Policies

College of Education
Approved by College Council
August 2015

 

WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

Clinical Experience - Guided, hands-on, practical applications and demonstrations of professional knowledge of theory to practice, skills, and dispositions through collaborative and facilitated learning in field-based assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments across a variety of settings.
(Council for Accreditation of Education Preparations, http://caepnet.org/resources/glossary/, retrieved April 30, 2015)

 

POLICY 2.1 CLINICAL FIELD EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT

All undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and MAT teacher education candidates seeking an initial certification at William Paterson University are required to successfully complete at least one clinical experience as well as a full semester of clinical practice and seminar.

 

POLICY 2.2 CLINICAL FIELD EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS

Academic departments and Office of Field Experience share responsibility for recommending and assigning placements for teacher candidates.  All teacher candidates must have a range of diverse school experiences. A variety of field experiences will be provided within each program.  Teacher candidates can not be assigned to a cooperating school which they have attended, a district in which a relative is employed, or a district in which they have an affiliation including, but not limited to where they work or live.

  • All placement contacts with school districts must originate from the Office of Field Experiences.  . 
  • Teacher candidates cannot contact a district to initiate a placement.
  • Placements are made in the teacher candidate’s certification area(s) in a public (or approved private) school district.
  • Placements within school districts are contracts.  After a school district accepts a teacher candidate, the candidate is expected to honor the contract. 
  • Teacher candidates share responsibility for successful placements.  In the event an interview is requested, it is the responsibility of teacher candidates to prepare for and successfully present themselves.
  • After three unsuccessful interviews teacher candidates must meet with appropriate department faculty, and director of the Office of Field Experiences to determine discuss possible continuation in the program.
  • Teacher candidates may only postpone applications for two semesters following completion of course work.  A written request for postponement is required.

Placements are typically made in the following counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Union.  This policy is enforced to ensure the availability of a college supervisor.  Limited placements may be made in other counties under special circumstances.  All placements are contingent on school district acceptance and university supervisor availability.

 

POLICY 2.3 DESCRIPTION OF DIVERSE PLACEMENTS SITES FOR COLLEGE OF EDUCATION OF WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY

“Extensive and substantive field experiences and clinical practices are designed to encourage candidates to interact with exceptional students and students from different ethnic, racial, gender, socioeconomic, language and religious groups.  The experiences help candidates confront issues of diversity that affect teaching and student learning and develop strategies for improving student learning and candidates’ effectiveness as teachers.” (Professional standards for the accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education, 2002, p. 31) 

Determination of specific placements will be based on this NCATE definition and District Factor Grouping (DFG). Based on the DFG, a minimum of one placement must be a district with DFG of A, B, C/D, or Wharton or Englewood.  Since DFG groupings change annually, the Office of Field Experiences will use the most recent iteration for future placements. 

 

POLICY 2.3a OBSERVATION AND TUTORING

Twenty hour observation and tutoring must be in Professional Development Schools with a priority in urban schools.  When such placements cannot be made, consideration may be given to placement in other schools.  Teacher Candidates must apply through the Office of Field Experiences and may NOT contact districts on their own.

 

POLICY 2.4 ACCEPTANCE TO THE CLINICAL EXPERIENCES (PRACTICUM): INITIAL CERTIFICATION AT THE UNDERGRADUATE AND THE POST-BACCALAUREATE LEVELS

In order to be eligible for the field experience(s), a teacher candidate must have the following prerequisites:

1.         Admission to the appropriate certification program.

a. must have passed the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Teachers exam,
b. pass the William Paterson speech and hearing screening, and
c. maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

2.         Approval of the individual applicant by the department which is responsible for certification, based on the following standards:

a. An overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher at the close of the semester immediately preceding the clinical experience.

b. A cumulative grade point average as deemed appropriate in the academic major and a 3.0 grade point average in the teacher education sequence, as deemed by the appropriate certification program.

c. Satisfactory completion of all preliminary field experiences and courses required in the program.

d. A minimum of 60 credits completed at the time of application for clinical experience at the undergraduate level.

e. Completion of all requirements based on the freshman basic skills tests in reading, writing, and mathematics, and the successful completion of UCC College Writing, prior to admission to the teacher education major at the undergraduate level.

f. Consideration of additional departmental standards in the form of auditions, physical performance requirements, submission of portfolio, specific skills tests, comprehensive tests, etc.

g. Submission of the Clinical Experience Application, including four (4) copies of the biographical data form.

h. Current NJ substitute license and documentation of negative results on Mantoux test to the Office of Field Experiences at least three (3) months in advance of the field experience semester. 


POLICY 2.5 ACCEPTANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE INTERNSHIP
(EDUC 4140, 4150, 4190, 5140, 5400, SMAT 5600)

In order to be eligible for clinical practice, a teacher candidate must have the following prerequisites:

  1.       Admission to the appropriate certification program.

               a. must have passed the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Teachers exam,
               b. pass the William Paterson speech and hearing screening, and
               c. maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

 2.         Approval of the individual applicant by the department which is responsible for certification, based on the following standards:

a. An overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or at the close of the semester immediately preceding the clinical practice experience.

b. A cumulative grade point average as deemed appropriate in the academic major and a 3.0 grade point average in the teacher education sequence, as deemed by the appropriate certification program.

c. Satisfactory completion of all preliminary field experiences and courses required in the program.

d. A minimum of 84 credits completed at the time of application for clinical practice at the undergraduate level.

e. Successful completion of additional departmental standards in the form of auditions, physical performance requirements, submission of portfolio, specific skills tests, comprehensive tests, and requirements to pass all appropriate PRAXIS Subject Test exams for certification(s).

3.             a. Submission of the Clinical Practice Application, including four (4) copies of the biographical data, to the Office of
               Field Experiences no later than one year preceding the academic semester of the internship for the following fall or
               spring semesters.

b. Current NJ substitute license and documentation of negative results on Mantoux test must be submitted three (3) months in advance of the field experience semester.

c. Provide official passing PRAXIS Subject Test scores for the certification area(s) being sought by August 1st for clinical practice in the fall semester and January 1st for clinical practice in the spring semester. 

 

POLICY 2.6 ACCEPTANCE TO IN-SERVICE SUPERVISED TEACHING AND SEMINAR

 In-Service Supervised Teaching and Seminar is only available to post baccalaureate candidates who meet one of the following requirements: 

1.       K-6/TSD post baccalaureate candidates must be under contract as a K-6 Special Education teacher of record with two NJDOE Certificates of Eligibility, Elementary and Special Education, in an approved public school for the period of the intended in-service.  Candidates must have completed 12 program credits in order to be eligible and will complete the entire program by the end of their first year of in-service or

2.       K-6, K-6/TSD, K-12 post baccalaureate candidates must be under contract as the teacher of record with a NJDOE Certificate of Eligibility, in an approved private school for the period of the intended in-service or

3.       School Nurse candidates must be under contract as a School Nurse with NJDOE Emergency Certification (non-instructional) for the period of the intended in-service

In-Service candidates must be accepted into the K-6, K-6/TSD, K-12 initial certification post-baccalaureate program or School Nurse program, have completed all courses in the certification program except student teaching and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Prior application with the Office of Field Experiences is required, with written approval of the principal of an approved school and the recommendation of the appropriate department chair (or designee).

Approval of a school is based upon the following criteria: 

1.    student population similar to that of a public school system

2.    recognized as a school by a government agency

3.    accredited by appropriate accrediting agencies

4.    the principal and a majority of teachers must be certified or eligible for certification in New Jersey

5.    the school must be located within the accepted boundaries of university supervision

6.    the subjects taught must match the area of certification being sought

 

Candidates cannot combine traditional and alternate route programs.  Candidates cannot be enrolled in the NJDOE provisional teacher program, public school alternate route program, and participate in in-service.

 

POLICY 2.7 APPLICATION DEADLINE and APPEALS

  1. Teacher candidates must turn in applications for both clinical experience and clinical practice one year in advance in accordance with announced deadlines.
  2. Teacher candidates may appeal a decision about acceptance of their application for field placement.   Upon the review of application materials and subsequent written recommendation of the department chair (or designee), all relevant materials should be submitted to the Office of Field Experiences.  Teacher candidates will be placed on a waiting list
  3. Teacher candidates on the waiting list cannot be guaranteed a placement.  When registering for classes, students should not sign up for clinical field experience and its attendant courses, but should make arrangements to take other courses.  Teacher candidates on the waiting list will be placed if the following condition exists: open-ended placement possibilities arise in districts.
No clinical field experience placements, for whatever reason, can be requested after the first day of the semester of the requested field experience.

 

POLICY 2.8 CLINICAL EXPERIENCE TEACHER CANDIDATE RESPONSIBILITIES/QUALIFICATIONS

Clinical experience teacher candidates are expected to regard their assignment as a full semester, one or two day responsibility during which they are required to work all hours of each school day for the entire experience.  Clinical experience teacher candidates follow the same teaching schedule as the clinical educator.  Employment and other outside activities must be reduced to a point where the student is not unduly fatigued, and which permits ample time for conferences with the clinical educator, thorough daily preparation, and appropriate participation in relevant school programs.  Teacher candidates are expected to arrive and leave in accordance with professional schedules.  It is expected that field experience teacher candidates will not participate in any employment, activity or university function which interferes with the responsibility and requirement of the professional experience.

Clinical experience teacher candidates must keep a weekly reflective journal of their experiences in the assigned school. It shall follow the Contextual Factors Journal guidelines. Journals must be submitted to the clinical supervisor and seminar instructor on a weekly basis. 

If a teacher candidate disagrees with the assessment provided by the clinical educator and/or clinical supervisor they may follow the grade appeal protocol used by William Paterson University.  A teacher candidate may ask for feedback on assessment ratings but are not to put undue pressure on their clinical educator or clinical supervisor to change their assessment for clinical field work.

 

POLICY 2.9 STUDENT TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES/QUALIFICATIONS

Clinical practice teacher candidates are expected to regard their assignment as a full semester, full-time responsibility during which they are required to work all hours of each school day for the entire experience.  Clinical practice teacher candidates will follow the same teaching schedule as the clinical educator.  Employment and other outside activities should be reduced to a point where the student is not unduly fatigued, and which permits ample time for conferences with the cooperating teacher, thorough daily preparation, and participation in the whole program of the school.  Teacher candidates should not request to leave early or to be absent from the cooperating school during this semester.It is expected that field experience students will not participate in any employment, activity or university function which interferes with the responsibility and requirement of the professional experience.  All teacher candidates enrolled in clinical practice may register for no more than one course (3 or 4 credits) beyond clinical practice and the clinical practice seminar.

  • Clinical practice teacher candidates will need to keep a weekly reflective journal of their experiences in the assigned school. It shall follow the Contextual Factors Journal guidelines. Journals are to be submitted to the clinical supervisor and seminar instructor on a weekly basis.

If a teacher candidate disagrees with the assessment provided by the clinical educator and/or clinical supervisor they may follow the grade appeal protocol used by William Paterson University.  A teacher candidate may ask for feedback on assessment ratings but are not to put undue pressure on their clinical educator or clinical supervisor to change their assessment for clinical field work.

 

POLICY 2.10 CLINICAL EXPERIENCE/CLINICAL PRACTICE ATTENDANCE POLICY

 During clinical experience only one documented, unavoidable absence is allowed.  Additional absences must be made up by arrangement with the Office of Field Experiences, the clinical educator, and the clinical supervisor.  Emergency school closures and other non federal holidays must be made up by clinical experience teacher candidates.

 During the clinical practice assignment, the teacher candidate is allowed three documented, unavoidable absences.  If a teacher candidate misses up to an additional three days of clinical practice (a total of 6 days or 8% of the semester) or one day of clinical experience and if the explanation for absences is acceptable to the clinical educator, the clinical supervisor, and the Office of Field Experiences, a teacher candidate may be permitted a makeup opportunity.  If such a makeup is approved, that teacher candidate can make up the days missed at the end of the current semester.  The clinical educator and  clinical supervisor must submit a grade of Incomplete.  When the teacher candidate completes the work, the clinical educator and clinical supervisor will be responsible for submitting revised reports so that a grade change can be processed.  Teacher candidates do not take William Paterson University’s spring break. If emergency closures are excessive and are deemed to impact the student teaching experience the Office of Field Experience in concert with the Office of the Dean will determine how many days will need to be made up at the end of the semester.

 A.         Internal Policy for clinical experience Attendance

Absences: Day 1
During the clinical experience assignment, the teacher candidate is allowed one documented, unavoidable absence. 

Absences: Days 2,3,4
If a clinical experience student misses two-four days and if absences are acceptable to the clinical educator, the clinical supervisor, and the Office of Field Experiences, that teacher candidate can make up the time missed at the end of the semester.  The clinical educator and clinical supervisor must submit a grade of Incomplete.  When the clinical experience teacher candidate completes the work, the clinical educator and the clinical supervisor will be responsible for submitted revised reports so that a grade change can be processed.

Absences: 5 or more
If a clinical experience teacher candidate misses 5 or more days, except in the case of extenuating circumstances as communicated with the Office of Field Experiences at the time of absences, without an official WD, that teacher candidate will fail clinical experience for the semester and must reapply for an additional semester.

 

B.         Internal Policy for Clinical Practice Attendance

Absences: Days 1, 2, 3
During the clinical practice assignment, the teacher candidate is allowed three documented, unavoidable absences. 

Absences: Days 4, 5, 6
If a teacher candidate misses up to an additional three days of clinical practice (a total of 6 days or 8% of the semester), and if absences are acceptable to the clinical educator, the clinical supervisor, and the Office of Field Experiences, that teacher candidate  can make up the time missed at the end of the semester.  The clinical educator and clinical supervisor must submit a grade of Incomplete.  When the teacher candidates completes the work, the clinical educator and the clinical supervisor will be responsible for submitted revised reports so that a grade change can be processed.

Absences: Days 7 to 25
If a teacher candidate misses more than 6 days but less than 26 days (approximately 1/3 of the semester), and if absences are acceptable to the clinical educator, the clinical supervisor, and the Office of Field Experiences, that teacher candidate can take an incomplete for clinical practice for that semester if certain arrangements can be made or they may be removed from the program.  The Office of Field Experiences will work with the school district to see if that teacher candidate can continue into the next semester (either January or June) to complete the days missed.  The clinical supervisor and the clinical educator would have to agree to continue to supervise that teacher candidate until the time is made up.  When the teacher candidate completes the work, the clinical educator and clinical supervisor will be responsible for submitting revised reports so that a grade change can be processed.

Absences: Days 26 or more
If a teacher candidate misses 26 or more days of clinical practice without an official WD, that teacher candidate will fail clinical practice for the semester. If a teacher candidate would like to continue in the program, they must submit a request to repeat clinical practice. The request would need to be approved by the appropriate departments as detailed in Policy 2.13.  

 

POLICY 2.11 AT RISK TEACHER CANDIDATES

Teacher candidates identified as in jeopardy of receiving a failing grade in practicum or student teaching must have an observation scheduled by a full-time faculty member from the appropriate department or program within two weeks of notification of the problem by the Director of the Office of Field Experiences.

Teacher candidates who receive a failing rating on their Interim Report from the clinical educator and/or university supervisor must meet with the appropriate Department Chair, the Director of the Office of Field Experiences or their designees to determine permission to continue in the field experience and/or program.

Teacher candidates who receive a failing grade at the end of the semester must meet with the appropriate Department Chair, the Director of the Office of Field Experiences or their designees to determine permission to repeat the field experience and/or continue in the program.

 

POLICY 2.12 REMOVAL FROM CLINICAL FIELD EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS

After the probationary period, the Office of Field Experiences, in communication with the university supervisor, clinical educator/school administration and the appropriate academic department, will remove a teacher candidate from a placement if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • unexcused or unacceptable absences for more than three (3) days for clinical practice and one (1) day for clinical experience;
  • insubordination;
  • leaving the classroom/school without permission or unannounced;
  • inappropriate professional behavior as outlined in the Professional Dispositions of Teacher Candidates at WP;
  • inability to function appropriately leading to dismissal by the university and/or cooperating school;
  • consistent unacceptable teaching performance as expected  in the Performance Assessment for Clinical Experiences (PACE),  
  • behavior contrary to the expectations of teacher candidates in the P-12 setting found within the College of Education’s Professional Dispositions and/or
  • any other inappropriate or unprofessional behaviors as outlined by the professional associations codes of ethics, the policies of the placement school and expectations and guidelines as outlined in the field experience and student teaching handbooks. 

When a teacher candidate is removed from a clinical field experience they are not to contact the school district including but not limited to the clinical educator, other teachers in the school or district, principals or superintendent unless provided permission by the Office of Field Experiences or appropriate program department.

All materials including but not limited to text books, student work, grade book, school keys, teaching materials (e.g. manipulatives, props, equipment) must be returned to the school in a timely manner as coordinated by the Office of Field Experiences.

 

POLICY 2.13 REPEATING FIELD EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS AND/OR SEMINAR

A teacher candidate may repeat their field experience once if they do not complete it for one of the following reasons:

  • have urgent health reasons;
  • have urgent family circumstances or other extenuating circumstances e.g. natural disaster;

If a teacher candidate is removed from or fail a field experience, they may repeat the field experience once at the discretion of the university if they:

  • are removed by the Office of Field Experiences, in communication with the university supervisor, clinical educator/school administration, and the appropriate academic department because of poor performance;
  • received a failing grade upon completion of field experience.

In order to repeat a field experience, teacher candidates must:

  • have permission from the appropriate department faculty, in consultation with the clinical supervisor and Director of the Office of Field Experiences.
  • complete the field experience within a two-year period from the date of withdrawal or the date of receiving a grade of “fail”;
  • agree to follow any recommendations for improvement emanating from the program offering certification;
  • review and sign a Teacher Preparation Early Alert Disposition form, completed by the Office of Field Experiences, if inappropriate or unprofessional behavior was cause for or contributed to removal from the field experience.

Teacher candidates who are provided the opportunity to repeat the clinical field experience must re-register for and repeat any seminar class that is offered in conjunction with field experience.  When possible, teacher candidates repeating clinical field experiences will be assigned a full-time William Paterson University faculty supervisor. Students who are not permitted to repeat required field experiences, or fail or are removed from the second opportunity in field experience, will not be allowed to continue in the program.

If removal is the result of unethical conduct, criminal activity, extreme incompetence or professional dispositions unbecoming an educator, as stated in the NEA, CEC or other accepted professional codes of ethics, the student may be denied the opportunity to repeat the clinical field experience. 

 

Seminar

Teacher candidates who fail seminar but pass a clinical field experience must repeat that seminar during the next semester in which it is offered.  If the seminar grade is included with the field experience grade, the student will receive an “IN” (incomplete) grade for field experience/seminar.  Once the teacher candidate has successfully completed seminar, the student notifies the instructor who then will submit a change of grade form.

 

POLICY 2.14 MISCELLANEOUS POLICIES

Clinical Supervisors

Clinical supervisors of clinical experience teacher candidates and clinical practice teacher candidates must have Masters Degrees and be certified in the areas in which they supervise (or as supervisors under certain circumstances). 

A.         Clinical Experience                                           

Clinical experience observations and seminars are determined on a department or program basis.  There is a Final Report in which the clinical supervisor considers the clinical educator’s report and his or her own evaluation in assigning clinical experience teacher candidates a grade of Pass, Fail or Incomplete.

B.         Clinical Practice Teacher Candidates

Clinical supervisors are required to observe clinical practice teacher candidates every other week, or a minimum of eight (8) times.  Clinical supervisors are required to complete an Interim Report and a Final Report.  The Interim Report does not become part of the teacher candidate’s permanent record.  The Final Report, in which the college supervisor considers the clinical educator’s report and his or her own evaluation, becomes an important document that is used by the Office of Certification for certification eligibility.  The college supervisor assigns a clinical practice grade of Pass, Fail, or Incomplete.

Clinical Educators

The clinical educator must be fully certified, have at least four years experience as a teacher and meet the Office of Field Experience recommended criteria for selection of clinical educators.

 

Substitute Teaching:

The purpose of the clinical field experience is to provide learning experiences for the pre-service teacher candidate under the guidance of a certified and experienced teacher.  Should a clinical educator be absent on a short-term basis outstanding pre-service teacher candidates may not be asked to teach in their place unless without a substitute teacher present. No field experience candidate may be assigned as a substitute teacher, with or without compensation. 

The essential purpose of the clinical field experience is to provide learning experiences for the pre-service teacher under the guidance of a certified and experienced teacher.  The use of teacher candidates as substitute teachers is inconsistent with this purpose and is of questionable legality.

 

Policy 2.15 VISITING STUDENT TEACHERS

The College of Education only accepts visiting teacher candidates from other NCATE/CAEP approved institutions for guest placements where the students are in good standing. 

The following criteria must be in place for acceptance.  A visiting student teacher must:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from an accredited NCATE/CAEP institution*;
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from his/her academic department/university;
  • Be interviewed by the Director of Field Experiences;
  • Submit a completed application for Visiting Student Teacher;
  • Complete a WP field placement application;
  • Register for student teaching at the sending institution and
  • Make payment of fees to Office of Field Experiences, William Paterson University for supervision, clinical educator, supervisor travel and other costs by August 1st for fall semester placement or November 1st for spring semester placement.

 

Source

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2002). Professional standards for the accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education.  Washington DC.