adult and children playing with a large canvas and balls

Lab School Student Teaching

The Capstone course for students completing Pierce College's Associates of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education is the Nursery Lab School student teaching experience (ECED 270/275). This Capstone course is meant to allow students to develop curriculum and evaluate appropriate learning practices, materials, and experiences while focusing on individual and group needs of diverse children within the Nursery Lab School setting. Students typically complete this experience their last quarter of attendance due to the prerequisites needed to participate. The courses themselves are:

  • ECED 270 - Planning and Assessment for Student Teaching (3 credits)
  • ECED 275 - Early Childhood Student Teaching (6 credits)

Held on the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus, student teachers will plan and implement a developmentally appropriate classroom, under supervision, in the Pierce College Nursery Lab School facility currently held in the International House building. The Nursery Lab School partners with a local non-profit, the Fort Steilacoom Parent Education Cooperative, whose 3 - 5 year olds attend Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday each week from 9 - 11 a.m. Student teachers are expected to use class days without children for classroom planning and other course requirements.

By taking these courses, student teachers are committing to the following course hours:

  • Fall/Winter/Spring Quarters: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Summer Quarter: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Please note: Students must complete and submit a Lab School student teaching application two quarters before they intend to student teach. Priority is determined by progress toward degree completion and expected graduation date, in addition to submission of clearance documentation. Acceptance of early or late applications is not guaranteed.

Pierce College Lab School student teachers must demonstrate the following before they are approved for enrollment in ECED 270/275 by Pierce College staff:

1. Pierce College Lab School Student Teaching Application

All students must complete a Lab School student teaching application to be able to enroll in ECED 270/275. The application provides the Education department with contact information, the required release forms to participate in practicums, and the opportunity to upload other practicum requirements. Lab School student teaching applications are available for download and submission through the ECE Community Canvas page. Contact for application information.

2. Course Prerequisites

Students must have completed course prerequisites with a 2.0 or higher to register for ECED 270/275. If courses are in progress at the time of application, please note that grades will be assessed at completion to determine whether students are able to move forward with Lab School. The prerequisites for Lab School student teaching are:

  • ECED& 105 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education (5 credits)
  • EDUC& 115 - Child Development (5 credits)
  • ECED& 160 - Curriculum Development (5 credits)
  • ECED& 170 - Environments for Young Children (3 credits)
  • ECED& 180 - Language and Literacy Development (3 credits)
  • EDUC& 130 - Guiding Behavior (3 credits)
  • ECED 225 - Math/Science for Children (5 credits)
  • MUSC 205 - Music for Teachers (5 credits)
  • ART 215 - Art for Teachers (5 credits)

3. Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families Portable Background Check (PBC) Certificate

A portable background check is required prior to working with children. You will need a STARS ID number, which can be obtained through the MERIT website. The background check application is also located and submitted electronically through MERIT. 

This takes time to process (usually 3-4 weeks) and may require fingerprinting documentation as well. Because of this, it is important that you begin this process or confirm the validity of your clearance well in advance of your intended student teaching start date. For more information about MERIT portable background checks, visit the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families website.

4. Negative Tuberculosis (TB) Test Results or Proof of Treatment

A completed negative TB (tuberculosis) test or negative chest X-ray is also required prior to working with children in these courses and must be dated within the last three years. You can be tested through your primary care doctor or at local drug stores/community health centers.

5. Proof of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) Vaccination or Immunity

Official vaccination records issued through the appropriate public health authority (through Washington State or another state/country) must show your name, date of birth, and the date of MMR vaccination(s) to be considered valid.

If you are unable to locate your vaccination record or feel you may have established immunity through contracting measles, mumps, and rubella during your lifetime, you must submit a medical laboratory report that indicates immunity to all three diseases. Your primary care provider can help with MMR immunity testing, as can independent clinical laboratories.

6. Washington State Food Worker's Card

You can obtain your Food Worker's Card online by going through the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

7. CPR and First Aid Training Certification

CPR and First Aid training certification is available through your local fire department and companies, such as Red Cross and others, who provide training/certification services. At this time, we are accepting CPR/First Aid trainings completed online.

8. Affirmation of Having Read and Understood Pierce College's Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

All Pierce College students completing ECED270 - Planning and Assessment for Student Teaching and ECED275 - Early Childhood Student Teaching, known informally as the Nursery Lab School student teaching capstone, must affirm that they have read and understand Pierce College's Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan. By signing the appropriate area of the online application, you are affirming that you have read the provided Bloodborne Pathogens ECP and are aware of the following:

  • Methods to control exposure to bloodborne pathogens
  • Necessary immediate action upon exposure
  • Post exposure protocol, medical evaluation and follow-up

Please read Pierce College's Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan thoroughly before proceeding with the application.

Download Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan