College of DuPage. Early Childhood Education and Care Academic Program. Practicum (ECEC 2220) Handbook

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1 College of DuPage Early Childhood Education and Care Academic Program Practicum (ECEC 2220) Handbook There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace. -Kofi Annan

2 The Experience: Practicum courses are designed to give students supervised practical experiences usually in a specialized field (American Heritage College Dictionary (3rd Edition), 1993). ECEC 2220 Early Childhood Education Practicum is a course for students to apply and further develop their knowledge and skills as a professional early childhood teacher working in an early childhood program with the supervision of the practicum instructor. This capstone course gives students the opportunity to apply the theories, principles, skills, concepts and best practices that they have learned in their coursework. Students earn a total of 4 semester credits for 20 clinical hours per week, for a total of 300 clinical hours during a single semester. Clinical hours are times when children are active and awake. The 2009 ICCB Administrative Code specifies that the credit in practicum courses is primarily derived from the number of hours students spend engaged in practical experiences. Student will complete their practicum experience at a DCFS licensed early childhood program that serves children ranging in age from Infants/Toddlers (children under the age of 24 months) through Preschool (3-5 year olds). The center will be geographically located within DuPage Community College District 502. Students are responsible for their own transportation. The ECEC faculty practicum supervisor determines student practicum site placement. Student Eligibility and Requirements: In order for a student to be eligible for a practicum experience, the student must meet the following criteria: Prerequisite Courses: ECEC 1100, 1101, 1102, 1130, 1140, 2211, and 2251 with a grade of C or better in the above prerequisite courses. Required Documents for a Registration Permit: The following documents must be submitted to the ECEC faculty practicum supervisor the semester before enrollment in ECEC Permits and practicum placements are limited and will be available on a first come first serve basis. 1. Practicum Application (see attached) 2. Expanded degree audit (within 30 days of practicum application) 3. Current DCFS Medical Report (within 18 months of practicum application) the form can be downloaded from 2

3 602, Medical Report on an Adult in a Child Care Facility 4. Completed Background Check: Please contact cf34. The cost of the background check is $24. The student is responsible for this expense. Some practicum sites may require additional background checks including fingerprinting. If required by the practicum site, the student will be responsible for the expense of the additional background check according to updated ICCB (Illinois Community College Board) and ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) rules. 5. Signed agreement to follow the ECEC academic program requirements and policies. Read the policies and requirements on the ECEC academic web page and sign the attached statement. 6. Copy of DCFS form CFS Information on Person Employed in a child care Facility , 7. Three letters of reference from former employers, or others familiar with your character and work habits. Required Due Dates: Applications for the practicum experience will be processed on a first come first serve basis. Applications for fall semester are due no later than June 30 th*. Applications for spring semester are due no later than November 1 st*. Applications should be turned into the faculty practicum supervisor for review and only complete applications will be accepted. In approximately one week after a student has submitted their application packet, they will be notified by the faculty practicum supervisor of the status of their application packet and whether or not a permit for registration has been issued. Once a permit has been issued the student needs to register for the course within 24 hours. Failure to register and pay for ECEC 2220 in accordance with the college s registration and payment policies may disqualify the student from their practicum placement in the respective semester. The final step in the application process is the practicum site placement. In the event that a practicum candidate is employed (at the time of the practicum application) full-time (30+ hours per week) in a DCFS licensed facility serving children Infants/Toddlers (under 24 months) through Preschool (3-5 years olds), the student may apply to have their workplace considered as their practicum site by the faculty practicum supervisor. Students will need to include the Professional Practicum Site Application and the Professional Practicum Site Agreement (see attached) with their application materials. The faculty practicum supervisor reserves the right to deny the student s request to complete their 3

4 practicum experience at their place of employment. In order for an early childhood program to be considered as a practicum site, the center must meet the following criteria: ECEC 2220 Early Childhood Education Practicum Guidelines for Practicum Sites Center is geographically located within DuPage Community College District 502 Licensed by DCFS The center offers full-day services and serves children in the following age groups; Infant/Toddler (under 24 months) and Preschool (3-5 year olds) NAEYC accreditation preferred and/or program implements NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practice standards Cooperating teacher and program director must have at least one year of continuous employment in their positions in the program Cooperating teacher is a full-time employee of the program Cooperating teacher and director/program supervisor have at least an AAS degree in early childhood education or the equivalent Program is willing to cooperate with COD ECEC program practicum guidelines Students will need to complete their practicum experience with children in early childhood groups between the ages birth through age 5 (excluding kindergarten). Students working with infants/toddlers and two-year-old children will need to have the opportunity to diaper children. Students must be able to attend the practicum seminar, on the COD campus as indicated in the class schedule Students must be able to complete 20 clinical hours (clinical hours are times when children are active and awake) per week for a total of 300 clinical hours during a single semester. (In the event that a student cannot complete 20 hours in any given week, the student will need to make up these hours before the end of the semester). 4

5 A maximum of one practicum student per individual classroom or group during a scheduled time period. All practicum sites are subject to the approval of ECEC faculty practicum supervisor Practicum Placement: Once students have registered for practicum, they will meet individually with the faculty practicum supervisor to discuss practicum placement. The faculty practicum supervisor will assign practicum placements. Additional Information: Successful completion of practicum includes 300 documented clinical practicum hours working with young children. Students cannot receive a passing grade in ECEC 2220 without completing the required hours and the documentation of these hours. Students will have three face to face meetings with their classmates and the faculty practicum supervisor on the Glen Ellyn Campus as indicated on the student s class schedule. Meeting dates and time will be posted on MyAccess and available at the time of registration. Students will participate in a weekly online practicum seminar. Students will complete assignments as indicated on the course syllabus. The course syllabus will be available on the first day of the semester. Failure to abide by the Early Childhood Education and Care Program Requirements and Policies may result in disciplinary action. Failure to abide by the participating practicum site s policies and requirements may result in removal from the practicum site and disciplinary action. Successful completion of ECEC 2220 meets the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 2010 Standards for Initial Childhood Professional Preparation ( Through Gateways to Opportunity, the College of DuPage is entitled for the Early Childhood Credential Levels 2-4. For more information about this credentialing opportunity, please contact Gateways to Opportunity, 5

6 ECEC Practicum Application Name Date Home Address City Zip COD AAS Degree ECEC Certificate Expected completion date Have you taken ECEC 1116 or 1117? What age group did you participate with in ECEC 1130? What age group did you participate with in ECEC 1140? What age group did you participate with in ECEC 2251? Please attach all required documentation and submit to the ECEC Faculty practicum supervisor by the required due date (see practicum handbook for details). 6

7 Professional Practicum Site Application Name of Center Address Address Phone Director s Name Director s Credentials Student s hire date Current position (for purposes of practicum placement) Work Hours Cooperating teacher s name Credentials 7

8 Professional Practicum Site Agreement To serve as a practicum site for ECEC 2220 Early Childhood Education Practicum, the program agrees to the following: Please initial each item. Follow DCFS licensing standards and/or other regulating agency standards at all times. Follow current NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practice guidelines and Code of Ethics. Have a program or center director with at least an AAS degree in early childhood education or the equivalent and at least one year of continuous employment in the program at the time of the student s placement in the program. Arrange for a qualified full-time teacher to serve as the cooperating teacher with whom the student will work on a daily basis. The cooperating teacher must have at least one year of continuous employment in the program, at least an AAS degree in early childhood education or the equivalent, and be a fulltime employee of the program at the time of the student s placement in the program. Provide positive support and model professional behavior at all times. Provide opportunities for practicum students to plan and carry out their own curriculum experiences for the children including but not limited to group times, math, science, nature, manipulative, dramatic play, block play, large and fine motor, fine art, snack/meal activities, movement, music, and outdoor/playground activities. Provide opportunities for the student to involve parents and families in classroom curriculum activities and experiences via newsletter articles, daily news flashes, documentation boards, biography statements, etc. Provide opportunities for the student to plan and carry out the responsibilities of a lead teacher (under the direct supervision of the cooperating teacher) for a total of two weeks during the practicum Model positive guidance and problem-solving with children including but not limited to redirection, inductive reasoning, conflict resolution, modeling, affirmation, active listening, and positive limit setting 8

9 Provide opportunities for the student to observe and document an individual child s learning and development as part of the preparation of a professional portfolio on an individual child Allow the faculty practicum supervisor to observe the practicum student in the classroom. These observations may or may not be announced. A primary objective of the practicum experience is to develop selfreflection, initiative, and problem-solving competencies in the practicum student. In the event that the program director and/or cooperating teacher encounters a recurrent or serious question, issue, or problem with the practicum student that they are not able to resolve, the program director will notify the practicum instructor. Follow the Guidelines for Practicum Sites. By signing this form, I acknowledge that I have read the Practicum Site Agreement and Guidelines for Practicum Sites for the College of DuPage and agree to fulfill the Agreement and follow the Guidelines for Practicum Sites during the student s practicum. Name of program Program Address Name and title Date 9

10 Application Checklist Practicum Application Degree Audit DCFS Medical Report Background Check Signed agreement to follow the ECEC academic program requirements and policies Copy of DCFS form CFS 508 Three letters of reference Site Application* Site Agreement* *Applications for workplace practicum site placement will only be considered if all required criteria have been met. The faculty practicum supervisor reserves the right to deny practicum applications that are incomplete or not submitted by the deadline. 10

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