The School of Education
Teaching for the Next Generation
NCATE Standard 3 | Field & Clinical Practice
3a. 1. Who are the unit's partners in the design, delivery, and evaluation of the unit's field and clinical experiences?
Three years ago field experiences were primarily designed by faculty within programs with input and support from the coordinator of field placement to ensure that GAPSC regulations were addressed with regard to the level and type of placements required for certification. Today that model is still utilized primarily in the placement of P-12/6-12 candidates, but ECE/SPED candidates and many Middle Grades candidates who will work in Professional Development Communities (PDC) are placed by principals and faculty and teachers working on site to determine type and length of placement, professional development and curricular planning schedules. In some cases principals interview prospective teacher candidates. The field placement coordinator works with principals to determine the capacity of each school for teacher candidate cohorts. Two of the three ECE/SPED PDC sites also have benefit of shared faculty who are invaluable as liaisons. The cluster of schools involved in each PDC site also have meetings to determine candidate schedules for professional development, access to rotations through unique experiences at each school and provision of classrooms for content and pedagogy instruction for candidates.
In fall 2011 there were three counties with PDC clusters serving the ECE/SPED (P-5) program (Dawson, Hall and Forsyth) with a fourth in the planning stages with initial startup scheduled for fall 2012. The Middle Grades program was piloting sites at two schools in one county (Forsyth) and in negotiation for a third site for fall 2012. Lumpkin and Dawson counties are currently working with pre-education candidates in structured tutoring sessions in their middle and high schools and both are working to expand the number and intensity of clinical experiences and internships offered middle grades and p-12/6-12 candidates next year. Most supervision of candidates in ECE/SPED is conducted by full time faculty at a PDC site. In Middle and P-12/6-12 programs content area qualified adjunct field supervisors are also important contributors to the program.
The coordinators and faculty working pre-education Area F are involved in identification of preschool placements for potential ECE/SPED candidates and assignment of middle and secondary folks to the content area tutoring placements in Dawson and Lumpkin counties.
The SOE Admissions office ensures that initial and periodic background check screening occurs and is monitored. On average a candidate receives three background checks before graduation.The Field Placement coordinator monitors appropriate placements of students, communicates with principals and supervisors, obtains memoranda of understanding and structures interventions with faculty and program coordinators if there are problems with candidates. The Field Placement coordinator ensures that every candidate spends at least one term of clinical practice in a school placement where more than 20% of the student population is identified as diverse.
The dean of the SOE, associate deans and coordinator of assessment participate in curricular planning, faculty assignments, structure assessment processes and disseminate assessment information as well as participate in the evaluation of coordinators and faculty. The Office of Assessment structures the annual retreat in which program and unit data is analyzed for program improvement.
Arts and sciences faculty partners have been invaluable members of planning teams. Art education, music education, physical education, English and math education deliver content specific curriculum and assessment courses and full time faculty participate directly in supervision and/or selection of adjunct field supervisors for their programs.
The NGCSU works in collaboration with faculty of the University of Virginia in training and support of candidate effectiveness utilizing the Teacher Performance Record (TPR).
3a. 2. In what ways have the unit's partners contributed to the design, delivery, and evaluation of the unit's field and clinical experiences?
In programs where clinical experiences are structured as a comprehensive professional development community curricular and administrative meetings are conducted within and across school sites within the PDC. Two of three counties participating in PDC’s have faculty that are shared by the university and school system. Mentor teachers evaluate candidates and teachers and principals provide program evaluation information through electronic surveys or Livetext.
An important feature of PDC sites is identification and delivery of common professional development. These arrangements may include NGCSU faculty and candidates in school development projects or require NGCSU faculty to provide professional development. NGCSU faculty have provided professional development opportunities to schools in literacy coaching, science standards and integration of math and science curriculum. NGCSU faculty and candidates have participated in professional development in Reading Recovery and Readers Workshop.
NGCSU and P-12 partners have collaborated in two STEM initiatives. One provided standards based science training to teachers in Hall County and another is a STEM charter high school initiative that would be collaborative across four counties if funded. The NGCSU SOE has also submitted a state RT3 grant with three partner districts and a regional education support group to help provide instructional and supervisory support to PDC’s. This outcome of this grant request will be known in early 2012.
3a. 3. What are the roles of the unit and its school partners in determining how and where candidates are placed for field experiences, student teaching, and internships?
Please see 3a.1.
The roles of the unit and school partners are collaborative in identifying appropriate field experience placements. Placements are monitored for appropriateness in terms of accreditation by the Coordinator of Field Placement. The Field Placement coordinator also ensures that every candidate spends at least one term of clinical practice in a school placement where more than 20% of the student population is identified as diverse.
3a. 4. How do the unit and its school partners share expertise and resources to support candidates' learning in field experiences and clinical practice
In addition to the information provided above in 3a.1, 3a.2, 3a.3 the NGCSU SOE and partners share expertise and resources in the following ways:
The extensive presence of NGCSU faculty in P-12 partner schools creates environments where faculty both provide support and learn from outstanding P-12 classroom teachers. This also positively affects the authenticity of interaction with candidates in instructional and management problem solving.
Systematic formal and informal feedback systems for evaluation are previously described.
NGCSU faculty are often included in school administrative and faculty meetings. P-12 classroom faculty are included in PDC meetings. NGCSU faculty are also included in or provide professional development in P-12 schools.
Two of three PDC cluster sites share half the cost of a full time faculty person with the university, as liaisons.
NGCSU SOE faculty have participated in writing two STEM and one RT3 grants for the purpose of establishing more common faculty. A third PDC cluster is being established in Lumpkin County schools in fall 2012. One goal of the planning taking place spring 2012 is identification of at least one shared position. In 2010 and 2011, the SOE funded a large group of faculty and P-12 partners’ attendance and presentations at the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) conferences. A trip is also planned for 2012.
Hall, Dawson, Lumpkin Counties and Pioneer RESA have partnered with NGCSU School of Education and prepared a grant proposal for RT3 (see grant) specifically for the purpose of supporting PDC program and assessment system development.
3b. 1. What are the entry and exit requirements of clinical practice?
Candidates for any field experience must have an acceptable documented background check within the past year, proof of professional liability insurance and training in the requirements of the Code of Ethics of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (addressed in all Area F classes). All placements are made through the NGCSU SOE Office of Field Placement. Once candidates have successfully completed the field hours required in pre- education Area F courses they must meet requirements and be admitted to the School of Education (see catalog requirements). Candidates must maintain grades of “C” or better and maintain an overall gpa of 2.75 or better to continue in the program. A student who earns a grade lower than “C” may repeat a pre- internship experience one time conditioned on successful response to a professional development plan. Candidates determined to have exhibited serious violations of professional ethics or legal obligations may be subject to review by the institutional Academic Integrity Committee and experience possible suspension or expulsion.
Candidates are evaluated during internship based on conduct and assumption of the level of responsibility of an employed teacher, and must complete at least 3 weeks of full teaching responsibility out of a 15 week semester (more if possible). During internship candidates also must complete their teacher work sample (unit of instruction) and professional portfolio in order to graduate. Most initial level candidates graduate in spring and are strongly advised to take the appropriate GACE content evaluations the prior fall semester in order to be eligible for certification upon graduation. MAT and Post Baccalaureate candidates must pass GACE content evaluation exams as a condition of admission to establish content preparedness.
3b. 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?
3b. 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?
In addition to relevant SPA standards, all common course and unit assessments are tied to appropriate standards typically organized around the Georgia Framework. The Georgia Framework for Teaching was adopted in 2005 by the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE), the The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) as the state definition of quality teaching. Developed by partners of the Georgia Systemic Teacher Education Program (GSTEP) through extensive focus groups across the state, the Framework identifies knowledge, skills, dispositions, understandings, and other attributes of accomplished teaching. The six domains and associated indicators provide common language and definitions for all stakeholders who are interested in quality teaching. The Georgia Frameworks for Teaching were designed to align with standards and principles developed by the following entities: The Georgia PSC, The Georgia BOR principles, NCATE Standards, the Interstate New Teachers Assessment Consortium (INTASC), Danielson’s Indicators, the Teacher Work Sample process established by the Renaissance Partnership (1996), and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) (graduate levels). See the alignment document. The 2011 release of learner centered standards by INTASC, and the Georgia adoption of Common Core standards by 2012, as well as adoption of NCATE Professional Development School standards will cause redesign and alignment of course content and assessments to begin spring 2012.
In initial programs, most assessments of significance are standards based performance requirements linked to clinical work that term. Additionally, the teacher work sample, dispositions assessments, clinical field based assessments, and the professional portfolios are all linked to state and national standards. Advanced level candidates at the masters level complete action research projects aligned with SPA standards and the Accomplished level of the Georgia Framework which is drawn from NBPTS standards.
MAT candidates complete assessments from initial levels and graduate levels. The Leadership Ed.S. is aligned with the Interstate School Leader Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards and the Educational Leadership Constituencies’ Consortium (ELCC) standards. All NGCSU teacher education program assessments are aligned with the Metacognitive Model conceptual framework.
3b. 4. How does the unit systematically ensure that candidates use technology as an instructional tool during field experiences and clinical practice?
3b. 5. What criteria are used in the selection of school-based clinical faculty? How are the criteria implemented? What evidence suggests that school-based clinical faculty members are accomplished school professionals?
In the ECE/SPED undergraduate program full time faculty are the primary supervisors of candidates in schools and field experience outcomes are specifically tied to content in classes the faculty are teaching as well as clinical performance expectations appropriate for the stage of professional development. Full time faculty (see pwd protected table) have advanced and terminal degrees in the appropriate fields correlating with their program placements as well as significant public school experience. In Middle Grades and P-12-6-12 programs, when full time faculty are unable to adequately address supervisory need, school based supervisors hold advanced degrees and are highly qualified in their field as identified by the Coordinator of Field Placement. Arts and Sciences faculty in music, English, art, chemistry and physical education often act as supervisors of candidates in those areas when teaching load permits and/or assist the coordinator of field placement in identification of qualified individuals. NGCSU is also fortunate to have access to a pool of outstanding and qualified retired principals and assistant principals who have extensive experience in teacher evaluation. All faculty who supervise regardless of status, receive periodic training in use of the TPR, supporting development of the teacher work samples and professional portfolios. The Coordinator of Field Placement conducts training orientation sessions each term to review the responsibilities of supervision for particular programs with any new part time faculty.
3b. 6. What preparation do school-based faculty members receive for their roles as clinical supervisors?
Please see 3b.5 above.
3b. 7. What evidence demonstrates that clinical faculty members provide regular and continuous support for student teachers, licensed teachers completing graduate programs, and other school professionals?
Training for clinical supervisors includes a requirement of 6 formal observations per term and a minimum of one of those observations must include assessment using the Teacher Performance Record (TPR). All clinical faculty have Livetext accounts so evidence of lesson/unit planning and feedback are evident as are faculty submissions of TPR, mid-term and final summative teaching evaluations and dispositions evaluations. (See data tables) Candidates have opportunities to evaluate supervisory faculty each term through both the institutional course/instructor evaluation system and a form provided through the office of field placement. The coordinator of field placement may share concerns with faculty or simply choose not to employ them in the future when there is a pattern of negative feedback.
As candidates exit initial and advanced programs they have opportunities to speak to the quality of field experiences and faculty in the EBI or open ended survey. EBI data aggregated across initial and advanced programs indicated that candidate responses to the quality of university supervision during student teaching experiences was rated as a 6.14 (7=excellent), and in multiple regression this indicator was identified as the third strongest predictor of overall program effectiveness.
Candidates for advanced degrees in the School of Education are virtually all employed teachers (those who are not must have access to a public school placement). Clinical experiences are designed around reflection on their own practice and professional development as they conduct action research on instructor approved topics related to authentic instructional or management or social issues in their classrooms and schools. These experiences are monitored by faculty instructors and often shared and discussed among colleagues in classes.
MAT candidate receive practicum and internship supervision in the same manner as undergraduates year one of their program (see above). In year two their clinical requirements are modeled after the structured experiences of the graduate programs.
Eduventures conducted surveys followed by in depth phone interviews with administrators (superintendants and principals, N=13) and mentor teachers (N=15) randomly selected from the NGCSU service area. On a scale of 1-5 where five is “excellent” administrators rated NGCSU teacher candidates between 4.0 and 4.5. Mentor teachers rated the strength of the field experience with NGCSU candidates as 4.27 and overall preparedness of the teach candidates as 4.40 on the same scale.
3b. 8. What structured activities involving the analysis of data and current research are required in programs for other school professionals?
The Leadership EDS program is reviewed by GAPSC. The program report is available online.
3c. Candidates' Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, Professional Dispositions to Help All Students Learn
3c. 1. On average, how many candidates are eligible for clinical practice each semester or year? What percent, on average, complete clinical practice successfully?
The number of candidates placed in final internships for traditional initial licensure programs is approximately 180-200 per year. The number placed for internship in Post Baccalaureate an MAT programs is diminishing but expected to be approximately 50 this year.
Of the total number of candidates, more than 95% successfully complete internship. It should be noted that in some cases Post Baccalaureate or MAT candidates who are eligible to enter internships sometimes delay or fail to do internships as a result of financial inability to leave their current jobs.
3c. 2. What are the roles of candidates, university supervisors, and school-based faculty in assessing candidate performance and reviewing the results during clinical practice?
Reflective analysis is built in as a prompt in every lesson and unit plan in initial programs so conversations requiring self evaluation are on-going between faculty supervisors and candidates. Candidates receive immediate feedback after a formal observation of teaching, including narrative. Candidates also receive feedback regarding lesson and unit planning in the Livetext system (see www.livetext with visitor pass by program). In the PDC sites the faculty teaching the courses are also supervising candidates so there may be group discussions of candidate’s clinical development. Candidates are observed formally at least six times per semester (often much more) and receive formal midpoint and final evaluation feedback. Dispositions are formally assessed each term with a clinical experience. Feedback occurs in an on-going manner. (See data tables) Candidates across all programs consistently identify the length and depth of clinical experiences and feedback from faculty supervisors as the factor that contributes the most to their professional development (see EBI and open-ended survey results).
3c. 3. How is time for reflection and feedback from peers and clinical faculty incorporated into field experiences and clinical practice?
Verbal feedback is expected to be given immediately after a formal observation unless the responsibilities of the teacher candidate in the classroom prevent this from occurring. In these cases supervisors are expected to arrange for feedback as soon as possible. In PDC sites candidates and faculty work together daily in content classes and P-12 classrooms as well as in formal observational situations so processes are on- going. All formal observations are followed by written feedback as well, including TPR evaluations. Summative mid and final point and dispositional evaluations occur each term. NGCSU faculty demonstrate high commitment to the value of clinical teaching. During budget cut discussions faculty spoke strongly about the need to keep full time faculty involved in the schools.
Clinical practice in masters level advanced programs occurs individually through guidance in classroom research guided by faculty. Typically, these projects are instructor approved and require on- going submissions in Livetext (see www.livetext with visitor pass by program) so that faculty can monitor the development and implementation of projects.
The EDS in School Leadership is a four semester program that requires a 12-month internship. Each semester (4) candidates meets with both university and site-base supervisors to plan, monitor, and make program adjustments as needed to the year-long internship. A minimum of four conferences are outlined on the Internship Supervisor Acceptance Form. A complete description of the clinical requirements and roles of university and site-based supervisors for feedback can be found in the Leadership program report.
3c. 4. What data from multiple assessments provide evidence that candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions for helping all students learn in field experiences and clinical practices?
3c. 5. What process is used to ensure that candidates collect and analyze data on student learning, reflect on those data, and improve student learning during clinical practice?
In initial programs including alternative route programs the high stakes evaluation of these skills occurs during internship in evaluation of the teacher work sample.
In masters level advanced programs this occurs during a project in EDUC 6101: Advanced Educational Assessment that requires analysis of their school’s assessment system including utilization of data, as well as action research projects throughout the program requiring collection and analysis of data to solve instructional problems within their own classrooms.
In the Leadership Ed.S. candidates are asked to report the impact of their work in both courses and the internship on the school as it relates to student learning in their professional growth plan. As cited on their growth plans, many of the projects they have completed were evaluated highly by their supervisors as having a very beneficial impact on the school staff and students. All of this data is collected and archived in the Livetext database by standard. See Appendix 13 - Sample Growth Plan from the EDS Program Report.
3c. 6. How does the unit ensure that all candidates have field experiences or clinical practice that includes students with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, linguistic, gender and socioeconomic groups?
In all initial programs, the Coordinator of Field Placement tracks candidates to ensure that at least one experience occurs in a school identified as culturally diverse (non-white student population exceeds 20%). In masters level advanced programs candidates are employed, so the diversity levels of the schools cannot be stipulated, but assignments within classes such as EDUC 6101: Advanced Assessment and EDUC 6103: Diversity and Differentiation structure engagement of the candidates with issues of diversity affecting their classrooms and schools.
In the Leadership Ed.S. program evidence is available under response to GAPSC/ELCC standard 4.2 Response to community diversity and needs and in the Leadership dispositions index.
Placement of candidates in ethnically, racially, and socioeconomically diverse situations is not difficult in the north Georgia region. There is a large, relatively recent, and rapidly increasing Hispanic population in the region. Georgia’s population has significant levels of poverty. The free and reduced lunch rate for the state is approximately 50% and exceeds 90% in many schools in the NGCSU service area.
The unit commitment to continued development of clinical models as the foundation of program effectiveness is exhibited in the following ways:
o Recruiting faculty with exceptional public school experience, passion for teaching and commitment to working with public schools
o Early placement in clinical experiences that permits early intervention for candidates with problems and development of outstanding teachers
o Faculty commitment to continuing review of scheduling and advisement issues that will permit increasing amounts of time for candidates in the field
o In response to rapid growth of candidate populations – ability to create smaller PDC communities that preserve relationships between faculty and candidates that promote on-going feedback and professional development
o Form productive and valuable relationships with schools. NGCSU’s first comprehensive PDS sites were developed at the request of schools
o Systematic assessment of clinical performance
2. What research related to Standard 3 is being conducted by the unit or its faculty?
The unit is working with colleagues at the University of Virginia to participate in revisions of the Teacher Performance Record that are expected to enhance “user friendliness’ and more importantly provide data regarding individual candidate and program clinical growth needs in an on-demand manner to enhance feedback and program effectiveness capabilities.
As Georgia’s RT3 accountability systems continue to be developed employment and retention in the field of candidates prepared in professional development schools compared to those in more traditional settings, and program and unit retention data will be explored.