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.
Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) is an integral component of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Programs at USC. SPE provides Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood pre-service 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 SPE placement. The SPE will provide you with opportunity to link theory with practice. SPE is an assessable component of SPE placement courses. To prepare for SPE, you should familiarise yourself with both the program specific inherent academic requirements and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. SPE 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 SPE Final Report.
- Adhere to the USC School of Education Code of Conduct.
The University has established arrangements with learning sites (ie; schools and early childhood centres and settings) to provide SPE placements for preservice teachers to develop the skills required to practice as a graduate teacher.
When undertaking SPE placements you may be required to travel. The University will endeavour to place you in a Queensland learning site within a 50km radius from your Student Central registered address, however this cannot be guaranteed and can be dependent upon the distance of your home address and your selected USC campus study site. In such cases, your SPE 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 SPE in a rural, regional or remote area within Queensland.
Preservice teachers are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses incurred whilst undertaking SPE placements. If you have elected to undertake a rural and remote placement, you may be eligible for various SPE scholarships (see Placement Options and Opportunities tab).
SPE placements will only be offered to preservice teachers who meet the mandatory requirements of the University (see Mandatory Requirements for SPE)
Issues arising during SPE placements are dealt with in a timely manner, and in accordance with the University’s Work integrated learning policy and procedures.
Your Sonia Online account contains information relating to SPE; including placement Handbooks and copies of forms for each SPE course, the Education Professional Learning calendar that includes scheduled dates for SPE, details of bursaries and grants, professional development and SPE-related events, mandatory requirements for SPE, and other useful information. The Sonia Online homepage also contains a library of placement-related Fact Sheets and Placement Forms for you to access.
Current enrolled preservice teachers can access specific SPE information through the University’s Sonia Online database.
Mandatory requirements for SPE
To be eligible to commence a SPE placement, preservice teachers must complete the following Mandatory Requirements as per the USC Workplace and Industry Placement – Procedures.
You can view the status of your mandatory checks in Sonia Online. Sonia Online contains all your placement information e.g. dates, forms, allocated sites etc.
When: Once enrolled
Time: Approx. 8-10 weeks *
Comments: If you already have a valid Blue Card, this card MUST be linked to USC.
USC Student Placement Agreement Form
(Personal Information Disclosure)
When: Once enrolled you will be emailed this form to complete
Time: The form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is due 1 week after it has been emailed to you.
USC Student Placement Agreement Form
(Placement Partner Details)
When: Once a placement site has been allocated to you, you will be emailed this form to complete
Time: The form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is due 1 week after it has been emailed to you
When: Once enrolled
Time: Approx. 60-90 minutes
Comments: Pre-place only needs to be completed once during your program. Preplace will be made available to you via Blackboard.
*NOTE: some of the mandatory requirements can take quite some time to organise. Students are advised to commence working on obtaining their specific mandatories as soon as they have accepted their offer.
Duration of SPE and scheduled dates
SPE can vary in duration from 5-30 days and it is offered in blocks (Monday-Friday) during University semester.
SPE 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; SPE dates).
Download the 2018 Education Professional Learning calendar (PDF 373KB) and 2019 Education Professional Learning calendar and scheduled dates for SPE. (If you are unable to download or access the Calendar PDF please contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page
SPE 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, Teacher Education Centre of Excellence (TECE). The placement options that align with these TECE initiatives include rural and remote, special education and targeting low socio-economic schools.
Interstate and international Supervised Professional Experiences 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
Students are not able to source their own placement sites for SPE. The only exception is for the EDU409 Early Childhood Internship. For all other SPE, the placement office sources all places.
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 Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Essentials. However, once enrolled you will be invited to list up to 5 school preferences in Sonia Online. Listing a school of interest does not guarantee that you will be placed at ANY of these schools. It is a guide for the Placement Office only. You will not be placed at sites where you have conflicts of interest.
Secondary Students: You should be aware that because of your major/minor teaching area considerations, placement is quite complex and as a result there are generally limited available options within your required region with your required teaching areas. Meeting the QCT requirements of the Secondary program and locating a suitable Queensland learning site as outlined in the SPE Essentials are the two priority criteria.
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
Education Placement Office
School of Education
Campus specific contacts
USC Caboolture (All Programs): +61 7 5430 2950
USC Fraser Coast (All Programs): +61 7 5456 5622
USC Gympie (All Programs): +61 7 5456 5622
USC Sunshine Coast (Secondary): +61 7 5456 5017
USC Sunshine Coast (Early Childhood/Primary): +61 7 5459 4734
Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Education Programs:
- Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
- Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies
- Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Business
- Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Primary Education
- Master of Teaching (Primary)
- Master of Teaching (Secondary)