FAQ For Practicum Students

(EDU 390, 391, 392 - MAS/MEE 7996, 7997, 7998)

Q: How many practica do I have to take in my program?

A:This varies by program. Following is the number of Practica required for the regular education programs.

1. AS None
2. BS three Practica courses
3. MAS & MEE three Practica courses
4. ECE 0 – Grade 2 three Practica courses

Each class is a combination of seminars and clinical experiences. The clinical experiences occur in a Birth – Grade 12 classroom and must add up to at least 35 hours in the designated classroom. The seminar portion of the course must total 21 hours.

Q: When do I take my first practicum?

A: Practica courses are to be taken in sequence. In other words, Practicum I (EDU 390, MAS 7996 or MEE 7996) should be taken first, followed by Practicum II (EDU 391, MAS 7997 or MEE 7997), and finally, Practicum III (EDU 392, MAS 7998 or MEE 7998). Practica courses meet on a Block, Distance (Practicum I only), and Semester (15 week) format. Students are encouraged to register for Practicum I during the first full semester that they are enrolled in a program. The Practica are not taken concurrently.

Q: When do the seminars meet and where can I take the courses?

A: Practica seminars are offered at the Wilson Graduate Center and the New Castle, Middletown, Elkton Station, Georgetown, and Dover sites. Each of the Practica meets during the fall and spring blocks and/or semesters. Practicum III – Ready, Set, Read is the only Practicum for students in regular education programs offered during the summer semester. Students can take the Practicum course at the location that is most convenient, but the clinical portion (school observations) takes place in the county where the student attends the seminars.

Q: How long are the seminars?

A: That varies.

Semester Course Options:

  1. Four (4) meetings – 5 1/4 hours per session
  2. Every other week – 2 1/2 hours per session
  3. Weekly – 1 1/2 hours per session

Block Courses: Weekly - 3 hours per session

NOTE: Please check Course Offerings online (WILMU site) for the most current information regarding the specific dates and times of the sessions offered at the different sites.

Q:How do I get a placement in the schools for the practica? What are the placement procedures?

A: Placements for the Practica are done by faculty from the Office of Clinical Studies. There are two steps students must follow in order to receive a placement.

  1. Students must register for their practicum course.
  2. Students must complete the Practicum Fieldwork Application located within their Program on Task Stream.

Both steps must be completed prior to the deadline for the semester for which you are registering. For example, if you plan to take courses during the fall (whether in the Block, Distance or Semester format), the deadline for completing both steps is July 15th. If you plan to take courses during the spring, the deadline is November 15th. For summer, the deadline is April 30 (Practicum III in the Ready, Set, Read Program is the only practica available during the summer). If you plan to take a Practicum Block I and a Practicum Block II, you must register for both courses prior to the deadline and submit two applications prior to the deadline (one for each of the courses that you plan to take) for the indicated semester. Example: Practicum I for Block I Spring Semester and Practicum II for Block II Spring semester.

The faculty responsible for placement begin to seek a placement for you after you register for a Practica and complete the Fieldwork Application. Please be advised that the Office of Clinical Studies makes every effort to obtain placements in the county in which your course seminars are held.

NOTE: Students must complete at least one Practicum in Delaware.

Q: How does TaskStream relate to the Practica courses?

A: Task Stream is the University's vendor for your electronic portfolio, otherwise known as efolio. The Practicum Fieldwork Application is only available via Task Stream. In order to access the application, you must follow the steps below.

  1. Register for your efolio lab course on your WebCampus. (Undergraduate Students = EDU 102; Graduate Students = MED 6102; Doctoral Students = EDD 6102) NOTE: You must register and pay the efolio lab fee for EACH program in which you are seeking a degree.
  2. Login to your efolio lab course on Blackboard in order to activate your TaskStream account. Completion of the portfolio is a graduation requirement.
  3. Access the application within the left side menu on your TaskStream homepage.

Q: What if I have an unusual circumstance affecting my request for placement?

A: Requests for a special placement or accommodations must be approved by the Clinical Studies Chair and the school district. All clinical placements must be approved and verified by the Practicum Placement Coordinator.

Q:When can I expect to be notified about my placement?

A: The timeline is dependent upon how quickly schools respond to the Practicum Placement Coordinator with available placements. Placements are made as soon as possible in the semester. Please check your TaskStream homepage for placement information.

Q: In what kinds of schools do placements occur?

A: The goal of the College of Education is to provide students with a variety of experiences. Therefore, your placements could be in a private, parochial, or public school in a rural, suburban, or urban setting.

Q: Can I use the same school for all of my placements?

A: No. We will permit you to utilize the same school for no more than two of your four clinical assignments. Please remember that the student internship is the fourth and final clinical requirement. Therefore, if you are currently teaching or have a desired student internship placement, then please do not utilize that school for more than one of your practica experiences.

Q: Will all of my practica placements be within the grades of my major?

A: Not necessarily. Placements are as follows:
Practicum I – Any grade, any content area
Practicum II – Program grade range (0-2, K-6, 6-8, 7-12) and content area.
Practicum III – Grades 3-12
If your clinical placement is outside of the grade configuration that you have chosen, enjoy the opportunity to experience students and schools at other levels as this may help you determine your best career choices.

Q: When will I be informed of the clinical details required in the program? In other words, what do I have to do during the observation and class hours for the practicum?

A: Instructors dedicate time during the first seminar to inform students about the required clinical details and respond to student questions about the requirements. NOTE: Attendance is required at all seminars.

Q: Will I be teaching during the clinical courses?

A: It depends! Students in Practicum I are not expected to teach lessons. Students in Practicum II are required to teach at least one lesson and will be observed by Wilmington University faculty. Students in Practicum III are required to work with students who are experiencing some reading difficulties. This includes administering a one-on-one diagnostic reading inventory. Sometimes a teacher may request additional tasks in the classroom. If this should occur, students are encouraged to assist because it serves as a wonderful training opportunity.

Q: Are there some unique placements for various Practica?

A: Yes. They are described below.

  • AVID – AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. Brandywine School District and Cape Henlopen School District. AVID is a fourth through twelfth grade system to prepare students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students, and in closing the achievement gap. The districts will offer a three (3) hour required training for this placement at the beginning of each semester (Block I and II included). The training hours are applied toward the 35 hour clinical requirement.
  • Brandywine School District –Students will have the option of completing Practicum III and their teacher internship in the same classroom with the same teacher. Students will need to discuss this option with the Mentor Teacher assigned for Practicum III and send an email to the Placement Coordinator, Dr. Hinds with the request.
  • "Ready, Set, Read!" Program – The Ready, Set, Read! Program is a reading clinic offered by the university for students between the ages of six and eighteen who struggle with literacy. Practicum III students would join the Reading Clinic as a tutor. These clinics operate statewide, year round. You will meet with children Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 1 hour each evening. Tutoring begins Block II of each semester.
  • Telamon Head Start – Telamon Corporation operates Head Start Programs in Delaware. The program provides literacy and early childhood education, job training, emergency services, temporary or permanent housing opportunities, and a number of other services. In two of Delaware's three counties, the Head Start programs reach out to low- income families in several communities. Practicum I students at all levels are eligible for this placement.
  • The Red Clay Experience – Students placed in this district can opt to stay in this district for all four of their clinical placements. The district will ensure that students receive a variety of experiences. Therefore, your placements could be in a public school in a rural, suburban, or urban setting in the Red Clay district. It is also expected that the placement for Practicum III and the Teacher Internship will be at the same school.

Q: What are the benefits for participating in one of the unique placements?

A: The benefits vary depending upon the program. For example, the AVID, Telamon and "Ready, Set, Read!" programs provide the opportunity for you to engage in providing instruction to students with identified needs. Placements in the Brandywine and Red Clay School Districts provide you the opportunity to enmesh yourself in the culture of a district – for you to become very familiar with other practicing educators and for them to have the opportunity to mentor you. All of the programs were selected to provide you a rich experience with opportunity for tremendous personal growth and direct impact on student achievement.

Q: When do I start my time in the school?

A: Once you have your placement assignment, it is your responsibility to work out a schedule with your Mentor Teacher. Please follow the steps below:.

1. Contact your Mentor Teacher immediately (within two weeks) to set up observation hours.
(NOTE: You cannot begin ANY hours until after the first seminar meeting. Failure to contact your Mentor Teacher within two weeks of being notified of your placement may result in the loss of your placement.)
2. Be sure to provide your course instructor with a copy of the observation schedule after coordinating this with your Mentor Teacher.
3. You must present a copy of your TB results to the School Nurse upon arrival on the first day. Maintain the original for your records.

NOTE: It is important to remember that you are a guest in the school and that teachers are opening their classrooms to you. Therefore, it is important to be as flexible as possible with your schedule so teachers can accommodate you. It is also important to remember that the teacher will be depending upon you and that any change of plans needs to be immediately shared with them.

Q: How do I schedule my 35 hours?

A: As stated above, after contacting the teacher, try to establish a mutually agreeable schedule. Some students accomplish this by spending whole days in the classroom, while others do it in smaller segments of time. Your focus should be on instructional time, such as small and large group teaching sessions. REMEMBER: You must spend at least 35 hours in schools for each practicum experience.

Q: Do I need to have a PPD (Tuberculin) test prior to placement?

A: Yes. Students must provide the results of their PPD test to the school nurse in the assigned school. Do not submit the results to your course instructor or Clinical Supervisor. PPD results are only valid for one year so make sure your results are current. Please contact the appropriate Regional Chair if there is a problem with your PPD results.

 

 

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2014-2015 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2014 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.