Field Experience K12

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The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

ELPA 700 – Capstone Field Experience

Requirements for the Field Experience

Introduction

The primary goal of educational administrators is to improve teaching and learning so that all children can learn.  The goal of the class, Educational Administration 700/900, is to help students use their field experience to become instructional leaders, who are committed to equity, reflection and inquiry in the practice of educational administration.  A reflective administrator thinks critically about administrative practice, relates theory to practice and uses reflection to improve practice.  Administrative practice in this class is described in terms of specific administrative skills (finance, scheduling, discipline, human resources, group process, public speaking etc.) and critical thinking in identifying and evaluating problems and solutions in school settings

The Field Experience in Educational Leadership (practicum) is the culminating experience for all students seeking certification as a Principal, Director of Instruction, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, or Superintendent. Practical experience in a school setting provided under the guidance of the University Supervisor and the School Based Mentor, provides an opportunity for the student to integrate theory and practice. 

As a culminating experience, the practicum reflects the mission and values of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. To actualize the department’s mission and values the practicum activities are individually designed by the student in collaboration with the site-based mentor to promote instructional leadership focused on equity, inquiry and reflection. The responsibility for a successful practicum or internship rests primarily with the student supported by the site-based mentor and University supervisor.

Students in the practicum will experience a wide variety of administrative responsibilities and activities designed to improve teaching and learning.  The internship/practicum is designed to address each of the five domains of the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL).   The CALL provides an organizing structure for the practicum experience that is congruent with the structure of the student’s course work and experiences in the Master’s degree program. 

The practicum is legally required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is based on the Wisconsin Standards for Administrator Development and Licensure and meet the time requirements as prescribed by state law. Students must document 150 hours of supervised experience for the primary administrative license and 75 hours for other administrative licenses.  Students seeking multiple licenses, i.e. Principal license and a Director of Instruction license, only enroll in the 700 course one time. The student is not required to enroll in ELPA 700 for additional licenses.

Course Structure

The Field Experience in Educational Leadership course requires the completion of 150 hours of supervised experience under the supervision of a site-based mentor holding the primary license the student is seeking.  Additional licenses each require an additional 75 hours of supervised experiences.  Enrollment in the ELPA 700 - Field Experience in Educational Leadership class is required for the primary license.  The student is not required to enroll for additional licenses.

The practicum experience requires a minimum number of hours of supervised activity in four major areas including Curriculum and Instruction, Leadership, Personnel and Skills Development.  These four major areas address the five domains of the CALL.  Students meet as a class with the University supervisor five times during the semester to provide a peer support and professional learning group community. 

The student, site-based mentor and University Supervisor meet at the school site at least twice during the practicum experience.  The first meeting occurs during the first three weeks of the semester and the final meeting during the last three weeks of the semester. 

Documentation

Memorandum of Understanding - Students are required to complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (attached) that reflects the agreement and understanding of requirements between the student, site-based mentor and the University Supervisor.  The signed MOU is initially submitted to the University Supervisor within the first three weeks of the course.  The MOU ensures a broad set of experiences and defines the minimum number of hours of experience required in each of the four areas defined.  Projects in these areas ensure that the five domains of CALL are addressed through the practicum experience.

The final copy of the MOU serves as the final documentation that the practicum has been successfully completed.  The final signature of the site-based mentor attests that the student has performed the tasks with competence.  The final signature of the University supervisor attests that the required number of hours has been completed in each area and the reflections have been acceptable.

Appendix A – Plan of Activities (attached) is submitted concurrently with the MOU.  Appendix A defines the specific projects that the student will be engaged in, their role in the project and the final outcome expected.  Appendix is a living document and can be amended, based on changing needs, with the permission of the site-based mentor and the University supervisor.

Appendix B1 – Project Summary(ies) (attached) are submitted at the end of the practicum experience.  The Project Summary documents the total number of hours dedicated to each major project in each of the four areas.  The log also contains a running total of hours for area addressed by the activity and the total hours accumulated for the practicum experience. Activity hours not associated with a specific area project are recorded on a Project Summary as miscellaneous hours.

Appendix B2 – Reflection (attached)  is submitted at the end of the practicum experience.  One reflection is submitted for each of the four areas of the practicum.  The reflection should be a well written paper of 750 words or less reflecting the personal growth and experience that the practicum student has gained in each area.

Hourly Activity log – The Hourly Activity  Log is a more detailed description of each specific individual task that the student engaged in to complete the activities described in Appendix B.  There is an Hourly Activity Log completed for each Practicum Area. The hourly log is submitted at the end of the practicum experience.

Final Site-based Mentor Summative Evaluation – The site-based mentor will submit a confidential final summative evaluation narrative  of 2 pages or less summarizing their assessment of the growth in leadership potential of the practicum student.  The evaluation is confidential.

Policies and Practices

Registration for Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis 700/900
Permission to register is required and is granted by the practicum coordinator or student services coordinator 608-263-2701. Students should register only once for all Master’s level licenses, i.e. if seeking a principal license and a director of instruction license, only enroll in 700/900 one time not each time you are completing the requirements for a license.

MOU Primary Certification
MOU Secondary Certification
Appendix A to MOU
Appendix B - Reflective Log
ELPA 700 Site Based Mentor Evaluation
Hourly Activity Log

Educational Leadership Capstone Portfolio

Example of Principalship Practicum Components
Example of Superintendent Log
Example of Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Log

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