Policies and Professional Conduct

This section covers what's expected of candidates as students of the Teacher Education Department and the School of Education. For questions or concerns, please reach out to the Department Chair, Dr. Sarah Ann Capitelli. For questions about Student Teaching policies, please reach out to Dr. Nikole Richardson.

Advising Expectations

Each student in the Teacher Education Credential Program is assigned an advisor, who is a member of the Teacher Education Department Faculty. Students and Faculty Advisors are expected to meet at least once per semester to ensure that the student is in good standing and on track to complete their program. 


Advising Roles for Faculty

  • Help the student with the plan of study over the course of the credential program 
  • Track completed coursework, addressing any insufficient grades or incompletes 
  • Review Program Checklist and confirm which courses students must register for in the upcoming semester
  • Discuss fieldwork. If a student is preparing to begin fieldwork, ask how the search/plans/documentation for field work is going. If in fieldwork, ask how Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) is going.
  • Connect students with additional resources, such as writing or academic support, wellness and mental health resources, assistance navigating financial issues related to tuition, etc.
  • Assistance on completion of necessary documentation (missing state requirements, Leave of Absence, Change of Academic Program, Sub/Waiver forms, etc.)
  • Discuss how the student is doing in the program, including successes and challenges. Address any concerns raised by the student, and plan next steps, if needed.
  • Address any concerns raised about the student, either academic or dispositional. If any Student Concern Reports or Mid Semester Reports were filed, go over these and the necessary next steps for the student. 
  • Sign off on the progression to next step in the program

Advising Roles for Students

  • Meet with their Advisor each semester before registering online for courses in the upcoming semester (for incoming students, this meeting happens at Orientation). If a student registers for courses without consultation with and approval of their advisor, the student must accept responsibility for any errors or courses taken that do not meet the requirements of the program.
  • Bring the Program Checklist to Advising meetings
  • Discuss any challenges arising with the their completion of the program, or any concerns with classes, fieldwork, instructors, or peers
  • Consult with advisors when considering changing programs, adding/switching a credential, or completing the program at a slower pace/part-time
  • Contact advisor before withdrawing or going on a Leave of Absence from the University, Check their Degree Evaluation on MyUSF each semester
  • Students enrolled in a Master’s degree program outside of Teacher Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Education in Technology, or Catholic School Education) are initially assigned an advisor within the Teacher Education Department with whom they are to work until their credential course work is completed. Subsequently, they are assigned an advisor from the appropriate department outside of Teacher Education.

Changing Faculty Advisor

If a student wishes to change Faculty Advisors, they should reach out to the Program Assistant and/or Department Chair. Appropriate next steps will be taken based on the issues presented.


Students are expected to participate fully in class activities, and to fulfill, in a scholarly and professional manner, the requirements of each course.  The grading policy of the School is designed to provide feedback on the quality of the student's work. Students must maintain a "B" average in all work undertaken in the degree and credential programs of the School or be subject to academic probation. Students who earn below a B- grade for any Teacher Education course must repeat that course until a B- or above is achieved. 


A (+/-) Distinguished, clearly superior work showing high quality of insight, depth of knowledge, and with no fundamental deficiencies

B (+/-) Fully acceptable acquisition of basic subject and/or skill mastery

C (+) Does not show graduate-level mastery of the full range of knowledge and skills; the course must be repeated.

I An Incomplete (I) grade is only assigned when required student work is not completed before the end of the course, and there is a reasonable expectation that such work can be completed in a timely manner over the following semester. Incomplete grades may only be issued after consultation with, and approval by, the instructor. An Incomplete Grade/Course Completion Form must be filled out, signed by both the student and instructor, and submitted to the Dean’s Office. Incomplete (I) grades will automatically be changed to a Failing (F) grade after one full semester unless the Incomplete Grade/Course Completion Form stipulates a longer period of time. If the Incomplete Grade/Course Completion plan is not completed before the agreed upon deadline, the Failing (F) grade will stand, and the student must re-enroll in the course and pay tuition. Students who exceed the maximum number of hours for absences in a course ARE NOT ELIGIBLE to receive an Incomplete grade

IP Work for the course is "In Progress" due to the nature of the particular course or course schedule. (Allowed only for Student Teaching and Master’s Thesis/Field Project courses)

W "Withdrawal": student drops a course after the University census date

NR Grade "Not Reported" by instructor within 15 days after the examination period. To correct the transcript the instructor must file a change of grade form. "NR" carries no connotation of student performance and no grade point value is given.

RC "Registration Canceled" put on transcript when the Bursar cancels registration due to nonpayment of tuition and fees.


Students who, because of the demands of their professional workload, anticipate problems in meeting timelines set by a particular instructor should discuss the problem in a timely and professional manner with the instructor. If a student has other course-related problems such as a difficulty with the classroom instruction or assignments or disagreement with the instructor over grading, the issue should be discussed with the instructor.


Please view the School of Education Academic Policies page for full additional information about grading. 


Attendance policies governing students in the USF Teacher Education program are dictated by the requirements of California law for state credential programs (CTC). Punctual attendance for all TED courses and field placements is assumed. In the case of illness or emergency, students are responsible for contacting the course instructor and completing work missed due to absence.

Students who are absent for more than the following amount of time will not receive credit for a course:

1 unit course = 2 hours

2 unit course = 4 hours

3 unit course = 6.25 hours

Four (4) instances of incomplete attendance for any given class period (arriving late or leaving early) constitutes 2 hours of absence.

Students who exceed the maximum amount of absence time allowed will be required to withdraw from a course, re-enroll and pay course tuition again in a subsequent semester.


The School of Education expends a great deal of time and effort establishing relationships between the USF Teacher Education Program and various school districts in the Bay Area. When candidates are visiting schools in any capacity, they should recall that they are representatives of the USF Teacher Education Program. The impressions that candidates make upon the visited schools/teachers will affect not only their own future, but also the reputation of the USF Teacher Education Program. Accordingly, candidates should conduct themselves in a professional manner—in both appearance and deportment.


Professional conduct for USF Student Tutors and Teachers includes:

  • Personal appearance and dress comparable to the standards and expectations for employed teachers at the assigned school site.
  • Cooperation and professional interaction with colleagues, staff, parents, and students.
  • Regular attendance and punctuality; the candidate should sign in/sign out each site day in the appropriate log in the school office. If a candidate is absent or anticipates being late to a school site, s/he should contact the teacher ahead of time, as well as inform the University Supervisor and Student Teaching Seminar instructor.
  • Demonstration of sound judgment as well as knowledge of, and adherence to, school site policies; the ability to be flexible and adaptable; evidence of professional growth and self-assessment.
  • Supervision: the Field Placement Director assigns a University Supervisor to each candidate early in the semester. Once supervision assignments are made, the candidate is responsible for contacting the supervisor and working out a schedule of site visits for the semester.
  • Familiarity and compliance of the candidate with all applicable requirements and deadlines of the Teacher Education program related to Student Teaching.

Fieldwork Attendance Expectations

Candidates in Student Teaching I are required to be at the school site and engaged in the activities of the classroom/school for 12 hours a week for twelve weeks. Exceptions to the 3 day/week placement (i.e., extending or reducing the required hours per week) or the 12-week requirement, must be authorized by the Field Placement Director.


Absences and Tardiness for Fieldwork:

Attendance and punctuality at seminars and field placement sites are essential. Absences should be for major illness or family emergencies only. Arriving late three times (tardiness) constitutes the equivalent of one day of absence. A candidate may only reschedule two (2) school site days and still receive a passing grade for the seminar course.


Seminar Attendance Expectations:

Student Teaching I Seminar: a candidate may miss only two (2) seminar meetings and still receive a passing grade for the seminar course. 

Arriving late three times (tardiness) constitutes the equivalent of one day of absence.


In the event of a strike action by classroom teachers in the public schools, the following guidelines apply to students enrolled in the School of Education's teaching credential program:

School assignments for USF Student Teachers (i.e., those who are placed as student teachers by the School of Education in a school site/classroom with a Cooperating Teacher or Master Teacher in a public school of the district) will be suspended for the duration of any strike or labor action by public school teachers and their union. Among these Student Teachers, those who have been granted a 30-day substitute permit may not accept any offer of day-to-day employment as a substitute teacher in the district during this time.

USF teacher credential candidates who are employed (under contract) by the district as classroom teachers, either as Interns, or as long-term substitute teachers, may make their own decisions as to whether they will participate in any strike action of teachers of the district.


Student Teaching is a crucial aspect of preparation for the teaching profession. Termination from one’s field placement will weigh heavily in the consideration by the Dean’s Office as to whether the candidate is terminated from the USF School of Education and the Teacher Credential Program.


The following constitute grounds for withdrawal or termination of a candidate from the Teacher Credential Program at the University of San Francisco: 

  • False reporting of attendance and activities at the school site (e.g., Site Placement logs; journals) or plagiarism in required written assignments (e.g., Teaching Performance Assessments);
  • Change of status of the credential candidate with the CCTC; specifically, the suspension or revocation of the candidate’s Certificate of Clearance;
  • Use of profanity or demeaning language with colleagues, staff, students, or parents at the assigned school site;
  • Sexual harassment or misconduct at the assigned school site;
  • Conduct at the assigned school site that would warrant suspension or termination of an employee by the school district where the candidate is placed;
  • Request by the school site administration/cooperating teacher to terminate the candidate’s student teaching assignment prior to the scheduled end of the placement;
  • Exceeding the allowed number of absences for student teaching seminars and field placements;
  • Attempts to change an assigned school or teacher placement without prior consultation and approval by the Program Manager (for Branch students) or the Field Placement Coordinator (for Hilltop students).


Students may use paid teaching positions to fulfill student teaching requirements. Please consult with the Field Placement Director for details. The University is unable to assist students in securing paid positions. However, it will secure classroom placements for students in which they are paired with a Master Teacher at a particular school. The School of Education must have a signed Memorandum of Understanding with a private school or public school district in order to place students in student teaching positions.


Please click here for information related to obtaining an Intern Credential.

A student must maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in all graduate work. If the GPA falls below 3.0 for one term, the student will be placed on academic probation. If the subsequent term's GPA remains below 3.0, the student will be withdrawn from the Teacher Education program. Withdrawal on the grounds of poor scholarship is at the discretion of the Dean of the School of Education.

All California educational credentials are issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). After completing a credential program at USF, students may apply for the Preliminary Teaching Credential, through the University’s Credential Analyst.. Credential applications will be distributed at the end of the program and should be submitted to the Credential Analyst accompanied by photocopies of all required documents. Each request will be submitted to the CTC on-line by the Credentials Analyst. Applicants will then receive an email from the CTC asking them to complete their portion of the on-line application and to pay the appropriate fee. As soon as this has been done the applicant will receive a verification email from the CTC stating that the credential is in process. If an employer requests verification of credential status, this email can be submitted as proof of USF’s credential recommendation. Students are advised to submit the application as soon as possible after completing the credential requirements. Credentials are mailed to each applicant from the CTC upon verification of the fulfillment of all credential requirements.


USF students have the option to obtain both the Multiple and Single Subject credentials without having to complete two separate programs. For more information on how to obtain both credentials, please contact our Credential Analyst at credentialanalyst@usfca.edu or (415) 422-2117.