Element 1: Collaboration Between Unit and School Partners
Element 2: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
Element 3: Candidates' Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions to Help All Students Learn
Standard 3: Field Experiences
The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school personnel develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and its dispositions necessary to help all students.
TEGU’s conceptual framework utilizes the INTASC Standards throughout the program. All instructors in the required core courses of BSE majors collect data on student performance relative to the INTASC Standards. Most courses that have extended practicum and clinical experiences such as the methods classes and student teaching, measure all of the INTASC Standards. Each candidate has the opportunity to review their standing on the INTASC Standards by accessing their file on the assessment system database. Faculty advisors will have access to the same database.
In the advanced programs, the M.S. in Communication Disorders involves a substantial internship experience and is subject to the Standards outlined by AASHA. The M.S. in Special Education also includes extensive clinical experiences and the placement of these candidates follows a model similar to that of the undergraduate program. School Psychology candidates have an extensive internship that concludes their program. The other advanced programs serve practicing teachers and do not require further internship experiences.
3.1.1 The school and unit share and integrate resources and expertise to support the candidates’ learning in field experiences and clinical practice.
Collaboration with school partners begins with the practicum and student teaching placement process for initial candidates. The Office of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement coordinates the placement of candidates for their shadowing, practica, and student teaching in Minot Public and area schools. The cooperating teachers agree to accept a candidate into their classrooms as a professional development experience for themselves and as a service to the Unit’s mission. They support the candidate’s growth at each stage of their program by working with the university faculty to provide excellent learning opportunities. Collaboration at the student teaching level requires practicing teachers to have three years of successful teaching, a class in the supervision of student teachers, and the permission of the district, thus allowing only the best teachers to participate. The university supervisors must have classroom teaching experience at the level they are supervising. Both the university and the local districts provide expertise and teaching materials for the candidates. Candidates are encouraged to participate in district professional development activities while in the schools, such as in-services, professional organizations (e.g. NEA, ATE, IRA, NCTM, CEC, AAPHERD), and departmental or discipline-specific meetings. Many teachers comment that the teacher candidates bring fresh and up-to-date ideas as they student teach. This sort of experience helps form a conduit to provide teachers in the field with information about resources at the university. Teachers in the area are also able to use the CD/SPED media center on campus. (North Dakota ESPB)
TEGU has established a Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee made up of local teachers, administrators, and other interested parties to advise the Unit on candidate admission, retention, and other policies. The group brings a wide range of expertise to support the Teacher Education program. This support has included suggestions for redesigning the practicum and student teaching evaluation forms. An honorarium for clinical teachers for practica has recently been added, the amount negotiated by the stakeholders with the MSU administration.
Within the Minot Public School district, university faculty, clinical teachers, and students make use of ‘First Class’, an intra-district computer network, to share ideas and to collaborate on educational topics and field experiences. The Minot Schools and MSU share the ‘Pony Express,’ an intra-school delivery service for exchanging educational materials.
TEGU sponsors yearly retreats to bring together all Unit members as well as Stakeholders and other interested parties. These retreats not only conduct the required business of TEGU, they also allow for the exchange of ideas, expertise, and resources of all the departments involved in Teacher Education. TEGU believes that this integration of human resources supports the learning of the candidates.
Many university faculty are members of ATE (Association of Teacher Educators) at the local, state, and national levels. ATE supports faculty and classroom teachers involved in field experiences. Student teaching candidates also may and do join ATE. ATE and the Unit collectively host an annual banquet where they recognize Outstanding Student Teachers and Cooperating Teachers.
3.1.2 Both unit and school based faculty are involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating the unit’s conceptual frameworks and the school program.
The Stakeholders’ Committee, made up of local teachers, administrators, and other interested parties, have access to TEAC through the P&P co-chairs and make use of that access by contributing directly to initiating and refining policy for the Unit. This committee also attends annual retreats where the framework and Teacher Education programs are designed and evaluated.
The local and state ATE association allows for dissemination of information about TEGU and its policies, and takes advantage of meetings of this group to solicit feedback about the MSU programs. TEGU members hold leadership positions in the local ATE and regularly share information about the programs at MSU with the executive board and the membership. The local PDK (Phi Delta Kappa) is also kept up to date with information about MSU programs with the faculty who hold membership and often present on new programs and solicit feedback.
MSU has longstanding partnerships with educators in the area at the administrative level and at the classroom teacher level. Personnel from MSU hold membership in the Northwest School Leaders, which is an organization of school superintendents and other educational leaders from the northwest corner of the state of North Dakota. MSU representatives often attend Northwest School Leader monthly meetings and host the opening meeting of the Northwest School Leaders each school year. At this meeting MSU faculty regularly ask for and receive valuable feedback on how well the unit prepares professionals for the classroom. Many aspects of the current program came about as a direct result of suggestions from the Northwest School Leaders. One example is the inclusion of a classroom management component in the required professional core.
3.1.3 Candidates participate in the unit’s and the school partners’ professional development activities and instructional programs for candidates and for children.
MSU has formal agreements regarding field experiences and college credit program with many of the school districts in the area and has in particular a longstanding relationship with Minot Public Schools. The formal agreement set up with Minot Public Schools serves as a model for similar agreements with other school districts. MSU and Minot Public Schools hold joint meetings at the administrative level once or twice a year where they discuss issues of concern to both entities.
Teacher Education candidates who are members of the Students of North Dakota Educational Association (SNDEA) participate in the statewide teachers’ convention and have a standing invitation to professional development activities held within the area.
The Minot Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) has a longstanding positive relationship with a teacher education programs at MSU. The Director of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement is one of two permanent members of the local ATE executive and other faculty members often serve in leadership positions within that organization. The ATE works in partnership with MSU and each year identify and recognize individuals who are outstanding student teachers and outstanding cooperating teachers. The ATE, in partnership with MSU, sponsors professional development activities and often provides a venue for discussion of issues relative to the preparation of teachers.
MSU established a Stakeholders Advisory Committee which consists of school trustees, central office personnel, school principals (at both the elementary and secondary levels), teachers (at both the elementary and secondary levels), teachers who are serving as cooperating teachers, teacher education candidates, and faculty from the university. This group plays a large role in instructional planning and evaluation for the Unit as new policies and procedures are presented to this group for their advice and in turn members of this committee have the opportunity to make suggestions for policy changes to the P&P or to TEAC.
One of the initiatives of this group is to jointly sponsor professional development activities. MSU has offered to provide an instructor to teach graduate level Professional Development courses for faculty both at the university and in the public schools. Teachers wishing to have course credit would simply pay a course registration fee. For example, the Director of the Office of Advisement and Field offers a three-hour workshop for Minot Public School teachers in the supervision of student teachers. This ESPB-approved workshop allows MSU to create a larger pool of qualified teachers for clinical supervision. This and other professional development courses may also be open to senior level teacher education candidates. ‘College for Kids,’ an outreach to the Minot Community by MSU, is supported by TEGU faculty as well.
3.1.4 The unit and its school partners jointly determine the specific placements of student teachers and interns for other professional roles to maximize the learning experience for candidates and P-12 students.
Local school jurisdictions are canvassed each year to help establish a database with the names of teachers who are eligible to serve as cooperating teachers and mentors. Teachers must have a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience prior to becoming eligible to supervise a student teacher. Also, before a teacher’s name may be placed on the database, school administrators must give their approval. The Director of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement makes use of this database in assigning candidates to their student teaching sites after obtaining the building principal’s approval. Cooperating teachers must complete a university course on Supervision of Student Teachers or have attended a recent workshop on the role of a cooperating teacher. To ensure an adequate supply of qualified cooperating teachers MSU offers Ed 500 - Supervision of Student Teachers (two graduate workshop credits), ED 520 - Supervision and Mentoring of Pre-service and New Teachers (three-credit graduate level course) and a three hour non-credit workshop on supervision of student teachers. Teachers may take ED 520 without charge if they will agree to accept a student teacher without honorarium one time within the next two years.
All regular practicum and student teaching placements (including shadowing) must be processed through the Office of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement. Specialized programs often handle their own placements.
3.2.1 Field experiences allow candidates to apply and reflect on their content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a variety of settings with students and adults.
MSU considers candidate’s participation in practica and student teaching as a critical part of the Unit’s conceptual framework. The theme of Teacher as Reflective Decision-Maker and the conceptual model of ARK are well served by the practical experiences that the candidates have prior to completion of their program.
The practical experiences provide candidates with an opportunity to practice the skills and application of knowledge in a thoughtful manner. This gives the unit the opportunity to see candidates in Action, to see them thoughtfully Reflect upon the application of teaching strategies, and to see them apply the Knowledge they acquire to promote student learning. These practicum experiences allow faculty and the Unit’s partners in the field to observe the candidate’s dispositions and their suitability for the profession.
Teacher Education candidates at MSU have many opportunities to grow and develop in progressively more realistic classroom settings. Prior to being admitted as a teacher education candidate, individuals must provide evidence that they have had at least 20 hours of experience in a supervisory role with students of an age comparable to the area they will teach and they must also participate in a shadowing experience as part of Ed 201 - Introduction to Teaching. These prospective teachers are asked to observe students and their cooperating teachers, and to reflect upon those observations.
Throughout the required coursework in the teacher education program candidates perform tasks indicative of a teacher. They must create year plans, unit plans, lesson plans, individual program plans, management plans, and assessment tools. Each methods class within the secondary disciplines requires the student to spend a minimum of 60 hours in a classroom. Programs that lead to k-12 licensure often have several methods classes and also require their candidates to have at least 60 hours of classroom experience. The elementary education program, with its multiple methods classes, requires students to spend five weeks of full days in a regular classroom prior to student teaching. In all methods practica, candidates are required to reflect upon their knowledge, teaching skills, and dispositions in actual classroom settings.
In addition to helping candidates to develop the ability to reflect the Unit also introduces eight dispositions important to a good teacher. These eight dispositions are introduced to all Teacher Education candidates in Ed 201 Introduction to Teaching. Following this introduction to the dispositions, each individual candidate completes a self-assessment using a four-point rubric as part of their admissions packet. Each candidate is also required to submit two dispositions references from individuals who have worked with him or her in a supervisory capacity; these reference forms provide TEGU with an initial assessment of each candidate’s teaching dispositions. Following a candidate’s admission into Teacher Education faculty observe their actions as they complete their course work and practicum. If a faculty member or school partner finds that candidates demonstrate behavior that is contrary to the eight identified teaching dispositions, they may complete a dispositions’ report and send it to the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance. The Teacher Education and Human Performance Department Chair sends a copy of the disposition report to the candidate’s advisor and if the report is serious enough that it requires immediate action, it will be sent to TEAC. If a candidate’s disposition report is not especially egregious, the adviser shall meet with the candidate and discuss with him/her an appropriate course of action to remedy the concerns. The adviser and candidate communicate to the faculty or school partner who reported the concern and indicate how the issue has been dealt with. If the candidate’s actions were particularly egregious, TEAC will collect appropriate evidence or statements about the reported activities and may take action ranging from simply asking the adviser to meet with the candidate to create a plan of action to remedy the concern, to removing the candidate from the Teacher Education program at MSU.
To help point out the importance of the dispositions, students are asked to complete a self-assessment of their dispositions along with the INTASC standards at the time of their application for admission and at the time of application for student teaching. At the end of their student teaching experience and toward the end of their first year of teaching they again complete a self-assessment on the dispositions that then becomes part of the Unit’s database. The university supervisors and cooperating teachers of all candidates involved with student teaching also assess the candidate’s teaching dispositions. The Unit makes use of these assessments to monitor a candidate’s teaching dispositions and subsequently provides feedback to the candidate and the Unit.
3.2.2 Field experiences and clinical practice extend the unit’s conceptual framework into practice through modeling by clinical faculty and well-designed opportunities to learn through doing.
The candidates’ initial field experience at MSU is the shadowing experience that requires them to observe and reflect on regular classroom learning experiences. During the ED 460 Managing the Learning Environment class students have a three-hour field experience where they are asked to observe and reflect on management techniques. During the methods classes, faculty model best practice in introducing lessons. Candidates then teach original lesson plans to their peers as they prepare for classroom teaching. Candidates must observe their clinical teacher in preparation for classroom teaching. Not only does this allow the candidate to benefit from learning how to motivate, teach, and evaluate lessons, but it also allows candidates to observe appropriate teaching dispositions. Observation and monitoring continue in the student teaching experience. During student teaching, candidates gradually take over full responsibility for motivation, teaching, and evaluation over the required period. Candidate opportunities to learn and practice are designed to allow them to take on an increasingly responsible role in the classroom.
3.2.3 During clinical practice, candidate learning is integrated into the school program and into teaching practice.
As candidates participate in regular P-12 classrooms prior to and during student teaching, they have the opportunity to participate fully in school programs where they are assigned. University faculty and clinical personnel within the schools consistently mentor candidates and help them to understand the school environment.
Candidates are encouraged to participate in professional development activities and in the school lives of their students. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty meetings, in-service opportunities, teacher conferences with parents (including grade conferences), IEP meetings, and professional meetings such as NEA, ATE, IRA, or NCTM.
3.2.4 Candidates observe and are observed by others.
Initially all candidates have had at least twenty hours of experience with children prior to entrance into Teacher Education and then they have a day-long shadowing experience in their Intro to Teaching class. Prior to any further practicum experiences candidates are often given the opportunity to practice-teach with their peers and receive feedback from their instructors as well as their peers. When candidates have the opportunity to participate in regular classrooms, they are always required to spend an initial portion of their time observing their cooperating teacher. The cooperating teachers will conference with these candidates and explain the rationale for the strategies that they use in their class. During practicum experience at the pre-student teaching level candidates are observed, often by their peers, and always by their clinical teachers and university supervisors. These observations of the Unit’s candidates are followed by conferences where valuable feedback is provided to each candidate. In many schools the principal will take the opportunity to visit the classroom of these prospective teachers and then follow up this observation with a conference. Cooperating teachers often hold conferences with their student teachers several times during the day. University supervisors visit each candidate and make at least three visits during their student teaching experience and in each case they conference with the student and the cooperating teacher following their observations. If the university supervisor or cooperating teacher feels that a candidate needs further observations, arrangements are made for this to take place. In some cases extensions may be made to allow candidates to improve upon their performance prior to the final summative evaluation. Candidates are often asked to maintain a reflective journal during their student teaching experience and many university supervisors regularly peruse that journal as they look for ways to help the candidate improve their teaching capabilities.
3.2.5 Candidates interact with teachers, college or university supervisors, and other interns about their practice regularly and continually.
Teacher Education candidates at MSU have many opportunities to observe professionals in the field. From the shadowing experience to the culminating activity of student teaching, candidates are able to observe and participate with practicing teachers and school administrators. Local schools have welcomed teacher education candidates into their buildings and have included them in almost all school activities from professional development workshops after school, in-service opportunities during school, to inclusion in parent conferences held at during the school year.
During shadowing and practicum, candidates interact with clinical teachers, university supervisors, and their peers to reflect on their practice and dispositions in actual teaching situations. Formal and informal observations by clinical and university personnel give substantive feedback about their growth as teachers. Formative and summative evaluations provide specific strengths and weaknesses. Graduate interns are regularly observed and evaluated as well.
3.2.6 Candidates reflect on and can justify their own practice.
Candidates are expected to reflect in increasing depth at each stage of their preparation program. Beginning with their shadow experience through methods classes and student teaching, reflection activities are built into all coursework in which there is a field experience. University faculty engages candidates in discussion to help them clarify their thoughts and beliefs. During student teaching, many candidates are expected to keep a reflective journal that is often read by the clinical teacher and the university supervisor; the discussion allows the candidates to explicate and refine their ideas about teaching and about their particular students.
INTASC Standard 3 focuses on adapting instruction for individual needs and each candidate is expected to demonstrate his or her ability to apply these principles during early practicum and particularly during their student teaching experience. The INTASC data indicate that the Unit’s student teachers score 3.09 on a four-point scale for assessing Standard 3 during student teaching. (Assessment Data)
Student teachers are required to submit a diversity document with their final evaluation packet in which they collect data concerning the demographic, ethnic, and racial make-up of the class where they are placed. In addition to academic and social similarities and differences, this additional information helps candidates reflect more deeply into the lives of their students and allow them to structure their teaching more effectively.
The Unit recognizes the critical nature of all practical experiences and looks to be sure that cooperating teachers are great examples of the profession. Each cooperating teacher must be recommended by the school’s administrator and must have completed course work or a workshop relative to the duties of being a cooperating teacher. The Director of Teacher Advisement and Field Placement ensures that practicum experience and student teaching placements provide a variety of settings and experience with as many diverse school personnel as is possible in our region. Policy for placement of candidates in their practicum is intended to ensure a variety of strong professional experiences for each candidate.
INTASC Standard 8 focuses on assessment of student learning and Teacher Education candidates receive a great deal of instruction in this area. Candidates are required to develop assessment tools that relate to student learning outcomes and are expected to use these during all practicum experiences. An exit requirement of all candidates during their student teaching is to produce evidence that they have had a positive impact upon student learning in the classrooms where they have the opportunity to teach. They may accomplish this in a variety of ways but the most common is to use a pre-test post-test to calculate gain scores. This practice of assessment requires the candidate to reflect on the whole learning experience they have participated in. Cooperating teachers and university supervisors assess the candidates’ abilities in this area and report it did on the final student teaching evaluation form.
3.2.7/3.2.8 Candidates are members of instructional teams in the school and are active participants in professional decisions. They are involved in a variety of school-based activities directed at the improvement of teaching and learning, including the use of information technology.
In many methods classes, candidates peer teach their colleagues. This activity allows candidates to practice their skills and dispositions in a more realistic but less stressful environment. The team atmosphere of this teaching gives them an introduction to partnerships they will form in the classroom with teaching colleagues (INTASC Standard 10). In practica, candidates are introduced to teams in the schools. Candidates are invited to participate in many school related activities while student teaching. Candidates are invited to participate in faculty meetings, professional development activities, extracurricular activities, IEP meetings, and parent-teacher conferences.
Minot Public Schools, in partnership with surrounding districts, conduct a number of professional development activities and conferences and regularly welcome faculty from MSU and its candidates. While the candidates are in local schools, they have the opportunity to take advantage of the Minot Public School system’s "First Class", an intra-net system utilizing e-mail and bulletin board type communications. This technology allows candidates and faculty to communicate easily with local school personnel, their administrators and university faculty.
Candidates in Ed 380 Technology in Teaching are introduced to the newest and most efficient and effective technology tools in the field of education. In practica and student teaching they often share their learning with their clinical teachers and others in their schools. Teachers in the school systems have been trained in technology (e.g. grading procedures) and share this expertise with student teachers.
3.2.9 Candidates collect data on student learning, analyze them, reflect on their work, and develop strategies for improving learning.
This is addressed in the ten INTASC Standards used to assess all candidate performance during clinical settings. The INTASC Standards are presented to candidates very early in the program and they are taught that these standards form the goals of our program. Education 320 Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment, one of the required courses in the program, has a major emphasis on evaluation and its role in teaching and learning. Candidates are taught to use assessment as a planning tool for student learning, not as simply a means of data collection.
Student teachers are required to provide evidence of student learning by submitting data in their final student teaching packet. This evidence may take the form of pre-/posttest test data on a lesson or unit or expressed as comparative scores from classes in a prior school year.
Another tool for student teachers is the diversity document that each candidate is required to submit upon completion of their experience. Candidates are asked to collect data concerning the demographic, ethnic, and racial make-up of the class where they are placed. In addition to academic and social similarities and differences, this additional information helps candidates reflect more deeply into the lives of their students and allow them to structure their teaching more effectively. This diversity document has only recently been approved and required of student teachers.
3.2.10 Clinical faculty are accomplished school professionals who are jointly selected by the unit and partnering schools.
3.2.11 Clinical faculty are selected and prepared for their roles as mentors and supervisors.
The Unit has developed a database of practicing and potential cooperating teachers. This database is developed yearly through a survey sent to all teachers in the area. Teachers who have at least three years of successful teaching experience and have taken a class or workshop on the supervision of student teachers are eligible to work as a cooperating teacher. They must gain approval of the school administrator before their names can be placed in the database. Details such as school, grade level or discipline are part of the database. The Director of Teacher Advisement and Field Placements conducts a search for a teacher with the needed characteristics and then contacts the school administrator and Teacher Education faculty for permission to ask the teacher to serve as a cooperating teacher. Diversity of placement is important. Candidates are carefully placed in varying environments in practicum and student teaching, allowing them to see several different placement levels and a mix of large school and small school environments. Candidates are rarely allowed to student teach in their home school. Candidates are now permitted to do practica and student teaching in accredited parochial schools.
The Unit has a requirement that cooperating teachers have had training in how to supervise or mentor student teachers. Clinical teachers may choose to fulfill this requirement by taking a three-hour workshop, Ed 500 - Supervision of Student Teachers (2 graduate workshop credits), or Ed 520 - Supervision and Mentoring of Pre-service and New Teachers (3 cr.).
3.3.1 Candidates demonstrate mastery of content areas and pedagogical and professional knowledge before admission to and during clinical practice.
The Unit recognizes that candidate knowledge of the subject matter and of pedagogical and professional knowledge is of the utmost importance. To insure that all candidates have the kind of knowledge necessary to be successful as a teacher, several checkpoints have been established within the program. Before students can become teacher candidates at MSU they must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 and have a 2.5 within their particular major. Each candidate must demonstrate basic skill proficiency by meeting the ESPB requirements for new teachers on the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), Praxis 1. Each candidate must submit two references to the Unit, from individuals who knew them in a supervisory capacity. These references, based on the eight teaching dispositions, provide a basic measure of the candidate’s suitability for the teaching profession. Each candidate is introduced to the dispositions and standards of the teaching profession and provides an initial self-assessment prior to admission to the program. There is an ongoing assessment of each candidate by clinical and Teacher Education faculty throughout the core of the Teacher Education program. Candidates are provided with both formative and summative assessments of their knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they relate to the INTASC standards and the eight dispositions of an effective teacher.
MSU chose to use the INTASC Standards because these ten standards are generally accepted by the teaching profession and because faculty believe they match the Unit’s theme and conceptual model. The INTASC standards drive the design of the program and the kind of data collected. The evaluation of student teaching is based fully on these standards. A simple four-point rubric adapted from Wiggins and McTighe’s (1999) book Understanding By Design is used to evaluate each standard and a modified version is used to evaluate each disposition. The requirement of each candidate to provide evidence that they have been successful in positively affecting students learning helps the Unit to ensure that candidates are ready for the profession.
Every program within the unit currently meets the standards set by the ESPB of North Dakota. These standards are also performance-based and will be reviewed as part of the NCATE/state accreditation visit.
3.3.2 Assessments used in clinical practice indicate that candidates meet professional standards and have a positive effect on student learning.
3.3.3 Multiple assessments are used by candidates and clinical faculty to determine areas that need improvement and that to develop a plan for improvement.
The assessment system put in place by MSU requires an ongoing performance- based assessment of each candidate during each of the prescribed courses within the program. Appendix D, page 95, illustrates how the INTASC standards are measured several times throughout the program. Faculty assesses the Standards primarily through performance-based activities assigned to the candidates. The activities used to assess each Standard are identified by the faculty when they report on how well candidates perform. In the event that a candidate demonstrates poor performance or inappropriate dispositions, course faculty or their faculty advisor make contact with them and arrange for a suitable program of remediation.
Faculty advisers and the candidates will be able to review their assessments through a password-protected online database. This database, a new addition to the program, allows candidates to assess and reflect upon their growth in knowledge, skills, and the eight teaching dispositions.
Several of the graduate programs at MSU are assessed by their appropriate accreditation agencies. These agencies set specific standards for each unique discipline. Graduate programs that do not have specific accreditation status strive to follow the standards set by the state and by national organizations.
3.3.4 Candidates work collaboratively with other candidates and clinical faculty to critique and reflect on each other’s practice.
From early practicum experiences such as the shadowing experience to student teaching, candidates have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other candidates, faculty, and clinical teachers. Specifically, elementary education candidates often work in pairs during their initial practicum experiences and are asked to provide feedback to one another as they plan and, following their teaching experience, they critique each other’s performance. Physical education candidates utilize digital video taping of their lessons and then work collaboratively to identify particular aspects of each lesson. Teacher Education candidates in the mathematics field utilize weekly seminars during their student teaching to share their experiences with their colleagues and faculty and to grow from the collaborative discussion that follows. The candidates in English and social science education complete a portfolio during the course of their studies and field experiences.
3.3.5 Field experiences and clinical practice facilitate candidates’ exploration of their knowledge, skills, and the dispositions related to all students.
3.3.6 Candidates develop and demonstrate proficiencies that support learning by all students as shown in their work with students with the exceptionalities and those from diverse ethnic, racial, gender, and socio- economic groups in classrooms and schools.
INTASC Standard 3 "adapting instruction for individual needs" is identified as an expectation during most practica, and candidates are assessed on their ability to meet this Standard. Candidates are expected to complete a survey about their class during student teaching that identifies the diverse nature of their classes; this enhances their opportunity to fulfill INTASC Standard 3.
Two of the required courses in the Teacher Education program are Social Science 283- Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America and Education 470 - Teaching Diverse Learners. In these classes students are expected to participate in performances that will allow faculty to assess their ability to recognize diversity and assist diverse students. They have further opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in this area during their student teaching where they are assessed on their performances in meeting the needs of all students.
Alternative Licensure Route
Individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in a discipline, considered a ‘shortage’ area, may obtain an emergency license to teach in North Dakota. The hiring school district must provide evidence that a qualified, licensed individual has not been found in their search to fill the position. The ESPB sanctions this route for emergency licensure teachers and for vocational teachers.
Emergency licensure is a short-term license and a number of individuals with an emergency license desire to become fully licensed and enroll in a university with a Teacher Education program. Minot State has worked with seven such individuals who hold emergency licensure and qualify for the mentored clinical experience in lieu of student teaching. Most of these people have already completed a significant portion of the required teacher education core prior to this mentored clinical experience but some individuals actually start the program with their first experience being the mentored clinical experience. Candidates in this program are allowed to enroll in Education 497, a ten-semester hour course. Education 497 students are required to have a mentor within the school building, a mentor in the subject area, and a university supervisor. The costs of the mentors are paid by the school district although the Unit contributes the regular honorarium for a cooperating teacher. The university supervisor must make least three different observations and assess candidate performance on the same forms used for regular student teachers (based on INTASC).
Generally candidates who go through this alternate route are required to attend monthly meetings with all of the individuals who take the mentored clinical experience. This is sponsored by a Transition to Teaching grant obtained on a state level. Dr. Robin Clark, former Director of Teacher Advisement and Field Experiences serves on the state management team for this grant. Candidates receive instruction and have discussions to reflect on issues related to teaching during these monthly meetings. Minot State University requires that these individuals complete a licensure-only action plan to insure that they identify all state and university requirements in order to be recommended for a teaching license. The Unit will not recommend regular licensure until all course requirements necessary to meet state standards are met. The Education Standards and Practices Board provide emergency licensure teachers with a four-year window to complete the requirements for regular licensure.
Whereas the above program is for graduates in ‘shortage’ areas who are already working professionals, the licensure-only program was created for B.A. and B.S. graduates who wish to complete licensure prior to securing their first teaching position.
To meet state and federal calls for alternative routes to licensure, MSU provides a mechanism for B.A. and B.S. graduates to receive initial teaching licensure without completing a second B.S.E. degree. Candidates in this program must complete pre-approved education and content area coursework to meet ESPB standards. This includes a student teaching or mentored clinical teaching experience.