Internship Experience

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 Lynchburg College'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 (*).

EDLS 609 Research Methods and Applications for Educational Leaders

Analyze school or division SOL and AYP data. Look at how the school/division did in each of the 4 core areas (language arts, math, science, social studies). Analyze data for minority students, students on free lunch, and students with disabilities. Identify disparities.*

Using a variety of data sources, develop an action research proposal or a school improvement project. Present the proposal/project concept in class.*

Complete a demographic study of your school and locality. Include the location of the school, the neighborhood, grade levels, number of students, number of teachers, and number of staff. Include a racial breakdown of students, percentage of students on free lunch, percentage of students with disabilities, and percentage of ESL students. Compare the demographics of the school with the demographics of the community which can be accessed at http://quickfacts.census.gov/. Identify issues in the community demographics which could be barriers to student success. Identify strategies to minimize the barriers.*

EDLS 603 Legal and Ethical Issues

Review the Standards for Accrediting Schools in Virginia and analyze your school's compliance with those standards. Meet with the building's leadership team to review your findings and, if appropriate, suggest ways to gain further compliance.*

Review the school's student handbook. Identify any areas that do not appear to be in compliance with school law. Even if in compliance, identify at least five topics which could be more clearly defined in the handbook. Rewrite those five areas and share with the principal/assistant principal.

School Board Policy is extremely important to the operation of a school division and to an individual school. Read the "Bylaws" and "Students" sections of your school board policy. Submit a reflection paper detailing what you learned.

Go to http://legis.state.va.us/. Identify five pieces of legislation passed by the 2009 General Assembly that could impact your school or division. Draft a memo providing a summary of the legislation and your assessment of the impact the legislation will have on your school or division.

EDCI 606 Effective Instructional Strategies

School Board Policy is extremely important to the operation of a school division and to an individual school. Read the "Instruction" section of your school board policy. Submit a reflection paper detailing what you learned.

Identify an instructional problem area in your school, develop and lead an effort to brainstorm solutions. Share the solutions with the school leadership team.*

EDCI 616 Curriculum Standards and Issues

Identify a content area and conduct a curriculum alignment assessment. Analyze whether or not the written, taught, and tested curriculum are congruent. Include the school or division's benchmark testing, if used. Provide evidence of your assessment. Where there is lack of congruence, identify strategies to ensure congruence.

Review the curriculum monitoring process in your building. Assess its effectiveness. Develop your own curriculum monitoring process which you would employ as a building level principal.

Compare a school-based instructional intervention program with the research on effective school-based intervention programs. Identify areas inconsistent with the research and outline strategies to improve the school-based program.

EDLS 613 Fiscal and Resource Accountability

School Board Policy is extremely important to the operation of a school division and to an individual school. Read the "Business/Finance" and "Governance" sections of your school board policy. Present and submit a summary and reflection paper detailing what you learned.

Write a letter advocating for prek-12 education to either members of Congress, or the local appropriating body.

Review instructional allocations and capital allocations. Determine how faculty/staff are involved in the budget process and how priorities are established. Review school activity accounts and athletic accounts. Identify how funds are audited.

Attend two meetings of the appropriating body in your locality (city council or board of supervisors). Submit a reflection paper.

EDLS 623 Personnel

Participate in the following personnel activities:

  • Review and write job descriptions.
  • Review/screen applications for an identified position.
  • Write interview questions for an identified position with a focus on what to listen/look for during the process.
  • Participate as an interviewee and interviewer in the hiring process.

School Board Policy is extremely important to the operation of a school division and to an individual school. Read the "Personnel" section of your school board policy. Present and submit a reflection paper detailing what you learned.

EDLS 643 The Principalship

School Board Policy is extremely important to the operation of a school division and to an individual school. Read the "Administration" section of your school board policy. Present and submit a reflection paper detailing what you learned.

Review the Crisis Manual for your school and submit a written reflection paper.

Attend and write a reflection paper on one division administrator's meeting.

Develop and submit a comprehensive checklist for the opening and closing of school year.

Tour the building with the Head Custodian. Develop a written report and reflection detailing capital and maintenance priorities and complete work orders, monitoring progress through completion.

EDLS 646 Improving the School Structure and Climate

School Board Policy is extremely important to the operation of a school division and to an individual school. Read the "Community Relations" section of your school board policy. Present and submit a reflection paper detailing what you learned.

Analyze the school's crisis/emergency plan. Meet with the school resource officer or a representative from the police or sheriff's department to discuss law enforcement's role in the crisis/emergency plan.*

Complete a school zone analysis. Do a "drive through" of your school zone. Where do students live? What business/industry is located in your zone? Discuss with guidance personnel, school social worker, and other staff the impact that the neighborhood characteristics have on the school. Which, if any, of the businesses/industries in your zone are involved in school-business partnerships with your school? Are there ways that business/industry could help you? Are there ways the school could help them?*

Participate in School Safety Audit Process. Identify areas in the school that could be made safer. Share with the building leadership team.

Attend a meeting of a parent council within your school (i.e. PTA, PTO, booster organization, etc.). What role does the organization play? Review its constitution and/or bylaws. How does the organization ensure diversity of representation? How does it raise funds? To whom is it accountable? How are funds audited? Present and submit a reflection paper detailing what you learned.

Conduct an in-house fire marshal inspection and submit a written summary.

EDLS 653 Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction

Observe a minimum of five teachers. Use the clinical supervision model for two of the observations using five (5) different data collection instruments for these observations. Division or other observation instructions may be used for the remaining observations. For all observations, a pre-conference and a post-conference is required. Write a 3-5 page reflection paper on what you learned about observations and conferencing from these experiences.*

Design and submit a plan to assess and increase "academic rigor" in your school.*

Participate in a joint observation of a teacher with an experienced administrator. Discuss the observation with the administrator. Develop a chart showing the similarities and differences between your observation and the administrator's.*

EDLS 690 Principles of Leadership

Write a pre-course and a post-course philosophy of leadership paper.

Complete a Development Needs and Assets inventory and a 360 degree assessment. Using the data from the two instruments, develop and submit a professional growth plan.

Prek-12 School-Based Internship Experiences

  1. 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.
  2. 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.*
  3. 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.*
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Spend a minimum of five hours with a school counselor. Identify and reflect on the issues that surface.
  11. 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.*
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.*
  15. Assist with a faculty meeting. Identify the purpose of the meeting and assist with the agenda. Evaluate the success of the meeting.
  16. 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.*
  17. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.