Education - Professional Experience (PEx) - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Education - Professional Experience (PEx)

Professional Learning at USC is an integral component of the Education Discipline. It provides Preservice Teachers enrolled in Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood Programs with genuine opportunities to establish strong links between the knowledge attained in their coursework and the practical experiences provided through Professional Experience (PEx).

PEx provides opportunities for Preservice Teachers to undertake a range of duties in a workplace setting at schools and sites and an opportunity to develop new skills as they put the theories learned in their university studies into practice.

PEx Essentials

Professional Experience (PEx) is an integral component of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Programs at USC. PEx provides Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood Preservice Teachers (PSTs) with genuine opportunities to establish strong links between the knowledge attained in their coursework and the practical components of being an educator.

Throughout your ITE program, you will undertake several courses that include an embedded PEx placement. The PEx will provide you with opportunity to link theory with practice. PEx is an assessable component of PEx placement courses. To prepare for PEx, you should familiarise yourself with both the program specific Inherent Academic Requirements and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. PEx courses are graded as Pass Ungraded (PU) or Fail (UF) as they are limited grade courses. To pass the placement assessment preservice teachers must:

  • Meet the Australian Professional Standards criteria found in the PEx Final Report
  • Adhere to the USC School of Education and Tertiary Access Code of Conduct

The University has established arrangements with professional learning sites (ie Schools and early childhood centres and settings) to provide PEx placements for preservice teachers to develop the skills required to practice as a graduate teacher.

When undertaking PEx placements you may be required to travel. The University will endeavour to place you in a Queensland professional learning site within a 50km radius of your Student Central registered street address, however this cannot be guaranteed and can be dependent upon the distance of your home street address and your selected USC campus study site. In such cases, your PEx professional learning site may be located within a 50km radius from the campus where you are studying. The 50Km radius is not applied when you choose to undertake an PEx in a rural or remote area within Queensland.

Preservice teachers are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses incurred whilst undertaking PEx placements. If you have elected to undertake a rural and remote placement, you may be eligible for various PEx scholarships (refer to PEx Placement Options and Opportunities).

PEx placements will only be offered to preservice teachers who meet the mandatory requirements of the University (refer to Mandatory Requirements for PEx)

Issues arising during PEx placements are dealt with in a timely manner and in accordance with the University’s Work Integrated Learning (Placement) - Procedures.

Sonia Online

Currently enrolled preservice teachers can access their PEx information through the University’s Work Integrated Learning system 'Sonia Online'. Log in here.

Sonia Online contains information relating to PEx including: links to the professional experience calendar, placement and program handbooks, details of PEx mandatory requirements, placement site information, fact sheets, PEx forms, PEx reports, and information on PEx related events and professional development.

Mandatory Requirements for PEx

To be eligible to commence a PEx placement, Preservice Teachers must complete the following Mandatory Requirements as per the USC Work Integrated Learning (Placement) - Procedures.

You can view the status of your mandatory checks in Sonia Online. Sonia Online contains all your placement information eg dates, forms, allocated sites etc.

MANDATORY CHECK

CRITICAL INFORMATION

 

Blue Card

 

When: Once enrolled.

Cost: Nil.

Time: Allow 2-3 weeks after lodging your application for the card to be delivered to you.

Note:  If you already have a valid Blue Card, it must be linked to USC.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

When: Must be fully vaccinated 4 weeks prior to PEx commencement.

Cost: Nil.

Note: Upload COVID-19 vaccination evidence to Sonia Online > Checks tab.

 

PrePlace

 

When: Once enrolled.

Cost: Nil.

Time:  Approximately 60-90 minutes to complete.

Note: PrePlace only needs to be completed once during your program. It will be made available to you upon enrolment.

USC COVID-19 Screening Tool

When: Once a placement is allocated to you.

Cost: Nil.

Time: Approximately 3 minutes to complete.

Note: The form will be added to your Sonia Online account and a link emailed to you. It is due at least one week prior to PEx commencement.

 

Student Placement Agreement (Part 1)

Placement Disclosure Statement

 

When: Once enrolled.

Cost: Nil.

Time: The form will be added to your Sonia Online account and a link emailed to you. It is due one week after it has been emailed to you.

 

Student Placement Agreement (Part 2)

Placement Details Statement

 

When:  Once a placement has been allocated to you.

Cost: Nil.

Time: The form will be added to your Sonia Online account and a link emailed to you. It is due at least one week prior to PEx commencement.

 

Duration of PEx and Scheduled Dates

PEx can vary in duration from 5-30 days and it is offered in blocks (Monday-Friday) during the University semester.

PEx dates are non-negotiable as per USC Assessment Policy and students should understand that any personal arrangements (including holidays, weddings, work commitments or other optional personal events) which may occur during the published placement dates will not be considered grounds to apply for an extension or review of the Assessment item (ie; PEx dates).

Download the current Professional Experience Calendar to check the placement schedule.

PEx placement Options and Opportunities

USC Education students are placed with Supervising Teachers in state, independent, private, alternative and Catholic schools and early childhood sites. All Supervising Teachers are required to be registered with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT).

Eligible students can request a Rural and Remote placement (>200km from USC campus) within Queensland schools and sites. These students may be eligible to apply for a bursary through the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation or the Beyond the Range Department of Education grant.

USC also works with the Department of Education, Kelvin Grove Teacher Education Centre of Excellence (TECE) for rural and remote school placement options.

Interstate and international Professional Experience placements are not offered.

Remuneration and insurance

No remuneration or payment is made by the placement organisation to the students or to the University for hosting the student. Students undertaking an approved work place learning course are covered by the University’s insurance policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I source my own placement?

Placements are sourced and arranged entirely by the USC Education Placements Team. Preservice teachers are not permitted to approach sites to request placement or accept offers of placement from sites without first contacting the Placements Team. If Preservice Teachers attempt to make their own arrangements, the placement will not be approved.

Can I choose which site I’d prefer to go to for placement?

You will be placed as per Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) requirements for your Education Program and the University will endeavour to place you in a Queensland learning site within a 50km radius from your Student Central registered address (see Professional Experience (PEx) Essentials). You will not be placed at sites where you have conflicts of interest. You must declare these conflicts of interest in Sonia Online.

Secondary Education Preservice Teachers: You need to be aware that because of your teaching area considerations placement can be quite complex. Depending upon your teaching areas there may be limited options within your required geographical region. Meeting the QCT requirements of the Secondary program and locating a suitable Queensland learning site as outlined in the Professional Experience (PEx) Essentials are the two priority criteria.

Can I do placement at a site where I’ve already built relationships?

Students are not able to do placement at a site where there is a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is defined as a site where, for example:

  • Close family members / friends are employed.
  • Your children or siblings attend.
  • You are employed in a casual, part-time, full-time, or after school care capacity.
  • You have attended the PEx site as a student in the last 5 years​.

This list is not exhaustive. If you think there might be a conflict of interest, please declare it through Sonia Online or contact the placement team for advice.

Contact Us

Education Placement Office
Email: edprofessionallearning@usc.edu.au

Professional Experience (PEx) Education Programs: