher association membership?
All O&P students need to apply and pay for liability insurance through NEA Student Membership Program. The only exceptions are those currently covered by HSTA by in-service teachers.

Why is student membership in an NEA program required?
Student membership in NEA offers many perks to the teacher candidate including, most importantly, liability insurance for the classroom. This is a requirement of the CUH program, and has an annual fee of under $25. Various discounts are offered for NEA memberships for the teacher candidate’s benefit as well.

Who needs to be fingerprinted?
The DOE requires that all O&P students who have not been fingerprinted in the past year to do so at the appropriate DOE District Office. The only exceptions are in-service teachers and those who have worked as either substitute teachers or as an EA/PTT with no break in their employment with the DOE. The cost for fingerprinting may be up to $24, payable by personal check or cashier’s check only.

Must I be fingerprinted?
Yes. It is a requirement for all CUH teacher candidates to be screened through a DOE background check. This is in compliance with state law for permission to place students in a public school setting.

What if I was already fingerprinted at a public institution? Private school?
You may have to redo your background check if you have had a break in service for over a year. Check with the DOE background check office to be sure if you are in doubt.

If you have done a background check with a private school, it does not count towards the requirement for placement at a public school or another private school. All students will be fingerprinted by DOE as they will be placed in at least one public school setting.

What if the OP student already works in school classroom?
Already employed full time teachers may use their own classrooms once to complete their OP hours and assignments. After that, he/she will need to either find "in house" placements, or be placed by Field Services.

I am an MED only student. I already work in my own classroom, but am taking an OP course as an elective. What do I do for placement?
Use your own classroom setting to fulfill the requirements for OP in this elective class.

I am a non‐licensure student but need placement for an OP elective class. I do not work in an educational setting, K‐12. What should I do?
If you are an MED only student, elect to take an OP course, and are not already working in an educational setting, you must pay fees and send in all required documents to Field Services prior to being placed. Please see the Field Services website under O&P for directions and details for requesting placement.

The other option is to select a non‐OP course as your elective.

What if I am already a head classroom teacher? Can I use my classroom for O&P? Student Teaching?
Please see the Field Services website for details, under the O&P link for details.

I am a substitute teacher. Can I use my own experiences for OP or student teaching?
Possibly, for future terms. Contact Field Services and give information about your setting, current program enrolled in, and duration of substitution period. Field Services will let you know if your situation qualifies.

How long will the OP student be in the classroom?
Chaminade University requires that each student fulfill 10 or 20 hours of O&P in each methods course. Hours for specific courses are listed in the Student Handbook. The student may spend more time in the classroom if both the student and the O&P teacher (OPT) agree to such an arrangement. If the student’s evaluation by the supervisor or OPT is not satisfactory, the student may be required to redo the hours of participation in another setting.

How many weeks will the OP student be in the classroom?
The student is expected to be in the classroom approximately two and a half hours each week for 4-8 weeks, depending on the amount of hours required. The OPT and student may request another arrangement if such a change is agreeable to both. Such requests should be approved in advance by the O&P Course Instructor.

What is the student expected to do in the classroom?
Students are given assignments in the methods classes that require them to both observe and participate in the classroom. The degree to which the student participates will depend on his/her experience in previous O&P situations, his/her readiness for such participation, and the OPT’s willingness to have him/her participate. The student may work with individual children, small groups, or the entire class.

When can students begin and end the O&P?
The student should enter the classroom some time before the last week of September in the fall semester, or the last week of February in the spring semester (undergraduates). Graduate students have four terms a year and should enter the classroom by the fourth week of the term. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the OPT and set up a time, mutually convenient, to meet and discuss the arrangements/agreements regarding his/her O&P practicum. The student should complete his/her hours in the classroom by Thanksgiving in the Fall semester, and by the last week of April in the Spring semester (undergraduates). Graduate students should complete their hours before the last class meeting.

What type of records are the OPT required to keep?
The OPTs will be emailed an evaluation form at the end of each term. The OPT should also verify the attendance record and agreement form with a signature.

Is there a stipend for the OPT?
Yes, the OPT working with Field Services will receive either a check for $50 or a credit voucher for one credit of tuition at Chaminade. This is paid out 4-6 weeks after the end of the term.  In house placements will not receive compensation.

Must the OPT be a certified teacher to participate in the O&P program?
No, it is not required to have the same level of expertise or hold the same certification as the cooperating teachers who work with student teachers. However, we do ask principals to recommend teachers whom they believe to be outstanding, and who will serve as good role models for students.

Who are the forms turned in to?
A copy of the Agreement Form is to be turned in to the Field Services Director within one week of beginning the O&P. Upon completion of the O&P, the Attendance Record goes to the course instructor and the Field Services Director. The OPT will receive an email evaluation by Field Services to complete at the end of the term.

What if there is a problem that occurs in the O&P placement?
The Field Services Director should always be contacted regarding any serious concerns or problem situations.

What if the OP student does not complete the required O&P hours or turn in the required paperwork?
Because the OP is required as part of the course, non-completion of the required hours and/or assignments could result in a failing or lowered grade, or an "Incomplete". This may also be the result if the required paperwork is not completed and turned in.