Concordia University’s Online Education programs continue to grow with a unique blend of online coursework and in-person classroom clinical experiences. While the flexibility of the online class is appealing for many students, the clinical field experiences stoke the passion for becoming a teacher and inspiring young minds!

Concordia’s Online Education Degrees

Concordia undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Cross Categorical Special Education, and Secondary Education in English and Language Arts, Math, and Broad Field Social Studies lead to Wisconsin teacher licensing. The Wisconsin Department of Instruction has certified that these programs meet the standards for students to earn their license in their teaching area. Additionally, the department has approved field experience requirements outlined by Concordia’s School of Education. Students can complete the clinical credits in various school settings, including both public and private schools. Let’s take a look at a few examples of our students.

From Paraprofessionals to Teachers

Students Angie and Kristi have served as paraprofessionals in the Appleton School District. Each individual, through their classroom work history, applied for Prior Learning credits and received approval for six of their required clinical credits. From there, each has been able to complete observation hours with Special Education teachers and with other certified teachers. Working with their building administrators allowed them to accumulate these hours on the job. As they continue with their online classes, they will be able to meet all of their clinical and student teaching in the district.

Changing Paths

Brittany chose to pursue teaching after starting a Nursing program at a local technical college. After transferring some of those credits to Concordia, Brittany hit the ground running with field clinics in local schools, both public and private, by reaching out to former teachers and contacts with schools in her area. Concordia’s field coordinator confirmed that her experiences were conducted under the supervision of teachers who held licenses for at least three years and had been at their school for at least one year.

Brittany enjoyed the flexibility offered by those schools. She could spread her required hours over a more extended period or bunch them into full-day sessions as needed. “I enjoyed interacting with teachers, talking about highs and lows in education. So often, people only highlight the bad in teaching when it is so rewarding,” said Brittany. “Public speaking is not my favorite thing, but being in front of kids was a different story, and I am thankful a few of my host teachers let me take the lead and go for it. This has strengthened my interest in teaching.”

Reaching Students Outside Wisconsin

As these unique programs have grown, Concordia’s reach outside Wisconsin has grown, including helping teachers in Lutheran and Christian schools. Jenna was pursuing a degree through a national university when she learned there would be obstacles in her field experiences. As a parent and classroom assistant at her Lutheran grade school in Colorado, Jenna hopes to become fully licensed and certified to teach in the school her family chose.

Midway through her program, she learned she could only observe and student-teach in public school settings. Wanting a different experience, her research led her to Concordia’s program. Despite being set back a few credits through transferring, she will now be able to complete many of her clinicals. Additionally, she will do her student teaching at the Lutheran school, where she will work under the supervision of Colorado licensed teachers. Concordia’s accelerated program helped Jenna and many other students pursue opportunities to teach in private schools. It also enabled them to complete clinical experiences in settings most relevant to them.

The Unique Experience of Concordia Programs

To sum it all up, Melissa, who recently completed her degree and license, said more about learning in the classroom. “I have been able to apply what I’ve learned to a classroom setting during field clinical and also as a substitute in elementary schools. Clinical field experiences are Concordia’s way of providing hands-on learning before student teaching. For example, during the reading clinical experience, we worked one-on-one with a student conducting literacy lessons. So, I could apply what I learned in the Art and Science of Teaching Reading course to this clinical, which was intimidating but highly beneficial.” 

Program director Dr. Adam Paape adds, “The unique nature of these programs allows students amid their online courses to accomplish their clinical fieldwork in their local schools, near their home. And even though the coursework is online, there will be substantial in-person interaction as Concordia representatives visit with students during their clinical experiences.” For more comments from Dr. Paape, view Overview of Teacher Accelerated Programs.

Want in?

CUWAA’s Adult Accelerated classes are offered year-round, with students beginning courses in two eight-week mini-terms during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  Take action and connect with Concordia University’s accelerated programs by visiting CUWAA Accelerated Admissions or calling 262-243-5700.