Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice – The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to demonstrate positive impact on all P-12 students’ learning and development.
Partnerships for Clinical Preparation
2.1 Partners co-construct mutually beneficial P-12 school and community arrangements for clinical preparation, including technology-based collaborations, and shared responsibility for continuous improvement of candidate preparation. Partnerships for clinical preparation can follow a range of forms, participants, and functions. They establish mutually agreeable expectations for candidate entry, preparation, and exit; ensure that theory and practice are linked; maintain coherence across clinical and academic components of preparation and share accountability for candidate outcomes.
2.2 Partners co-select, prepare, evaluate, support and retain high quality clinical educators, both EPP and school-based, who demonstrate a positive impact on candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development. In collaboration with their partners, providers use multiple indicators and appropriate technology-based applications to establish, maintain and refine criteria for selection, professional development, performance evaluation, continuous improvement, and retention of clinical educators in all clinical placement settings.
2.3 The provider works with partners to design clinical experiences of sufficient depth, breadth, coherence and duration to ensure that candidates demonstrate their developing effectiveness and positive impact on all students’ learning and development. Clinical experiences, including technology-enhanced learning opportunities, are structured to have multiple, performance-based assessments at key points within the program to demonstrate candidates’ development of the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, as delineated in Standard 1, that are associated with a positive impact on the learning and development of all P-12 students.
Shepherd University has a wide range of positive collaborative relationships with schools and districts across four states. While the focus is on placing students in West Virginia schools, with an emphasis on placements in the three surrounding counties/school districts, the Field Placement Coordinator works closely with students to place them in schools that fit their specific interests and needs, including finding placements in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia as well as throughout the state of West Virginia.
All EPP partnerships are formalized through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements. For Practicum placement, the Program Coordinator, in collaboration with faculty members, works to find programs and schools that support their student and program needs. When it comes to student teaching placements, the Program Coordinator works with students to place them in the county of their preference. Also worth noting, students are placed in a content specific classroom, with teachers who are recommended by the school administrators for field experiences. For both Practicum and Student Teacher placements, the Program Coordinator and faculty members work to formalize MOUs with those schools and districts as needed, requiring a commitment to at times travel significant distances in order to observe and support both their students and the cooperating teachers in those schools. MOUs include information and descriptions about the responsibilities of all parties involved as well as the desired outcomes of the partnerships for all parties.
The Online Practicum Manual (currently being revised to make it more user friendly to teachers who indicated that the length of the documents sent was problematic for them, including formatting it the pages associated with a particular class can be pulled and sent rather than giving sending the 70+ page document) shows that partnerships for clinical preparation follow a range of forms, participants and functions. They establish agreeable expectations for candidate entry and exit, maintain coherence, and provide reference for Cooperating Teachers (CT) and University Supervisors (US). Training for CTs has been discussed during Educator Program Provider Advisory Council (EPPAC) meetings and a mentor training as well as an ST-11 training was conducted one afternoon at a grant workshop. All participants in the grant workshop received that training. The PEUC is working to revise current evidence collection from cooperating teachers as part of the Cooperating Teacher Survey to continually improve our program and the experience for cooperating teachers.
Shepherd University and the EPP ensure the qualifications of faculty, including cooperating teachers through a systematic and multi-tiered process. Faculty qualifications are determined during the hiring process with a position description approved by the department chair, school dean, and Provost. These guidelines stipulate minimum degree qualifications and specific area(s) of expertise desired. WV Policy 5100 determines the qualifications for cooperating teachers, thus ensuring quality of faculty in the student teaching placement. In this way, SU and the EPP are in compliance with programmatic accrediting bodies such as CAEP, NASM, NASAD, CCNE, and IACBE, who also address faculty qualifications within the discipline, as well as the appropriate number of faculty and support staff. Shepherd is currently in good standing with all external and discipline-specific accrediting bodies.
Prospective cooperating teachers receive Resources, Letters, and Guidelines on how to evaluate candidates using ST-11. CTs have access to an ST-11 scoring video link and training module which includes an ST-11 Summative evaluation as well as Field Experience guidelines and guidelines for CTs. Selection of CTs is outlined in the Online Practicum Manual section J5, indicating criteria requirements of SU and cooperating school districts. CTs provide feedback on the Level 3 Practicum via an Exit Survey conducted online. The PEUC values feedback from cooperating teachers and is striving to improve the program and retain high quality CTs. While data from the CT Exit Survey has been gathered over the past year, review of the data and the quality of the survey has been limited to now. The PEUC recognizes the need to more systematically and effectively gather and analyze feedback from CTs and is working to develop an improved survey and data analysis system.
SU works with partners to outline and review clinical experiences to ensure they are of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence and duration to provide candidates with rich, meaningful experiences that will prepare them for their own classrooms. The sequence of classes and practicums for candidates follows a progression designed to reflect a “gradual release” model, with the final semester of a candidate’s tenure at SU culminating in a student teaching placement.
Candidates complete key assessments to validate the candidates’ positive impact on student learning. These assessments include the Teacher Performance Assessment and the ST-11. Over the past two years, the TPA has taken several different forms (see Standard 1) and SU is currently using the WVTPA, a new assessment first used in Fall 2016. A modified version of the ST-11 is used in practicum levels 2 and 3 as preparation for ST-11 in student teaching. The Online Practicum Manual provides a rationale for each progressive level of field experience, objectives and expectations. Additionally, SU works to provide candidates with diverse practicum and student teaching opportunities that are reflective of the types of environments where they will likely find employment. The school designation summaries reflect this diversity.
- Teacher Performance Assessment
- Pro 05
- Student Teaching 2011 Evaluation Tool
- Memorandum of Understanding Documents
- Online Practicum Manual
- (EPPAC) meetings
- Mentor Training
- ST-11 Training
- Cooperative Teacher Survey
- WV 5100 Policy Excerpts
- Resources, Letters, and Guidelines
- ST-11 Scoring Video Link and Training Module
- School Designation Update