School of Education

Standard 3

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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 Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

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?

3.2.a Standard on which the unit is moving to the target level

  • Describe areas of the standard at which the unit is currently performing at the target level for each element of the standard.
  • Summarize activities and their impact on candidate performance and program quality that have led to target level performance.
  • Discuss plans and timelines for attaining and/or sustaining target level performance as articulated in this standard.

Download Standard 3 (PDF 156KB)

3.1 SOE and School Collaborations on Field Experience and Clinical Practice

The School of Education, its clinical faculty, and K-12 partners are involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating field and clinical experiences to ensure that candidates develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. The importance of collaboration, one of the principles of our conceptual framework, is evidenced through work with K-12 schools throughout New York State for both undergraduate and advanced programs. Partnerships are many and varied in their participation with initial and advanced programs in the SOE.

The Field Placement staff, in conjunction with SOE program chairs, work cooperatively with K-12 administrators to identify teachers who are qualified and willing to accept teacher candidates. Additionally, some school districts require student teacher candidates to interview with them, complete the fingerprinting requirement and background check required for certification in New York, and submit résumés as they would for a prospective teaching position. Through collaborations with those school partners, candidates from the SOE have a smoother transition from the education environment to the educational workplace.

School partners assisting with student teacher and internship placement made in the SOE include the following: 1. Cooperating teachers and school-based internship supervisors who must be recommended by their administrators before they are eligible to host a candidate. 2. Administrators and cooperating teachers or internship supervisors who approve each candidate before a placement can be made. 3. School-based members of the appropriate Program Advisory Group (PAG) who provide feedback on proposed changes in field placement courses. 4. School administration members of Team Sheldon who provide feedback on major changes in field placements.

Team Sheldon, a partnership among the Oswego County public schools, the Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), and the School of Education, collaborates on issues of mutual interest, such as clinical practice and needs assessments for new programs providing support for the Oswego County Professional Development Schools Initiative. Its members include school superintendents and principals; the Dean, Associate Deans, department chairs, faculty members from the School of Education, and several K-12 teachers.(Exhibit 3.4.a)

The SOE Center for Urban Schools in conjunction with the SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center (SUTEC) assists candidates who wish to fulfill their student teaching requirements in New York City schools. The SOE Center advocates for placement of undergraduate and graduate candidates in urban areas - Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, and NYC. While the SOE Field Placement Office also works with urban centers in Syracuse, Rochester, and Utica, the Center works more closely to place candidates in NYC, establishing partnerships with NYC schools such as P.S. 306 in the Bronx and Corlears JHS 56 in Manhattan. Collaborations with professors from multiple NYC universities who visit these schools frequently have resulted in supervision for Oswego candidates. Urban placements are illustrated in Exhibit 3.4.b.

Working through the Office of International Education and Programs (OIEP), SUNY Oswego has partnerships with overseas academic institutions in Australia, New Zealand, and Bolivia where education majors can student teach. OIEP arranges programs abroad in diverse disciplines including: business, communications, education, liberal arts, and sciences. For the SOE candidate, typically, one clinical experience occurs in NYS and a second abroad.(Exhibit 3.4.a)

The Onondaga Nation School Literacy Partnership with the Onondaga Nation School in Lafayette, NY developed as the result of networking between School of Education faculty, the Oswego State Native American Advisory Council, and members of various Native American communities. Designed as collaboration to address literacy needs, this placement opportunity is for graduate level candidates in Curriculum & Instruction who provide tutoring in reading, writing, and oral language to Native American students.

The Oswego Residency Initiative for Teacher Excellence (O-RITE) project, an innovative, graduate level, pilot teacher preparation program made possible with funding from NYSED seeks to prepare teachers for initial dual certification in teacher shortage areas, specifically Special Education along with Math or Science (7-12), or TESOL (all grades). O-RITE has partnered with nine high-need schools in Oswego County, Syracuse, and New York City to offer degree candidates intensive field-based experiences.

A long-standing collaboration has existed between the School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and now includes the School of Communication, Media, and the Arts. These interdisciplinary collaborations, PAGS, work together to improve discipline-specific content for education majors and to address issues of common interest. Membership in PAGs is illustrated in Exhibit 3.4.b.

The partnership with AVID, Advancement via Individual Determination, provides a systemic instructional structure for students in kindergarten through higher education (K-16). The AVID College Readiness System is a school-wide, transformational effort focused on leadership, systems, instruction, and culture designed to increase the number of students who enroll and succeed in higher education and in life beyond high school.

MOUs for partnerships and collaborations with the SOE in part and as a unit can be found in Exhibit 3.4.a.

In order to deliver field experiences and clinical practice as indicated through collaborations and partnerships, the following procedures and practices must be taken into consideration:

  • Field experiences, a minimum of 100 clock hours prior to student teaching as required by NYSED, promote opportunities and support for all students to engage in self-directed inquiry, problem solving, critical thinking, and reflection in real world and creative contexts, all of which reinforce the Conceptual Framework's principle of Authentic Learning. The Field Placement Office collaborates with academic faculty, schools, and community partners to locate authentic and diverse experiences, working closely with Curriculum & Instruction, Technology Education, and Vocational Teacher Preparation to arrange field experiences and student teaching placements at the initial level. At the advanced level, program coordinators, chairs, and faculty make arrangements for clinical experiences for their graduate candidates.(Exhibit 3.4.b)
  • During field experiences, candidates have opportunities to collaborate as well as develop individual reflections through discussion and writing assignments. Candidates critically examine the student/teacher relationship and the role of the teacher within the context of the classroom, school, and community. Candidates observe in-service teachers and other school professionals and are, in turn, observed by others. They regularly interact with classroom teachers and school administrators, K-12 students and their families, supervisors, and other candidates. Candidates collaborate and analyze data on student development and learning, work with individual students or small groups, design unit and lesson plans, and assess student performance.
  • During 2011-2012, the FPO increased the use of the electronic data management system, Tk20, which allowed for real-time tracking of the placement process. Aggregated data related to the diversity of the field placements included information on the school district (urban, rural, suburban) and information about specific sites, allowing the office to track both the locations and grade levels ensuring placement diversity. Discussions with respective departments have begun to develop a timeline for the implementation of tracking candidates’ placement eligibility and for tracking the application process for early field experiences and student teaching using Tk20. Aggregate data on candidates entering and exiting clinical practice is available in Exhibit 3.4.g.
  • Criteria for selection of clinical faculty as described by each department are highlighted in Exhibit 3.4.c. Often times, professional faculty also serve in both capacities either as college student teaching supervisors or internship site supervisors.

3.2.a Design and Implementation of Field Experience and Clinical Practice (Moving to Target Level)

Design and implementation of field experiences and clinical practices are directed by not only the practices and procedures of each department in the SOE, but also by the guidelines set forth by the NYS Education Department.

NYSED requires the equivalent of a full-time, semester-long clinical practice experience for teacher certification and for other school professionals in most advanced programs. All programs that lead to initial certifications include field placements that are taken as required credit-bearing courses in which candidates develop and demonstrate proficiencies that support learning by all students. Our policy on Field Experience and Candidate Outcomes explained in the SOE Policy Handbook requires that field experience, student teaching, and internships in all programs are:

  • guided by an official course outline consistent with the Conceptual Framework;
  • accompanied by a syllabus or a handbook that specifies performance outcomes and exit criteria for the program;
  • designed to provide opportunities to work in a variety of high needs schools with diverse students of varying ages, abilities, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and linguistic backgrounds;
  • assigned in close consultation with regional school administrators by the FPO for initial teacher preparation programs in C & I, Technology, and VTP; or placement coordinators in each department for advanced programs in CPS and EAD; and,
  • supervised by a qualified faculty member, site supervisor, or a school administrator.

Field experiences considered in entirety provide opportunities for candidates to demonstrate multifaceted proficiencies expected of professionals in school settings. Candidates are placed in a sequence that features early experiences where they apply and build upon concepts and skills learned in simultaneous coursework to provide a solid performance foundation for the more complex and demanding tasks in subsequent experiences. A listing of placements is included in Exhibit 3.4.b. Additional expectations and policies for field placements are included in department or program-specific field placement handbooks.(Exhibit 3.4.e)

Each field experience, student teaching experience, or internship has one or more evaluation instruments that summarize the performance expectations as outlined in the Conceptual Framework and the appropriate national SPA standards as illustrated in Exhibit 3.4.f.

By program, field experiences are organized differently. For example: 1. Initial teacher education programs in C & I and Technology are 1- or 2-cr experiences. Evaluation of performance is completed by the host teacher and college instructor. 2. Initial VTP programs and advanced C & I Literacy and Special Education program field experiences are embedded in one or more 3-cr courses. Candidates, faculty, and school administrators collaborate to arrange appropriate concurrent placements with site visits usually made by the course instructor. Evaluation is completed by the host teacher along with the college faculty. 3. Placements for advanced School Counseling and School Psychology are integrated 3-cr field-and course-based experiences incorporating multiple field-based assignments, regular on-site visits by the faculty member, meetings on campus with the faculty member, and evaluation of performance by both the faculty member and field supervisor. 4. School Building/District Leadership field experience is associated with a 6-cr introductory course in which small groups work with regional superintendents to analyze, research, and propose solutions to issues facing school districts. Candidates spend at least 20 clock hours in the district in addition to working with a teacher to complete the assignment that is evaluated by both the college instructor and the district superintendent.

Acceptance into clinical practice for undergraduate candidates requires an application, completion of all program requirements, no outstanding incomplete grades, a 2.5 GPA, no grade lower than a C- or S in core, cognate, concentration, or professional education course requirements, and successful completion of SSHS 1020 Safe Schools, Healthy Students, non-credit workshops required for initial certification in NYS. The online quarter course topics include: Child Abuse Recognition & Reporting, School Violence Prevention & Intervention, Fire & Arson Prevention, Highway Safety & Traffic Regulations & School Safety Patrols, Child Abduction Prevention, Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Abuse; and, Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) training will be added in fall 2013. For advanced program clinical practice, candidates must complete all program requirements; have no outstanding incomplete grades and a 3.0 GPA; and, successfully complete SSHS 1020 if pursuing initial rather than professional NYS certification.

Clinical practice assessments, linked to proficiencies in the Conceptual Framework and professional standards, are used to evaluate candidate performance and student learning. Assessment instruments, including the student teaching/internship rubric and the TWS scoring guide as identified in Standard 1, are completed by college supervisors, cooperating teachers, and on-site supervisors providing evidence across programs that candidates meet the target level for Standard 3 upon exit from their clinical practice. The completion of the TWS has led to significant reflective work that in turn strengthens teaching. For example, the last section of the TWS for all initial teacher education programs is Evaluation & Reflection; likewise, reflection is encouraged and evaluated in the Case Reflection Paper in the advanced Literacy program and in the Ethical Platform Statement for candidates in the Leadership program.(Exhibit 3.4.f) Other examples can be viewed in SPA reports in AIMS.

The student teaching/internship evaluation instruments for all programs with required field placements include an evaluation of each candidate's ability to use educational technology to promote authentic learning for diverse learners; candidates cannot succeed in these experiences without meeting the program-specific educational technology expectations. Assessment instruments and scoring guides used for data collected from field experience and clinical practice for all programs include use of technology. Please review Exhibit 3.4.f for these assessment instruments and the SOE recommendation for the use of laptop computers, where appropriate, in pedagogy courses to support candidate use of technology for learning and teaching.

In order to produce knowledgeable, skillful, caring education professionals, clinical faculty should have ongoing support in addition to required credentials. Providing resources and support in the form of professional development includes college supervisors meeting with cooperating teachers or school-based supervisors at the beginning of each student teaching/internship placement to review expectations for the candidate and for the placement. This meeting also serves as a means to address issues such as effective mentoring and constructive evaluation of student teachers and interns. Each new college supervisor is oriented to the sequence of professional courses and field experiences in the program; programmatic expectations for supervisory visits; the student teaching or internship handbook associated with the program; and expected exit competencies.(Exhibit 3.4.d)

The college supervisor, school administrator, and Field Placement Office determine if the performance of the cooperating teacher or field supervisor merits continued eligibility; negative conclusions are communicated to the FPO and/or the program placement coordinator. Candidates can be relied upon to provide anecdotal evidence on instances of ineffective mentoring not only to the college supervisor but also to the FPO coordinator or department placement coordinator. The departments in conjunction with FPO staff and the SOE Assessment Committee are currently developing a more systematic process for all candidates to provide feedback on their clinical experiences.

Clinical faculties give candidates feedback about performance to ensure they understand the requirements of field experiences, student teaching, and internships. Handbooks regarding initial and advanced programs are available in Exhibit 3.4.e. Records of placements, time frames, and supervisor feedback are maintained in the electronic data collection system, Tk20. Dispositions and student teaching assessments are collected directly from Technology Education cooperating teachers through Tk20, and beginning in fall 2013, all C&I cooperating teachers will also enter evaluations in Tk20 in addition to existing end-of-term supervisor and cooperating teacher conferences. These fieldwork records affect continuing eligibility for clinical practice.

Sustaining Target Level Performance

Acknowledgement of the strength of the P-12 school partnership is reflected in the award of a New York Race to the Top Grant entitled Oswego Residency Initiative for Teacher Excellence (O-RITE), an innovative, graduate level, pilot teacher preparation program. O-RITE seeks to prepare teachers for initial dual certification in teacher shortage areas, specifically adolescence Special Education along with Math or Science (7-12), or TESOL (all grades). O-RITE has partnered with nine high-needs schools in Oswego County, Syracuse, and New York City to offer degree candidates intensive field-based experiences. Apprentice teachers work with carefully selected, experienced mentor teachers while completing coursework through an online delivery system in which classes are conducted in real time. Having gained a deep understanding of communities, content and pedagogy, a year of classroom experience, and a network of support, graduates commit to teaching in high-needs public schools in New York State for four years.

Another educationally clinical experience, the Mentor-Scholar program, initiated in fall 2011, is designed to provide middle school students in the Oswego City School District, identified as at-risk, with trained and supported volunteer mentors who provide academic and emotional support. The Mentor-Scholar program strives to build students' self-confidence and self-efficacy, and gives them the tools to be effective students. A second goal, an opportunity for SUNY Oswego undergraduates to improve their community, provides knowledge useful in their future careers and lives. In fall 2012, seventy undergraduate mentors were placed at Oswego Middle School. Of those seventy, twenty-three were SOE candidates from various programs. All of the education candidates have remained involved since the program's inception. In addition, the program is moving toward participation with high school students in fall 2013 with increased participation from SOE.(Exhibit 3.4.a)

An "extra-curricular" clinical experience that is extremely popular and learner-centered, Youth Technology Day, sponsored by the Department of Technology offers candidates the opportunity to share knowledge with middle and high school students each semester. It has grown from one small group of home schooled students in 2007 to being presented once each semester by candidates in Technology Education methods classes to as many as 80 students from a variety of backgrounds that come to the Oswego campus for a day. Working with diverse groups ranging from rural and urban schools, honors and high needs students, middle school and high school levels, candidates get an authentic experience with organization of the "classroom", with classroom management, and in designing age-appropriate problem-solving activities.(Exhibit 3.4.a)

An innovative project begun in fall 2012, the purchase of iPads through support of the college's Student Computing Access Program (SCAP) for methods students in C & I, facilitates videotaping lessons during student teaching. Videotaped lessons along with reflection are part of the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) being required by NYSED as part of the teacher certification process beginning in fall 2014. Other SOE teacher preparation programs that will be held to these new requirements are also preparing candidates to use technologies to not only increase student learning but also to record lessons that support expertise leading to certification. Building on the iPad innovation, professional education faculty in conjunction with the SOE Educational Technology committee are working to provide procedures to use hand-held videos during student teaching/clinical practice, uploading videos into Tk20 for assessment, and using the files in portfolios.

In terms of the institution's goal of world awareness, the School of Education is focusing on extending and intensifying clinical practice. Currently, candidates can fulfill one student teaching experience in Australia, New Zealand, or Bolivia; and in future semesters in Costa Rica and China. Candidates from Hangzou Normal University in China will soon arrive on the Oswego campus in a 3+2 program to complete master's level work - the goal is reciprocation with SOE candidates traveling to China. C & I candidates traveled to Benin & France in partial fulfillment of requirements for GLS 402 Practicum: Int'l Dev. Educational Administration is working on an administrative certificate program in India. And, an MOU established between SUNY Oswego and Community School of Cochabama (Bolivia) resulted in the first student teacher placement in spring 2013. Graduate students in agricultural and mathematics education have the opportunity to combine Peace Corps service and a master’s degree. “Students in Oswego’s Master’s International programs in math education and agriculture education will help people in other countries gain skills…,” President Deborah Stanley.(Exhibit 3.4.a)

Rubrics attached to the Internship experience (EAD 695) have been revised to include both School Building Leader and School District Leader skills and understandings. Using the data disaggregated from the NYS School Leadership Assessment creates a more comprehensive focus on district level leadership, emphasis on finance and school law, diversity, current national and international initiatives/regulations and trends, and instructional strategies. Since EAD 695 Internship is the final nine semester hours of the program, the culminating rubric entitled “SBL/SDL Internship Evaluation” assures that proficiency in ELCC Standards is embedded throughout ALL coursework and field experiences implementing the necessary skills and understanding for effective leadership in today’s global educational setting.

Candidates study and practice in diverse settings, with diverse populations, at grade levels in subjects for which they are preparing. Resources support the clinical faculty to transition the candidates from pre-service to in-service teachers.