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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
b. Field/Clinical Practice 

3b. Design, implementation, and evaluation of field experiences and clinical practice


1. What are the entry and exit requirements for clinical practice?

Applying for and being accepted for clinical practice (student teaching) is the second checkpoint in the entire teacher education program. The criteria to be accepted for clinical practice are:

Ø  a specified minimum gpa in the candidate’s program (varies by program)
Ø  a minimum 2.7 gpa or higher in the professional education sequence
Ø  a minimum 2.7 or higher cumulative gpa
Ø  all courses complete for general studies, the content program, and professional education
Ø  a passing score on the state content exam
Ø  a positive recommendation from the Office of the Dean of Students
Ø  successful completion of 100 field internship hours prior to student teaching
Ø  completion of Candidate Assessments 1-9 at a proficient level

2. What field experiences are required for each program or categories of programs (e.g. secondary) at both the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels, including graduate programs for licensed teachers and other school professionals? What clinical practice is required for each program or categories of programs in initial teacher preparation programs and programs for the preparation of other school professionals? Please complete Table 7 or upload your own.

Table 7

Field Experiences and Clinical Practice by Program

 

Program

 

Field Experiences

Clinical Practice (Student Teaching or Internship)

Total Number of Hours

Early Childhood Education (Traditional)

ED 120 Introduction to American Education for 9 hours, ED 170/172 Internship course for 30 hours, Sophomore Block (Birth to 3) for 64 hours, Junior Block (Preschool) for 96 hours, and 20 hours in the Primary classroom in which they will student teach; total 219 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching in a K-3 primary classroom; total 490 hours

 

 

 

   

 

    709 hours

Elementary Education (Traditional)

ED 120 Introduction to American Education for 9 hours, ED 170/172 Internship course for 30 hours, Sophomore Block (K-6) for 64 hours, Junior Block (K-8) for 96 hours, and 20 hours in the K-8 classroom in which they will student teach; total 180 hours, may have 20 hour internship associated with the middle school courses, if needed, one internship must be in primary, one intermediate and one in middle school; total 219 -239 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching in a K-8 classroom; total 490 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

709 – 729 hours

Secondary 6-12 Certificates  (English, Social Studies, Math, Chemistry and Biology) (traditional)

ED 120 Introduction to American Education for 9 hours, ED 170/172 Internship course for 30 hours, Secondary Block for 35 hours, and 20 hours in the classroom in which they will student teach, may have 20 hour internship associated with the middle school courses, if needed; total 91 – 114 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching; total 490 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

581 - 604 hours

K-12 Certificates (Art and Physical Education)

ED 120 Introduction to American Education for 9 hours, ED 170/172 Internship course for 30 hours, Secondary Block for 35 hours, and 20 hours in the classroom in which they will student teach, may have 20 hour internship associated with the middle school courses, if needed; total 91 – 114 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching; total 490 hours

 

K-12 Certificate (Music – Instrumental and Vocal)

ED 120 Introduction to American Education for 9 hours, ME 251 Introduction to Music Education for 10 hours (Instrumental and Vocal), ME 341 Elementary Methods for 10 hours (Instrumental and Vocal), ME 351 Middle School Methods for 10 hours (Vocal), ED 310 Creating a Community of Learners for 20 hours (Instrumental and Vocal), ME 450 Principals and Techniques of Instruments for 20 hours (Instrumental), ME 460/461 Practicum for 20 hours (Instrumental and Vocal), Pre-student teaching for 20 hours (Instrumental and Vocal); total 100-110 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching; total 490 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

590 -600 hours

 

Early Childhood Education (PACE)

Level 1 Internship for 30 hours, Level 2 Internship for 30 hours and Level 3 Internship for 40 hours, hours are completed in areas of Birth to 3, Pre-School, and Primary Classroom; total 100 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching; total 490 hours

 

 

 

 

   590 hours

Elementary Education (PACE)

Level 1 Internship for 30 hours, Level 2 Internship for 30 hours, and Level 3 Internship for 40 hours, hours are completed in areas of Primary, Intermediate, and Middle School; total 100 hours

One 14 week block, full-time student teaching; total 490 hours

 

 

 

 

    590 hours

3. How does the unit systematically ensure that candidates develop proficiencies outlined in the unit’s conceptual framework, state standards, and professional standards through field and clinical experiences in initial and advanced preparation programs?

The field and clinical experiences are sequenced from the beginning of the program through the final student teaching experience. Through the sequence, teacher candidates progress from entry level skills, knowledge, and dispositions to the demonstration of more difficult strategies as each program benchmark is accomplished.

Every field and clinical experience has a course syllabus that fully describes all assignments, experiences, and intended course outcomes. Designed to facilitate candidates’ development as successful teachers, all course activities are aligned with the unit’s Conceptual Framework and relevant professional standards. Unit faculty also maintain Moodle sites for each of their courses as a way to manage course activities, assignments, changes, locations, and to facilitate on-line discussions.

Each field experience also uses a carefully designed evaluation form that is aligned with the Conceptual Framework and relevant professional standards. The evaluation forms are completed by the mentor and the clinical faculty for that particular internship. These evaluation forms are then submitted to the LiveText database to become part of the unit’s exhibit center. These forms are put in to printable reports so that data can be analyzed by the unit once a year at the DARE retreat.

A unique feature of our SoE is our Block programs. All candidates in Elementary Education are required to complete both a Sophomore and Junior Block field experience. These blocks provide eight or twelve full days spent in an elementary classroom. For candidates in Secondary Education programs, the Block provides intensive classroom experience over eight days, four hours per day.  This block experience is taken during the teacher candidate's spring semester of their Junior year.  Early Childhood Education teacher candidates are required to complete their Sophomore Block working with infants two mornings a week, for 16 weeks. The Junior Block takes place in a school district’s early learning center where ECE candidates spend twelve full days in the classroom. To ensure that all teacher candidates develop the proficiencies outlined for the Block experience, unit faculty are in the schools alongside the candidates. Along with the mentor teachers, unit faculty evaluate the knowledge, skills and dispositions of the teacher candidates.

During the final student teaching semester, the clinical faculty observes the teacher candidate’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a minimum of five times with a pre and post conference. The mentor teacher observes the teacher candidate on a daily basis and provides continual conferencing and mentoring sessions.  Formal midterm and final evaluation conferences provide the clinical faculty, mentor teacher, and teacher candidate an opportunity to discuss progress and the proficient demonstration of prescribed knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions as aligned with the unit’s conceptual framework, state standards and professional standards.

4. How does the unit systematically ensure that candidates use technology as an instructional tool during field experiences and clinical practice?

Outcomes that require candidates to complete activities using appropriate technology are threaded throughout the program as part of candidate and program assessments. These assessments include technology lessons that may be taught during a field experience, and units of instruction during student teaching that include the use of technology as an instructional tool. The most advanced block field experiences and clinical practice in all programs require technology use. The corresponding evaluation forms include the outcomes and standards so that the use of technology can be measured by a university faculty member or teacher mentor. Teacher candidates are all required to satisfactorily complete the course ED 218 Technology in the PreK-6 classroom or ED 219 Technology in the Secondary classroom. This course teaches specific applications of software, use of websites as a teaching tool and use of videography as a means of differentiating instruction for diverse learners.

5. What criteria are used in the selection of school-based clinical faculty [school faculty]?  How are the criteria implemented? What evidence suggests that school-based clinical faculty members [school faculty] are accomplished school professionals?

The initial criteria that Millikin’s SoE uses for the selection of school faculty are the number of years of state certified full-time teaching experience (minimum of three full years), and the strong recommendation of the building administrator. The Field Placement Coordinator implements the selection process of school faculty in collaboration with the school building administrator. If the potential school faculty member meets the two primary criteria for mentoring a teacher candidate, their past effectiveness is also considered. As an example of effectiveness, the Field Placement Coordinator considers the faculty member’s ability to communicate with the candidate, clinical faculty or unit faculty member, and the Office of Field Experience in a timely and effective manner.

Evaluations of the school faculty are completed by clinical faculty, as well as teacher candidates. The quality ratings, as well as the narrative comments on the evaluation forms, are taken into consideration by the field placement coordinator. If a school faculty’s performance with a teacher candidate is not satisfactory, the building administrator and Field Placement Coordinator may together decide not to continue to use that particular faculty as a mentor for teacher candidates, or may suggest further professional development.  The Field Placement Coordinator considers the faculty member’s ability to provide insightful and detailed feedback to the teacher candidate, willingness to participate in professional development, flexibility, and open-minded to the use of best practices. Strong and engaging school faculty are often recognized by being invited to speak in various education classes. If they are Master’s prepared, they may also be invited to be an adjunct professor and teach in the evening accelerated program.

6. What preparation and on-going professional development activities does school-based clinical faculty [school faculty] receive to prepare them for roles as clinical supervisors?

School faculty receive a packet of materials that explains the purpose, expectations, and responsibilities of all individuals involved in the field experience. These packets are distributed in a variety of ways depending on the level of field experience: A school faculty member who hosts a beginning field experience student for their first 30 hour internship receives a packet of information in the mail. The packet introduces the classroom teacher to the unit’s conceptual framework, the objectives of the internship, expected and suggested activities for the teacher candidate to demonstrate, and an evaluation form to complete.

If a school faculty member is involved in one of the block internships, they receive a packet of materials at the required pre-block meeting held at the school site each semester. If the school faculty member is unable to attend the meeting, the faculty member and the teacher candidate arrange for a conference at another time before the block begins. These pre-block meetings provide an opportunity for university faculty to discuss the unit’s conceptual framework and the objectives for the block experience, to familiarize the school faculty with the Millikin courses that the teacher candidates are co-enrolled in along with the Block, and arrange dates for when a University faculty member can observe the teacher candidate’s classroom engagement.

At the end of the semester, a Post-block celebration dinner is held so that school faculty and teacher candidates can evaluate the field experience. The dinner also includes a local professional speaker who presents on an aspect of “best practices in teaching". This provides a professional development activity for school faculty and their teacher candidates.

In addition to receiving internship paperwork, all clinical faculty and school faculty who assist with clinical practice attend a full-day workshop on Millikin’s campus every August. At this workshop the Director of the SoE Unit provides an overview of the conceptual framework and discusses the unit’s assessment system. The Field Placement Coordinator explains any changes that have occurred in the student teaching handbook and evaluation forms, or policy changes within the unit during the past year. All procedures are reviewed for understanding and applicability. The full-day workshop also provides school faculty and clinical faculty an opportunity to practice communication skills so that school faculty understand their important role in mentoring a teacher candidate, fulltime, for an entire semester. Hypothetical scenarios are role-played in order to explore and discuss how to deal with challenging situations that may occur. Overall, this workshop provides our community constituents an opportunity to offer their input regarding our program, as well as a chance to collaborate across programs and within organizations.

For the 2008-2009 academic year, a new pilot program for student teaching offered 12 teacher candidates in Elementary and Early Childhood an opportunity to Co-Teach with a mentor teacher. Preparation and training for this program involved professional development workshops at selected sites as well as a ‘pairs training workshop’ for both school faculty and their teacher candidates together. Co-teaching is defined as two teachers working together with students in one classroom: sharing the planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction, as well as the physical space. Although some of the traditional elements of student teaching are kept in place, there are also new elements to learn and practice. This model is being tried at two K-8 schools within the Decatur Public School District 61 as part of an Innovations Grant from the Associated Colleges of Illinois’ Center for High-Needs Schools. We hope that by using the co-teaching strategies, our teacher candidates will develop greater confidence, enabling them to be more comfortable teaching in high-need schools.

7. What evidence demonstrates that clinical faculty [school faculty] provides regular and continuous support for student teachers, licensed teachers completing graduate programs, and other school professionals?

For early field experiences that are completed prior to formal admittance to the School of Education, a written evaluation form is completed by the supervising classroom teacher. Teacher candidates completing an early field experience complete a journal of observations where they reflect on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions displayed by the classroom teacher, as well as how they themselves demonstrated the conceptual framework’s four indicators of excellence. Journal entries of teacher candidates reveal the type of support that a classroom teacher may or may not be giving at this early stage. A student’s journal may reveal that they were only given menial tasks to do and were not given an opportunity to lead an activity with a small group. Or the student may not have been given the opportunity to ask questions and talk with the school faculty.

During sophomore and junior block field experiences, professors are present in classrooms where teacher candidates are placed at the school sites. University faculty can observe firsthand the types of support that may or may not be given to the teacher candidates. They can provide support, ideas, and three-way conferences to meet the various needs of teacher candidates. Classroom teachers provide support by taking notes while observing daily lessons taught, and as other skills and dispositions are demonstrated by the teacher candidate. They also provide verbal feedback about teacher candidates at the end of each of the block days.

Through classroom observation, clinical faculty collect evidence that school faculty are providing regular and continuous support for student teachers. At the conclusion of their student teaching, teacher candidates are asked to provide feedback describing the frequency and quality of the mentoring provided by the school faculty.  During each of the required student teaching supervisory visits, the clinical faculty discusses the candidate’s progress with the school faculty. This discussion is certainly beneficial to both the teacher candidate and the school faculty in terms of teaching strategies and effectiveness of teaching. However, the conferences also serve to confirm that regular and continuous feedback is being provided. These discussions may include the teacher candidate as a three-way conference, or at times a conference just between the school faculty and clinical faculty.

8. What structured activities involving the analysis of data and current research are required in programs for other school professionals?

No other school professionals in our programs.


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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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