The major course of study concludes with a 12-credit-hour field-based experience that enables students to hone practical skills and knowledge in a work setting consistent with their personal and professional goals. Applications for the practicum must be completed one year in advance of the practicum semester. The three practicum options, listed below, are governed by the track selected by the student in CFS. Therefore, students who are pursuing the Community Outreach track will complete either CFS 480 or CFS 490. Students pursuing a teacher licensure (PreK–K or PreK–3) track will complete either CFS 472 or CFS 470, respectively.
Community Placement: CFS 480
Students gain practical experience working in a community-based program that serves children and families in the Knoxville area. Students enhance their professional and personal development by gaining practical experience in their field by exploring career interests and by learning more about children and families and the support services available to them. Learn more about the community outreach placement practicum, possible placement sites, to apply for the practicum, and to learn what current interns are doing.
Student Teaching: CFS 470 (PreK–3) Practicum:
Students following the PreK-3 track will enroll in CFS 470 and will complete their practicum in one of the Early Learning Center for Research and Practice classrooms. Students interested in working with young children (birth through age eight) in group care and learning settings gain practical experience in the department’s Early Learning Center for Research and Practice. Students are responsible for developing supportive relationships with young children and their families; for planning, implementing, and documenting appropriate learning opportunities; and for assessing and guiding the development of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or kindergartners under the supervision of a practiced demonstration teacher, while developing their personal professional identity.
Student Teaching: CFS 472 (PreK–K) Practicum:
Students following the PreK–K track will complete their practicum in a PreK–K classroom setting with responsibility for curriculum planning and the supervision, assessment, and teaching of young children. The student will work under the supervision of a licensed teacher. This experience is designed to meet the State of Tennessee’s PreK–K teacher licensure requirements.
Research Practicum: CFS 490
Students learn basic and advanced research methods by working cooperatively with a CFS faculty member on a research project. Students may choose to do research in one of the department’s research centers or independently with a member of our faculty. Students choosing the research option should consult their faculty advisor.