Hosting a Teacher Candidate

Western Bachelor of Education Placements

Within Western University’s two-year Bachelor of Education, all teacher candidates complete six placements: four Practicum blocks and two Alternative Field Experience blocks. Check out our Academic Calendars to see when our placement blocks are scheduled.  

During Practicum, teacher candidates work with Ontario Certified Teachers, completing practice teaching in grades and subjects specific to their future teaching licenses. Placements are arranged by the Teacher Education Office and host teachers, referred to as Associate Teachers, receive an $8 per diem. For more information, visit our Practicum website or contact Joanne Lombardi, Practicum Coordinator, at

During the Alternative Field Experience (AFE), teacher candidates learn about education- and youth-related community supports. They are encouraged to consider completing their AFE in a wide array of grades or subjects; with school resource personnel or specialist teachers, in non-profit organizations or community centres, or in independent studies. Placements are arranged by teacher candidates and there is no per diem for hosts. For more information, continue reading below or contact Katie Mentone, Program Coordinator, at  

Alternative Field Experience
what is the alternative field experience

Western University’s two year Bachelor of Education (BEd) includes two Alternative Field Experience courses:

  1. EDUC 5025Q Alternative Field Experience I: A field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses. 3 weeks, .25 credit.
  2. EDUC 5026S Alternative Field Experience II: A field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses, or, with approval, another aspect of teacher development. 4 weeks, .25 credit.

Typically AFE are full-time volunteering opportunities for Teacher Candidates to enrich their knowledge of the broader community. For the BEd Classes of 2021 and 2022, the AFE format and timelines will be adjusted to:

  • In-person or remote, or a combination 
  • 210 hours total (90 hours for EDUC 5025Q and 120 hours for EDUC 5026S)* 
  • At your own pace between
    • July 2020 and May 20, 2021 for the BEd Class of 2021
    • November 13, 2020 and May 20, 2022 for the BEd Class of 2022

*210 hours at your own pace is equivalent to the pre-pandemic full-time AFE blocks: EDUC 5025Q is typically 3 weeks full-time and EDUC 5026S is typically 4 weeks full-time; both were expected to be 30-40 hours per week.  

Teacher Candidates are responsible for securing their own AFEs. We encourage Teacher Candidates to explore grades or subjects they’re unfamiliar with; work with school resource personnel or specialist teachers; or join non-profit organizations or community centres.

The experience must be:

In order to qualify for the Alternative Field Experience, Teacher Candidates’ placement(s)/project(s) must meet the following requirements: 

  • A valuable learning experience with substantive responsibility
  • Related to teacher candidate’s professional goals 
  • Related to the field of education 
  • With a Supervisor who will provide consistent guidance and supervision throughout
  • Related to teacher candidate’s Specialty – this requirement is waived for the BEd Classes of 2021 and 2022*
  • Have an AFE Proposal and final reports, developed by the Teacher Candidate in consultation with the AFE Supervisor, approved by the Teacher Education Office

*While the Specialty requirement has been waived for this year, Teacher Candidates are still encouraged to connect their AFE to their Specialty when possible.

Teacher Candidate Responsibilities:
  1. Contact their desired Supervisor to request collaboration.
  2. Work directly with the Supervisor to determine the expectations for the AFE.
  3. Submit the AFE Proposal to the Teacher Education Office. This will be reviewed to ensure it meets the AFE minimum requirements. Approval is not guaranteed.
  4. In the final days of the AFE, complete the Teacher Candidate Self-Evaluation and ensure their host completes the Supervisor’s Final Report.
AFE Supervisor Responsibilities:
  1. Work directly with the Teacher Candidate to determine the expectations for the AFE.
  2. Provide meaningful and mutually beneficial work, or support the Teacher Candidate in planning and completing their own project.*
  3. Review the Teacher Candidate’s Self-Evaluation at the end of the experience. This will be sent to you by email once the Teacher Candidate completes it.
  4. Complete the Supervisor’s Final Report. This online form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. Hosts will receive a link to this form by email after the Teacher Candidate submits their Self-Evaluation.

*The Alternative Field Experience is not a practicum placement and can be completed inside or outside of a classroom setting. There is no “per diem” for hosts. Teacher candidates must be supervised and may not take the place of an Ontario Certified Teacher – they cannot act as a Supply Teacher or as an Uncertified Teacher.

Western’s Teacher Education Office Responsibilities:
  1. Review the AFE Proposals, in partnership with the Specialty Coordinators, and notify Teacher Candidates & AFE Supervisors once approved.
  2. Coordinate a Placement Agreement with the AFE Host Site, as needed.
  3. Support Teacher Candidates and AFE Supervisors, as needed.
  4. Review the Final Reports, in partnership with the Specialty Coordinators, and process the AFE course grades once complete.
Interested in becoming an AFE host?

Coordinate directly with a Teacher Candidate, sign up using our online form or contact Katie Mentone, BEd Program Coordinator, at, to share your opportunity

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