FAQ: Fall 2020 Education Field Placements

Dear Education Student,

This resource is a quick reference guide based on your frequently asked questions. It will be updated as more questions emerge and as information is made available to us.

The document is for licensure and non-licensure students in pre-practicum, half practicum, and full practicum and is organized in three sections:

If you have questions or concerns at any time, please email us at edlic@bu.edu or you may submit a response to our Field Placement Questions and Concerns Form. Someone from our office will follow up as soon as possible.


Office of Professional Preparation

Logistical Questions about Field Placement

Will schools be open in the fall?


They may vary in their delivery format (in person, remote, hybrid) but they will be open.

Will I be able to complete my field experience?

Yes. If you have a field placement, you will be positioned to complete it.

We are committed to working with you, your program and placement site to ensure you have a successful semester.

What will my field placement look like?

It will depend on what your school or district policy is. Schools are developing comprehensive and detailed plans to reopen using in-person, remote and hybrid formats. You will participate in one or a combination of those formats.

Is there any information specifically about what pre-practicum will look like this fall?

Pre-practicum is flexible. It will need to coincide with school and district delivery formats and can involve in-person, remote or hybrid. Likewise, depending on your specific circumstance, it may be virtual, using equivalent experiences such as simulated technology or video observation with an accelerated in-person component later in January as a segue to full practicum.

Will my time to graduate be impacted if I am at-risk and cannot be on site?

One of our main concerns is time to degree completion and minimizing any disruptions to that. We cannot guarantee, but just know that we will work collaboratively with your academic program to help you stay on track.

Will I be able to complete my fieldwork remotely if I am not physically in the Boston area this fall?

It depends on what the placement is and the requirements are. Many field experiences (but not all) can be completed remotely and will depend on school and district policies and state regulations. We will work closely with you and your academic program to determine options.

If Boston University is remote but my placement is in-person, will I still need be on site?

Your field placement will continue but what that will look like may change as conditions warrant.

We will approach the situation like we did last spring, with a focus on being flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances.

If my school is hybrid but I am remote, will my hours still count?


When will district plans be finalized?

Schools and districts will be releasing their plans in August.

How do you recommend I interact with my assigned teacher or placement site?

You should follow the direction of your program faculty and assigned teacher.

Keep in mind that you have a lot to offer! For example, you can support their capacity to….

  • Reach all children and families;
  • Increase the network of social, emotional and academic supports that will be needed;
  • Navigate in-person and remote environments simultaneously;
  • Assess performance levels;
  • Implement smaller group sizes; and
  • Support intervention or remediation.

Should I reach out to my assigned teacher to let them know I will not be in Boston?

You can initiate a discussion and begin to explore the options for remote participation. Stay in regular contact with your program director if issues emerge.

Licensure Related Questions for Field Placement

Will I qualify for licensure if my placement is remote or my hours are cut short?

DESE is aware of the situation and is giving us flexibility in our approach case by case with each student. We will work with you!

Will licensure requirements for hours completed be adjusted if my school does not re-open?

Schools will re-open and are preparing for in-person, hybrid, and if necessary total remote formats. If your placement is remote, you should be able to continue your hours remotely.

How will information about state licensure be disseminated during my field placement?

The Office of Professional Preparation is well equipped to provide guidance on licensure questions you may have.

We will send relevant updates as needed but also, contact us any time with your licensure specific questions (email: edlic@bu.edu).

We also recommend you visit our Licensure Page as well as DESE’s Licensure News Headlines for relevant information.

If I am pursuing two licenses that require separate practicums, will it be possible to complete both practicum in one semester?

Probably not because even if the practicum is remote it will still be a full-time experience to complete the requirements for each one.

I need to take MTEL. Are Pearson testing centers open?

Please see DESE’s MTEL Testing Centers Reopening Status. If you have questions or concerns, please email us at edlic@bu.edu.

Safety Related Questions about Field Placement

What if a student tests positive for COVID and the school shuts down?

We will adapt just like we did last spring! The key is collaboration, being flexible and adaptable.

What if I am uncomfortable being on site for obvious safety reasons?

Your safety and well-being are our first and foremost concern. There may be options to complete your placement virtually.

Like we did last spring, we will work closely with you and your program faculty to determine the options and develop a contingency plan that may be workable for you.

Example: Pre-practicum is flexible. It could be virtual, using equivalent experiences such as simulated technology or video observation. There could be an accelerated in-person component later in January as a segue to full practicum.

Will I be safe at my school given the pandemic?

The well-being and safety of our students is first and foremost. All schools need to comply with DESE and state public safety guidelines.

We will be asking schools to share their safety policies and procedures with you so that you can comply.

At the same time we want for you to be proactive and have put together BU Wheelock COVID Related Safety Resources for Field Placement.

Please review these resources. We will send a follow up communication about them later in August.

Would I be able to continue my field placement if I tested positive for COVID-19 but quarantined and then tested negative?

We have precedent for this question and would be hopeful that you could return but we would need to work with your placement site to determine the options.

For example, it could be that you pick up where you left off. Likewise, it could be that you return in a different capacity. It all depends on what the site will permit.

Again, our key approach is to be as flexible and adaptable as possible.

If my BU courses are remote only but I am in person for my field placement, will I need to test for COVID at BU?

It depends. For details, see the Back2BU COVID Screening, Testing and Tracing policies and procedures.