Standard 2
Field experiences are an integral part of the overall program at Washburn. We have a solid working relationship with area school districts and work with our partners to co-construct mutually beneficial P-12 school and community arrangements for clinical preparation and a shared responsibility for continuous improvement of candidate preparation. We have the support of high-quality clinical educators and can provide evidence that these educators have a positive impact on candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development.

2.1
We have MOUs with school districts which are renewed on a regular basis. The MOUs provide a formal statement of agreement and shared responsibility. We have a Field Experiences Handbook (evidence 2.1) that describes policies and procedures. Orientations and meetings are conducted with clinical educators that include Meet and Greet sessions, discussion of the field placement handbook, and review of assessments, such as the professional disposition evaluation of candidates. University Supervisors meet monthly with the Field Experiences Director. In addition to the face-to-face mentor teacher information meetings, we use a Reflective Educator wiki to provide training for school-based and EPP based supervisors (Mentor Teachers). The WU Education Advisory Council (which evolved out of the field experiences committee) and the WU Unit Assessment committee both include P12 teachers and administrators and provides another formal mechanism for us to involve our partners. The University Teacher Education Committee (UTEC) is the means through which we formally involve the College of Arts and Sciences faculty who help supervise P12 and secondary licensure programs.

The partnerships with the schools, that have been a part of our program for many years, provide benefits to both our unit and the schools. Contact with the schools regarding teacher needs and shortages, methods, techniques and assessments is used to help to keep our faculty current and relevant. For example, the 2.1 District Instructional Strategies file shows the input we received from staff in the schools regarding instructional strategies being used so that we can address these in coursework. The school staff appreciate having both WU faculty and our candidates in their buildings. Faculty visits to the schools provide good, informal opportunities to discuss accomplishments, as well as issues and concerns with staff. Our candidates provide extra assistance in classrooms and many of our candidates accept their first teaching job
s in the schools in which they completed student teaching. At the same time, our candidates bring new ideas they’ve learned in course work to the classrooms. Candidates provide school district PDs. Initiatives with the schools, such as the after school program grant, the STEM summer camp for middle school students, and the current paraeducator grant (all conducted with USD 501) are direct examples of a solid partnership with mutual benefits. Our faculty participate in professional development within the schools, often based on topics requested by the school districts which is provided by our faculty at no cost.

Other examples of partnerships and coordination with other groups have included the: K-12 ELA state work group on revision of ELA standards
, State Educator Rising Conference for future teachers, P-12 Music state work group on revision of music standards, Literature Festival at WU for middle and high school students, Music programs, camps, and concerts, Regional and State History Day, Women in Science Day, Math Day, Junior Achievement (focuses on STEM education), meeting with annual English Ed Professors at KS state schools, meeting with annual Music Ed instructors at KS state schools, and the Council of Education Deans (COED).

Another example of partnership comes from the secondary English program. At the end of each student teaching semester, there is a final meeting with each mentor teacher. Mentor Teachers give us helpful input and advice on strengths and weaknesses of our field program. A reoccurring theme is differentiation and classroom management. For this year, those meetings occurred on November 16, November 28, April 24, May 1, and May 4. In addition, we have had an ELA State Department person come in and work with students and review the program. She gave us helpful tips on preparing preservice teachers with the multidisciplinary writing tasks. We met with English Ed peer colleagues in October 2016—we compared notes concerning our programs and advised each other on how to adjust assessments to reflect and meet the new 6-12 ELA teacher prep standards. Moreover, we’ve met at least once a year informally with area teachers to receive information and input about ELA teaching.

While a collaborative process does take place with the schools, our self-assessment revealed that we have not been reviewing this annually. The Field Experiences Director is working on a plan for this annual review and it is anticipated that this will be conducted each summer. We plan to review the process, qualifications of mentor teachers, observations and assessments used, and generally seek input regarding any potential changes.

Our Field Experiences Director does work closely with school staff and seeks input from P-12 teachers and/or administrators regarding placements. This contact often occurs throughout the academic year, but is especially intense two times a year regarding student teaching placements (fall and spring). Based on school staff input and approval
, our candidates are placed in appropriate settings. Staff participate in assessing our candidates and have input on the progression of our candidates. For example, we average about one candidate a semester in student teaching who needs a change of placement or is withdrawn from student teaching based on the input from school staff. See the 2.1 Placement Flow Chart.

Our criteria for mentor teachers is clearly stated in the Mentor Teacher Handbook, both in terms of qualifications and responsibilities. In addition to the Field Experiences Director
, we also have University Supervisors involved in student teaching, or faculty involved in practicums associated with specific courses.

The Advisory Council, UTEC, the Unit Assessment committee and meetings with mentor teachers and university supervisors all provide a mechanism for discussion of issues involving field experiences. Issues or concerns can come from the unit or the field and the committees provide input concerning ways to improve evaluation instruments; selection criteria for MTs, etc (see 5.5 Minutes of meetings file).

2.1

Expectations for candidates are stated in our handbooks, the MOUs and in meetings with supervisors and mentor teachers. Our policies and evaluations also provide information on expectations as candidates advance through the program. Schools require TB tests and background checks which we assist with. Mentor teachers and university supervisors conduct the same assessments.

Coherence is assured as our assessments are all linked to current teaching standards, including the InTASC standards and to the specific performance standards associated with each specific licensure program. Our professional conduct and dispositions are emphasized throughout the program.

Input from P-12 teachers and/or administrators is regularly sought for candidate preparation including criteria for entry/exit into clinical experience. Mentor teachers are asked to complete evaluations; we also have regular e-mail and personal communication multiple times a semester with our MTs so as to keep conversations flowing and discussions open and ongoing. We value the input from our partners and use this information to help improve the program.

2.2

We have communication with districts to determine quality mentor teacher candidates; requests for placements go through school district HR offices. Based on district requests, we provide background information on candidates to assist districts in matching candidates with MTs. Candidates and mentor teachers are provided with a handbook to help prepare them for roles, expectations, the completion of required forms, and the overall field experience. Mentor teachers and university supervisors conduct the same assessments. Supports for candidates, supervisors, and mentor teachers is provided by our Director of Field Experiences through meetings, seminars and e-mail.

As of spring 2017, university supervisors will be interviewed for these positions each year and staff from the schools will be a part of the interviewing process. Co-selection of mentor teachers is based on information which is reviewed at the school district level to make placements that are ‘good fits’ for both the candidates and schools.


Our self-assessment revealed that we have not had a formal mechanism for university supervisors to be evaluated by candidates or school-based clinical educators. Efforts are underway to develop such an assessment. We have drafted an assessment where mentor teachers and candidates will evaluate university supervisors. In the spring of 2017 we developed two new surveys which allow candidates to evaluate both university supervisors and mentor teachers (see evidence) and these surveys will allow us to better evaluate and choose high quality supervisors and mentor teachers.

To support and retain clinical educators, the EPP provides a small stipend for clinical educators. In addition, school districts provide professional development points for hosting a student teacher. These points can be used for re-licensure. The clinical educators also acquire new ideas and teaching strategies from having student teachers in the classroom. Supervisors attend organized monthly collaborative meetings where discussions include how to improve, adjust, and strengthen the field experience and mentoring process.

One NCATE AFI focused on ensuring that clinical educators are qualified for the positions they hold and work has been conducted to document this. There is an understanding that districts will place candidates with qualified teachers.


Resources are available for all clinical educators. The 2.2 Mentor Teacher Info S17 file shows the type of information shared with mentor teachers and includes timelines and guidelines. The 2.2 Reflective Educator Wiki Contents file shows information available within this Wiki to assist candidates, supervisors, and mentor teachers.

2.2

Technology is used for communication and evaluation purposes. We continue to look for ways to foster professional development and have provided information on co-teaching, coaching and behavior management. We are working to better track quality mentor teachers. We do have information that many mentor teachers are WU graduates, and they value the opportunity to work with us.
We rarely encounter issues with MTs; occasionally, we choose to not retain a MT based on input from candidates, supervisors, and/or the district. We often don’t have mentor teachers serve as repeaters at the elementary level as it is hard for them to relinquish classrooms for consecutive semesters. We have had some secondary teachers who will repeat within the same school year.

The 2.1 Field Experiences Handbook provides the foundational information to establish, maintain, and refine criteria for selection, professional development, performance evaluation, continuous improvement, and retention of clinical educators in all clinical placement settings. This handbook is the compilation of a variety of individual handbooks (Student Teaching Handbook, EPIC Handbook, or the Literacy Practicum Handbook). Performance evaluation is also addressed in the handbook through the co-constructed evaluation documents. The EPP provides a small stipend for clinical educators, but the school districts provide professional development points for having a student teacher. These points can be used for re-licensure. The clinical educators also acquire new ideas and teaching strategies from having student teachers. Professional development and continuous improvement are areas that we have not previously addressed, but will do so at an annual meeting to collaborate on these issues with our P12 partners
.

In conjunction with standard 5, we have assessed the inter-rater reliability between mentor teachers and university supervisors on two key assessments, the Student Teaching Summary Evaluation and the Professional Conduct and Dispositions Evaluation. These evaluations are each conducted at least twice during student teaching. The results of our inter-rater review can be found in the evidence for standard 5. While we do have some good consistency in these ratings, the most significant difference was in the difference between an ‘Advanced’ rating and a ‘Target’ rating. This has led to efforts to develop some training modules to help ensure that mentor teachers and university supervisors rate our candidates in the same manner. As we look to the future and revising the Student Teacher Summary Evaluation and the Professional Conduct and Dispositions Evaluation, we are going to use the model which was developed at the end of this cycle. At the University Supervisor monthly meetings, we plan to focus on a different section of these evaluations at each meeting. We will develop training modules which will include watching videos which are related to the concept being evaluated. We will then score and compare our scores as a group. The department will continue to assess the inter-rater reliability between University Supervisors and Mentor Teachers, then focus the training on areas of greatest discrepancy.


We have had candidates, who have completed student teaching, evaluate their Mentor Teachers, but our self-assessment has indicated that this was not done consistently. We have implemented this assessment at the end of student teaching and it was conducted in spring 2017. Our self-assessment also revealed that while University Supervisors provide input regarding Mentor Teachers, we plan to make this informal process more formal. An evaluation for teacher candidates to assess their University Supervisors and Mentor Teachers is being developed and/or revised and was conducted in spring 2017. A mutual evaluation document for Mentor Teachers and University Supervisors is also being constructed.


Candidates also enroll in the ED 405 Classroom Management class concurrently with the clinical practice semester. This one-credit hour class was added, a number of years ago, to address the expressed need for more information and strategies on classroom management. One of the requirements for the class asks candidates to submit postings to the on-line discussion board which are viewed by all the candidates in the class. One of the distinct benefits of this discussion board is that it provides “regular and continuous” support for the student teachers.

2.3


We do have a quality working relationship with the schools, and school staff are involved in candidate field placements. By the time our candidates complete the program, they will have spent from 695 to 985 hours in the schools depending on the specific licensure program. We have more than 30 courses across all programs that include some type of field placement. Depending on the licensure program, candidates can have from 4 – 11 different placements by the time they graduate. We keep data on all field placements in our department database including data on the semester, school, district, grade level, and mentor teacher(s). The 2.3 Scope and Sequence file shows the courses and placements by licensure program, with number of hours, assessments used, and the specific schools candidates were placed in. The 2.3 Field Experiences Analysis file shows some examples of how we have tracked and examined placements over the years. The 2.1 Field Placement Sp15-Sp17 file shows placements by district based on urban, suburban or rural settings. The 2.3 School Demographics file shows demographics for the four area school districts closest to us. The 2.3 EPP P12 Co Construct file provides an example of mutual involvement in field placements.

All candidates are required to complete at least one placement in USD 501 Topeka Schools, which has the largest concentration of diversity in our area. We have included a Demographics file that shows trends in demographics for the four school districts in our immediate geographic area. In any given semester, candidates can have been placed in as many as 20 different school districts.

There is a logical flow to field placements with expectations increasing as candidates advance through the program. The first required placement is ED 150 EPIC which is experiential and does not involve detailed, formal evaluations. Placements end with student teaching that requires the completion of a teacher work sample, summary evaluations and conduct and disposition evaluations. There is a defined order to most placements. In the elementary programs, for example, candidates are required to move through the methods courses (referred to as blocks since a group of classes must be taken together) in a certain order. Elementary candidates move through blocks A, B and C in a specific order and can only enroll in one block per semester. Moving to the next block requires the successful completion of the prior one. Candidates are not permitted to enroll in the blocks until they have been formally admitted to the teacher education program.

Field placements are linked to specific courses with specific purposes. For example, ED 302 Teaching Exceptional Learners has a field placement specifically focused on students with exceptionalities. There are specific field placements in the ECU program, the middle school programs, PE, Art and Music programs as well. Each of the 15 licensure programs has specific performance indicators linked to each standard and these standards and indicators guide the assessments which are conducted.

2.3

Our clinical experiences include focused teaching opportunities where specific teaching strategies are implemented and practiced within each licensure program based on specific candidate placements. The clinical experience is assessed through the performance-based Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio (KPTP), the Student Teaching Summary Evaluation and the Dispositions evaluation. Candidates are evaluated by state reviewers, mentor teachers and university supervisors.

We do have evidence documenting that both candidates and students have used technology to enhance learning, track progress, and assess growth. The use of technology is described in unit lesson plans during methods courses. The KPTP, completed at student teaching, includes three specific items focused on technology use:
  • “Effective teacher use of technology is evident in the instructional design and clearly enhances instruction.
  • Effective student use of technology is evident in the instructional design and clearly enhances student learning.
  • Technology strategies are described in the overall unit plan and at least one of the detailed lesson plans incorporates a detailed technology strategy that enhances the content”.
The 2.3 Technology Use file shows examples of technology use which were extracted from the KPTP Task 2: Designing Instruction. The teacher candidates were answering the question: “How will technology be integrated within the unit? Explain both teacher use and student use.” The examples are representing all licensure areas based on the percentages of students in these categories. All examples were rated at the “Criteria Met” level by the evaluators. Other examples can be provided.

The meaningful use of technology in instruction of students is a part of the criteria used to evaluate candidates. Use of technology is guaranteed since it is an elemental part of the Unit’s Conceptual Framework and the Kansas State Standards. The evaluation forms used to assess candidates have technology use as an integral part of the criterion. The meaningful use of technology is a requirement in the standards for every licensure program in the Unit.
All initial level candidates are required to take the ED 300 Integrating Technology class as a part of their program of studies. This class is usually taken at the beginning of their professional education course work.

We do have evidence that candidates have purposefully assessed impact on student learning and development with both formative and summative assessments. For example, the KPTP requires that candidates provide information on:
    As noted in Standard 4 we use several measures to determine if candidates are having a positive impact on student learning including: Gain score templates based on the KPTP, Non-academic student impact data based on responses by children in the schools, Student Teaching Summary Evaluations completed by mentor teachers and University Supervisors (indicators 1.4, 3.5, 3.2, and 4.3), a follow-up study with building principals, and a Completer Self-Assessment. We have also implemented a more formal research study on the impact of alumni; this is discussed in Standard 4.

    In addition to the KPTP, student teaching candidates submit unit and lesson plan information and data on the second half of the student teaching experience. The KPTPs are usually based on the first 8-weeks of the 16-week placements. The second eight-week placement can be in a different setting and conducted with different students. In the review of licensure programs in 2016, we realized that we were not collecting impact data for both placements so efforts were initiated to make sure these data were collected.

    Candidates also enroll in the ED 405 Classroom Management class concurrently with the clinical practice semester. One of the requirements for the class asks candidates to make at least five postings to the on-line discussion board. One of the distinct benefits of this discussion board is that it provides support for the student teachers and allows them to share experiences with each other easily. Student teaching candidates also complete a classroom management project in this class in which they observe, collect baseline, plan an intervention, implement the intervention, and monitor the impact of the intervention with data. These data provide additional information on their ability to impact students in a positive way.


    2 Evidence Summary
    2.1_Co-Collaboration_ST_Placements
    2.1_District_Instructional_Strategies
    2.1_Field_Experience_Handbook_3_1
    2.1_Field_Placements_S15-S17
    2.1_P12_Partnerships_MOUs
    2.1_Placement_Flow_Chart
    2.1_Sample_MOU_Letter
    2.2 MT Info Fall 2016
    2.2_MT_Info_Sp 2017
    2.2_Reflective_Educator_Wiki_Contents
    2.3 Field Experiences Analysis
    2.3 School Demographics
    2.3 Scope and Sequence for Field Placements by Licensure Program
    2.3_EPP_P12_CoConstruct_Clinical_Experiences
    2.3_Technology Use Case Study



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