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Student Teaching Clinical Practice Requirements

Policy TitleStudent Teaching Clinical Practice Requirements
Policy CategoryEvaluations & Qualifications (EVAL)
Policy IDEVAL-024
Policy Date2016-09-01
Statutory ReferenceG.S. 115C-296.11, G.S. 115C-309

Formerly TCP-C-024


This policy sets forth the requirements for clinical partnerships and practice in educator preparation programs with a clinical student teaching component.  These requirements are effective July 1, 2017.

  1. As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:
    1. Clinical educator – An individual employed by an elementary or secondary school, including a classroom teacher, who assesses, supports, and develops a student's knowledge, skills, and professional disposition during the clinical experience.
    2. Internship – Part of a formal program to provide practical experience and training for beginners in the education profession.
    3. Residency – A specified period of time in which a person is employed by a local school administrative unit to gain practical experience and training in educator preparation.

 Consistent with law, the State Board of Education requires that educator preparation programs shall:

    1. Establish and maintain collaborative, formalized partnerships with elementary and secondary schools that are focused on student achievement, continuous school improvement, and the professional development of elementary and secondary educators, as well as those preparing educators.
    2. Work collaboratively with elementary and secondary schools and enter into a memorandum of understanding with local school administrative units where students are placed. In the memorandum, the educator preparation program and the local school administrative unit shall:
      1. Define the collaborative relationship between the educator preparation program and the local school administrative unit and how this partnership will be focused on continuous school improvement and student achievement.
      2. Adopt a plan for collaborative teacher selection, orientation, and student placement.
      3. Determine how information will be shared and verified between the educator preparation program and local school administrative unit.
    3. Ensure clinical educators who supervise students in residencies or internships meet the following requirements:
      1. Be professionally licensed in the field of licensure sought by the student;
      2. Have a minimum of three years of experience in a teaching role;
      3. Have been rated, through formal evaluations, at least at the “accomplished” level as part of the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation System; and
        1. For the purposes of this policy, “accomplished” means a teacher has received ratings of accomplished or higher on three of the five standards to include Standard 4 on the most recent summative evaluation, or on Standard 4 for teachers on an Abbreviated Evaluation.
      4. Have met expectations as part of student growth in the field of licensure sought by the student.
    4. Require in all programs leading to initial licensure field experiences that include organized and sequenced engagement of students in settings that provide them with opportunities to observe, practice, and demonstrate knowledge and skills. The experiences shall be systematically designed and sequenced to increase the complexity and levels of engagement with which students apply, reflect upon, and expand their knowledge and skills.
    5. Require clinical practice in the form of residencies or internships in those fields for which they are approved by the State Board of Education. Residencies or internships shall be a minimum of 16 weeks. Residencies and internships may be over the course of two semesters and shall, to the extent practicable, provide student experiences at both the beginning and ending of the school year.
    6. Administer the ed Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) or the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT), nationally normed and valid pedagogy assessments, to determine clinical practice performance for all teacher candidates. All student teachers shall meet passing scores and mastery criteria to be determined by the State Board of Education. The edTPA or the PPAT may replace the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) tests for Secondary education teacher candidates.
    7. Require field experiences in every semester prior to the student’s residency or internship (clinical student teaching) and include a full semester field experience in a low-performing school.

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