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WVU five-year Teacher
Education Program

Volunteer/Observation Experience

60 Hours must be completed prior to registering for EDUC 200. All hours must be approved by the Five-Year Teacher Education office before volunteer hours can begin.

If you plan to volunteer in a West Virginia public/private school or a Five-Year Teacher Education Program Professional Development School ONLY. If you plan to complete your volunteer hours  outside the State of West Virginia, please check the policies for that public/private school.

Volunteer Work Experience Overview

West Virginia University
Five-Year Teacher Education Program

The volunteer work experience is an early program requirement that involves prospective teacher education students in 60 hours of field work with children or youth. This experience is completed in appropriate settings  approved  by the program director or his/her designee. This set of activities occurs  prior to submitting an application to be officially admitted to the Five-Year Teacher Education Program. It occurs under the supervision of a professional and in a setting which emphasizes extended interaction with children and adolescents. To help prospective teachers assess their interest in teaching, at least 40 hours of the experience must be done with the age group they wish to teach, in the context of a public or private school. Since teachers typically work with students who are different from themselves, prospective teachers are encouraged to choose or volunteer with diverse populations.

The volunteer experience must be documented with a daily log as well as with an overall reflection of the experience. In EDUC 200 (Professional Inquiry) the prospective teacher will develop a reflective paper about the volunteer work experience. Therefore, it is important to keep accurate records.

NOTE: It is imperative that 60 hours be completed before registering for EDUC 200. Documentation of completed contract, daily logs, and evaluations must be presented to the Five-Year Teacher Education Office before a student will be permitted in EDUC 200.

The setting for the volunteer work experience  must be approved in advance by the Five-Year Teacher Education Office and the “site” supervisor must agree to verify the prospective teacher participation time and activities. The supervisor must also agree to provide feedback on the prospective teacher’s performance on a Final Evaluation Form provided by the program.

Prospective teachers will be given a list of local settings where they might arrange to complete the requirement. Prospective teachers may choose a setting in the Morgantown area, at home, or an appropriate alternate location that has been reviewed and approved in advance by the Five-Year Teacher Education Program director or his/her designee. It is the responsibility of the prospective teacher to document the volunteer work experience and make sure it meets the criteria for the experience.

In assessing the acceptability of a potential site, please examine the supervision available and the opportunity for extended interaction with children or adolescents. Activities such as: babysitting; supervision of lunch, recess, or bus duty; work in coaching; or church settings related to religious instruction  will not fulfill the requirement. Additionally, being supervised by a relative  will not be accepted. Completion of the volunteer requirement requires at least some direct classroom experience.

Important Facts to Know

Possible Sites (see Community Agency List)

NOTE: Even though these sites are listed by our office, you still need to obtain prior approval from the WVU Five-Year Teacher Education Office before completing ANYvolunteer hours.

Examples from the list follows:

Most of these types of sites are available in the Morgantown area. However, the volunteer experience may be completed in other appropriate locations, providing that each has been approved in advance. The goals behind the volunteer experience are (1) to expose the prospective teacher to experiences different from his or her own and (2) to help assess his or her commitment to teaching.

Experiences  NOT ACCEPTABLE for Volunteering

For more information about the volunteer experience component of the WVU Five-Year Teacher Education Program, please contact the program office at 304-293-6762 or email

Forms and Information Helpful in the Volunteer Process 

STEP ONE – Arranging the Placement

A. Look at your schedule to determine when you would be available to volunteer.

B. Call the organization and/or personal contact at the school to get approval to volunteer.

C. When calling, be prepared with the following: 1) your reason for calling, 2) your name, 3) phone number, 4) how many volunteer hours you want to do at that location, and 5) the times you will be available. Ask what kinds of activities you will be engaged in during this placement.

D. If the person is not able to answer your call, leave your name, phone number, (and possibly e-mail) and request that the volunteer supervisor contact you.

E. Get directions to the volunteer placement, how, and to whom to report.

F. Complete the  Volunteer Experience Acceptance Contract application form. Hand-deliver, mail, or fax the contract to the agency or school for their initial approval. Once you receive approval from the agency or school, bring the contract to the Five-Year Teacher Education Office, 606 Allen Hall, for final approval. Once final approval is received (allow 7-10 days), you may begin your volunteer experience.

Important Note: You cannot begin volunteering until you have received FINAL approval from the Five-Year Teacher Education Office, otherwise your hours will be considered as invalid at the time of admission.

G. Upon reporting to the site for volunteer experience, check to see if there is a “sign-in” and “sign-out” policy at the placement. 


STEP TWO – Documenting the Experience

A. Complete the  Daily Activity Log after each session. It will be a more accurate and thorough reflection if you do it in a timely manner. The daily logs must be signed by your supervisor. Typing is preferred, however not required, and the typed page can be attached to the written log. You will keep these logs as they will be included in your admission portfolio.

B. Complete the  Volunteer Experience Reflection after you have completed all of your hours at the volunteer site. Please attach this sheet (about 1-2 pages) as a cover to the Daily Activity Logs. You will keep this reflection as it will be included in your admission portfolio.

C. Be sure to provide your supervisor with the  Final Evaluation Form. The completed Final Evaluation Form should be mailed or hand delivered in a sealed & signed envelope to The Five-Year Teacher Education Office, 606 Allen Hall to be copied. The original evaluation will be returned to you to be included in your admission portfolio.