The internship is a minimum 320-hour experience. This includes 120 hours which are required within identified courses and 200 hours during the year-long internship.
The revised licensure regulations require 120 hours of embedded experiences that focus on improved student learning. The embedded experiences can complement, implement, and/or parallel the college curriculum but focus on student achievement.
Some of University of Lynchburg’s embedded requirements are included within coursework and some are included during the year-long internship. The embedded experiences are clearly differentiated below.
All internship experiences are clearly defined. The capstone courses are Internship I (EDLS 698) and Internship II (EDLS 699) which are taken during the last year of the program.
However, some internship experiences will occur during summers. If you teach at a high school, you will be able to gain valuable experiences at that level; however, time to explore leadership at other levels is limited by time, distance, and the location of other schools and agencies. Therefore, the internship experiences must extend into the summer(s) so that quality experiences can be provided. This is also true for central office and community agency involvement. Area superintendents support the central office and off-level experiences and have agreed to allow these experiences to occur as needed during the last year of the program and during summers.
Prior to beginning the internship, you and your faculty advisor will meet with those individuals assisting with your internship including the school administration, division staff, and heads of community agencies.
Required Internship Experiences
The 120 hours of embedded experiences related to student learning are denoted with an asterisk (*).
Prek-12 School-Based Internship Experiences
- Analyze discipline data. Look at the number of referrals and suspensions. Disaggregate data. In addition, look for patterns – time of day, location, etc. Identify strategies that could improve discipline. Make sure that parents and community agencies are referenced in your intervention strategies.
- Review, analyze, and evaluate the delivery of special education services within your building. Attend a child study meeting, an IEP meeting, review modifications provided for students, discuss/observe handling of a discipline situation with a special education student, and observe/review SOL test accommodations. Identify areas of concern from the analysis and evaluation and share with building leadership.*
- Implement the action research project or the school improvement project developed in the research course. Either project must be approved by the school leadership team and appropriate division personnel. Share the results with the school’s leadership team.*
- Assist a building administrator with management issues within the building. At a minimum, this includes the handling of textbooks, the hiring, allocation and evaluation of custodians, the handling of fundraisers (pictures, vending machines, etc.), food service, in-school suspension, bus loading and unloading, fire drills, sales personnel, field trips, after-school programs, and extracurricular activities. Share at least 5 suggestions to improve in one or more of the areas.
- Sit in on a truancy review team meeting and attend either a court hearing or a long-term discipline appeal hearing. Submit a brief reflection on the process.
- Spend two full days with a building-level administrator and observe how he/she handles triage (when faced with numerous issues, how does he/she establish priorities). Submit a reflection paper on how these two days impacted your view of school administration.
- Work directly with an administrator who develops the master schedule. Reflect on the criteria used to make scheduling decisions (including any partnerships with regional schools), teacher assignments, and course offerings.
- During a school year, difficult situations will arise. Situations may include but are not limited to the death of a student, death of a faculty member, a weapon on school property, use of “drug dogs” in a search, a major fight at school, a major altercation at a school event, and/or trespassers on school property. In other words, there will be events that the press will learn about and will write about. In most situations, it will be better to learn about the situation from the school administration than from the press. Identify three of these situations, which may be at your school or another school, and write a letter or script which could be used to send to parents or to be used through electronic communication including telephone calls home.
- With the assistance of the building administration, identify a student who is a “discipline problem.” Investigate the problem, talk with the student and parent, develop and recommend a solution to the leadership team.
- Spend a minimum of five hours with a school counselor. Identify and reflect on the issues that surface.
- Review the school’s mission and vision statement. Analyze school procedures, processes, rules, and culture to determine whether or not the mission and vision are in congruence with practice. Identify areas where procedures, processes, rules, and/or culture do not appear to be congruent with the stated mission and vision of the school. Present your findings to the school leadership team.*
- Follow the budget development process from the first School Board work session to adoption in the spring. Discuss with an administrator how the budget decisions impact the operation of the school division.
- Attend two meetings of a parent council (PTA/PTSA/PTO) within your school division. These meetings must be at schools where you do not teach and must be in schools at different levels, i.e. if you work at a high school, the meetings must be at an elementary and middle school.
- Attend a variety of team/committee meetings which may include a building leadership team, parent advisory council, department meeting, unit meeting, and grade-level meeting. Reflect on their mission and vision and how they assist in the accountability for student achievement.*
- Assist with a faculty meeting. Identify the purpose of the meeting and assist with the agenda. Evaluate the success of the meeting.
- Identify a major instructional concern in the school. With the support of the school administration, conduct an in-service workshop around the concern for faculty.*
- Sit in on the handling of a parent complaint. Identify the problem shared by the parent and provide a plan of how you would have handled the complaint.
Central Office-Related Experiences
- Attend 3 school board meetings in 3 different school divisions, one of which being your own. Identify the similarities and differences among the 3 divisions.
- Spend a minimum of 8 hours shadowing and meeting with non-instructional central office administrators. Identify the issues that surface at the division level. The following positions (or their equivalent) should be included:
- School nutrition supervisor
- Transportation supervisor
- Maintenance supervisor
- Maintenance tradesman
- Spend a minimum of 10 hours shadowing and meeting with instructional central office administrators. Analyze the role central office instructional staff play in direct instructional supervision. What role do they have in insuring accountability? The following positions (or their equivalent) should be included:*
- Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
- Director for Elementary Education
- Director for Secondary Education
- Director for Technology
- Director for Special Education
- Director for Career Technical Education
- Director for Personnel
- Director for Finance
- Public Information Officer
- Spend a minimum of 5 hours in meetings noted below involving central office staff. Reflect on the relationship between the central office and principals, the accountability of both, and the impact these meetings have on student learning.
- Construction meeting
- RFP presentations or Bid openings
- Division principals meeting
- Division department meeting
Community Agency Internship Experiences
Spend a minimum of 15 hours working with the United Way.
Interns will receive training as a call specialist for the 2-1-1 program. The 2-1-1 program is an easy to remember phone number connecting people with free information on available community services. When someone calls 2-1-1, a trained call specialist listens to the situation and suggest sources of help using a large database of health and human services in Virginia. Nonprofit organizations and federal, state, and local government agencies are included in the database.
The Lynchburg United Way houses one of the state call centers. Interns will be trained as a call specialist by United Way staff. Interns will assist callers in accessing health and human service agencies. As a result of the training, interns will be more aware of the types of services available to families and children.
These services include, but are not limited to:
- Basic human needs including food banks, shelters, rent or utility assistance.
- Physical and mental health resources including Medicaid, Medicare, pre-natal care, children’s health insurance programs, crisis intervention, support groups, counseling, alcohol and drug rehabilitation.
- Work initiatives including educational and vocational training programs, English as second language classes, job training, GED preparation, financial and transportation assistance.
- Support for children, youth, and families including after-school programs, family resource centers, protective services, counseling, early childhood learning programs, child care referral centers, and recreation.