Graduate Education for Licensure Programs
Elementary, Early Childhood and Special Education Clinical M.Ed and Secondary Clinical M.Ed Programs
Southern New Hampshire University offers two graduate-level education for licensure programs. The programs offered are Elementary and Special Education, Early Childhood and Special Education, and Secondary Education. These programs are campus cohort, field-based models. Students who successfully complete the program earn a master’s degree in education and are recommended to the State of New Hampshire for education licensure.
Elementary and Special Education / Early Childhood and Special Education Clinical M.Ed Programs
These programs prepare teacher candidates to become licensed classroom teachers in one of the following areas:
- Early Childhood Education (N-3) and Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (N-3)
- Elementary Education (K-6 or K-8*) and Special Education Teacher
*Elementary Education (K-8) Requires additional middle school testing based on 15 credit concentration in one of the following areas on your transcripts: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies)
Secondary Clinical M.Ed Program
This program prepares teacher candidates to become licensed in middle and/or high school in one of the following content areas:
- English (5-12)
- Mathematics, Middle Level (to Algebra 1/ Integrated 1)
- Mathematics, Upper Level (Pre-Algebra to AP Math)
- Science (5-8)
- Social Studies (5-12)
All students enrolled in education for licensure program must meet and maintain specific academic and professional standards throughout their program. At designated points in the program (known as "gateways"), students' academic and professional growth is monitored by the Office of Educator Preparation.
Gateway 1: Teacher Certification Program (TCP)
Post-baccalaureate teacher candidates must apply to Gateway 1: the Teacher Certification Program (TCP) by September 1 of the same year they begin their program cohort.
Criteria for TCP Status
Following a review of the TCP application in Anthology Portfolio, students will receive a letter of the decision from the Office of Educator Preparation with the advisor copied. Decisions regarding TCP acceptance status are issued as follows:
- Full Acceptance: For full acceptance into the Teacher Certification Program (TCP), students must score a "4" in all of the criteria as indicated by the rubric.
- Probational Acceptance*: Students who do not meet all criteria for full acceptance into the TCP may be considered for TCP probation. To be granted TCP probation, students may only score a "3" in one of the rubric criteria. All other criteria must receive a score of "4" as indicated by the rubric. If granted TCP probation at the undergraduate level, students may not register for courses with prefixes of ECE/EDU/DEV/SPED at the 300 or 400 level until the end of the registration period assigned to students.
*TCP Probation is valid for one semester only
- Denial: Any student who does not meet the criteria for either full acceptance or probational acceptance will be denied admission to the TCP. Students may reapply once they have met the criteria. Students who wish to appeal the decision may do so following the appeal process.
Process for Notification of TCP Status
The Office of Educator Preparation evaluates TCP applications based on the published criteria and notifies candidates of the decision, copying the student’s advisor, within fifteen (15) business days. The exception to this process is during the period of May 15 through August 15, during which time TCP applications will not be evaluated.
Appeal Process for TCP
If the teacher candidate wishes to dispute the decision of their TCP status and feels their application should have received full acceptance or probationary acceptance, the teacher candidate may file an appeal. Detailed instructions for filing an appeal will be included in the decision letter.
Gateway 2: Admission to the Culminating Clinical Experience
Clinical Experience a requirement in New Hampshire that all teacher candidates seeking a teaching license successfully complete a culminating clinical experience. It is during the clinical experiences, including the culminating clinical experience, that teacher candidates will have the opportunity to develop, apply knowledge, and demonstrate their ability to positively impact student learning and meet all the competencies associated with their licensure area(s).
During the culminating clinical experiences, teacher candidates work closely with a qualified educator in a New Hampshire public school setting.
During the clinical experience teacher candidates will:
- Work closely with an experienced school-based clinical educator and gradually assumes full teaching responsibilities.
- Be mentored & assessed by an experienced school-based clinical educator, university-based clinical educator, and SNHU professor during clinical experience courses.
Candidates seeking licensure at the post-baccalaureate level are required to submit their application for enrollment in EDU 626 Professional Clinical Experience II or SPED 632 Clinical Experience III no later than December 15.
How to Apply to the Post-Baccalaureate Culminating Clinical Experience (EDU 626 or SPED 632)
Applications are due no later than December 15 of the teacher candidate’s cohort year. The culminating clinical experience application will be submitted via Anthology Portfolio (formerly known as Chalk and Wire).
Steps to Apply:
- Access your Anthology Portfolio account
- Go to “Menu"
- Go to "My Coursework"
- Click on your M.Ed Clinical Portfolio and select "Edit Portfolio"
- Scroll about halfway down through the table of contents within your portfolio and choose "APPLY TO CULMINATING CLINICAL EXPERIENCE"
- Select "Next Page"
- Open the form labeled "Form EPI Clinical Experience APPLYING"
- Choose the option, "I am applying to be enrolled in the Graduate Level Culminating Clinical Experience"
- Select that you "understand you are required to have all coursework completed before I can start student teaching"
- Select "save"
- Save the form, choose "submit" then select "submit" once more
- When the status of your application is green and says "submitted" you have successfully submitted your application
Once the Application has been Submitted
Culminating Clinical Experience Applications will be reviewed by the Office of Educator Preparation and a decision will be made within twenty (20) business days of your submission.
Criteria for Culminating Clinical Experience Status
Following a review of the culminating clinical experience application in Anthology Portfolio, the teacher candidate will receive a letter of decision by the Office of Educator Preparation with the appropriate advisor copied. Decisions regarding clinical experience acceptance status are issued as follows:
- Full Acceptance: For full acceptance into the culminating clinical experience, teacher candidates meet all of the criteria as indicated in the rubric.
- Denial: Any candidate who does not meet all of the criteria for Full Acceptance will be denied admission to the culminating clinical experience. Candidates may reapply once they have met all criteria. Candidates who wish to appeal the decision may do so following the appeal process.
Appeal Process for Culminating Clinical Experience
Candidates wishing to appeal the issued decision are required to submit a formal letter of appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt of the decision. The letter of appeal must explain why they feel they should be accepted into the culminating clinical experience, with appropriate documentation included. Letters of appeal should be addressed to the education program faculty and submitted to the Office of Educator Preparation. The appeal is considered and voted on by the full education department faculty. A majority vote of the faculty will be used to decide on the appeal. The candidate will be notified of the faculty’s decision within 25 business days.
Clinical Experience Placement Process
Elementary, Early Childhood and Special Education Clinical M.Ed and Secondary Clinical M.Ed Programs
Candidates in these programs are placed in schools within the Manchester School District. The model of the program has teacher candidates working with a wide variety of school-based clinical educators. Because of this, during the placement process, the focus is on identifying the school that is the best fit for both the teacher candidate and the school. Once that occurs, the candidate is assigned a primary school-based clinical educator for each licensure area sought. Each school is sent the resume and an essay written by the teacher candidate responding to specific prompts. The next step in the process is a protocol employed that is similar to a draft used by sports teams to select players. An interview day is set aside where each of the three schools sends a team consisting of one administrator and two teachers. There is a rotation of interviews, where each candidate is interviewed by each school team. Once all interviews are complete, the school teams come together and identify the candidates they have selected for their school in a draft format. Each school selects one candidate during the first round, then the second round, etc. until all candidates have been placed.
Candidates spend a full day visiting the school that selected them, determining if the school is a mutually beneficial placement. If there are concerns expressed by the candidate, the Office of Educator Preparation meets with the school administrators to make any changes to the assigned placements.
Secondary Clinical M.Ed
Candidates in the Secondary Clinical M.Ed program follow a process very similar to the undergraduate candidates. Once the cohort is established, the teacher candidates in the cohort are matched with qualified school-based clinical educators who have been recommended by their administrator and have expressed a willingness to serve in that role. The candidates cover letter and resume is shared with the potential placement school. School administrators and potential school-based clinical educators use this information to determine if the candidate appears to be a good fit for their school community. Once a potential school-based clinical educator is identified, teacher candidates spend one full day with the potential school-based clinical educator, following the same guidelines as undergraduate candidates.
Clinical Teaching Experiences
Differences in classrooms, grade levels, subject areas, and students’ backgrounds make each student’s clinical teaching experience unique. Through partnerships with area schools and school districts, teacher candidates have a wide variety of opportunities for placements that will best meet their needs. SNHU Teacher Education Programs seek to provide the mentorship that will enable the teacher candidate to assume full responsibility for the school-based clinical educator’s teaching assignments.
The teacher candidate gradually assumes full teaching responsibilities. The timetable for the teacher candidate to assume full responsibility may vary based on feedback from the school-based clinical educator, university-based clinical educator, and the teacher candidate. This decision is usually made after the first week of the clinical experience when the team has a good sense of how the teacher candidate might best transition to assuming a larger role.
Assessments and Evaluations During the Clinical Experience
Assessment tools will be utilized throughout the clinical experience to gather formative and summative data relative to the teacher candidate’s performance and to provide feedback to the candidate relative to their progress toward meeting required competencies. They are:
- Observation and Conference Report (O&C)
- Clinical Competency Inventory (CCI)
- Formative Progress Checks (FPC)
- Disposition Feedback Surveys
- Lesson Plans
- New Hampshire Teacher Candidate Assessment of Performance (NH TCAP)
The Observation and Conference (O&C) report will be utilized each time a formal lesson observation occurs. The Clinical Competency Inventory (CCI) is a performance-based assessment instrument that measures key competencies aligned to the 2011 InTASC standards and the NH Teacher Candidate Assessment of Performance (NH TCAP) rubrics that are required of all teacher candidates prior to being recommended for licensure. This standards-based observational instrument specifies the defining set of competencies that teacher candidates should demonstrate before being recommended for licensure in the State of New Hampshire. Candidates will self-assess their performance using this instrument at the beginning and end of each semester. Additionally, both the school-based and university-based clinical educators will use this instrument to provide feedback to the candidate at the midpoint and conclusion of each semester.
Disposition feedback surveys, teacher candidate lesson plans, the O&C report, the CCI, and the NH TCAP will be utilized to assess teacher candidate performance throughout the student’s clinical teaching experience. The teacher candidate will receive dispositional feedback from the clinical course instructor, feedback and grades on selected lesson plans, as well as guidance and support for the successful completion of the teacher candidate’s capstone project, the NH TCAP.
In a November 21, 2012 letter to the NH Board of Education, the NH IHE Network (a consortium of NH Educator Preparation Programs) committed themselves to “Craft, calibrate, implement and analyze a common assessment of teacher efficacy that can be used by all EPPs, regardless of size or specialization.” This is one of four core initiatives developed by the IHE Network in a statewide initiative to increase accountability and professional collaboration among New Hampshire’s Teacher Educators. The IHE Network adopted a common performance assessment for all teacher candidates. The result of this initiative is the New Hampshire Teacher Candidate Assessment of Performance (NH TCAP), a complex, subject-specific, portfolio-style, multiple measures performance assessment designed to assess and provide formative learning experiences for beginning teachers. This proprietary assessment serves as the final evidence of a candidate’s ability to demonstrate an understanding of the InTASC standards in all four categories.
The NH TCAP is completed by all candidates during their culminating clinical experience. The course instructor provides all rubrics and guidance documents to the candidates during the clinical experience course directly preceding the culminating clinical experience. Candidates must earn an overall average score of 2.0 (with no more than one strand being scored below 2.0) to pass their culminating clinical experience and be recommended for licensure to the NH Department of Education.
This proprietary assessment serves as the final evidence of a candidate’s ability to demonstrate an understanding of the InTASC standards in all four categories.
Content of the NH TCAP
The NH TCAP, a teacher candidate performance assessment that was adopted with permission from the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT), has six strands that comprise the assessment (Contextualizing Learners and Learning, Planning and Preparing, Instructing Students and Supporting Student Learning, Assessing Student Learning, Reflecting and Growing Professionally, Using Academic Language). These strands are aligned with CAEP, InTASC, and the NH Professional Standards.
Gateway 3: Completion of Program Requirements
The Office of Educator Preparation verifies that candidates have met all program requirements prior to submitting a recommendation for licensure to the New Hampshire Department of Education. All of the following criteria must be met prior to the submission of the recommendation.
Gateway 4: Completers
Once a candidate’s degree is conferred they are classified as alumni, regardless of whether they have actually submitted their licensure application to the NH Department of Education. The following steps are taken to follow-up with candidates after graduation.
- Six months after degree conferral, the Office of Institutional Advancement sends a survey to all alumni. The purpose of this survey is to solicit feedback from recent graduates relative to employment status.
- A Completer Survey is sent to all graduates who completed a licensure program. This survey is sent in the spring of each year to alumni who graduated within the three previous academic years. The purpose of this survey is to capture employment status and solicit feedback from alumni relative to their experience in the program and their satisfaction with the level of preparation received to support them in their professional roles.
- An Employer Survey is sent to P-12 administrators who have hired an EPP graduate within the last three years. This survey is sent annually each spring. The purpose of this survey is to gain feedback on EPP graduates’ effectiveness and impact on P-12 learners.