Field Placements and Professional Development

Hands-on studies as well as opportunities at the Early Learning Conference provide unique immersive learning

Field Placements

Community College Education Student Helping Child on Playground

"Students from COCC come well prepared to connect with children, are open to new learning, and demonstrate potential to become future staff in the field of early intervention and early childhood special education." — Amy McCormack, director of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, High Desert Education Service District

Every student who takes an Early Childhood Education class engages in a field placement. Additionally, students interested in secondary education experience can request a field placement in middle schools and high schools through a practicum course. 
These supervised placements, generally requiring about three hours per week, offer students — through volunteer work or even part-time employment — direct experience with children and young students. They help affirm best practices and solidify career plans. 
Field placement sites are located throughout COCC’s service district and include center-based programs, home-based programs, after-school programs, early intervention/early childhood special education programs, and enrichment-based programming. Placement sites include: 

  • Bend-La Pine, Jefferson County, and Crook County school districts 
  • High Desert Education Service District: Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, STEM Hub, Early Learning Hub, and Better Together 
  • MountainStar Family Relief Nursery 
  • NeighborImpact: Child Care Resources, Head Start, and Early Head Start  
  • The KIDS Center  

Early Learning Conference 

Each year, COCC hosts the regional chapter of the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual Early Learning Conference. The two-day professional development event incorporates instructive sessions on education research, teaching strategies, and culturally responsive pedagogy within an inspiring collegial atmosphere. The conference is ideal for students, early learning educators, learning specialists, administrators, and program directors. COCC students can earn one college credit while attending the conference (10-hour commitment).