NCATE Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
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.
Evidence for the Onsite BOE Team to validate during the onsite visit
1) Supervision and support of candidates enrolled in student teaching abroad. How many candidates are involved in student teaching abroad? How does the unit assess supervision and faculty support for candidates enrolled in student teaching abroad?
Approximately two candidates student teach abroad each semester. Candidates meet with the STE Director and Student Teaching Placement Officer to explain the process and to determine a possible location of placement. The process is outlined within
http://www.unco.edu/teach/st_abroad.html.The STE Placement Officer uses the same criteria for finding a school, cooperating teacher, and field supervisor for the candidate as criteria used for on-campus placements. A Memo of Understanding is signed by authorities in the international school and by the Director of STE. The international site agrees to use the same evaluation forms and policies as used on-campus. The same evaluation forms and policies are used abroad as on-campus. Candidates are carefully monitored on a continuous basis and cooperating teachers and supervisors contact STE with any questions and/or concerns. The Final Student Teaching Form also allows candidates, cooperating teachers, and field supervisors to provide 360-feedback that is used to determine the over-all quality of the student teacher abroad experience.
2) Screening, training, and evaluation of university supervisors of clinical practice? How are criteria tracked? How does the unit match university supervisors with cooperating teachers, and student teachers?
The Secondary and K-12 initial program candidates are supervised almost exclusively by UNC full-time faculty for both intermediate and final student teaching placements. This is possible because of the extraordinary level of commitment to the program by all departments. The same is true for most advanced programs. Elementary and early childhood programs rely heavily on part-time faculty, mainly for economic reasons. To monitor quality of adjunct clinical faculty, the Unit uses a rigorous screening procedure, constant evaluation of clinical faculty performance, training and resource availability, and encourages close contact with program coordinators.
The University Supervisor Qualifications Summary documents the high qualifications of our university supervisors. Highlights from the report document that of the 66 supervisors 20% are professors, 8% associate professors, 11 % assistant professors, 15% adjunct, 36% are part-time supervisors, and 1% is a graduate-level teaching assistant. Overall, 39% of the supervisors have earned doctorates and 55% have earned an MA. A resounding 81% of the supervisors have had professional experiences in the P-12 setting; 26% have had 1-3 years experience in higher education, 23% have had 4-6 years, and 24% have had 16+ years in higher education.
All assigned supervisors are licensed in the area and level in which they are supervising; secondary and K-12 content areas are supervised only by university content specialists. Because supervisor mileage is reimbursed, geographical matches are also monitored to reduce travel expenses.
The new Final Student Teaching Survey and Candidate Exit Survey allows for 360-evaluation of student teachers, cooperating teachers and supervisors. The Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor Evaluation Reportdocuments that the overall ratings are above 4 on a 5-point scale. Analysis revealed supervisors’ evaluations (by candidates and cooperating teachers) are somewhat lower than cooperating teachers’ evaluations (by candidates and supervisors). Although the overall means were above 4 on a 5-point scale, all supervisors who supervised three or more candidates were given individual feedback reports in fall 2010 to review for their own self-analysis and goal setting. Leaders of the Fall 2010 Supervisors Orientation addressed two identified areas for improvement (“desire for more effective coaching” and “better communication with the cooperating teacher”) and supervisors developed strategies for addressing the areas for improvement. Supervisors were also directed to the STE webpage link http://www.unco.edu/teach/ct.html that provides extensive resources for mentoring beginning teachers.
3) Cooperating Teacher data base. What data has been collected to assess the impact of the Cooperating Teacher data base? What are the plans to expand the information provided in the Cooperating Teacher database (e.g. results of student teacher exit surveys).
The new Final Student Teaching Survey and Candidate Exit Survey, fully implemented spring 2010, allows for a 360-evaluation of student teachers, cooperating teachers and supervisors. The overall ratings are above 4 on a 5-point scale and a complete report is included in the Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor Evaluation Report
4) Challenges facing candidates identified by the Partner District Task Force. What responses have been developed or are being developed to address these challenges? What is being done to meet the need to improve communication with parents, classroom management, and differentiated instruction and intervention strategies?
The Response to Focus Group Analysis Reportdocuments that the elementary and secondary PTEP coordinators and faculty developed a matrix showing plans for responding to the Focus Groups Analysis, and the matrix was provided to the Regional District Task Force meeting when the partnership group met on November 13, 2009. The issues addressing communication with parents, classroom management, and differentiated instruction and intervention strategies were all addressed in newly implemented Literacy Practicum Seminars that are required of all elementary teacher candidates as a part of EDEL 445 beginning spring 2010 and fall 2010. In addition, STE developed a partnership with the local CEA Council and two teachers are currently teaching the “I Can Do It” Classroom Management workshops on Saturdays at a local middle school in spring and fall 2010. Finally, a series of 1-credit EDF 408 Workshops are being offered during the 2010 Interim Session to address areas identified in the focus groups. The workshops include instruction in the following areas: How to Communicate with Parents as a Beginning Teacher, How Do I Use Student Assessment to Plan for Instruction, Meeting All Learners Needs, Classroom Management, Getting Students to Think and Discuss, Boys and Reading, Motivating Intermediate Readers, Visual Literacy K-8, Instruction in Critical Thinking, Getting Hired for Your First Job as a Professional Teacher.
5) Procedure for identifying and assisting student teachers who are struggling during their clinical practice. What is the procedure? What happens to candidates who are not meeting the expected proficiencies?
The procedure outlined below is followed when there is a concern about problematic professional and/or academic Teacher Candidate behavior in the PTEP. Written documentation by UNC University Supervisor, Partner School principal, site coordinator, and/or Cooperating Teacher is critical from the initial verbal concern through subsequent conflict resolution action. Written documentation is be maintained in personal professional logs and on the UNC Disciplinary Procedure Forms described below. The Teacher Candidate is also encouraged to keep a written journal of the events.
If UNC University Supervisor and/or Partner School Personnel have a concern about the professional and/or academic behavior(s) of a Teacher Candidate, the UNC Partner Faculty member who is the instructor of record or the University Supervisor for the Teacher Candidate is informed immediately. The UNC Faculty member will determine whether the nature of the concern(s) warrants immediate UNC College of Education and Behavioral Sciences disciplinary action or whether PTEP disciplinary procedures should be followed. If the PTEP disciplinary procedures are followed, the UNC Faculty member or University Supervisor records the concern on the “Concern Form” and verbally informs the Teacher Candidate of the initial concern(s). The Partner School Personnel may be involved in informing the Teacher Candidate at the discretion of the personnel and UNC Faculty. Partner School Personnel and UNC Partner Faculty/University Supervisor record the concern(s) and actions taken in personal logs. The original copy of the “Concern Form” is kept by the UNC Faculty member. If the concern/problem(s) does not occur more than once, the “Concern Form” is destroyed by the UNC Faculty member at the end of the current semester.
If the concern/problem(s) occurs more than once, the Teacher Candidate is engaged in a conference with the UNC Partner Faculty/ University Supervisor (may include Partner School principal, site coordinator, and/or Cooperating Teacher) for the purpose of developing a plan of action to correct the existing concern(s). The Teacher Candidate is involved in a conflict resolution model of problem solving using the “Problem Resolution Action Plan” form. The problem is clearly named, possible solutions are discussed, a mutually accepted plan of action is developed for resolving the concern(s) with a timeline for checking progress towards the final goal(s). The original form is kept by the UNC Partner Faculty/Supervisor, a copy is given to the teacher candidate, and one copy is put in the Teacher Candidate’s academic file in the STE office.
If there is no significant evidence of progress by a mutually established date(s) for subsequent performance reviews, discontinuance in the program may be recommended in a written document. The Teacher Candidate is informed in writing of the basis of the recommendation for discontinuance. Copies of this written document are sent to the Elementary PTEP Coordinators and the Director of STE. Discontinuance is subject to due process and all university policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Referral Guide available in the Dean of Students Office (351-2796).
6) Self-placement for student teaching. How many candidates use the self-placement option? How does the unit assess the strengths and weaknesses of self-placement? What restrictions are there on self-placement?
Prior to spring 2010 candidates were not allowed to arrange their own student teaching placements. Candidates were allowed to use a “self-placement” process for student teaching for the spring 2010 due to a unilateral decision by the director who is no longer at the university. Beginning fall 2010, this decision was reversed; candidates are no longer allowed to arrange their own placements. Approximately ten candidates chose to find their own placements for spring 2010. Candidates are not allowed to student teach in a building where their family members are in a position of authority or influence (administrator or teacher in the same or another classroom), where their own children are students, or in a school they previously attended as a student.
7) Inservice and training for university supervisors and cooperating teachers. How often does the unit receive requests and what are the most requested topics? How does the unit determine the content of inservice and professional development training? How do data from the candidate exit surveys determine the content of cooperating teacher training?
The 360-evaluation of cooperating teachers and supervisors on the spring 2010 Candidate Exit Survey revealed two areas for improvement for university supervisors. Supervisors’ evaluations were slightly lower than Cooperating Teacher evaluations. Although, all means were above 4 on a 5-point scale, all supervisors were given individual feedback reports and the fall 2010 Supervisors Orientation addressed two identified areas for improvement (desire for more effective coaching and better communication with the cooperating teacher). Supervisors developed strategies for addressing the areas for improvement and feedback will be analyzed at the end of fall semester to determine if ratings improved.
Requests for training or more information were determined in spring 2009 focus group analysis and cooperating teacher surveys. Analyzed responses to 2009 focus groups indicated cooperating teachers asked for a chart that showed exactly what forms were due and on what date the forms were due and to whom. The STE office responded to this request by including the required chart on page 6 of the Literacy Practicum Handbook http://www.unco.edu/teach/Handbook/LiteracyPracticumHB.pdf and page 8 of the Student Teaching Handbooks in fall 2010 at
The STE Webpage also contains extensive resources for cooperating teachers and university supervisors at http://www.unco.edu/cebs/teachered/ct.html.
8) Use of information technology during clinical practice. What do data on student teachers' use of information technology during their clinical experience tell the unit?
Data from Student Teaching Evaluations aggregated over the last five years indicate candidates have a strong understanding in the use of information technology. Candidates are required to integrate the use of technology in their lessons in the teacher work sample lessons that are taught during their student teaching experience. Cooperating teachers’ ratings of candidates’ use of technology across the programs for 2009-2010 on a 3-point scale are: Early Childhood, 2.36; Elementary, 2.59; Elementary Post Bac, 2.48; Secondary, 2.62; and K-12, 2.41. In addition, candidates are asked to rate themselves on their use of information technology following their student teaching experience. Self- ratings of candidates’ use of technology across the programs for 2009-2010 are: Early Childhood, 2.25; Elementary, 2.51; Elementary Post Bac, 2.53; Secondary, 2.51; and K-12, 2.49. These data confirm that candidates are proficient in their use of technology.
9) Field experiences for advanced programs. What are the requirements at the advanced level? How are these tracked and monitored?
Criteria of university supervisors are tracked by using the required teacher education faculty application form and the CEBS Hiring Pool Application form. The hiring pool application requires applicants to submit a curriculum vitae; provide information on years and experiences in P-12 education, years and experiences in university teaching/supervision; and two references. The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences hiring pool application is at www.unco.edu/teach/adjunct and requests two references to provide information at http://uncreference.com. The Teacher Education Faculty form and analysis of supervisors’ qualifications are available in the University Supervisor Qualifications Summary.
Similar to initial programs, all assigned supervisors are licensed in area and level of supervision. Advanced placements often occur in a teacher’s or principal’s own classroom or school while advanced internships are developed and monitored by the advanced program coordinators. A report on selection and supervision of practicum and internships details how advanced program coordinators select and monitor placements.
10) Placements for candidates in middle level programs. It appears that candidates are not always placed in two different levels for student teaching as expected by the NMSA.
The Middle School Education program was inadvertently listed in our list of SPA approvals in NCATE AIMS. The State of Colorado discontinued a Middle School License in 2003 and we discontinued our Middle School shortly after that time with all students transitioned out of the program by 2005.
11) Clinical practice at off-campus sites. What are the similarities and differences between requirements?
The requirements for cooperating teachers, university supervisors, and quality of schools are the same for off-campus sites as those used for on-campus placements. In fact, placements for the Denver, Loveland, Colorado Springs Elementary Post Bac Programs off-campus sites are made in the STE on-campus Student Teaching Placement Office. The Center for Urban Education placements are made at the Lowry Site by the director and coordinator of the program. The placements for the Special Education student teaching and internships are completed by the SPED on-campus Placement Officer.