Rationale and Goals
Students seeking the Standard Principal Certificate must complete a structured, field-based internship focused on actual experiences with each of the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) standards. The practicum is not a checklist of activities, but an opportunity to plan, produce, participate in, and reflect upon campus leadership. Under the direction of a Texas State University-San Marcos (TSU-SM) supervisor and the site mentor, the student will demonstrate proficiency in the following learner-centered areas (examples follow each heading):
Values and ethics of leadership
Speculation on significance of critical incidents (Were you prepared? Will you do the same thing next time? Did you ask for guidance/assistance? From whom?)
Description of dissonance between your leadership platform and practicum experiences
Analysis of ethical dilemmas you have faced
Reflection on your personal and professional growth
Leadership and campus culture
Improvement of school discipline with individual students and the school as a whole
Participate in developing, assessing, or modifying the campus vision
Development of collegial relationships and effective collaboration of campus staff
Analysis of diversity within the school culture (discipline, special education, gifted programs, etc.)
Submission of a grant proposal
Human resources leadership and management
Participation in a school wide needs assessment for professional development
Development or implementation of professional development
Leadership of or participation in a group or committee (ARD, discipline committee, site-based management team, etc.)
Mentoring of a novice teacher
Assistance with the professional development of a teacher in need of improvement
Communications and community relations
Utilize effective conflict management skills and group consensus building skills
Participation in parent and/or community communications and relations
Gathering input from all campus stakeholders
Organizational leadership and management
Participation in management activities such as budget, master schedule, resource management, transportation, student services, extra-curricular supervision, non-professional staff supervision
Analysis of attendance patterns and systems
Improvement of instructional or management technology
Participation in a campus-wide or program assessment
Participation in a school or program improvement effort
Reflection on the school vision and beliefs as compared to observed realities
Curriculum planning and development
Clinical supervision of a teacher
Comparison of district curriculum and campus implementation
Analysis of campus implementation of authentic assessment, best practice, interdisciplinary instruction, etc.
Participation in textbook adoption or materials acquisition
Participation in the development of the campus improvement plan
Instruction leadership and management
Facilitation of the use and integration of technology, telecommunications, and information systems to enhance learning
Facilitation of student activity programs to fulfill academic, developmental, social and/or cultural needs
Involvement in supervision and professional development activities for self and others
Involvement with allocation of instructional resources on the campus in the most equitable manner to support and enhance student learning
Timeline, Admission and Requirements
The principal practicum at Texas State University-San Marcos will be for two consecutive semesters, beginning in the fall semester only. Students must register for EDCL 6387 in the fall semester and EDCL 6388 in the spring semester. A completed Application for Principal Certification Practicum form must be received by June 1st.
- The applicant is enrolled in the TSU-SM educational administration program.
- The applicant has only 6-12 hours remaining (including the 6 hour internship) in the TSU-SM EDCL program prior to beginning the practicum.
- The applicant must arrange for a local administrator to serve as the site mentor.
- EDCL faculty will approve/reject the practicum arrangement submitted by the applicant.
- EDCL faculty will approve/reject admission to the practicum based on the applicant's academic records, experience, and EDCL faculty input.
- The student and site mentor will attend the Practicum Orientation held before the start of the practicum.
- The Practicum Proposal must be submitted to the TSU-SM supervisor for approval on or before September 30th or at a time established by the supervisor.
- The student will complete and submit all assignments.
- The student will attend all four internship seminars.
- The student will purchase the required textbook and complete all assigned readings.
- The student will email an Activity Log to the TSU-SM supervisor at least once per month.
- The student will be available for individual on-site meetings/observations with the TSU-SM supervisor at least 2 times during the academic year. The TSU-SM supervisor will review artifacts or documentation of activities reported in the Activity Log. The supervisor will also review progress on the student's Action Research Project developed in EDCL 6358 (Integrative Seminar).
- The student will present the Professional Portfolio to the TSU-SM supervisor at the end of the spring semester.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Site Mentor
The site mentor collaborates with the practicum student to develop the Practicum Proposal.The site mentor ensures that the practicum experience includes successful application of a broad range of educational administration theories, concepts, models and experiences.The site mentor may be asked, from time to time, to offer input on the perfomance of the intern.
The TSU-SM Supervisor
The TSU-SM Supervisor assists the student in the modification and implementation of the Practicum Proposal.The supervisor will determine whether or not the student has successfully completed the practicum through campus visits, input from the site mentor, and assessment of the student's assignments, logs, artifacts, work ethic, portfolio, and other items as applicable.The TSU-SM supervisor may assign a grade of CR (credit), PR (progress), or F (no credit). A grade of PR requires the practicum student to re-enroll in the practicum for the next term.
The Practicum Student
The student participates in the two-semester practicum while completing the duties of his/her contracted school assignment in a manner acceptable to the university supervisor.The student, in collaboration with the site mentor, is expected to establish the Practicum Proposal.The student should use the activities described in the Practicum Proposal to plan a broad array of assignments and experiences.In the event that the student moves to another campus or position, or the site mentor moves to another campus, the student is expected to contact the TSU-SM supervisor immediately to make alternative plans. EDCL faculty will approve/reject any change in practicum placement. The student is expected to complete all requirements listed in the section above.
Required Documents and Assignments
The written Practicum Proposal is due to the TSU-SM supervisor by September 15th. It must include a brief written statement, developed in collaboration with the site mentor, of the student's leadership strengths and challenges, and a written timeline outlining proposed projects and activities that reflect each required "learner-centered" area listed in the first portion of this document. The Proposal must be signed and dated by both the student and the site mentor.
The Activity Log should be emailed to the TSU-SM supervisor on dates requested (once per month). Each entry must be dated, although a daily entry is not required. The log should recount significant activities, assignments, encounters, reflections, questions, perceptions, interpretations, and realizations. Entries should include activities from the principal standards (listed in the first section of this document). Artifacts (agendas, meeting minutes, lists, conference notes, etc.) are evidence of the activities and may be reviewed by the university supervisor during on-site visits. Additional parameters and details about the activity log may be provided by your TSU-SM supervisor.
All assignments must be completed and submitted on time (see assignments and due dates on pages 6-8). Students must also report to the four seminar sessions prepared having reading assignments and written assignments completed prior to the start of the session.
The purpose of the professional portfolio is to demonstrate the student's growth since entering the Principal Certification Program. The portfolio is a set of documents, artifacts and examples presented to a potential employer to demonstrate the student's administrative knowledge, skills, experiences and potential. The student will present the professional portfolio to the TSU-SM supervisor prior to the end of the spring semester.
- Written report on the progress of the self-improvement plan (developed in EDCL 5339)
- Paper discussing changes in the student's Level I educational and leadership platforms, including new platforms integrating current educational leadership beliefs
- Report on implementation and results of the action research project designed in EDCL 6358
Additional suggested entries may include:
- Reports on student's progress in the self-directed professional development program designed in EDCL 5345
- Documentation of institutes, academies, professional development programs, apprenticeships, visiting scholar programs, fellowships
- Documentation of successful field-based leadership activities other than course requirements
- Documentation of honors received for academic or professional accomplishments
- Letters from public officials, community leaders, administrators, parents, students, or school staff attesting professional growth and readiness to assume educational leadership
- Professional educational publications (written or edited)
- Documentation of specific training programs (discipline management, brain research, curriculum alignment, learning styles, assessment, etc.)
- Documentation of professional presentations