Clinical Educator Resources
Roles and Responsibilities of the School-based Clinical Educator
The relationship between Southern New Hampshire University’s Education Programs and the area schools is crucial for the success of the teacher preparation program. It is during the student teaching placement that the teacher candidate has the opportunity to unite content knowledge and pedagogy under the guidance of a school-based clinical educator. School-based clinical educators are invited to attend professional development opportunities offered on campus, online, and virtually when discussions about mentorship and current research-based practices are explored.
Criteria for Becoming a School-based Clinical Educator
The school-based clinical educator must hold NH State licensure, in the licensure area the teacher candidate is pursuing, and have completed at least three years of full-time, successful professional teaching in that same licensure area.
- The school-based clinical educator must be willing to mentor the teacher candidate and support and guide the apprentice throughout the length of the placement.
- The school-based clinical educator must fulfill the supervisory role as defined by the NH State Department of Education and as assigned by the University.
- The school-based clinical educator must be willing to allow the teacher candidate to experience all aspects of teaching.
Responsibilities of the School-based Clinical Educator
School-based clinical educators assist teacher candidates in becoming competent and effective educators. School-based clinical educators orient the student to the culture of the school and classroom communities, mentor the student’s development of instructional and curriculum skills, and provide invaluable feedback.
- Orientation to the School and the Classroom: The teacher candidate needs to understand the school and classroom communities from an entirely new perspective. To help the student make this transition, the school-based clinical educator should:
- Orient the teacher candidate to school policies and personnel. The teacher candidate needs to be familiar with the school building(s), teachers, administration, and the community.
- Introduce the teacher candidate to individual classroom policies and assure their understanding of attendance and dismissal procedures, classroom management and teaching routines, procurement of supplies, etc.
- Inform the teacher candidate of pertinent information concerning individual students in the classroom while adhering to the laws of confidentiality and professional ethics.
- Introduce the teacher candidate to the specialists within the schools and to the process associated with student referrals and collaboration.
- Teaching and Curriculum: To support the teacher candidate’s development of teaching and curriculum competencies, the school-based clinical educator is asked to:
- Provide the teacher candidate with a plan book or electronic template, the necessary textbooks and curriculum materials used to teach, and a suitable workspace in the classroom.
- Allow the teacher candidate to observe them and other teachers for an adequate period of time prior to assuming the role of teacher.
- Encourage the teacher candidate to observe other teachers throughout the student teaching placement. When possible, provide opportunities for teacher candidates to “reteach” lessons in other classrooms.
- Delegate increasing teaching responsibilities, as appropriate. Acquaint the teacher candidate with a variety of approaches to teaching, assessment, and grading.
- Observe the teacher candidate on a regular basis and in various situations.
- Feedback: Ongoing feedback from the school-based clinical educator is essential to the teacher candidate’s progress. It is essential that the school-based clinical educator:
- Communicate daily (even if briefly) with the teacher candidate, to allay concerns and answer questions.
- Encourage the student to ask questions and seek clarification.
- Hold weekly evaluation conferences with the teacher candidate to support the student as a reflective practitioner.
- Provide verbal and written feedback on lessons dealing with a variety of content.
- Confer with the teacher candidate and university-based clinical educator frequently during the placement period.
- Contact the university-based clinical educator and/or clinical experience course instructor with questions and/or concerns about the program, student, and/or university personnel.
Monitoring of Teacher Candidates
School-based clinical educators evaluate the progress of teacher candidates and complete regular progress checks and a final teacher candidate evaluation. It is required that school-based clinical educators and teacher candidates meet to discuss the progress checks and evaluations so that teacher candidates may recognize their areas for improvement and their particular strengths. The school-based clinical educators are expected to evaluate the teacher candidates; however, after consulting with the university-based clinical educators, the final responsibility for grading lies with the clinical experience course instructor. In addition to the formal observations and completion of the clinical competency inventory (CCI), frequent informal observations are encouraged. Candidates should be observed teaching lessons across all content areas encompassed by the licensure they are seeking.
Roles and Responsibilities of the University-based Clinical Educator
University-based clinical educators may be faculty members in the teacher education programs and/or certified educators with experience teaching and/or evaluating professional educators in the same licensure area that the candidate is seeking. University-based clinical educators are teachers, administrators, or other experienced professionals who have been or are currently involved in schools and who hold a valid educator license and a minimum of a master’s degree in education or a related field.
Responsibilities of the University-based Clinical Educator
- Assist school-based clinical educators in guiding the professional development of teacher candidates.
- Maintain a collaborative and effective working relationship between SNHU’s Education Programs and the cooperating schools. University-based clinical educators are liaisons between the university and the schools where teacher candidates are placed.
- Visit the teacher candidates on a regular basis and conference with them after each visit to inform them of their progress and the areas where they need to improve. A minimum of five visits each semester is expected. Additionally, university-based clinical educators should communicate either in person or virtually with the school-based clinical educator within the first two weeks of the semester if it is a new placement for the candidate to which they are assigned.
- Complete all assessments as outlined in the Schedule of Assessments.
- Be available to teacher candidates for questions, discussion of problem areas and support in their placement.
- Facilitate the exchange of the necessary documentation between the university and the cooperating school.
- Conference with the school-based clinical educator each time the teacher candidate is visited and be available between visits for phone conferences if needed or requested.
- In the event there are concerns expressed by the school-based clinical educator or the teacher candidate, it is expected that the university-based clinical educator will communicate those concerns immediately to the clinical experience course instructor and the Office of Educator Preparation.
Evaluation of Teacher Candidates
Evaluation is a vital part of the teacher candidate’s experiences. Clinical educators have a professional responsibility to be fair and honest with teacher candidates and to communicate with them about their strengths and areas in need of improvement. It is expected that throughout the teacher candidate’s placement(s), the university-based clinical educator will have communicated frequently with school-based clinical educators and the clinical experience course instructor to discuss progress or lack of progress regarding a particular teacher candidate. It is equally important that teacher candidates be made aware of this feedback either by the university-based clinical educator or in a joint meeting among all of the clinical educators and the teacher candidate. Grading is based on the teacher candidate’s performance in the classroom as well as seminar work.
The clinical experience course instructor assigns the final grade based on:
- Consultation with the university-based clinical educator and school-based clinical educator(s).
- Evaluation forms completed by the school-based clinical educator(s).
- Progress based on visitations and evaluations by the university-based clinical educator.
- Visitations and evaluations by the clinical experience course instructor (when available).
- Lesson planning and execution of specific lessons in all content areas within the teacher candidate’s licensure area.
- Classroom management skills and ability to develop and maintain a safe and positive learning environment.
- The teacher candidate’s ability to demonstrate competency in each of the professional standards.
- Demonstration of competency in all content areas taught.
- Attendance and engagement both at the cooperating school and at university seminars.
- Professionalism, confidentiality, positive disposition, openness to constructive criticism and other traits which affect one’s ability to teach effectively.
- Adherence to the NH educator Code of Conduct and the Educator Code of Ethics.
Evaluation and Grading of Teacher Candidates
At Southern New Hampshire University, evaluation is comprised of:
- Self-assessment by teacher candidates. This will occur via seminar assignments, the O&C and the CCI and should also become a regular practice in the classroom.
- Formative evaluations are done cooperatively between the school-based clinical educator and the teacher candidate, and between the university-based clinical educator and the teacher candidate. Sometimes, the evaluation will be done by the three parties simultaneously as in the case of the O&C report and the CCI.
- Summative evaluations completed by the school-based clinical educator and the university-based clinical educator. The clinical experience course instructor assigns the final grade after having reviewed the evaluations, read all supporting documentation, and communicated with the school-based clinical educator and the university-based clinical educator.
- Assessments completed by the clinical experience course instructor as part of the clinical experience course.
- Successful completion of the NH Teacher Candidate Assessment of Performance (NH TCAP).
Throughout the clinical experiences, conferencing, coaching and on-going discussion with the teacher candidates help them to continuously reflect on their performance and refine their teaching skills.
Clinical Competency Inventory (CCI) Assessment
This observational instrument has been designed to provide feedback on the progress of individual teaching candidates who are completing their clinical practice (student teaching) experience in their teacher preparation program. This performance-based assessment instrument measures key competencies aligned to the 2011 InTASC standards, the state of NH’s Professional Code of Conduct (Ed 610.01) and Professional Education Requirements (Ed 610.02), and the NH TCAP rubrics that are required of all teaching candidates prior to being recommended for certification. This standards-based observational instrument specifies the defining set of competencies that teacher candidates should demonstrate before being recommended for certification in the State of New Hampshire.
Some competencies may not be observable and usually start with the phrase, “Provides evidence of.” It is expected that the candidate will bring evidence of these competencies to a conference.
The CCI is to be used as a summative assessment designed to assess competencies at the completion of the culminating clinical experience, during the last observation. It is also meant to provide formative feedback during clinical experiences to the teacher candidate on the attainment of competencies. It should be used in conjunction with an observational lesson form that is aligned with the CCI and focuses on the quality of the specific lesson being observed. The CCI is meant to be a cumulative assessment of competencies that the university-based clinical educator and the school-based clinical educator have observed throughout the clinical practice. The form should be introduced at the beginning of the clinical practice to guide the development of the teaching candidate and to provide feedback on the candidate’s strengths and areas of improvement.
The procedure for using the CCI is as follows:
- The clinical intern should self-assess on the CCI prior to beginning the clinical experience.
- At the first visit, the university-based clinical educator will review the observation form and the CCI with the school-based clinical educator.
- At mid-term, the university-based clinical educator and school-based clinical educator fill in the CCI independently.
- The university-based clinical educator and the school-based clinical educator will hold a mid-point conference with the teaching candidate to go over the CCI.
- At the completion of the clinical experience, the university-based clinical educator and school-based clinical educator fill in the CCI independently and enter the final assessment. They should hold a final conference with the teacher candidate to discuss their ratings.
- At the completion of the clinical experience, the teaching candidate will do a self-assessment and fill in the CCI.
Clinical Competency Inventory (CCI) Training
Observation and Conference (O&C) Report Assessment
The purpose of the Observation and Conference Report (O&C) is to provide feedback to the teacher candidate on an observed lesson. This assessment instrument is closely aligned with the CCI and helps guide the development of the candidate. The assessment measures candidates’ performance in meeting the four CAEP components of Standard R1, the 10 InTASC and the state of NH’s Professional Code of Conduct (Ed 610.01) and Professional Education Requirements (Ed 610.02). During the clinical experiences, the school-based clinical educators and the university-based clinical educators assess indicators observed for the lesson and provide comments as needed. The O&C, like the CCI used during the clinical experiences, measures the set of competencies that teacher candidates should demonstrate before completing the program. As the O&C is closely aligned to the more comprehensive CCI, the feedback from the O&C provides consistent input and helps demonstrate growth across all experiences.
Observation and Conference Report (O&C)
Formative Progress Check (FPC)
In addition to feedback provided through the O&C reports and the CCI, the school-based clinical educator will complete an electronic Formative Progress Check twice each semester. This assessment will be completed two additional times for students pursuing special education licensure. This progress check provides ongoing feedback and dialog among the teacher candidates, school-based, university-based clinical educators, and clinical experience course instructors. The school-based clinical educator will complete these progress checks and share them electronically with the teacher candidate, the university-based clinical educator, and the Office of Educator Preparation, ensuring that everyone working to support the candidate is aware of the teacher candidate’s performance. A final progress check will be completed at the end of each semester, indicating the school-based clinical educator’s recommendation for continuing the licensure program, or eligibility for licensure.
Formative Progress Check for Education Program
Formative Progress Check for Special Education
Disposition Feedback Survey
In addition to feedback provided through the O&C reports, the CCI, and the Formative Progress Checks, the clinical experience course instructor will complete a disposition feedback survey of the teacher candidate. This assessment will be completed twice each semester, once at the midpoint of the term and once at the end of the term. This disposition survey is meant to provide ongoing feedback and dialogue among the teacher candidates, school-based, university-based clinical educators, and the Office of Educator Preparation. These disposition surveys will be completed by the clinical course instructor and shared electronically with the teacher candidate, university-based clinical educator; and the Office of Educator Preparation, ensuring that everyone working to support the candidate are aware of the teacher candidate’s performance.
Education Program Professional Disposition Survey
Addressing Concerns with the Teacher Candidate
If progress is not satisfactory, the university-based clinical educator and school-based clinical educator must discuss the specifics of the concern with the teacher candidate as the situation becomes apparent and document all discussions. The clinical experience course instructor should be notified of these concerns at this point. The following actions should be taken when addressing concerns:
- Refer to the SNHU Clinical Experience Handbook and the NH Professional Codes of Conduct & Ethics if needed and discuss specific concerns with the teacher candidate.
- Work together to identify and implement strategies to overcome the problem.
- If concerns persist, a referral should be made to the Director of Education Licensure in the Office of Educator Preparation. The form and instructions for submission can be found by accessing the Teacher Candidate Concern Referral Form.
- Depending on the circumstance and identified areas of concern, a Student Assistance Plan may be required to document and monitor teacher candidate improvement.
Schedule of Assessments and Surveys
The schedule of assessments for each term follows the Southern New Hampshire University Academic Calendar. Assessments may vary slightly between programs.