The Lynch School of Education and Human Development's supervision model consists of a three-way partnership between the University supervisor, teacher candidate, and supervising practitioner. This triad, supported by the Boston College community, shares a noble mission—the professional growth and development of teachers whose training is rooted in knowledge, guided by reflective practice, and nurtured by effective supervision.
All students are required to register for a practicum experience as well as complete an online application with the Office of Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, pre-practicum experiences are connected to a one-credit course. The full practicum experience is a 12 credit course for both undergraduate majors and for undergraduate secondary minors enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. The full practicum for graduate students is a 6 credit course for general education (ED 420) and a course focused on special education and reading & literacy (ED 610).
In addition to registering through the University, students must formally apply for a pre- or full practicum placement with the Office of Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction. Students’ applications are tracked in a sophisticated database that allows the Practicum Office to monitor the diversity of school experiences and details about each placement experience. The application is online and due the semester before students intend to complete a practicum experience.
The Lynch School of Education and Human Development does not waive undergraduate students from practicum experiences. Graduate students who successfully completed an approved undergraduate teacher education program at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development or at another college or university, are waived from the pre-practicum experience (ED 429). However, graduate students are not waived from the first segment of the Graduate Inquiry Seminar (ED 431), ED 432 which coincides with the full practicum experience or ED 610.
In preparation for a practicum experience, it is important to note that many schools require up-to-date immunizations in order to student teach. It is the student’s responsibility to attend to this requirement well in advance so as not to delay the practicum experience.
Graduate students may be employed as contract teachers while completing the requirements for a licensure. Such students must be working in the field in which they are seeking licensure.
Students complete practicum experiences in a variety of schools in the greater Boston area including public, private, and Catholic schools. Most placement sites are located in Boston and neighboring areas.
K-12 schools are selected based upon formal partnership agreements with the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, successful placements in recent years, and a commitment to clustering student teachers in small learning communities. All placement sites are approved by the Director of Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction and meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.
The Practicum Office considers many factors when determining a placement such as students’ academic schedules, cooperating teachers’ eligibility, access to appropriate grade levels, transportation, diversity of the student population, and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development’s relationship with the intended school. Undergraduate students are provided opportunities to complete practicum experiences in a variety of diverse school settings. Graduate students who are placed in schools with a diverse student population are given the chance to remain in their pre-practicum setting which results in a rich year-long experience.
At the full practicum level, undergraduate and graduate students participate in Placement Week. During Placement Week students meet one-on-one with a member of the Practicum Office to share their reflections on completed pre-practicum experiences and are invited to request a particular placement from among the choice of Partnership Schools. Each placement is determined individually and designed to align with the student’s goals for teaching and University requirements.
All students who enroll in a teacher education program requiring a full practicum must meet all academic and non-academic eligibility requirements as described in the Full Practicum Policy & Procedures document. Students receive a copy of this document to ensure that they are well informed and aware of the policies and procedures for their practicum experience. Moreover, they are required to submit an electronic affidavit to confirm that they have read the policy in order to be approved to begin the practicum.
Students must meet the following prerequisites to gain approval to register for and to begin the full practicum experience:
Students may NOT Register for or begin a practicum experience if any course requirements are outstanding or if a grade of Incomplete from a previous semester appears on the academic record.
Students must submit a written appeal to the Director of Practicum Experiences and Teacher Induction within a week of receiving the practicum grade. After the appeal is processed, students will meet with the Director and will work towards a positive resolution for all parties. If the issue is not successfully resolved, students may appeal to the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Student Services or the Associate Dean for Graduate Student Services.
Students are expected to review and to abide by the National Education Association’s Code of Ethics for Teaching. The Code of Ethics centers around a commitment to all children as well as the larger profession.
"The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, and the nurture of the democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards" (NEA, 2013).
Students are expected to dress appropriately and to adhere to the accepted policies of the placement school.
In keeping with Massachusetts Law and the policies of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, students are mandated reporters and must immediately notify the practicum supervisor, school principal, and the Director of Practicum Experiences of any suspected child neglect or abuse.
The Lynch School of Education and Human Development is committed to providing all students with access to a professional climate that enables them to reach their full academic potential. In the event that students experience harassment at the placement site, they should immediately contact the Director of Practicum Experiences.
By arriving on-time and prepared to engage with the learning community, students effectively communicate their commitment to teaching and respect for the placement school, teacher, and children. At the pre-practicum level, students follow the University calendar. Full practicum students, on the other hand, adhere to the school calendar and observe holidays and breaks in accordance with the placement school community. Additionally, students are required to attend University classes and meetings with the Office of Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction.
As full practicum students are expected to follow the placement schools’s academic calendar, they are not entitled to Boston College’s Spring Vacation. Such students benefit from two vacations observed by schools in the greater Boston area; students receive a week in February and then an additional week in the month of April. Students who are scheduled to complete full practicum experiences in the spring should plan their travel accordingly.
Students should maintain positive, professional relationships with their mentor teachers and placement schools and provide advance notice, if possible, of anticipated absences. Students are further required to account for any missed days during the practicum placement. In the event that students are unable to complete a practicum placement because of an illness or unforeseen factors, they are required to directly notify the mentor teacher, University supervisor, and the Director of Practicum Experiences.
In order to attend to the placement requirements, students may need either early access or an extension to remain in a campus residence. Students who anticipate needing special access to an existing campus residence should contact the Director of Practicum Experiences.
The Lynch School of Education and Human Development is committed to providing students with opportunities to teach in diverse schools and classrooms throughout the Boston area. The Office of Practicum Experiences & Teacher Induction carefully selects each partnership school and is mindful of the commute between the University and the placement site. While students are required to secure transportation independently of the University, most schools are accessible via public transportation. The Practicum Office also works to place students in clusters known as learning communities and encourages carpooling.
Resident Undergraduate Parking Permits & Carpooling
The Practicum Office awards a limited number of resident undergraduate student permits each semester. Such permits are only available to undergraduate students enrolled in pre or full practicum experiences sponsored by Boston College, and in a placement site that is not accessible by public transportation.
Students interested in applying for a resident undergraduate permit should complete and submit the Parking Permit Application. Approved students are responsible for all fees associated with the parking permit and for processing payment through Student Services. Resident undergraduate parking permits are only valid for one semester and to students in on-campus housing.
The Practicum Office further gives preference to students who are willing to carpool. Students who indicated a willingness to carpool are highlighted in the “Drivers To School Sites" binder in the Practicum Office. Boston College, however, has no control over and makes no representation as to the driving records or quality of the vehicles of the listed students. No inference that the students listed therein are acting as agents or employees of Boston College should be drawn from the listing or the issuance of parking permits.
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Students who are interested in substitute teaching for payment must secure approval from the Director of Practicum Experiences. Students enrolled in full practicum experience may only substitute in their direct mentor teacher’s classroom; permission must be secured from the mentor teacher and placement school principal in advance. In the event of an emergency, student teachers may substitute outside of their primary classroom (without pay) for one day with the full approval of the placement school principal and the Director of Practicum Experiences.
If, in order to attend to University requirements, students need to capture digital media (e.g., audio, video, images, etc.) from the classroom, they must adhere to the placement school’s guidelines and policies for the use of multimedia (i.e., signed permission).