Education - Supervised Professional Experience

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Education - Supervised Professional Experience


Professional Learning at USC is an integral component of the Education Discipline. It provides Pre-Service 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 Supervised Professional Experience (SPE).

SPE provides opportunities for Pre-Service 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.

Mandatory post-admission requirements

To be eligible to commence placement, students must complete the following Mandatory requirements

NOTE: some of the mandatory requirements can take quite some time to organise and students are advised to commence working on obtaining their specific mandatories as soon as they have accepted their offer.

If you have experienced extreme circumstances resulting in a delay to submit any requirements, it is essential you advise the Education Partnerships and Professional Learning Office as soon as possible by e-mailing
You can view the status of your mandatory checks in Sonia Online. Sonia Online contains all of your placement information e.g. dates, forms, allocated sites etc.

Additional information will be provided to you throughout your study program.

Placement options at schools and sites

USC Education students are placed with Supervising Teachers in state, independent, private, alternative and Catholic schools and early childhood sites predominantly in the Sunshine Coast region, but may also be placed in the Brisbane and other regions if relevant. All Supervising Teachers are required to be registered with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT).

Students in some later year courses can request a Rural and Remote placement (outside of the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane regions) within Queensland and interstate schools and sites. These students may be eligible to apply for a bursary through the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation or the Beyond the Range government grant. An application for eligible students can also be made to the School of Excellence program, which is undertaken during placement in the final year of the Bachelor of Education (Primary) Program.

Duration of SPE and scheduled dates

SPE can vary in duration from 10-30 days. SPE is usually offered in blocks (Monday-Friday) during University semester, however, some SPE courses may have a placement scheduled before semester commences.

SPE dates are non-negotiable 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 normally be considered grounds to apply for an extension or review of SPE dates.

Download the 2018 Education Professional Learning calendar (PDF 373KB) * and scheduled dates for SPE. (If you are unable to download or access the Checklist PDF please contact or tel: +61 7 5459 4698 or +61 7 5456 5017)

* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.

Sonia Online - Work Integrated Learning System profile

Current enrolled students can access specific SPE information through the University’s Sonia Online database. Each student has a Sonia Online profile where they can login using their USC username and password to find out information about each of their SPE placements throughout their Program, such as:

  • SPE scheduled dates
  • Details of allocated placement school or site
  • Mandatory checks for SPE
  • SPE history
  • Documents to be reviewed or that have been uploaded
  • Electronic forms to be completed

Frequently asked questions 

Can I source my own placement?

Under normal circumstances students are not able to source their own placement sites as this would contravene an agreement which the University has signed with local schools. The placement office sources all places.

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

Secondary: You should be aware that because of teaching area considerations, placement in secondary is quite complex and extremely time consuming, and as a result there is rarely more than one available option within your required region with your required teaching areas. For this reason there may be no opportunity for students to preference, and schools are assigned on allocation only.

Early childhood and primary programs: You will be able to list up to five schools of interest on your electronic Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) form in Sonia Online. You will be e-mailed once you have enrolled in your SPE course to inform you that this form is available for you to complete. Listing a school of interest does not guarantee that you will be placed at ANY of these schools. It is a guide for the Education Partnerships and Professional Learning Office only. You will always be placed as per Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) requirements for your Education Program and up to 50km from your place of residence listed on USC Student Central. You will not be placed at sites where you have conflicts of interest.

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

The policy (set by QCT and monitored by USC) is that 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:

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

You would be required to declare any conflicts of interest at sites on your SPE form (placement request form) and in your Sonia Online profile. Any site you declare would be off-limits for your supervised professional learning practicum, but would be a wonderful opportunity to develop for your Wider Field Experience (WFE) portfolio. WFE is not coordinated through this office but is also a requirement for teacher registration. As WFE is not assessed, there is no conflict of interest which applies to these sites.

We welcome as much information from the student to be recorded on their SPE form so that we are fully informed to enable us to source an appropriate placement site. The form will be online from 2015, and both the form and instructions to complete it will be emailed to all enrolled students early in the new semester.

If you have not received this email notification by the end of Orientation Week please email us.

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.

More information

Blackboard – Course Page

Current enrolled students will be able to access more information about the requirements of their placement course (including course outlines, assessment, coursework modules and placement information) by visiting the relevant course webpage through Blackboard *. A full list of placement courses for Education can be found below.
* Available to current enrolled students only

Sonia Online account for all placement-related information

Your Sonia Online account contains information relating to SPE; including placement handbooks and copies of forms for each SPE course, scheduled dates for SPE on the Education Professional Learning calendar, available bursaries and grants, professional development and SPE-related events, mandatory requirements for SPE, and any other information that students might find useful to know before undertaking their SPE. The Sonia Online homepage also contains a library of placement-related fact sheets and placement forms for you to access.

You are able to login to Sonia Online with your USC username and password from the USC homepage.


Education Partnerships and Professional Learning Office
School of Education
Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering
Tel: +61 7 5459 4734 or +61 7 5456 5017

Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Education Programs

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