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MAT Secondary/P-12 Education Field Experiences

Early Clinical Experiences

  • Pre-Practicum Experience. During the first week of the 1-year program, candidates are placed in middle and high school classrooms in small groups to observe experienced teachers in their classrooms. This experience is designed to allow MAT candidates to become familiar with how secondary students are taught and how they react to instruction in today’s secondary schools.
  • Induction Experience. Candidates complete a four-day induction program in the fall of the school year. Candidates are placed with the teachers who will be their mentors for the first practicum experience and spend two days with their mentors before the opening of the school year and the first two days that school students arrive. During this experience, candidates learn how an experienced teacher in their field prepares for and organizes the opening of the school year. During the days before students arrive, candidates observe what their mentors do to prepare for the opening of school and assist them when possible. They attend professional development activities with their teachers that are offered during these two days. When the students arrive, the candidates observe how the teachers set up the classrooms, establish class rules, distribute materials and books, and assist the teachers when possible.
  • Diversity Experience. Candidates spend three days in placements in both middle schools and high schools to gather an understanding of the instructional and social development needs of the disabled and nondisabled students in inclusive classrooms. In this experience practicum students are to observe and pay special attention to collaboration, technology, legislation, educational programming, instructional strategies, inclusion models and current research related to the students enrolled in secondary school inclusion programs and K-12 programs. These experiences take place during the first two weeks of the fall semester.

Practicum Experiences

  • Practicum I. Candidates are placed individually with a mentor teacher in their content area in a Professional Development School (PDS) for a minimum of 50 consecutive days. The placement is either a high school placement or a middle school placement. The experience centers on the knowledge, skills and dispositions of a quality teacher with emphasis on designing and implementing standards-based instruction, on collection of data, and on assessment of learning to drive instruction. Peer coaching and collaborative efforts are emphasized. Use of technology during instruction is expected. 
  • Practicum II. Candidates are placed with a mentor teacher in their content area in a PDS for a minimum of 50 consecutive days. The placement will be in middle school if their first placement was in high school or in high school if the first placement was in middle school. Emphasis is given to design and implementation of an action research project and to development of the candidate’s electronic professional portfolio. Use of technology during instruction is expected. The accompanying seminar is designed to address topics, issues and concerns as scheduled or needed and to integrate portfolio development and the research component and other aspects of the program within the practicum experience.