Standard A.2

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A.2.1

The COEPD has sixteen programs at the advanced level that lead to licensure.  Each program has developed partnerships with county offices and individual schools at various levels of involvement and commitment. Signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) agreements between MU COEPD and the individual counties outline the joint professional responsibility of the EPP and cooperating schools (MOU).

A Coordinator of Clinical and Field Based Experiences (CAFBE) for Advanced Programs provides leadership and overall coordination of CAFBE for all advanced programs as well as the MAT/PBC programs.  A POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR ADVANCED PROGRAM CLINICAL FACULTY establishes guidelines for clinical and field-based experiences and specifies college and program level responsibilities.  Each advanced program establishes collaborative relationships with P-12 school and community partners to define the competencies which candidates must demonstrate in order to meet program entry, preparation, and exit requirements as described in the Quality Assurance Document (QAS p. 23).  All programs have clearly defined placement processes, candidate expectations, and supervisory roles. Program specific requirements and expectations for candidates participating in a field or clinical experience are outlined in program-developed clinical handbooks (CISP 665 HANDBOOK) or described in clinical course syllabi (CIME 675 SYLLABUS).

In order to enhance candidates’ understanding of diversity and equity issues and ensure their readiness to use that understanding in teaching situations, programs are intentional about practicum placements, ensuring that there is a documentable process verifying that each candidate is placed with a qualified mentor in the field in diverse settings. Mentor qualifications and site locations are documented on the School Based Professional Data sheet (POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR CLINICAL FACULTY p. 24).  Prior to Fall 2017, this was a paper form submitted to the clinical instructor as part of the clinical course requirements. In the Fall 2017, the form was converted to an electronic form completed online by the School Based Professional.  The electronic process allows the information to be submitted by the school based professional directly into a common database that is managed by the Coordinator for Clinical and Field Based Experiences and provides a mechanism for tracking student placements.  Some programs began implementation of the electronic form during the Fall 2017 semester while others continued to use the paper version of the document.  Full implementation of the electronic form by all programs is expected in Spring 2018.

Procedures are also in place to monitor the effectiveness of the school based mentor and the clinical faculty through an evaluation completed by the candidate (POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR CLINICAL FACULTY p. 25-26).  As with the School Based Professional Data sheet, prior to Fall 2017, this was a paper form submitted to the clinical instructor as part of the clinical course requirements. In the Fall 2017, the form was converted to an electronic form, and students are able to enter their evaluations online directly into a common database that is managed by the Coordinator for Clinical and Field Based Experiences.  Some programs began implementation of the electronic form during the Fall 2017 semester while others continued to use the paper version of the document.  Full implementation of the electronic form by all programs is expected in Spring 2018.

The collaborations and partnerships that are formed during a teacher candidate’s internship and practicum experiences are vital.  With few exceptions, candidates enrolled in advanced programs are fully employed professionals with several years of experience and with previous student teaching/practicum/internship experience.  Each advanced program has defined roles and developed procedures for a collaborative process involving clinical faculty, county or school personnel, and the candidate for placement in clinical and field experiences.  A description of the collaboration and site selection process is described in the POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR CLINICAL FACULTY (p. 19) and program specific handbooks or course syllabi.

In some programs such as autism, principal, school library media, and ESL, candidates, who already hold a teaching certification, may complete the experiences within their own school if the appropriate population of students is available. These placements are made with the approval and assistance of county and school personnel.  In other situations, the program coordinator and/or clinical instructor for the advanced program collaborates with the county personnel to place candidates for internship and practicum experiences within the county with which the EPP has partnered.

Each program has responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the clinical experience.   The university requires that program reviews be completed on an annual basis. Every five years programs are reviewed by the Board of Governors.  During the program review process, assessment data, including clinical assessment data, is analyzed in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the program and determine plans for addressing the weaknesses. (PROGRAM REVIEW).

One area of weakness identified is that a systematic process for the collection and evaluation of partner input for program improvement is not currently in place; however, some programs do solicit input from the school-based professional assigned to supervise the clinical candidate. For example, the Mathematics through Algebra I program, the Elementary Math Specialist program, and the School Library Media program have the school-based professionals who supervise their candidates complete a Practicum Partner Assessment at the end of each field/clinical semester where they are asked to provide comments and suggestions on how the practicum program can be improved (PRACTICUM PARTNER ASSESSMENT SUMMARIES). Comments and suggestions from this survey are reviewed by the program coordinator and changes implemented when necessary; however, specific changes made as a result of this feedback have not been documented.  In order to put a mechanism in place to provide partner in put for all programs, an electronic survey similar to the Practicum Partner Assessment has been developed. The Coordinator of Clinical and Field Based Experiences for Advanced Programs will assist with the collection and analysis of this data each year at the conclusion of the spring semester.

Some programs have incorporated more in-depth collaboration and made significant changes to their programs based on stakeholder input.  Most recently in August 2017, the School Psychology program held two stakeholder meetings in conjunction with participating Marshall University field supervisors to revise the Practicum and Internship Performance Assessments to ensure sufficient depth and breadth in the key skills.  Stakeholder input was obtained from faculty, field supervisors, and a current candidate.  Every NASP competency domain was reviewed/revised for both instruments, with the most significant revisions in the areas of 1) Data Based Decision Making and Accountability; 2) Interventions and Mental health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills; 3) Consultation and Collaboration; and 4) Preventive and Responsive Services wherein several discrete candidate skills were added.  The revised assessment was then applied to SPSY 740 (Practicum III completers) in August 2017.  Field supervisor input was additionally obtained from faculty, field supervisors, and a current candidate 2017 workgroup to revise the key dispositions/professional work habits.  Field supervisors and other stakeholders suggested revisions to expected levels of performance for both dispositions at all practica levels and the culminating internship.    These suggestions were further reviewed at the Marshall University October 2017 faculty data retreat.  A November 2017 Field Supervisors meeting was held with all field supervisors to communicate revisions to the Practicum and Internship Performance Assessment, particularly those unable to participate in the August 2017 stakeholder workgroups.  At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 school year, MU will obtain field supervisor feedback on the successes and limitations of the revised assessments, as well as obtain reliability measures for interns with more than one supervisor for inter-rater agreement.

Other programs have partnered with stakeholders at various levels to evaluate not only the clinical experience, but the program as a whole which in turn contributes to the effectiveness of the clinical experience.  The coordinator for the School Library Media program recently collaborated with a school media specialist who is a National Board Certified teacher to review and revise the coursework required in the program in order provide a better learning experience for library media candidates.  The COEPD worked in conjunction with the WVDE to establish the curriculum and requirements of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program.  The Literacy program faculty recently participated in two LEP Partnership meetings with literacy personnel from two local counties in order to evaluate the instructional needs of the counties and ways in which LEP program courses can meet these experiences.

The partnerships formed to facilitate clinical experiences are also beneficial to the counties involved.  The summer clinical in the Literacy program is completed at a local community center in partnership with an afterschool program that serves the needs of PK-12 students. In the fall version of the course, candidates conduct tutoring after school hours. The candidate, Title I teachers, and school administrators work together to identify students to participate in tutoring.   The second practicum is completed as a semester long course where candidates complete coaching and leadership experiences in local schools in collaboration with a cooperating literacy leaders who typically are Title I supervisors with extensive training in literacy or school administrators.  During this experience, candidates coach a teacher to develop coaching expertise, develop school-wide literacy plans, and develop and deliver professional development sessions and build learning communities providing not only the experience opportunity for the candidate, but also a service to the local school.

During the internship for the Principal program, the candidate works with a mentor who is a professionally licensed, practicing administrator.  Opportunities to engage in meaningful and sustained work in school settings are developed cooperatively by the mentor and the candidate to accommodate the candidate’s individual needs and the needs of the school. Examples include working with community organizations, local businesses and social service agencies, or involving direct interactions with school staff, students, and parents. The mentor-candidate relationship is a critical component of the program that enables the candidate to relate academic preparation to the world of administrative practice.

Candidates in the ESL program gain formal clinical experiences at two key points in the program and are also encouraged to gather additional, informal clinical experiences wherever possible, especially in school or after school settings and/or community-based tutoring situations.  Mutually beneficial activities conducted by the candidates during their field experiences include completion of the Micro-culture Project. The first component of the project asks candidates to educate their colleagues who are content area teachers about how cultural groups and individual cultural identities affect language learning and school achievement. The second component asks candidates to design, implement, and document a Mini-Cultural Expo, which provides candidates with opportunities to build partnerships with students’ families, serve as community resources, and advocate for ELLs.  The major clinical requires that candidates work within their own school if ELLs are present or in other schools conducting activities such as assisting an established ESL professional, classroom and pull out teaching and tutoring, preparing, assessing and adapting lessons and units, and collaborating with content area teachers.

A.2.2

Candidates are provided a variety of field-based and clinical experiences (CLINICAL EXPERIENCE TABLE). All candidates seeking state licensure have field experiences as components of their preparation programs. Clinical and field-based components of advanced programs are focused on the integration and application of the respective program knowledge bases in a practical setting. Each program has identified the knowledge, skills or dispositions needed for application of the knowledge base, designed instructional strategies for teaching these skills and developed a system for assessing candidate performance in each of these areas.  The clinical experiences are supervised jointly by clinical faculty and school-based professionals.  Clinical experiences are sequenced across programs and have multiple performance-based assessments at key points within the program to demonstrate candidates’ development of the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions characteristic of the profession (Schedule of Assessments, QAS p. 33).  A program-by-program description of clinical and field-based experiences is provided in the POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR CLINICAL FACULTY (p. 6-11).

The COEPD has developed and implemented a number of strategies to ensure that field-based and clinical experiences are addressed in a logical and sequenced manner. These strategies include the manner in which programs have been planned and designed, systematic and sequenced scheduling of courses, increased dissemination of information to candidates regarding required course sequencing, increased emphasis on candidate advising, improved candidate monitoring systems and a formal pre-application procedure.  Each of these strategies is discussed in detail in the POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR CLINICAL FACULTY (p. 18). Program specific requirements and expectations for candidates participating in a field or clinical experience are outlined in program-developed clinical handbooks or described in clinical course syllabi.

As described in Standard A.1 various experiences ensure that candidates develop the needed skills to use technology for their responsibilities on the job and to enhance the learning of P-12 students. Technology is also incorporated in a variety of ways to facilitate clinical experiences (EVIDENCE STANDARDS BY LICENSURE PROGRAM).  The early childhood, multicatigorical, autism, elementary math, math through Algebra I, ESL, and the PBC/MAT programs require candidates to videotape teaching episodes and submit the videos to the clinical instructor for review and feedback. The visually impaired and library media programs incorporate virtual field experiences through a case analysis and an author illustrator genre study learning media project, respectively.  Autism candidates participate in virtual field experiences by completing pre/post video e-text activities and a functional behavior assessment. Programs use email to communicate with candidates and school based supervisors, and the ESL faculty often use Skype or facetime to conference with school personnel and/or candidates.  Candidates in the PBC/MAT program can participate in clinical orientation meetings through Blackboard collaborate and recorded video orientation sessions.  Web based clinical evaluations are completed by supervisors/mentors through LiveText for candidates in the School Psychology and PBC/MAT programs.  Other programs continue to use paper-based evaluation forms that are submitted either through regular mail or scanned and submitted electronically by email.

Advanced level programs regularly and systematically assess candidate performance through key assessments administered during clinical experiences.  In addition to performance assessment, the assessments require candidates to apply content knowledge and skills that are emphasized in the program coursework proficiencies through a variety of assessment types, such as problem-based tasks or research activities that are characteristic of their professional specialization as described in component A.1.1.  Specific assessments for each clinical are shown in the CLINICAL EXPERIENCE TABLE.

Summary/Conclusions

Analysis of program data revealed several strengths and areas of challenge in clinical experiences and the level of partner involvement in continuous improvement.  COEPD has developed guidelines for clinical and field-based experiences that delineate the purposes of field-based and clinical experiences, identify criteria for developing and implementing such experiences, and identify college and program responsibilities related to clinical and field-based experiences.  The clinical experiences systematically provide opportunities for candidates to work in a variety of settings and are sequenced to allow for candidate development throughout the respective programs.  Programs are expected to establish collaborative relationships with P-12 school and community partners to define the competencies which candidates must demonstrate in order to meet program entry, preparation, and exit requirements.

In 2012, a Coordinator of Clinical and Field Based Experiences for Advanced Programs was appointed to monitor and support the collection of data for clinical and field-based experiences and to assist programs in conducting yearly evaluations, including follow-up studies of candidates, employers, and partners in order to establish mutually agreeable expectations and ensure that results are analyzed for use in modifying programs as needed.  Procedures were developed and put into place to collect and analyze the data. In recent years, the coordinator role has been vacant resulting in a lack of oversight and no centralized location to collect and house clinical data, and as a result specific data is not readily available.  This has been identified as an area of weakness and plans are being put into place to address this.

A new Coordinator of Clinical and Field Based Experiences has recently been appointed.  Since that time several paper-based forms used to collect clinical and field experience data have been converted to electronic forms submitted through Qualtrics where data is entered directly into a common database.  Many programs began implementation of the new process in the Fall 2017 semester, and all programs are expected to put the new procedures in place for the Spring 2018 semester.  Using these forms, candidates complete surveys about the effectiveness of the clinical faculty and the school based professional at end of each clinical experience and the school based professional is asked to provide input on strengths and changes needed for the program.  Data on the qualifications of the school based professional is also collected electronically. The data collected from the fall and spring implementation will be disaggregated by department and analyzed by program coordinators annually at the end of the spring semester to determine necessary changes that need to be made.

Procedures are currently being considered to address other identified deficiencies (establish, maintain, and refine criteria for selection, professional development, performance evaluation, continuous improvement, and retention of clinical educators) with the goal of a system being implemented during the 2018-19 academic year.

Evidence Applys To
PROGRAM REVIEWS A.2.2 Clinical Experiences
EVIDENCE STANDARDS BY LICENSURE PROGRAM A.2.2 Clinical Experiences
CIME 675 SYLLABUS A.2.1 Partnerships for Clinical Preparation
CISP 655 HANDBOOK A.2.1 Partnerships for Clinical Preparation
CLINICAL EXPERIENCE TABLE A.2.2 Clinical Experiences
MOU A.2.1 Partnerships for Clinical Preparation
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR CLINICAL FACULTY A.2.1 Partnerships for Clinical Preparation
A.2.2 Clinical Experiences
PRACTICUM PARTNER ASSESSMENT SUMMARIES A.2.1 Partnerships for Clinical Preparation

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