Graduate Fieldwork Opportunities

As a graduate student at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, you have access to a number of public, private, and charter schools as well as community organizations and agencies that we partner with in the Boston area and beyond. Students work closely with their faculty advisors and program fieldwork coordinators to create or pursue the practical experiences that aligns best with their professional goals. Though not exhaustive, the most common fieldwork experiences that students pursue at BU Wheelock fall into the following areas.

Student Teaching

Understanding the connection between theory and practice is a vital part of the student experience at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Our programs help students to develop their training in fields such as elementary, secondary, special, and Deaf education through practicum experiences conducted under the mentorship an onsite supervising practitioner and BU faculty program supervisor. We partner with surrounding urban and suburban school districts such as Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy, and Brookline. Placements are selected based on individual students’ prior experience and learning priorities as identified through discussions that students have with their faculty advisor and fieldwork coordinator.

Student teaching practicums enable our teacher candidates to complete a significant number of classroom hours while assuming full responsibility of their students and engaging in activities such as co-teaching and curriculum development. The student-teaching experience also involves cohort-based reflection and lesson planning support to help reinforce the connection between their pedagogical knowledge and on-site training.

Reading & Literacy Instruction

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The Durrell Reading and Writing Clinic provides a practicum site for our graduate students who are advancing their knowledge to become reading specialists. Most are also working to secure the specialist license in reading. In the clinic, students work on Saturday mornings to provide individualized tutoring to school-aged children who struggle in some way with their literacy learning while being mentored by BU faculty. Each week’s tutoring session is then followed by a seminar in which graduate students learn about effective practices in instruction, formative assessment, and progress monitoring.

In addition to participating in these carefully supervised tutoring practicums, our program’s specialists-in-training participate in video coaching sessions where they meet with faculty, and together, co-view videos of their instruction with an eye toward analyzing the connections between their teaching and their students’ learning. As part of their practicums, students gain knowledge and skill with administering and interpreting a range of literacy assessments, planning lessons that integrate essential literacy domains, assembling instructionally appropriate text sets, supporting children’s engagement and motivation, and writing clinical progress reports.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

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  • Higher Education Administration: With over 50 higher education institutions in the city of Boston and even more in the surrounding area, higher education administration students have an array of options from which to choose their experience. The program posts positions at institutions such as Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Brandeis, Bentley, Emerson, and more. Students also have the option to seek out their own position if they want to gain experience at a particular institutional type. Current students have positions in areas such as residence life, student activities, fraternity and sorority life, conduct, research, and career services. Graduate assistantships or internships and full-time work experiences allow students to directly apply what they are learning in their coursework and provide perspective for course discussions and assignments. These experiences also prepare students for their future job searches and help connect them to other professionals and professional development opportunities in the field.
  • PK-12 Administration: Students studying Pre-K through 12 school administration engage in carefully structured internships with current school administrators in order to fully immerse themselves in the daily operations of an elementary, middle, or secondary school with a focus on general education or special education. Candidates generally have the opportunity to engage in this work within their current district; internships in the past have been completed at surrounding school systems such as Boston, Chelsea, Newton, and Brookline Public Schools.

Counseling

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Students in Wheelock’s Counseling program have the opportunity to complete field experiences tailored to their personal interests and professional goals.

  • School Counseling: Students studying school counseling complete three semesters of field experience, including a pre-practicum and a yearlong practicum. Practicum placements are in schools in the grater Boston area, such as Orchard Gardens K-8 School, Newton North High School, and Boston Latin School, and offer hands-on experiences which could include individual counseling with students about academic or interpersonal concerns, developing guidance curriculum, assisting with special education meetings, and coordinating the college admissions process.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Counseling: Students studying child and adolescent mental health counseling build clinical skills and complete field experiences through practicum and internships courses. Placements are in schools and universities, mental health counseling agencies, behavioral health settings, addiction treatment centers, residential treatment centers, therapeutic schools, and eating disorder treatment facilities. While completing field experiences, students are guided and supported by peers, a field supervisor, and faculty advisor. Examples of placement sites include Brookline Substance Abuse & Prevention Program for Youth, Boston Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services, and Eating Disorder Center of Boston.
  • Sport Psychology: A unique aspect of the sport psychology concentration is that students complete 400 sport-psychology-focused internship hours in preparation to become an Association of Applied Sport Psychology Certified Consultant, and also complete the pre-master’s academic and clinical requirements to be Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Internships include experiences with performance enhancement in collegiate sport and positive youth development, and can include working with NCAA Division I and Division III teams at colleges and universities such as Boston College, Suffolk University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and right here at Boston University.