INSTITUTIONAL REPORT: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT OPTION
Standard 3: Field/Clinical Experiences
The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school professionals develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn.
3.1 How does the unit work with the school partners to deliver field experiences and clinical practice to enable candidates to develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to help all students learn?
The unit is committed to providing quality field and clinical experiences for all candidates. The unit believes that field experiences and clinical practices should extend and connect the knowledge, skills, and dispositions acquired in the candidate's program of study to student learning. Field experiences begin during the introductory level courses to allow candidates time to interact with experienced teachers and children in diverse settings. As they move sequentially from foundation courses (requiring observing, assisting, tutoring), candidates become empowered by their content and skills that essentially lead to pedagogy courses with more intentional field experiences that culminate into clinical practice.
Field experiences and clinical practices are both integral and integrated into the unit’s programs. At initial and advanced levels, field experiences are course-embedded and provide candidates opportunities to connect theory to practice, apply content and pedagogical knowledge, and reflect on their own learning and that of their students. All candidates are expected to exhibit high standards of professionalism and to be actively involved in the classroom. This includes tutoring individual students, working with small groups, monitoring class activities, assisting with classroom tasks, planning, and classroom instruction.
Optimal field and clinical experiences begin with collaborative partners and colleagues across the university campus and in a variety of field settings. The unit collaborates with partners in the design, delivery and evaluation of these field experiences. Partners include arts and science faculty who prepare candidates with content knowledge during coursework. Faculty in the arts/sciences have also aligned course content with Praxis II content and have served on the Teacher Education Committee (TEC) where teacher education issues are addressed. Unit and Arts and Science faculty along with P-12 collaborative partners provide a variety of field and clinical settings for initial and advanced candidates. Formal partnerships exist that include a Memorandum of Agreement with superintendents for clinical practices in Campbellsville, Taylor, Green, Marion, and LaRue counties.
Campbellsville University’s initial and advanced programs stress academic excellence and personal growth within the field and clinical practice component of the educator preparation program. The unit is committed to the preparation of educators for their respective fields with the knowledge and skills necessary to create a caring and nurturing learning environment that positively impacts student learning. Unit faculty share the responsibility of designing, delivering, and evaluating field experiences based on course objectives. Field experience assignments reflect the nature of course objectives and are arranged by faculty. Coursework in the initial and the advanced programs requires specific hours per course as indicated in the Field Experience Matrix for each initial and advanced program (Undergraduate, M.A.E., Initial MASE, Advanced MASE, IECE, Rank 1). In addition to course objectives, field experiences reflect common themes identified in the unit’s conceptual framework, the Kentucky Teacher Standards (KTS), and national standards. The unit faculty form partnerships by collaborating with public school personnel and other professionals so candidates can apply what they are learning in coursework to real life settings during field experiences.
Candidates reflect on field experiences that allow them to refine their knowledge, skills, and dispositions for better understanding of learning theory, pedagogy, assessment and technology. The Field Experience Summary Form is used to log all hours and Guiding Questions for Reflection (located on the back of each form) are provided for students to critically think about the learning environment, teacher behaviors, student behaviors, and forms of diversity. The Field Experience Guidelines clearly communicate candidate expectations for professional conduct, confidentiality, dress code, attendance and punctuality during field experiences.
Initial candidates in the IECE program are required to spend 200 hours in the field prior to clinical practice. All other undergraduate programs (P-5, 5-9, 8-12, and P-12) are currently required 120 field hours but will increase to 200 hours prior to clinical practice effective fall 2012. A recent state regulation (16 KAR 5:040) stipulates that all preparation programs will require this change effective September 2013. This revision brings the unit programs into closer alignment with recommendations made in the NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel Report (2010) which encourages a shift to programs that are “fully grounded in clinical practice and interwoven with academic content and professional courses (p. ii).”
Initial Programs, IECE
The Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) certification program prepares candidates to teach children birth through kindergarten. The IECE Program prepares candidates to teach preschool and kindergarten in a Kentucky public school and to work as a Developmental Interventionist, a certified position serving families and their children (at risk for disabilities) from birth to age three. Field experiences are arranged for IECE candidates (IECE Field Matrix) to visit a variety of settings established through Early Intervention Agency Partnerships such as Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Services (Louisville), Carriage House (Louisville), Down Syndrome Society (Louisville), First Steps–Communicare Lincoln Trail District (Elizabethtown), First Steps (Somerset), Kids Spot (Campbellsville), Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS), and a Developmental Interventionist Pool. In addition, candidates visit public school districts for preschool, kindergarten and special education services in the region. Field experiences allow them to see the role of the early childhood educator and understand Kentucky’s vision for young children and resources for supporting children and families. Candidates reflect on developmentally appropriate practice, cultural and linguistic diversity and appropriate curriculum for young children. ECE 216 Introduction to Special Education field experiences require candidates to observe a variety of meetings including Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Admissions Review Committee (ARC). Candidates observe and interview a special education resource teacher for kindergarten/primary, an IECE preschool teacher, and a Developmental Interventionist. After observing in an inclusive preschool program, candidates prepare a report describing the learning environment including centers with an explanation of how the environment does or does not accommodate children with exceptionalities. Lastly, candidates develop a case study of a child between the ages of one and six that includes biological/environmental/cultural/medical factors affecting development. This project includes a family partnership to create and assess outcomes from a home-based intervention activity plan.
Initial Undergraduate P-12 Programs
Field experiences in the P-12 programs are designed developmentally beginning with foundation courses that allow candidates to build upon their knowledge, skills, and dispositions relating to pedagogy, learning theory, assessment, and technology. The empowerment process begins at this point as students are introduced to the conceptual framework. Field experiences are an important part of the empowerment process. For example, the ED 102 Introduction to Education course requires P-5, 5-9, 8-12 and P-12 candidates to complete a total of 15 field hours in a variety of settings including P-12 classrooms, after school programs, and on campus with ESL Partners. Students from the English as a Second Language Institute (CU ESLI) join ED 102 classes for one week where candidates are assigned an ESL partner for field experience. This ESL case study allows candidates time to discuss cultural details, to focus on effective communication skills, and to reflect on what they have learned. ED 210 Basic Concepts and Philosophy field experiences include school board meetings and candidates implementing a collaboration plan (KTIP Task D). This allows candidates to collaborate with one or more professionals to design and implement a lesson plan for students whose learning could be enhanced by collaboration. This is the first lesson candidates teach. Evaluation of this project is based on dispositions, materials used, teaching, and planning.
ED 300 Human Growth and Development field experiences build upon prior learning experiences and focus on the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of students. Candidates are empowered with knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they learn more about informed planning and differentiation for all students. Candidates experience a field trip to a diverse school and shadow a teacher for the day (sample candidate reflection), conduct research by completing running records during observations, and reflect on developmental concepts associated with students at different levels. ED 310 Instructional Technology allows candidates to use computers and other technologies such as interactive instruction, audio/video conferencing, and other distance learning applications to support instruction. Candidates design lessons that use technology to address diverse student needs and learning styles through appropriate assistive and adaptive devices for students with special needs. Candidates complete six hours of field experience in the public school and teach a lesson using the Task A-1 and A-2 forms as part of the TPA Implementation Plan. In ED 325 Teaching Diverse Learners, candidates complete 12 hours of field experience to observe/tutor exceptional students. The classroom setting for students with disabilities may include the following: a resource classroom, a self-contained classroom or a collaborative setting. Candidates work with exceptional students at their teaching certification level and interview a special education teacher. Field reflections include demographic data relating to student diversity, including categories of exceptionality (IEP, G/T, and ELL/ESL). In ED 390 Assessment and Instructional Strategies, 8-12 and P-12 candidates are responsible for 20 field hours and five pre-professional development (PPD) seminars. Candidates keep a journal describing activities and reflections of a 10-hour placement in the local school system, four hours observing and working in the placement classroom, one hour administering a pre-test and preparing students for a unit of study, three hours teaching lessons in the unit of study, one hour reviewing and administering a post-test, and one hour communicating results to students and providing effective feedback.
Field Experience Procedures
Candidates reflect on all field experiences. They reflect on what they learn from experiences with students and P-12 faculty as well as others and are tracked through the unit’s database per course, on the Field Experience Summary Form. In addition, candidates write reflections for each PPD seminar to capture knowledge and personal understanding of these presentations which are also tracked on the PPD Summary Form. These records are maintained in each candidate’s advising binder. In addition to field experience requirements, candidates must complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-professional development (PPD). Every semester, the unit provides a variety of PPD seminars conducted by unit and university faculty as well as guest speakers. The overview of field experiences and PPD requirements clearly specifies the number of hours and PPD hours required by each professional education course. The field experiences in all undergraduate programs provide candidates with a variety of empowering experiences in multiple settings leading up to a 16-week student teaching clinical experience.
The clinical experience is the final requirement of the program designed to optimize the transition from teacher candidate to professional teacher (student teacher handbook). The clinical practice experience provides candidates the opportunity to participate in the teaching and learning process in an accredited school system, on a day-to-day basis where the candidate develops and refines knowledge, skills and dispositions. It is an opportunity to impact student learning and have time for reflection to improve delivery of instruction and assessment. During clinical practice, the student teacher coordinator works directly with school partners to design, deliver, and evaluate the unit’s clinical experiences. The two eligibility requirements for student teaching are 1) CAP 3 approval, and 2) submission of a Student Teaching Application form distributed by professors in ED 411, ED 416, IEC 480 and SED 607. These forms are then submitted to the Student Teaching Coordinator for placements. The candidate schedules an introductory meeting with the cooperating teacher(s) to discuss field experience hours required for the capstone course. Each candidate is required to complete a minimum of 20 hours with the cooperating teacher(s). If a student has two placements then he/she must spend a minimum of 10 hours with each cooperating teacher.
The placement process includes working with school partners and several factors are taken into consideration, such as the availability of the content area and qualified cooperating teachers, school location requests within a 60 mile radius, and Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board policy. The cooperating teacher eligibility requirements (16 KAR 5:040, Section 2) stipulate that the cooperating teacher shall have a valid Kentucky teaching certificate for each grade and subject taught, attained a Rank II certification, at least three years of teaching experience, and must have taught in the present school system at least one year immediately prior to being assigned a student teacher. Additionally, CU requires KTIP-TPA training. As defined in the Student Teacher Agreement, the University and the Board of Education accept joint responsibility to educate qualified teachers.
Seminars for cooperating teachers , university supervisors are conducted every semester to discuss policies and procedures for clinical practice. During clinical faculty orientation, faculty are trained using KTIP forms addressing Tasks A-C, D, E, F, and G-J2 which provide continuous assessment of the candidates’ knowledge and implementation of the KTS. Student teachers are required to attend seminars twice per month.
Evaluation of student teaching performance takes many forms. First, the student teacher is required to develop a CAP 4 portfolio (Exit Portfolio Guidelines) based on the varied experiences within the capstone experience. The portfolios display the candidates’ growth through clinical practice which serves as a strong assessment tool for the KTS and IECE standards for early childhood candidates. Secondly, a videotaped lesson with a formal lesson plan (Task A-2) and Task C as self-reflection is submitted via LiveText. As candidates progress through the 16-week clinical practice, college faculty (or university supervisors) and cooperating teachers use the Classroom Observation Instrument, Form A. Evaluations range from a score of 1 (unsatisfactory) to 3 (satisfactory) and are based on the KTS. Student teachers are observed formally four times by the university supervisor and arrangements are made for a post conference to provide feedback to candidates (Form B). Classroom observation data show that student teachers perform at high levels in the classroom and while working with other partners (Student Teacher Classroom Observation Data). The CAP 4 exit interviews (Interview Guidelines) include a final evaluation of CAP 4 portfolios with interviews by school partners, including nationally board certified teachers and administrators.
Master's degree programs include Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Education (TL/M.A.E.) and Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Special Education (TL/MASE). TL/MASE also offers initial certification to those with a bachelor's degree in a non-education field. The Rank I Program and TL/M.A.E. offers various endorsements including Gifted, ESL, DOSE, or other specialty. The endorsements may all be taken independently of the Rank I program or in conjunction with a specified program.
Field requirements are designed to meet the standards of the course/program and candidates are exposed to appropriate diverse groups (see 3.3.b for field experience matrices). For example, in ED 701 Planning and Leading School Improvement, field experiences require candidates to meet with the principal to determine school improvement needs such as the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan or the School Report Card. Candidates work with the District Assessment Coordinator to evaluate disaggregated data including all sub-populations to determine school needs. In ED 703 Ethics & School Governance, candidates meet with the principal/superintendent to discuss any policy/procedure that deals specifically with diverse sub-populations. Another example of field experiences at the graduate level focus on professional development for teachers. ED 705 Effective Professional Development requires candidates to meet with their district/school professional development person and/or committee to assess the PD plan and process for their school. As candidates reflect, they compile a list of professional development opportunities that pertain to their school improvement plan including diversity and differentiated instruction. Field requirements in the Gifted and Talented Endorsement include teaching a unit with gifted accommodations to a regular classroom with Gifted Student Services Plan (GSSP) students (GTE 525 Curriculum and Instruction for the Gifted and Talented) and shadowing a district GT coordinator and creating a GSSP for a specific student (GTE 520 Introduction to the Gifted and Talented).
Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Education/Master of Arts in Special Education
The Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Education (TL/M.A.E.) program allows candidates to apply theory in real life settings. For example, ED 655 Empowering Teacher Leaders requires candidates to present their Action Research Project (based on research conducted with P-12 students) to professional learning communities in their schools, Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council and/or school boards, peers and university faculty. In ED 660 Formative Assessment and Intervention for All Students, candidates explore and utilize practical skills by creating formative assessments and implementing them in the classroom. ED 658 Transforming Schools requires a field based School Transformation Project where candidates interview two district assessment coordinators and create an accountability plan to achieve school transformation.
The Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Special Education (initial certification) is offered as an alternative route to certification in the field of special education. In addition to coursework, candidates reflect on a variety of issues as they work in schools and other settings. Sample course field experiences include the following:
• SED 503 Introduction to Special Education—Candidates participate in field experiences with a wide variety of special needs students (e.g., learning disabled, functionally mentally disabled, etc.) in three settings: a resource room, self-contained classroom, and collaborative settings. In addition, candidates interview a director of special education and the ARC chairperson.
• ED 504 Emotional Disturbance and Behavioral Disorders--Candidates observe an EBD classroom and begin developing a case study on one EBD student. The reflections for these field activities focus on the case study and the 18 hours spent in a public school.
• SED 601 Prescriptive and Instructional Methods—Candidates complete 15 field hours that reflect their understanding of instructional planning in a collaborative context including individuals with exceptionalities, professional colleagues, and personnel from other agencies.