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Clinical Experiences


Pre-student teaching experiences in public schools are referred to as Clinical Experiences. Secondary Education students work in real classrooms in the local public schools for a minimum of thirty hours during each of the first two levels of their professional program at USU.

Philosophy Behind Clinical Experiences

The goal of a clinical experience is for education students to begin to view the classroom and students from the perspective of a teacher. Rather than being a content driven experience, the clinical experience should focus on the role of a teacher in the classroom and the teacher’s relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and administration within the context of a specific curriculum. To that end, our education students should come away from their clinical experiences with a broader understanding of strategies teachers use to generate enthusiasm for a specific content, to engage students in learning, to build confidence and self-esteem, to organize the learning environment, and to create successful learners.

Level 1 & Level 2 Registration

SCED 3300 & SCED 4300 - in connection with Methods Classes (one in the Major and one in the Minor)

Students should be registered for a section number that corresponds with content area (English, Math, Social Studies, or Science)

Check with Methods Instructors for questions about and scheduling clinical experiences.

For students not in SCED, the same is offered in their department; i.e. PEP 3300, 4300, ETE 3300, FCSE 3300. Contact methods instructors for questions and instructions.

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE (CE) GUIDELINES FOR SECONDARY TEACHER PREPARATION

General Policies

CE will carry 1 semester credit, which will accrue to sponsoring departments through 3300 and 4300 course numbers (Level 1 and Level 2). Many of the experiences at Level 1 and Level 2 will be coordinated and monitored by special methods instructors in connection with their methods courses. The purpose of CE is to help prepare students for the realities of student teaching by providing them with a clear understanding of the contexts for schooling, grades 6-12. For this reason, most USU students will have a middle school placement at one level and a high school placement at the other level. The CE should be in two different schools, in different content areas and with different teachers. Our office will do our utmost to facilitate this, but, due to limited placement options, it may not always be possible.

CE at the two levels will be funded by a $50 fee each semester. This fee will be paid to the mentor teacher who assumes major responsibility for the supervision of a USU student. The role of mentor teachers will be to work with students and to provide oral and written feedback; part of this mentoring process will involve completion of a final evaluation form.

CE will be a 30 hour experience for each level. The methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor for each department, will determine the best schedule for CE placements.

Procedures

Each methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor first makes his/her CE placement recommendations and provides those recommendations to the Office of Field Experiences. The Office of Field Experiences will sort CE placements from all fields and develop comprehensive "school requests" of placements. These requests will be provided to school principals.

Methods instructors and/or clinical supervisors will distribute the final (generic) evaluation forms and return envelopes to USU students for delivery to mentor teachers. (methods instructors and/or clinical supervisors may attach their own discipline-specific criteria to the basic evaluation form.)

In the event of difficulty with a CE placement, mentor teachers will provide timely information to the appropriate methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor.

The Office of Field Experiences will receive final evaluation forms from mentor teachers, distribute copies of these evaluations to methods instructors so that they may enter their final grades, and makes payments to mentor teachers.

Clinical Experience Evaluation Form

This evaluation form is available as a printable document as an Adobe PDF file, by clicking here.

NOTE
Mentor Teachers fill out the Clinical Experience evaluation form and send it to the Office of Field Experiences, Department of Secondary Education, Utah State University, methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor--may be attached on a separate form(ACE Activities checklist is available as a printable document as an Adobe PDF file by clicking here). Copies of final Clinical Experience evaluations will be provided to the University methods instructor.

Expectations for Professional Conduct

During the Clinical experience, clinical students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This includes dressing in appropriate attire when visiting the school. The mentor teacher will be an important resource in helping to determine the appropriate attire for the particular clinical appointment.

Clinical students should be punctual for the class periods they attend, and, barring illness or emergency, should show up each time they are expected. If clinical students cannot show up when expected, they must give the mentor teacher the earliest prior notice possible, first thing in the morning at the latest.