Dear Secondary Teacher Candidates,
Welcome to the College of Education and the Secondary Team! In 1988, a Michigan State University College of Education task force began redesigning the teacher education program. The result is a three-year teacher certification program with the final year being an internship in a school. One of the primary goals of our program is to develop a partnership between practicing teachers and teacher educators, working toward making meaningful connections between classroom fieldwork and university coursework.
We believe that people do not learn from experience alone, but through experience in combination with careful preparation, good mentoring, discussions with colleagues, and well- designed courses. Therefore, we seek to develop sustained connections among teacher candidates, MSU faculty and staff, and practicing teachers.
The program blends classroom experience with inquiry and reflection in a series of dialogues with MSU professors and mentor teachers. We hope that, through this collaborative effort, the graduates of our program will be teachers who teach for understanding, who will reach diverse bodies of students, who will be thoughtful and skilled about linking subject matter in a responsive curriculum, who will cultivate learning communities, and who will be engaged in democratic reform. Working together, we plan to continue building a teacher certification program that reflects our collective visions of the kinds of teachers needed to meet the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population in an increasingly complex society, informed by new perspectives about subject matter and learning.
We look forward to getting to know you and working with you. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact the appropriate resource person listed in this handbook.
The Secondary Team at MSU
Additional University Resources
The university provides many other resources that can help support you during both the undergraduate courses and the internship.
Accommodations for disabilities. Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) at 517-884-RCPD or on the web. Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a verified individual services accommodation (“VISA”) form. Please present this form to your instructor at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc.). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.
Office of Supportive Services. “In the 1960’s the Office of Supportive Services was established by a team of committed faculty members who were concerned about addressing unjust institutional and other social factors. They also recognized the need to provide post-secondary educational opportunities to students who might not have had the chance to attend college. It is the commitment of higher education, as well as our office, to provide educational and career opportunities to such students. OSS works to enable these students to develop coping and self-management survival skills for success within the University. OSS also provides motivation, academic advising, social counseling, personal planning, career guidance and skill enrichment seminars.”
Counseling Center. Normal, capable and reasonable people sometimes face situations and problems that they find difficult to manage by themselves. Your course instructors or Team Coordinator might be able to help. Also, MSU has an Office of Student Affairs and Services, with a Counseling Center, for which the phone number is 355-8270. The Center is at 207 Student Services Building.
Family Resource Center (FRC). The mission of the FRC is to help MSU students, staff, and faculty, navigate their responsibilities at work, school, and home. The FRC offers a range of services for families, including a family resource guide for students with children.
Learning Resources Center (LRC). The LRC staff is available to help you with everything from understanding difficult texts and programming your graphing calculator, to converting .wmv files for your iPod and making high-impact, interactive slideshow presentations. With only so many hours in the day and so many days until the next test, it’s their mission to help you work smarter. Create a plan to efficiently maximize your strengths and help you reach your academic goals. The LRC is located at 220 Bessey Hall.
Writing Center. Teachers are models and coaches of writing for their students, and must communicate effectively in writing with colleagues, parents, and others. For those reasons, teacher candidates are expected to write effectively and conventionally. If you need more help in meeting those expectations than you can get from your instructors and other teacher candidates, you should contact the University’s Writing Center at 300 Bessey Hall and a number of other campus locations.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do we learn about methods of teaching my subjects?
In TE 407 (Teaching Subject Matter to Diverse Learners) and TE 408 (Crafting Teaching Practice) the sections are organized according to subject matter majors. During the internship year, TE 802 and 804 continue to address planning and teaching subject matters. In TE 409, you will address teaching methods in your minor area.
When do we get experience in classrooms and really begin teaching?
During TE 407 and 408 you will spend time each week in a classroom setting. Field assignments are closely linked to the coursework. They generally include observations, interviewing students, planning, and implementing short lesson plans with the whole class. You are not expected to take extensive responsibility for the full classroom until the internship year, and even then only for limited periods of time at first. All of this is designed to prepare you gradually to take the lead in the classroom during the spring of your internship year.
When and where are my internship courses scheduled?
Your 800-level internship year course work (TE 801/3, 802/4) is scheduled on Fridays and begins and ends according to the MSU calendar. Coursework takes place on the MSU campus, except for those students completing internships in the Chicago Public Schools.
When do I learn where my internship placement will be?
During the fall of the senior year, you will complete an Internship Placement Request. We will gather detailed information about your preferences and interests. You will also be asked to submit an internship placement resume to be given to prospective schools during the placement process. We hope that each student will know their placement and be able to visit the teacher and classroom prior to the end of MSU’s spring semester. It is impossible to guarantee this time frame, as we are dependent upon many factors in the school districts beyond our control.
When does internship begin and end? Do we follow the school or the MSU schedule?
First, know that a mandatory Opening Day Institute for interns and mentors is held the week before MSU classes begin. There are separate Opening Day Institutes for Lansing/Grand Rapids areas and for Southeast Michigan area. These dates are posted on the team’s website, and you should confer with your mentor teacher about this in advance so that you can both attend. You will be expected to begin your field placement officially on the first day that teachers in that district report for work, usually about a week before school begins in your placement district. Generally, you will follow your placement school’s calendar for holidays and winter and spring breaks, although you must follow the schedule for MSU class meetings each semester, regardless of your school’s breaks. You will officially be finished with your internship on the last day of MSU’s spring semester, providing no extenuating circumstances arise that would extend the end date for your internship. Calendar information can be found in the Secondary Team Google Calendar as it becomes available.
What is the internship schedule like? Can I plan to work in the evenings?
The internship schedule is intensive. You are expected to keep your weekdays until 5:00 p.m. available for internship-related activities. You will need to meet with your mentor teacher after school, attend faculty meetings and after school events, and attend university classes. You will also need time to plan and prepare lessons, grade papers, etc. Some interns do need to work during the internship year but it is recommended that you work no more than ten hours per week and on the weekends only. If a heavier work schedule appears necessary for you, talk it over with your coordinator.
How much does the internship year cost?
Information about the tuition and fees for the internship year can be found on the financial aid website. You can use the Cost Calculator to compute your estimated tuition and fees. For Your Level, select teacher certification intern. For How many credits? (one semester), enter 12. The calculator will return the cost per semester, so you will need to double this to estimate the total tuition and fees for the internship year.
What kinds of financial support are available for the internship year?
Many of the College of Education scholarships are still available for the internship year. Go to the College of Education website for information about college-based scholarships. Applications are typically available for these scholarships in January. Because as an intern (except for music education student teachers) you are no longer an undergraduate, you will have independent student status for financial aid purposes. You will also no longer be subject to the undergraduate cap on financial aid. As a result, you will qualify for a financial aid package and should fill out a FAFSA form. For more information and to fill out the FAFSA, go to http://www.finaid.msu.edu/. Note especially the link for the Teaching Internship at the left. If you have questions, contact Mary Kimball in the Financial Aid Office.
Can I make my own arrangements for an intern placement?
Absolutely NOT. The Secondary Team develops and maintains working relationships with particular schools in particular districts. Each district has its own policies and procedures, often changing from year to year, and the Team Coordinators work with districts to remain in compliance with their policies and needs and seek approval for placements in particular schools. Our goal is to place interns in clusters so that an MSU field instructor can work with a group of interns in a school and so that interns have a peer support group as they move through this intensive and challenging year. If there are special circumstances you would like to discuss about an intern placement, talk to one of the Secondary Team coordinators.
Secondary Team Field Placement Policies
For Art, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Language Majors The information below is taken from Field Placement Policies .
In their fieldwork, prospective teachers work closely with their collaborating teachers, MSU liaisons, and MSU course instructors to put together in practice what they have learned and continue to learn about subject matter, curriculum, pedagogy and learners. Field placements are made carefully to ensure that students have ample opportunities not only for practical experience but also for thoughtful reflection upon the analysis of that experience.
Every year in the College of Education we place hundreds of interns, along with hundreds more teacher candidates from earlier stages of the program. As we place them, we want to make placements that will satisfy all, but we must balance a range of considerations described below. Teacher candidates should especially note that:
- We do not permit teacher candidates or interns to seek or arrange their own placements.
- We ask teacher candidates to express some of their preferences regarding placements, and we do attempt to satisfy those preferences, but we cannot guarantee to do so.
Placements are subject to change
The teacher preparation program does not control, for example, school district decisions to re-assign teachers, or teachers’ decisions or move or retire, or teachers getting ill or pregnant. Thus, all placements are subject to change at any time due to circumstances beyond our control. Should this occur, we will make every attempt to find an alternative placement as soon as possible. Most teachers are off duty in the summer months, many go away for some period of time, and some desirable mentor teachers won’t know their teaching assignments until August. So placement is likely to go slowly in June, July, and part of August, and early placements are not necessarily better placements.
Placements are made in partner schools
We place teacher candidates in schools where we have developed or are developing school-university partnerships for teacher education that support better placement conditions. This means that whenever possible, teacher candidates are placed in groups within schools that are within a compact geographic area, rather than being distributed across many schools with only one or two teacher candidates in each. When teacher candidates are placed in groups in compact areas, MSU personnel can spend more of their time working with teacher candidates and developing strong partnerships with schools and teachers.
Placements match the certificate
We place teacher candidates in situations that match the teaching certificates that they want to earn. Placing all candidates in situations that match their intended certificates takes priority over placing any candidate in a preferred grade level or situation.
Placements respond to urban need
We give high priority to placements in schools in urban centers that serve students who live in poverty, who live amidst substantial social problems, and/or who have special needs. We place teacher candidates where they can learn to teach diverse students in diverse settings. Michigan teaching certificates authorize the persons who hold them to teach all Michigan children in given grades and subject matters. When teacher candidates accept admission to our program, they accept the obligation to prepare themselves to teach all those children, in all those places.
Placements protect the integrity of assessment and personal relationships
We avoid placing teacher candidates in situations where they are already known or may already have close associations with school personnel or students. The operating principle here is that evaluations of performance should not be subject to bias arising from existing relationships or prior associations. For example:
- We do not place teacher candidates in school districts they attended as k-12 students, unless the district was a very large district ( e.g., Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, etc.). In this event, we do not place teacher candidates in the schools they attended as k-12 students.
- We avoid placement in districts (or, in the case of large districts, in schools) where a close relative of the teacher candidate is employed, enrolled, or a member of the school board.
Placements for TE 302, TE 407 and TE 408 are in the Lansing area
Prior to the internship, we place teacher candidates only in the Lansing area. Most teacher candidates are carrying a full academic program, only part of which is in teacher education. Therefore, we place teacher candidates, in TE 302, TE 407, and TE 408 only in schools within an approximately 30-minute drive from MSU.
Placements for each candidate are from a range of settings
In general, we do not place interns in the same placement as their senior year unless there is a strong reason for an exception. That is, we prefer to give teacher candidates varied experiences in more than one setting across their program.
Placements for the internship are made in several populations centers across the state
For the internship, we place teacher candidates in several areas across the state, and particularly in major population centers including the Lansing area, the Grand Rapids area and the Southeast Michigan (Detroit and outlying suburbs) area. We do this partly to achieve the commitments described above and partly to help teacher candidates reduce the expense of the program by offering the possibility of serving their internships closer to home. Potential interns will indicate in November of the year prior to their internship their preference for the geographic area of their internship placement. We ask that interns consider their personal and financial circumstances carefully before indicating this preference, so that we can plan accordingly for placement strategies in the various geographic areas. If for any reason an intern’s circumstances require a change in geographic area, the intern should notify their placement coordinator immediately.
Placements in distant sites have additional guidelines
In making placements in areas other than the Lansing area, we follow these guidelines:
- Indicating a preference for a distant site does not guarantee placement in that site. When the number of requests for a distant site is greater than the number of placements available, a lottery system may be used to determine who will be placed in the distant site. Before resorting to a lottery, we will give preference to those teacher candidates who want placements in schools in urban centers or in schools that serve students who live in poverty, who live amidst substantial social problems, and/or who have special needs. Then, remaining teacher candidates who have requested a distant site area will be included in a lottery to determine who will get the remaining available placements. Note that all interns who indicate a preference for the Lansing area will be placed in the Lansing area.
- If a particular placement is offered in a requested distant area, and a teacher candidate declines it, that teacher candidate will not be guaranteed another placement in that requested distant area. That is, if the initial placement is declined, the candidates will go to the bottom of the list of candidates desiring that distant site, and if there are not sufficient placements to accommodate everyone who prefers that site, candidates who declined their initial placement will be placed instead in the Lansing area.
- We attempt to make placements that require commutes of no more than forty-five minutes, one way. We cannot guarantee this feature of the placements. Particularly in the Southeast Michigan area, commuting times may be longer.
Placements follow a planned schedule
October: Teacher candidates who are on schedule for the internship in the next academic year and who will not have graduated by December complete the Secondary Course Record form. This form must be completed in collaboration with an advisor from the intern’s major area, and returned to the College of Education Student Affairs Office. Post-baccalaureate candidates need not complete this form, even if they are still taking coursework to complete their teaching major and/or teaching minor.
November: Teacher candidates who are on schedule for the internship in the next academic year complete the online Internship Placement Request form by the due date, approximately December 1st.
November – January: Teacher candidates who are on schedule for the internship write placement resumes to prospective mentor teachers. Guidelines for writing a placement resume are listed below. These resumes will be given to the school at which the Team is suggesting a placement. The Team contacts schools to talk about the number of interns each school would like to have. February – March: The Team works with schools and teachers to arrange placements. Although we will try to accommodate a prospective intern’s first choice of level (middle/high) or setting, we often cannot honor all of these in our attempts to match students with mentor teachers who are interested in working with an intern.
March – May: Students are informed of those placements that have been arranged and the procedure to follow to contact their prospective mentor teacher. The prospective intern and mentor teacher report back to the Team to confirm the placement. The Team continues to identify placements for any interns who have not yet been placed.
June, July, and August: Finish placements that could not be made on the intended schedule, and re-place prospective interns whose placements fell through.
Placements are not complete until the intern files a Placement Confirmation Form
When prospective interns have visited the school and met the mentor teacher, they complete a Placement Confirmation form that is submitted to the Team. Interns receive the form after they receive the information about their placement.
Criteria for Progression to the Internship
The information below is taken from Criteria for Progression.
Requirements for Progression to the Internship
To progress to the internship a teacher candidate must complete the following:
Before beginning the internship, teacher candidates must have:
(1) completed all teaching major and teaching minor requirements as well as all teacher certification coursework and other courses required for teacher certification;
(2) been awarded the bachelor’s degree; (Note: Music Education Students complete MUS 495, “Directed Teaching”, as part of their baccalaureate degree.)
(3) earned a Grade Point Average of 2.5 or above in each of the following: University overall cumulative Grade Point Average, teaching major, and/or teaching minor(s):
(4) earned a Grade Point Average of 2.5 or above for pre-internship, professional education courses required for teacher certification, with no individual grade below 2.0,
(5) earned a minimum grade of 2.0 in all courses in the Planned Program for Elementary Certification
(6) passed all three components of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Professional Readiness Exam (PRE) (reading, writing, and math); and,
(7) completed the Michigan State Department of Education technology requirement.
Pass the required Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)
Students seeking elementary certification, including those in special education and early childhood education, must pass the Elementary Education MTTC (Test #103) as a condition for progression to the internship (TE 501).
For elementary certification students, passing the Elementary Education MTTC is a requirement for completion of the teacher certification program and a State of Michigan requirement for certification to teach in grades K-5. Students who also wish to teach in grades 6-8 must pass the MTTC corresponding to their teaching major. Students in Special Education and Early Childhood Education must pass tests in their respective areas (i.e., Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education) to become endorsed to teach in those areas. Passing these subject matter tests is not required for program completion and progression to the internship; however, it is required if the student is to be recommended for certification in those areas.
For those seeking secondary certification (including the K-12 majors of Art Education and Music Education), students must take and pass the MTTC corresponding to their major as a condition for progressing to the internship (TE 501, MUS 495). All secondary education students, except those in Music, Art, Social Studies and Physical Science (comprehensive group majors), are required to complete an approved teaching minor. For secondary education students, passing the MTTC corresponding to the minor is a requirement for becoming certified to teach the minor and a requirement for placement in the minor subject area during the internship. While it is in the best interest of secondary teacher candidates to be certified in both their major and minor areas, the Michigan Department of Education permits secondary candidates to earn provisional certification in the major without certification in the minor.
In addition to passing the MTTC corresponding to their teaching major, students who wish to be certified to teach world languages are required to meet oral proficiency standards established by the State of Michigan. Secondary candidates with world language majors must meet the standard as a condition for progression to the internship. Secondary candidates with world language minors and elementary students with world language majors or minors are not eligible for internship placements in world languages unless they have met the standard. All candidates must meet the standard before they can be recommended for certification in a world language.
Conviction Disclosure Form
It is important that prospective interns be appropriate candidates for the teaching profession. In Michigan, the State Board of Education may refuse to grant, or may impose conditions upon, a teaching certificate for an individual who is convicted as an adult of a felony involving moral turpitude or who is convicted of an act of immoral conduct contributing to the delinquency of a child. Conviction of these and other crimes may, therefore, preclude the teacher candidate from participating in the internship. To be eligible for the internship, the teacher candidate must complete, sign, and submit the Conviction Disclosure Form to the Student Affairs Office. Concealment or misrepresentation of information required to be disclosed in the Conviction Disclosure Form may result in denial of admission to the internship year or in denial of recommendation for teacher certification.
The internship involves the intern in extensive co-planning and co-teaching with an experienced collaborating teacher and requires the intern to gradually assume responsibility for all aspects of learning and teaching in the classroom. To be eligible for an internship, the teacher candidate must have demonstrated a readiness to work in accordance with the Professional Standards below and an appropriate disposition for the profession of teaching. Therefore, a teacher candidate who meets the Academic Requirements listed above may be denied the opportunity to do an internship if, in the judgment of the Teacher Education Department, the teacher candidate has failed to meet any of the following Professional Criteria. The Professional Criteria are related to the Professional Standards used to evaluate interns’ progress during the internship year
- Reliability and Responsibility
Teacher candidates must generally have been present and on time for professional commitments, including classes and field experiences. Teacher candidates must have regularly communicated about necessary absences or lateness according to the guidelines in the Professional Conduct Policy. Teacher candidates must have a record of meeting deadlines for course assignments and program requirements. A pattern of repeated absences, lateness, and failure to meet deadlines in courses or fieldwork is not acceptable. Any form of dishonesty (lying, plagiarism, forged signatures, etc.) about these and other requirements is not acceptable.
- Teacher candidates must generally have been present and on time for professional commitments, including classes and field experiences. Teacher candidates must have regularly communicated about necessary absences or lateness according to the guidelines in the Professional Conduct Policy. Teacher candidates must have a record of meeting deadlines for course assignments and program requirements. A pattern of repeated absences, lateness, and failure to meet deadlines in courses or fieldwork is not acceptable. Any form of dishonesty (lying, plagiarism, forged signatures, etc.) about these and other requirements is not acceptable.
- Communication Skills and Social Relationships
Teacher candidates must have demonstrated the ability to express their viewpoints and negotiate difficulties appropriately, without behaving unprofessionally with instructors, peers, or students. Teacher candidates must have shown that they are ready to accept constructive feedback in a professional manner. Teacher candidates must have demonstrated an awareness of appropriate social boundaries between students and teachers and have shown that they are ready and able to observe those boundaries. Extreme forms of behavior (such as outbursts in class, sexual or other harassment, threats of suicide or of harm to others) are not acceptable.
- Teacher candidates must have demonstrated the ability to express their viewpoints and negotiate difficulties appropriately, without behaving unprofessionally with instructors, peers, or students. Teacher candidates must have shown that they are ready to accept constructive feedback in a professional manner. Teacher candidates must have demonstrated an awareness of appropriate social boundaries between students and teachers and have shown that they are ready and able to observe those boundaries. Extreme forms of behavior (such as outbursts in class, sexual or other harassment, threats of suicide or of harm to others) are not acceptable.
- Comfort with and Concern for the Learning of all Children
Teacher candidates must be able to engage in informal conversations with children and keep their attention in such conversations. Teacher candidates must interact courteously, fairly, and professionally with people from diverse racial, cultural, and social backgrounds and of different genders or sexual orientations. Racial and other slurs are not acceptable, nor is conduct that violates the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy or that would violate the Anti-Discrimination Policy if it were directed at a member of the University community.
- Teacher candidates must be able to engage in informal conversations with children and keep their attention in such conversations. Teacher candidates must interact courteously, fairly, and professionally with people from diverse racial, cultural, and social backgrounds and of different genders or sexual orientations. Racial and other slurs are not acceptable, nor is conduct that violates the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy or that would violate the Anti-Discrimination Policy if it were directed at a member of the University community.
Procedures for Decisions and Notification
Academic Requirements and Conviction Disclosure Form
The Student Affairs Office will have primary responsibility for confirming that a teacher candidate has met all Academic Requirements and submitted the Conviction Disclosure Form. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet all criteria for progression to the internship, including fulfilling grade requirements. Students should meet with advisors to verify grade point averages if necessary.
If a teacher candidate’s records are not complete or if a student has failed to meet one or more Academic Requirements or to submit the Conviction Disclosure Form, the Student Affairs Office will notify the teacher candidate and the Teacher Education Department (usually the teacher candidate’s team) before May 30 prior to the beginning of the teacher candidate’ internship. If the deficiencies are not remedied before the end of the summer term, the Student Affairs Office will so notify the Teacher Education Department (the teacher candidate’s team), and the beginning of the teacher candidate’s internship will be delayed until the beginning of the next internship assuming the deficiencies have been remedied.
The Department of Teacher Education and its representatives, including course instructors and collaborating teachers, have primary responsibility for evaluating whether teacher candidates have met the required Professional Criteria. The following procedures will be used to assure that teacher candidates are systematically evaluated according to the Professional Criteria and that potential problems are investigated:
- All collaborating teachers working with students taking TE 302, TE 407 and TE 408 will be asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning the students’ performance in the field, including their performance with respect to the Professional Criteria. Any classroom teacher indicating concerns about a student’s performance or professionalism will be contacted by the course instructor or another team representative, and the team will investigate the concerns.
- The Teams will request that course instructors teaching TE 302, TE 407, and TE 408 identify students who may not be meeting the Professional Criteria and provide information about their possible failure to comply with the Professional Criteria. The Teams will investigate any such concerns expressed by other course instructors.
- Teams will investigate concerns expressed by other course instructors, including instructors in other departments, which might involve a student’s failure to meet any of the Professional Criteria.
Generally, the Team Coordinator and/or Team Leader will review situations which may involve a teacher candidate’s failure to meet any of the Professional Criteria. If the likelihood of failure to comply with the Professional Criteria is serious enough to jeopardize the teacher candidate’s progress to the internship, the Team Leadership will review the case.
- If the Team Leadership concludes that the situation involves a failure to comply with one or more of the Professional Criteria that is serious enough to warrant a recommendation that the teacher candidate not be allowed to progress to the internship, the Team Leader will inform the teacher candidate and the Director of the Teacher Preparation Programs of the recommendation and of the basis for it. The Director will be responsible for reviewing the recommendation and determining that the teacher candidate may, upon meeting certain conditions, proceed to the internship, or that the teacher candidate will not be allowed to proceed to the internship. The Director will contact, and preferably meet with the teacher candidate prior to making this determination.
- If the Team Leadership concludes that the teacher candidate has failed to comply with one or more of the Professional Criteria, but that the failure is not, by itself, serious enough to prevent the teacher candidate from progressing to the internship, the teacher candidate will be notified of the failure and of the teacher candidate’s need to comply with the Professional Criteria in the future. If the teacher candidate again fails to comply with any of the Professional Criteria, the Team Leadership will again review the case. If, because of the teacher candidate’s repeated failure to comply with one or more of the Professional Criteria, the Team Leadership recommends that the teacher candidate will not be allowed to progress to the internship, the Team Leader will inform the teacher candidate and the Director of the recommendation and the basis for it. The Director will be responsible for reviewing the recommendation and determining that the teacher candidate may proceed to the internship upon meeting certain conditions or that the teacher candidate will not be allowed to proceed to the internship. The Director will contact and, preferably, meet with the teacher candidate prior to making this determination.
The teacher candidate may appeal the decision to the Assistant/Associate Dean of the College of Education.
Fingerprinting and Background Checks
Adapted from Conviction Disclosure Responsibility.
Since July 1, 2008, the State of Michigan has required that all individuals “employed or regularly and continuously working” in Michigan schools must be fingerprinted using the LiveScan technology (digital fingerprinting) and submit to criminal background checks. This includes any individuals acting as substitute teachers.
Our partner schools vary in their interpretation of the fingerprinting/background check regulations with respect to teacher candidates. You should expect that prior to beginning your fieldwork at any level of the teacher preparation program, your assigned placement school may require that you are fingerprinted. Typically, this will require that you go to an approved site for this procedure and that you pay for it yourself. You should wait until you find out about the requirements for your placement site before submitting to fingerprinting, but be advised you may need to get it done quickly in order to be on schedule for your required fieldwork.
All undergraduate students who have school placements must submit to background checks conducted through the MSU Department of Human Resources. Students enrolled in specific TE and CEP courses are required to submit a consent form as directed by their course instructor or team coordinator. When the background check reveals a conviction, the Certification Officer is notified. Convictions revealed by the background check should already have been disclosed by the student on a Conviction Disclosure Form (CDF) or by subsequent notification as specified on the CDF. Failure to report a conviction or falsification of information on an application or CDF could result in dismissal from the teacher certification program.
Prior to beginning the internship, schools will require that interns be fingerprinted. MSU interns will have the results of the associated background check sent directly to their placement school. It is the intern’s responsibility to make sure that this is done prior to beginning work at the school and that the results are forwarded to the district offices of that school. MSU does not collect or maintain records of students’ fingerprints.
The MSU-based Conviction Disclosure Form (CDF), the background check performed through MSU HR on behalf of undergraduates and the fingerprinting process initiated by prospective interns together form a set of procedures that help teacher candidates meet state requirements for certification with respect to their criminal history, but each student also bears individual responsibility for forthright and accurate reporting of this history to SAO so that concerns can be addressed in a timely fashion. Students are required to disclose convictions to the SAO on the CDF, and in writing when any new activity appears on their criminal history – before a criminal background check reveals a conviction that has not been previously reported. Students with questions should contact Dr. Susan Dalebout, MSU Certification Officer, in the Student Affairs Office, 134 Erickson.
First Aid and CPR
Legislation signed into law in 2003 requires that teacher candidates complete courses in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior to being recommended for an initial teaching certificate. Michigan State University, and all other Michigan teacher preparation institutions, must confirm that this requirement has been met before a recommendation for the Provisional Teaching Certificate is sent to the Michigan Department of Education.
First aid certification is typically valid for a period of 3 years. CPR certification is typically valid for 24 months. You should consider completing the First Aid and CPR courses during your senior year, as long as the specific course and certification you complete will remain valid when your application is processed by MSU in the summer following your internship year.
Professional Conduct Policy
In this time of transition from being a student to being a professional teacher, it is important that you begin to see yourself as a lifelong learner rather than a student fulfilling university requirements. Both your school-based experiences and your university coursework are vital and integral components of your professional preparation. Because the way you conduct yourself in these settings reflects on you as a professional, we want to be clear about your responsibilities with regard to professional and ethical conduct. Failure to comply with these (and other university policies governing student conduct) will result in a review of your progress by your team and specific recommendations regarding your continued participation in the teacher certification program.
Attendance and Punctuality
You are expected to be present and on time for your professional commitments. If you must be absent from any one of your professional responsibilities due to illness or an emergency, you must inform the people who are affected by your absence. That is, for your field placement you must notify your collaborating teacher, your field partner(s) if you have one, your MSU liaison, and if appropriate, your subject-matter field instructor. For your on-campus courses, you must notify your course instructor. Any absence during a semester from on-campus courses or pre-internship field placements is cause for concern and may affect your grade. Recurring absences or tardiness will put your recommendation for continuation in the program in jeopardy. During the internship, interns who are absent more than four days in a semester in their school placement may be required to make up the time. If you have difficulty meeting this expectation, talk to your course instructor or team coordinator in advance or as soon as possible. Informing the appropriate people about extenuating circumstances will allow us to work with you to make appropriate arrangements.
In instances of academic dishonesty, violation of professional standards or falsification of records, the University’s policy on the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades will be enforced. This means that at the instructor’s discretion, a student may receive a penalty grade on an assignment and/or in the course, and a report must be filed which becomes part of the student’s academic record. Additional penalties are possible, depending on the nature of the infraction. Moreover, teachers are the guardians of academic integrity in society. Teacher candidates are expected to meet the highest standards in this regard, and to uphold these standards among their students and colleagues. It is the standard practice of teachers to borrow ideas and materials from a variety of sources. Take care to properly attribute these sources and to refrain from representing another’s intellectual property as your own. Instructors and course syllabi provide additional guidelines for applying these principles to specific assignments and products.
By both professional standards and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). teachers are expected to respect the privacy and dignity of the children and families with whom they work. Likewise, as part of your preparation to enter the teaching profession, we expect you to use discretion when discussing or otherwise representing your experiences in schools. Always take care to protect the identities of children, adults and institutions in all media formats, including your spoken word. Be judicious and thoughtful about the content of stories about the classroom you share, and the contexts in which you share those stories. For example, do not discuss classroom experiences in public settings like restaurants or hallways, or on social media sites such as Facebook. Ask your collaborating teacher if there are additional district or school requirements regarding confidentiality that you must observe.
Your field experiences are an important part of your learning and you will be discussing them in your course meetings. Do not relate stories from classrooms or schools that include sensitive information about a child, adult, family or institution. When discussing classroom situations, do so carefully. Use a fictitious name for any student involved. Mask the name of a student on any written or visual work shared in class. When discussing teaching practice you have observed in the field, be mindful of maintaining a tone of professional courtesy.
When collecting information by interview, clearly state, or give to the interviewee in writing, the purpose of the interview and the uses you will make of the material. Obtain written permission for these uses. Ask your instructor for an example if you are unsure how to word this statement. Use pseudonyms and screen or mask identifying information when reporting interviews with children or adults, or when sharing artifacts of student work. Photographs, Audio and Video Occasionally there are circumstances which require that a student’s whereabouts be kept secret and photographs and recordings are not allowed. Most schools and districts require written permission from parents/guardians for taking any photographs, audio or video recordings. Before taking photographs or making audio or video recordings, your instructor can help you draft a release form for collecting these media, which you must then review with the classroom teacher and revise further as needed.
Your professional portfolio is a significantly more public representation of your work in schools than most other course assignments. Confidentiality considerations and releases for this use deserve special attention. Use pseudonyms and screen or mask names and personal identifying information. Always secure and maintain records of explicit written permission for any artifacts, photographs or recordings you include in print or electronic portfolios.
Dress and Deportment in Schools
When you are in school, you are expected to dress appropriately. You will be viewed and judged as another adult by students, parents, teachers and other people in the building. Be polite and considerate of other adults in the building including the principal, custodians, secretary, and paraprofessionals.
Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
The University Drug and Alcohol Policy will be enforced, which prohibits the possession or use of illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages in classes and field placements. Students are expected to be free of the influence of such substances in classes and field placements.
Professional education can be an intensely personal and challenging process. In your classes and field placements, you are expected to give and accept constructive feedback appropriately and to react appropriately in stressful situations. You are also expected to take an active role in your learning and contribute to the learning of your fellow students. If you have concerns, problems, or questions about any aspect of your coursework or fieldwork, you should first address them to the instructor or team person who is most directly involved. This applies to situations at the university as well as in the field. If the situation is not resolved at that level, you should request assistance from the Team coordinator or faculty leader. See the Teacher Preparation Program’s Procedures for Handling Disputes for more information.
Secondary Team teacher candidates may receive an I-Incomplete in a Teacher Education course (i.e. TE 302, 407, 408, 501, 801, 802, 502, 803, 804) if illness or another compelling reason has made it impossible to complete the work of the course on time (subject to the University “Postponement of Grading” policies below). Since each course is a prerequisite for the next course in the sequence, it is policy that incomplete grades be completed by the beginning of the next semester in order to continue to the subsequent Teacher Education course in the next semester of the program. That is, an incomplete for a fall semester course must be completed by the first day of spring semester. An incomplete for a spring semester course must be completed by the first day of fall semester unless the teacher candidate takes courses during the summer. The DF-Deferred grade and the ET-Extension grade are not available to pre-internship teacher candidates.
Postponement of Grading (from Postponement of Grading) When special or unusual circumstances occur, the instructor may postpone assignment of the student’s final grade in a course by use of an I-Incomplete or DF-Deferred or ET-Extension marker.
The I-Incomplete may be given only when the student
- has completed at least 12 weeks of the semester, but is unable to complete the classwork and/or take the final examination because of illness or other compelling reason; and
- has done satisfactory work in the course; and
- in the instructor’s judgment can complete the required work without repeating the course.
Provided these conditions are met, the instructor electing to give an I-Incomplete files an Agreement for Completion of (I) Incomplete at the time course grades are due. This agreement specifies what the student must do, and when, to remove the I- Incomplete. The department or school office gives a copy to the student, and retains a copy for at least one year. The required work must be completed, and a grade must be reported to the Office of the Registrar, no later than the middle of the student’s next semester in attendance (summer session excluded) if that semester is within one calendar year following receipt of the I-Incomplete. Exception to this deadline: An instructor may submit an Administrative Action form stating that course structure necessitates delay of make-up grading until the end of the student’s next semester in attendance. Failure to complete the required work by the due date will result in a grade of I/0.0, I/NC or I/N, depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled. (A student who does not register for MSU courses subsequent to receipt of an I-Incomplete has one calendar year to complete the required work; after that, the I-Incomplete will be changed to I/U on the student’s academic record, and the course may be completed only by re-enrollment). An extension of time for completion of the required work may be approved by the College offering the course only by means of an Administrative Action form documenting physician-certified illness or other extraordinary circumstances. An Extension of Time is a formal agreement between the instructor and the student. After an Extension of Time has been filed, the work must be done by the deadline determined by the instructor or the I-Incomplete will be changed to I/0.0, I/NC, or I/N depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled.
The DF-Deferred applies to the numerical, the CR-NC, and P-N systems. Given only to graduate students who are doing satisfactory work but cannot complete it because of reasons acceptable to the instructor. The required work must be completed and a grade reported within six months (190 calendar days from the last class day of the term of instruction), with the option of a single six-month extension (190 calendar days). If not completed within the time limit, the DF- Deferred will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to DF/U under the numerical and Pass-No Grade (P-N) grading systems, and to DF/NC under the Credit-No Credit (CR-NC) system. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.
The ET-Extension applies to the numerical, the CR-NC, and P-N systems. Given to undergraduate, graduate, and graduate- professional students only in courses specifically approved by the University Committee on Curriculum. Approval requires specification of the time period within which work must be completed. Courses that involve field experience or thesis work and courses in which work normally extends beyond one semester are the types of courses normally considered. A final grade must be reported upon completion of the final course in the sequence or in the time approved for the completion of the work.
If a final grade is not reported in these periods, the ET will be changed to ET/0.0, ET/NC or ET/N, depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled.
Junior Year Time Line
March/April – Schedule TE 407/8. Read the comments in the schedule carefully to ensure you enroll for a section that matches your teaching major. Remember to save two (2) two-hour blocks of time each week for fieldwork, so that you can see the same class periods twice a week. Fieldwork will be scheduled in the fall, at times that align with the placement school bell schedule. Fieldwork scheduled in the middle of the day typically requires more time to account for school lunch schedules. Travel time to the placement school is in addition to these requirements. Including travel, most field placements will require at least three (3) MSU class periods.
Summer – Plan you MTTC testing. Make plans to take and pass your subject area MAJOR tests before graduating. Prospective interns must attempt their MAJOR and RX or DI tests by the January test date.
- You may take summer classes the summer after your senior year and still progress to the internship. However, if you can’t graduate by the end of the summer following your senior year, you will need to delay your internship year. To request a delay, go to Teacher Preparation Forms Page and fill out the Request to Change Internship Year form. You must complete this form to reserve a spot in the internship year you desire.
- Delay taking TE 407 and 408 until the year just prior to your internship if possible. If you have questions, contact your coordinator.
- Keep your official record of teaching majors and minors up to date. Advisors in the College of Education will begin auditing internship requirements in the fall of the senior year. You may appear ineligible to intern if your course enrollment does not match the majors and minors you have on file. To make changes in your teaching major or teaching minor, go to Teacher Preparation Forms Page and fill out the Teaching Major/Minor/Additional Endorsement Change Request.
Senior Year Time Line for Progressing to the Internship
August – Plan your MTTC testing. Make plans to take and pass your subject area MAJOR tests before graduating. Prospective interns must attempt their MAJOR and RX or DI tests no later than January. See MTTC Test Site for more details.
September – Apply for graduation by first Friday of Fall semester if graduating in Fall. Receive Secondary Course Record form in TE 407/ STA 481 or by email from coordinator. The form is required for all prospective interns for the coming year EXCEPT post-baccalaureate candidates and others who have completed their degree before the start of the current fall semester.
Make appointment with advisor in your major. You will complete a portion of the Secondary Course Record form with your advisor and an advisor signature is required on the form. Together, you and your advisor will document your plan for completing all remaining requirements for internship progression, including upcoming summer enrollment.
October – Submit the completed Secondary Course Record form. Advisors in the College of Education will use the information provided on the form to audit your requirements for internship. Submit the completed form to their office, 134 Erickson
Decide whether to apply for Chicago internship. Interested candidates should plan to attend the informational meeting in late October and complete the separate Chicago Internship Application.
November – Submit online Internship Placement Plans form. You will receive an email invitation to complete this form in mid-November. Form is due by December 1. If you do not complete the form, you will not receive an internship placement.
Submit draft internship placement resume in internship placement course on D2L. Due by December 1. Draft resumes will be reviewed by your internship placement coordinator.
December – Attend internship area meeting if interning in Grand Rapids or Southeast Michigan.
February – Submit Graduate Certification application and Conviction Disclosure Form. Submission is monitored by the College of Education advisors and is submitted to their office, 134 Erickson, by spring break.
March/April/May/June – Receive tentative placement information. See internship information. See internship coordinator for details and questions
Make appointment to meet with prospective mentor teacher
Complete online placement confirmation form. You will receive an email survey to complete after you receive your placement information. Form is due within 2 weeks after meeting with prospective mentor.
Summer – Remediate any progression deficiencies by the end of Summer semester
Progression to the internship is dependent on the teacher candidate:
- meeting the Academic Requirements to be eligible for the internship
- passing the MTTC in the teaching major
- completing the Conviction Disclosure Form
- meeting the Professional Criteria
Internship Placement Resume
During the internship placement process, personnel departments, principals, department heads and teachers will review your internship placement resume. The placement is your introduction to a prospective mentor; it gives them a chance to decide if they would like to meet you as a prospective intern.
Format your resume so it is very easy to read. Use an easy-to-read font. A one-page resume is usually long enough to communicate the needed information in this context. Keep the resume to two pages or less, or no one will bother to read it.
Any resume is both an informational and marketing tool. You want your placement resume to represent you well. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting must be correct. The spell-check will not catch all errors. Carefully proofread the resume yourself, and then have someone else read it. Mentor teachers and principals sometimes reject applicants for internship who do not present themselves well in writing, as they do not appear to be good role models for their students.
Regarding capitalization, the only subjects that are capitalized in a sentence are languages (math, biology, English, French) unless the name of a specific course is used (American History, Biology 102). When subjects are not in a sentence, such as listing your major and minor under the Education section, they should be capitalized. (Major: History | Minor: English). Under the Personal Interest section, do not capitalize the items (family, reading, golf, tennis, hunting).
Our partner schools are looking for particular information about your educational background, your field experiences and your work in your subject area or with children. Follow the format specified here so that your information is easy for readers to find. A template is provided on the D2L site. Please complete your resume using the template. Do not deviate from its headings or format.
Contact information: Provide your phone number and MSU email. Do not include your address.
Certifications: List all anticipated endorsements in your major and minor. List May, 2020 as the date.
Education: Secondary students’ degrees are not from the College of Education. You will not complete the Teacher Preparation Program on the date you expect to earn your bachelor’s degree. Do not list your GPA on this resume. If someone asks for this or other privileged academic information, talk with your internship coordinator before releasing the information.
Honors/Awards: List any professional and/or academic awards, scholarships, and other special honors received.
Teaching Experience: Briefly describe your field experiences in TE 250, 302, 407, and 408, and in any other MSU courses in which you did fieldwork in schools. Include both the range of weeks and hours per week you spent in these placements. Give information about what you did in the classrooms. Do not list the names of your mentor teachers. These must be listed most recent first (see template).
Other Experience: If the experience is related to teaching or leadership, give a brief description of duties or accomplishments. Do not list the name of your supervisors.
Professional Developement: List teacher or content related conferences or training attended, if any.
Technology Skills: List technical skills related to teaching, if any.
Your resume will be submitted electronically via the D2L internship placement course. You will submit the draft as a MS Word document, by November 30, and you will receive feedback from your internship coordinator. The final version must be submitted as a .pdf file, for ease of distribution to schools. See D2L site for due date of the final resume.