Australia Student Teaching

Deb and ErinReveal Caption

Deb Hall (Special Education, Talara Primary College) and Erin Murphy, Summer 2014

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The Australia Student Teaching program, established in 2005, provides an unequaled student teaching experience for candidates who want to study abroad and get hands on experience working with a school system in another country. Relationships are at the core of this experience, and candidates most often fulfill their students with disabilities student teaching requirement while in Australia. In addition to the summer placement "down under", candidates do a half-semester placement in a Rochester-area school district to complete their student teaching experience. SUNY Cortland coordinates the application process for the SUNY schools who participate in this program: SUNY Brockport, Cortland, Geneseo, New Paltz and Potsdam.

Partnership Level: Mature

How do we collaborate? Student teaching candidates submit an online application through SUNY Cortland, where the program is administered for the SUNY partners who participate. Once applicants are vetted and accepted into the program, support is given through a series of webinars. The webinars provide in-depth instruction about the program as well as step-by-step assistance for overseas requirements, such as the VISA application, physical and immunization requirements, placement preferences, and roommate pairing. Prior to departure, an international videoconference is attended by the participating SUNY colleges with the coordinating staff members, teacher candidates, parents, and Australia school district personnel all contributing.

Faculty, staff, parents, and friends are invited to travel to Australia for the two-week Outback trip if they are interested. In addition, the program director, Colin Balfour, travels to the United States to visit each participating college and provide an orientation to the program. From time to time, other Australia program personnel, such as the head of Education Queensland, have also visited to collaborate further on the program. It is not uncommon for teacher candidates to return to Australia for teaching positions or just to visit the people they have made lifelong friends with.

Assessment: Assessment is conducted using Brockport's instruments and maintained in Tk20.

New Developments: For the first time, the Education & Human Development Partnership Award for 2015, was given to an international school partnership, the Australia Student Teaching Program, with special recognition to Talara Primary College and Currimundi Special School.

More information about the program can be found here:

Last Updated 1/16/20

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