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Office of Field Experiences (OFE)

Welcome to the Office of Field Experiences! The Office of Field Experience is part of Suite 201 Student Support Center in the College of Education & Allied Professions. We work with our school partners to arrange placement opportunities for our WCU teacher education students to complete course assignments, field experiences, and internships in public schools. We seek to support our students through their application processes, administer criminal background check reporting, oversee time requirement documentation, and ensure that all our students have diverse experiences. Our office also provides supervision and mentoring to our candidates during their internship, and if needed we work with WCU and P-12 faculty and administrators to resolve placement issues.

Meet Our OFE Team

A.Chapman

Amanda Chapman

Director

M.Miller

Monica Miller

Lead Field Supervisor & Instructor

T.Campbell

Dr. Tara Campbell

Early Field Experience Placement Coordinator & Instructor


FALL 2022 DATES

APPLICATION DATE
Early Field Experience Applications - OPEN Monday, August 22nd
Early Field Experience Applications - DUE Friday, September 2nd
Internship Applications for Spring 2023 - OPEN Monday, August 22nd
Internship Applications for Spring 2023 - DUE Friday, September 23rd
Block Practicum Applications for Spring 2023 - OPEN Monday, October 24th
Block Practicum Applications for Spring 2023- DUE Friday, November 11th

*Dates and times are subject to change.

Intern Orientation Information

EVENT/LOCATION DATE/TIME

Intern II Orientations for Residential Programs

  • Intern II @ 4:00-530 PM via Zoom
  • Clinical Educators @ 6:00-7:30 via Zoom
Wednesday, August 17th

Intern II Orientations for Distance (Online) Programs

3:30-500 PM via Zoom for Intern IIs and Clinical Educators

Thursday, August 18th

Intern I Orientation - Option 1 for Residential Programs

6:00-8:00 PM

Killian 102

Sunday, August 21st

Intern I Orientation - Option 2 for Residential Programs

6:00-8:00 PM

Killian 102

Monday, August 22nd

Intern I Orientation for Residential Clinical Educators 

3:30-5:00 PM via Zoom

Wednesday, August 24th

Intern I Orientation for Distance (Online) Programs for Intern Is and Clinical Educators

3:30-5:00 PM via Zoom

Thursday, August 25th

INTERN II PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS

PD SESSION/LOCATION
DATE

Youth - Mental Health First Aid Training

Killian 102

Day #1 – October 28th
Day #2 – November 4th

Amie Dean - Classroom Management Development Session

6:30 PM

Thursday, November 3rd

Career Prep Session:  “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” Resume and Career Building Skills

Dr. Myra Watson

6:30 PM Virtual Session via Zoom

Tuesday, November 8th

Education Career Fair
1:30-4:00 PM

UC Grandroom

 

Wednesday, November 16th

Student Population Initial Background Check Requirement Recheck Requirement Payment for Background checks

Undergraduate Residential TEP

With Early Field Experience Application (EDCI 201, SPED 240, or TEP Admission)

With Internship Application

Self-pay

Birth-Kindergarten (All Tracks)

With Online Orientation

With Action Research/

Internship Application*

Self-pay

SPED Graduate Certification and MAT

With Online Orientation

With Practicum Application*

Self-pay

MAT (Art, English, Social Sciences, STEM, & TESOL)

TEP Admission (required during first semester of enrollment)

With Internship Application*

Self-pay

* Students who are completing internship/action research requirement within the setting that they are currently employed are not required to complete the Background Recheck.  However, employer will be required to verify that the school/school system has a background check on file via the Site Supervisor form.

 

Early field experiences are designed to give teacher education candidates opportunities to observe in various P-12 classrooms from the beginning of their professional teacher education coursework. Early and ongoing engagement with public school faculty and students ensures a balance of educational theory and practice. These courses may require placement through the Office of Field Experiences, and the instructor of your course could facilitate others.

COURSES THAT REQUIRE PLACEMENT THROUGH THE OFFICE OF FIELD EXPERIENCES
UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE
EDCI201
SPED 240
SPED430/EDCI430/HPE343
BK250
BK315
BKSE345
BK410
EDCI500
EDCI501
EDCI609
EDCI616
EDEL415
EDEL416
EDEL420
EDEL428
EDEL446
EDEL 429
EDRD335
EDRD440
EDMG 411
EDMG 412
EDMG415
EDMG416
EDMG420
EDMG419
EDMG466

Applications for early field experiences open on the first day of classes each semester. Candidates should monitor the Office of Field Experiences (OFE) website to ensure deadlines are not missed. Failure to complete applications by the advertised deadline will be encouraged to withdraw from the field experience course. In order to earn a grade of C or better, all candidates must successfully complete the required field experience requirements. Students who do NOT successfully complete the required field experience will earn a C-, D+, D, D- or F, depending upon the remainder of their work in the course.

EDCI201, SPED 240, SPED430/EDCI430/HPE343, and most methods courses REQUIRE students to complete field experiences. These courses, except EDCI 201 and SPED 240, require that students be admitted into the teacher education program before being permitted to enroll. 


APPLYING FOR EARLY FIELD EXPERIENCES

  1. FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS ONLY, BEFORE YOU APPLY IN TK20:
    1. Complete your Background Check through Certiphi. This process will take 3-5 business days to get your results.
      1. Early Field Experience Applications will not be accepted until your Initial Background Check through Certiphi has been purchased, processed, and results have been evaluated.
  2. Complete your Application for Early Field Experience Tk20.
    1. Informational sites have been created within Canvas to assist you in the application process. Please use them to ensure that you have completed all your application requirements:
    2. Early Field Experiences Canvas Information Site
      1. You must log into Canvas to view these resources. If you are unable to access these materials, please contact Dr. Tara Campbell at campbellt@wcu.edu to get access.

NOTE: DO NOT contact schools directly to request placement, as this will decrease or eliminate your chances of receiving that placement.


EARLY FIELD EXPERIENCE TIMESHEETS

Undergraduate Early Field Experience Timesheet (EDCI 201, PSY 323, SPED339)

Graduate Early Field Experience Timesheet (EDCI 500, 609, 616)

Timesheets are to be uploaded in TK20 upon completion of the field experience.

Block Practicum placements are required for ALL Elementary, Inclusive, and Middle Grades Education majors. This requirement is generally completed the semester before Internship I. Candidates will spend one full “teacher day” in the placement for up to 12 weeks and attend an accompanying Seminar class on campus. Candidates will potentially complete some of the following assignments: formal observations; reflective journals reacting to their experiences and/or seminar readings; planning and teaching lessons and reflecting upon each; gathering student work for assessment analysis. The level of participation of the candidates in the placement is at the discretion of the host teacher. However, candidates are encouraged to participate in-class activities as much as possible.

Candidates will apply for the Block Practicum experience the semester PRIOR to enrolling in EDEL 390 or EDMG 411.

Applications: Block Practicum applications generally open midway through the semester (approximately week 8). Candidates should meet with their advisors to ensure they are ready to apply and monitor the Office of Field Experiences website for application timelines.


Videotaping Permission Form for Early Field Experiences & Block - please distribute and collect these from students within the first two weeks in Block placement.

Applications for internship opens on the first day of classes each semester. The applications remain open for approximately four weeks. Please review the due dates listed on this website.

Due to the variety of programs we offer, the applications vary by program and level. An informational site has been created within Canvas to assist you in the application process. Please use this site ensure that you have completed all your application requirements:

Internship Experiences Canvas Information Site

  • You must log into Canvas to view these resources. If you are unable to access these materials, please contact Amanda Chapman at abchapman@wcu.edu to get access.

PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE OFFICE OF FIELD EXPERIENCES

All students who will need placement assistance through the Office of Field Experiences will apply through Tk20. For more information about the applications you need to complete, please review the Internship Experiences Canvas Information Site. However, all candidates will need to complete the following items prior to applying:

  • Background Re-check through Certiphi
  • NC Health Certificate (this form must be completed and signed by a physician in the same semester of the internship application)
    • Make an appointment for the physical exam and TB test with your personal physician or student health services (227-7640) to complete the NC Health Certificate.

       

    • Download the NC Health Certificate, fill out the personal information and take the form to the appointment. 

       

    • Return to the physician’s office two days later or as instructed to have the TB test site “read” and the form signed. 

       

    • A copy of this signed form and your TB results must be uploaded with the internship application.

       

    • Please make sure you have a signed copy of the form and the TB results available if your school district asks for a copy on your first visit. 

  • Updated and proofed Résumé
  • 3-Minute Introduction Video

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE

School personnel are responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of students at all times. Teacher education candidates completing field experiences and clinical practice are legally viewed as school employees and may be personally charged with negligence if an accident or injury occurs to a student in their care. Neither the State of North Carolina nor Western Carolina University is responsible for providing legal defense for any professional education candidate or paying for any judgment that may be entered against the accused. Therefore beginning in Fall 2018, the College of Education and Allied Professions requires that all professional education candidates purchase and maintain professional liability insurance before beginning their internship.
Beginning Spring 2022, teacher candidates participating in an internship experience who are not currently a full-time employee of a school or district will be assessed a $12.00 fee through the WCU Office of Safety and Risk Management at the beginning of your semester internship.

Policy Information

Students who are engaging in paid or unpaid internships can be covered by the Student Intern Professional Liability coverage. There is only one policy available to student interns: Mercer - This policy can be used for medical and non-medical student interns. The policy offers $2M per occurrence and $4M aggregate worth of general and professional liability coverage and a yearly policy term. The policy cost is $12 a year (August–July). A COI (Certificate of Insurance) will be provided to the student to take to their internship site as proof of insurance.


INTERNSHIP GATEWAY APPROVAL PROCESS

Once candidates have submitted their applications, the Director of OFE begins the approval process by creating approval tasks for program coordinators and academic advisors in Tk20. This approval process is called the Internship Gateway Process. As part of this process, the academic advisor reviews the candidates’ academic progress, including reporting their GPA and course performance and verifying that all prerequisite courses are complete. Then, the program coordinator completes their approval process, including completing the midpoint EDA assessment and verifying their internship eligibility. Based on all this information, program coordinators select one of the following recommendation options, 1) Recommended for Internship, 2) Recommended for Internship and a meeting with the program coordinator to provide and document formative feedback, 3) Recommended for Internship with action plan, or 4) Not recommended for Internship at this time. Program coordinators then have the opportunity to make any placement or supervision suggestions. 

This information is collected in Tk20 and then exported and used by the Director of Field Experiences to analyze and initiate placement requests for all recommended candidates with the information provided by the academic advisors and program coordinators.

Internship I

Internship I – Internship I is the first component of the full-year internship experience. Teacher candidates must start the Internship I experience during the first week of WCU classes each semester. Internship I teacher candidates must follow guidelines the schools and their programs set. Some schools invite interns to report on the first teacher workday, which is a valuable experience if it can be accomplished without incurring extra housing expenses. In all cases, the intern should coordinate the start date with the clinical educator and field supervisor before the host school’s semester begins. The number of internship hours each week varies by program, though in most cases Intern I candidates are in their host classrooms the equivalent of two full days (15 hours) per week. Interns observe the clinical educator, participate in classroom activities, and plan and teach lessons as program-specific guidelines require. Intern Is follow the WCU’s academic calendar except for initial start dates. Interns are expected to continue in their placements until the final week of classes (not exam week) at WCU.

Internship I Credit Hours to Internship Experience Expectations
Credit Hour Required Days at Host School
3 credits 2 days in your internship school
2 credits 1.5 days in your internship school
1 credit 1 day in your internship school

**If your schedule does not allow full days, you may complete ½ days that combine to the required total.


Internship I Resources

Timesheets

Video Recording

Evaluation Documents

Program Specific Requirements

Internship II

Internship II is the second component of the full-year internship experience. Internship II is a 16-week experience that requires candidates to report to the host school every day for full-day participation in the school setting. Candidates report to their schools the first day the host teachers report and remain in the schools until the final day of classes (not exams) at WCU.
During this experience, candidates take on responsibilities gradually through a phase-in and phase-out process for carrying and giving back teaching responsibility as the lead teachers. 
For most of our programs, the minimum full-time independent teaching requirement for interns is six consecutive weeks (unless program requirements mandate more or less). Full-time independent teaching includes serving as the lead teacher for the entire school day, including all instructional and curricular planning, professional activities, and duties.

*Full-time teaching may be extended for the candidate to demonstrate competency at the proficient level.


edTPA REQUIREMENTS

edTPA is a preservice assessment process designed by educators to answer the essential question: "Is a new teacher ready for the job?"  It is intended to be used for teacher licensure and to support accreditation.  edTPA was developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity. Teacher candidates completing a program that leads to initial teacher licensure are required to complete the edTPA portfolio assessment recommended for teacher licensure. edTPA due dates are announced in the internship course. It is critical that candidates complete and submits their edTPA on time. Candidates can find resources for developing the edTPA portfolio on WCU’s edTPA Resource site.

 

All candidates pursuing an initial license must submit an edTPA portfolio and meet proficiency by achieving at least the minimum score established by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information, including details about scoring requirements and resubmission, please visit WCU’s edTPA policy website

Initial licensure candidates must successfully complete an edTPA portfolio as a subject-specific summative assessment (submitted in Tk20). Clinical Educators, Field Supervisors, and Academic Supervisors are expected to provide appropriate formative support for interns during the completion of the edTPA portfolio. Guidelines for acceptable support can be found in the Guidelines for Supporting Candidates Completing edTPA document on the WCU’s edTPA Resource site.


Internship II Resources

Timesheet

Video Permission Forms for edTPA

Evaluation Documents

Extra Course Form

Program Specific Requirements

The College of Education and Allied Professions at Western Carolina University subscribes to a definition of diversity inclusive of the following attributes: age, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, geographic region, giftedness, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and school performance. WCU candidates should experience a range of school settings and interact with a variety of students. Candidates who have not been placed in a diverse setting prior to the Internship experience will be placed in a diverse setting for Internship (as allowable).

If a diverse placement in a public-school setting cannot be arranged, candidates will be allowed to complete an experience of at least 10 hours (across a full semester) with an after-school or community program that provides academic services in a structured environment for diverse students.

Diversity Requirement for Initial Licensure Residential Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

Every student must have diverse placements that meet diversity requirements 1 and 2

Requirement 1: Low performing school (use schools who score D or F on state report card) (per requirements in SB 599, § 115C-269.25)

Requirement 2: at least 1 of the following 5 characteristics:

  • 5% English language learners (use percent of test takers who are labeled Limited English Proficient in each school from accountability reporting)
  • 60% low SES (use % low income students from the Title I report)
  • 20% or more students of color (use DPI Statistical profile->Pupil information report)
  • Urban or suburban setting (use EDDIE classification)
  • Alternative class type (school is early college or charter OR classroom is AIG or other alternative; use EDDIE classification types)
 

This can be met by two placements with one meeting requirement 1 and one meeting requirement 2 OR by a single placement that meets both requirements.

If students are not able to meet Requirement 1 by their Internship placement, they may be exempt from this requirement if they have met one additional characteristic from the Requirement 2 section.

If the student does not meet these requirements by their Intern I experience, they will be required to complete an experience of at least 10 hours with a school, after-school, or community program that provides academic services in a structured environment and meets diversity requirements not previously met. An after-school or community program would be considered an “alternative class type.”

  • A placement can qualify on the school data or individual classroom data.

Diversity Requirement for Initial Licensure Distance Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

If the student is currently employed in a school setting, and this school does not meet both requirement 1 and 2, they will be required to complete an experience of at least 10 hours (across a full semester) with a school, after-school, or community program that provides academic services in a structured environment and meets the diversity requirements. An after-school or community program would be considered an “alternative class type.”

Students who are in a distance program and not employed in a school setting will self-report diversity data for any non-public school sites. OFE will, to the extent practicable, arrange for a placement to meet the diversity requirements.

Host Teachers for Block/Practicum Experience

For Elementary, Middle Grades, & Inclusive Education students.

For our “Block” placement, students are required to be with their host teacher one day per week (or 8 hours if their class schedule requires that they split between 2 days) over 10 weeks for observation.  During their time with the host teacher they will be conducting observations, assisting the teacher, and teaching several mini-lessons.

More detailed explanation of requirements and expectations are provided by the course instructor(s).


Clinical Educators for Internship

Requirements for Becoming a Clinical Educator

  1. Approved by the administrative officials of the school system, program coordinator, and the Director of Field Experiences.
  2. Professionally licensed in the field of licensure sought by the student.
  3. Experienced, with a minimum of three years in a teaching role.
  4. Committed to the education of pre-service teachers.
  5. Rated through formal evaluations, at a minimum, at the “accomplished” level under the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation System.
 

More detailed information, forms, and helpful resources can be found on our new Clinical Educators Resource site.

Forms & Information:

Specific Program Information - See Program Specific Requirements under Internship I or II.

FIELD SUPERVISORS RESOURCES ACCESS

 Field Supervisor – (FS) (formerly university supervisor) acts as the liaison between the classroom teacher and Western Carolina University. He or she has the important responsibility of ensuring a comprehensive, rewarding classroom experience for interns/student teachers.

 Job Responsibilities:

  • Serve as a good role model for prospective teachers.
  • Exhibit professionalism, courtesy, and be approachable.
  • Must attend an informational meeting/orientation at the beginning of the semester.
  • Contact the intern(s) and clinical educator(s) within the first two weeks of the WCU semester.
  • Provide all forms and documents (or directed interns to forms and documents) that are needed throughout the semester to the intern and Clinical Educator.
  • Facilitate formal and informal discussions about intern progress and areas of needed growth.
  • Communicates internship requirements & expectations to the intern and the clinical educator throughout the semester.
  • Communicate in a timely manner through phone calls and/or emails.
  • Supports the development of the intern by providing constructive, relevant, useful, and written feedback after observed lessons.
  • Collaborate and coordinates with the clinical educator and academic supervisor to schedule mid-term and final evaluation conferences, and monitor student progress.
  • Visit intern(s) a minimum of 4-5 times during Internship I and 5-6 times during Internship II. When considered necessary, additional visits may be pre-approved by the Director of Field Experiences.
  • Complete internship requirements within Tk20.

Requirements for Becoming a Field Supervisor

Minimum qualifications for serving as a Field Supervisor:

  1. Doctoral or master’s degree from an accredited institution in the teaching field.
  2. Strong classroom experience within K-12.
  3. Strong reputation as an educator and/or classroom teacher.
  4. Active NC licensure (or eligibility) in applicable area.
  5. Ability to use technology in the performance of responsibilities.
  6. Must be willing to travel to regional schools within a 100-mile round trip.
  7. Have a valid driver’s license and mode of reliable transportation.
  8. Ability to adapt to new and changing processes and technologies.

If you are interested in becoming a Field Supervisor, please apply. You will need:

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts
  • Teaching License
  • Reference List
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