All candidates will participate in Practicum, a course designed to provide practical learning experiences relevant to elementary and secondary school principals. Experiences will include discussion of needs and problems, utilization of resource personnel, development of a portfolio, school visitations and an internship of no less than 60 clock hours.
The internship, an experiential assignment, will include activities with substantial responsibilities that will increase over time in amount and complexity and will involve direct interaction and involvement with staff, students, parents, and community leaders. The candidate, the site supervisor, and faculty member who coordinates the internship will plan the candidate's experiences cooperatively. Both the site supervisor and a faculty member other than the faculty coordinator will evaluate the internship experience according to specific criteria in the Practicum Internship Assessment.
The visitations will be scheduled in metropolitan and rural school districts. Candidates will "shadow" administrators over a two-day period and will submit a narrative summary of the visitations that will include information received from the schools visited.
Candidates will be required to develop a portfolio, an accumulation of evidence about the candidate's intern experience. The following will be included: Internship log, budget procedures, staff development plan, teacher evaluation, parent involvement, book reports, Board of Education meeting reviews, journal reviews, resume/application, book report, class presentations, and school visitations.
Assessment of the Practicum will include UNK professors and participating school administrators.
All master level candidates in Educational Administration will be given a written comprehensive assessment of standards based on the principal and or building level learning objectives in the form of case scenarios. All faculty members will be involved in the development of the assessment that will require the candidate to apply knowledge and skills to specific problems of practice. On a rotating basis, all faculty members will be involved with the assessment of the comprehensive assessment of the standards to determine the candidate's mastery of the standards and his/her ability to apply that knowledge to a practical situation. Candidates who fail to successfully master the standards on the comprehensive assessment will be required to demonstrate proficiency on a second assessment. If needed, the candidate and faculty member(s) will create a plan tailored to the candidate's area of deficiency. Results on the Comprehensive Assessment of Standards will be collected and analyzed to evaluate overall program effectiveness. Information gathered will be shared with students, faculty members, and Advisory Committee Members.
To provide insights into the levels of preparedness graduates experience when becoming administrators and the strengths and weaknesses of the EDAD program in contributing to their readiness, parallel surveys are sent to employers and alumni. Every three years parallel surveys will be sent to a random sampling of UNK EDAD Program graduates who are currently practicing school administrators in Nebraska and to their superintendents. Results of the survey will be compiled and examined to determine if there are implications for changes in EDAD programs. Information will be shared with both internal and external audience, and for making recommendations and, if needed, program changes.