Practicum Agreement

The practicum agreement lays the groundwork for what you will do and be evaluated on for each practicum experience

Purpose

The practicum agreement is a contract between the student and UWW on the specific large projects to be completed during each practicum experience. It allows the student to develop projects to improve areas of weaknesses, to further develop skills in other areas, and to plan activities that will benefit both the student and the practicum site. The projects will provide the student with work samples that can be used in his/her portfolio when job hunting, too. The different practicum experiences have different agreement forms:

Download the appropriate agreement and carefully read the instructions on it.

Like any working library media specialist the student will find that work on some of these projects and the portfolio itself will have to be done outside of scheduled work hours. In addition to the large projects, the student will be doing and discussing a wide range of activities related to the everyday work of a school or public librarian. The checklist (school library, public library, combined) will help guide the student and the cooperating librarian on these activities. This will be reflected in the daily log which is submitted weekly (bi-weekly for combined practicum).  For those in LIBMEDIA  793c, most of the projects will be done in one's own district.

The Agreement Parts

The practicum agreement actually consists of several parts:

  1. Signature page where the student, the practicum coordinator, the cooperating librarian and the university supervisor all agree to what the student plans to do.
  2. A list of all schools to be part of the practicum along with the LMS's name, phone number, email and exact dates of each visit.
  3. The checklist on completion of all requirements including:
      • The time log documents achievement of minimum clock hour requirements with reflections
      • All projects in the plan have been successfully completed.
      • Student's self-assessment / reflection indicates reflection on competencies.
      • The student has answered the practicum questions
      • The cooperating librarian has completed the practicum evaluation form indicating the student has reached all competencies at least at the proficient level.
      • The university supervisor and the cooperating library media specialist both believe the student has successfully completed the experience.
      • The university supervisor has reviewed the student's portfolio and determines all competencies have been reached at least at the proficient level.

This completion checklist will be completed by the university supervisor after receiving the student's portfolio:




Date accomplished

Signature

The time log reflects minimum clock hour requirements

  Supervisor

All projects in the plan have been completed at an acceptable level.

  Supervisor

The cooperating library media specialist has completed the practicum evaluation form indicating the student has reached all competencies at least at the proficient level.

  Supervisor

Portfolio with student reflection and artifacts from all projects approved by university supervisor.

  Supervisor

Questions answered Supervisor

  1. A grid for each project:

Areas covered (e.g., Access , Collection management and use, Technology, Administration, Instructional leadership) :

List the category or categories to be covered by this project.

Competencies :

List the program competencies to be covered here. Include the course and number of each competency. Competencies are found at the portfolio website.

Project to develop competencies:

Describe what will be done in the project to demonstrate these competencies. Be specific on the actions.

Evaluation Method (e.g., how you will determine that the project is successful):

Describe how the student will evaluate the success of the project. This could include analysis of student achievement, feedback from teachers or administrators in the school, surveys, observations by the cooperating LMS or other evaluation methods.

University Supervisor Evaluation:

Competency achievement level:

              Minimal                     Basic                    Proficient                    Target

Comments:

This is where the university supervisor will judge the success of the project based on evidence in the portfolio and reflection on the project. The student must reach proficient level in the project for it to be considered completed.

Timeline and logistics

To make this run smoothly, the student must pay careful attention to the timeline for completing the practicum agreement. Plan ahead as the agreement generally cannot get final approval during semester breaks.

Timeframe Action
End of previous semester Get feedback on course portfolio from practicum coordinator via email.
Before beginning of practicum semester Develop 2-3 practicum goals and projects based on portfolio feedback and five categories in practicum agreement for each level. All five categories should be covered across the two experiences. If doing a combined practicum, the majority of these projects will be done in one's own district rather than in the 5-day on-site experiences.
Before beginning of practicum semester Discuss ideas with cooperating LMS to make sure they are possible. This may be done via phone, but it is advisable to visit the school to get a better feel for the context when doing this.
At least two weeks before you plan to begin practicum, but no later than end of first month of the semester. Submit ideas on practicum agreement form to practicum coordinator via email. If the student is doing two practicum experiences this semester, make sure to name the two files differently.
Within one week of submission (except during semester breaks) Get feedback from practicum coordinator and revise as necessary. Resubmit form with new name.
Before beginning practicum Get signed form back from practicum coordinator who will also send it to the university supervisor.
During practicum Give a copy of the agreement to the cooperating librarian. Carry out projects during experience, collect evidence and evaluation data.
By end of last week of classes (before finals week) unless you have made previous arrangements for an incomplete for the semester due to time in the school after the end of the semester. Compile artifacts and evidence with a reflection into a portfolio to submit to the university supervisor. This should be done electronically so the supervisor and the practicum coordinator will have access to it. It is most useful to have this ready before the supervisor's final visit so it can be discussed and turned in at that point. For those doing a combined practicum, this should be submitted at the end of the practicum period for review. See portfolio instructions for more details on how to do this.
At the end of the second practicum Portfolios from both practicum experiences are reviewed by library media faculty before granting the 902 with stipulations license. Submit both to practicum coordinator.

Competencies by Category

Each project should focus on one or more program competencies identified for further work in the portfolio review or in areas the student wants to focus on if none are identified. The competencies are those found under each course. If none are identified in the portfolio review, the student should select areas that would benefit him/her most professionally. Any competencies with less than a Proficient rating must be addressed in the practicum.

Across the two experiences the student needs to cover all five areas:

Access
Courses covered: Finding and Using Information
Collection Management and Use
Courses covered:  Organizing Information, literature courses
Technology
Courses covered: Digital Tools
Administration
Courses covered: Library Administration
Instructional Leadership
Courses covered: Information Literacy / Children's Literature /Young Adult Literature

Each experience must include at least two projects (5 for combined practicum). It is recommended that the student do an Instructional Leadership one in each experience. These projects are not the only things the student will do in your practicum, but they will allow him / her to do in depth work in several areas in each experience. For those doing a combined practicum the five areas should be covered in projects in one's own district.

Public Library

Any student (school library or public library minor) may do the 150 hour public library practicum experience (EDFNDPRC 411). This experience involves some additional readings in D2L as well as specific practicum projects related to public library collection development, financial management and budgeting, and programming. For the public library practicum use the categories:

  • Library administration, policies, structure and laws
  • Budgeting, financial management, and resource sharing
  • Collection development and management
  • Community needs assessment, programming, and marketing
  • Other (as determined from portfolio)

Sample Projects

The projects should be selected to demonstrate skills on one or more competencies. Depending on the projects chosen, the student may be able to cover multiple competencies and even multiple categories. The projects should go beyond the daily routine of the library to something that involves more in depth work and / or work with others in the school (e.g., teachers, groups of students, administrators). These are just suggestions. The student should develop projects based on his / her needs and interests. Projects may be accomplished at the main practicum site or may be explored across various sites. For real-life examples from previous semesters, see the Examples page. Some sample projects include:

Access (reference)

  • Reference:  Develop a webpage or LibGuide of resources for an upcoming unit including website, databases, etc. incorporating tools for student participation, search boxes, and other media resources as appropriate. Provide search structure for ongoing updating. Get written feedback.
  • Reference:  Interview students about their use of reference services and materials including print resources, online databases and the open web. Determine areas that need further instruction and / or tools to direct students to appropriate resources.
  • Reference:  Review the library's website and develop suggestions for improvement or additions in resources, organization, design, and services.
  • Privacy and intellectual freedom:  Examine the school's policies that impact student and staff privacy and intellectual freedom rights. Analyze how these policies impact students' access to information. Interview the LMS and administration on the issue.
  • Collaboration:  Examine collaboration with public library and develop plan for increasing.

Collection management and use (collection development, cataloging and classification)

  • Cataloging:  Examine the cataloging for materials in an upcoming unit. Enhance the cataloging through the use of summary notes, levels, genre, etc.
  • Cataloging:  Examine materials appropriate for use by ESL students and enhance the cataloging.
  • Collection development:  Gather resources for both students and the teacher in all formats for an upcoming unit. Recommend items for acquisition or interlibrary loan that are not currently available in the school.

Technology

  • Production:  Work with a teacher to collaboratively plan and implement a unit involving student production utilizing technology. Introduce a appropriate new tool to the teacher and students. Incorporate design concepts into the instruction.
  • Problem solving:  Develop a problem-solving manual for common technology issues in the library, the classroom, and the computer lab.
  • Policies:  Examine the implementation of handheld devices in the school and how to make content accessible on these devices

Administration

  • Public relations:  Interview staff, administrators, and students on expectations of the library media specialist and the library program. Create a public relations campaign to elevate the image of school librarians in your area.
  • Advocacy:  Attend a school board meeting where literacy, libraries, and/or technology are discussed. Analyze the support for libraries and information literacy among board members.
  • Staffing:  Define an ideal staffing level for the information and technology program in the school. Develop an advocacy plan for appropriate numbers of professional and other staff to meet the learning needs of the school.
  • Staffing:  Discuss appropriate roles for the LMS in technology in the school. Describe strategies that might be used to prevent assigning technician duties to the LMS. Examine how the librarian might be involved in curriculum roles in the school. Examine how a librarian might best handle more than one school.
  • Scheduling:  Examine the arguments both for and against flexible scheduling as well as the scheduling currently in place in the school. Develop a proposal for the best scheduling for this situation. 
  • Facilities:  Examine the current library and technology facilities in the school and make recommendations for changes over the next 10 years to support learning in an information age.
  • Budget: Look at budgeting for print, multimedia and digital materials and equipment in the school. Make a proposal for best utilization of the available funds in the next year to serve student and teacher needs.

Instructional leadership (information literacy, literature)

  • Information literacy: Develop and implement an integrated information literacy lesson that is collaboratively planned with a teacher in the school. Examine the level of thinking required of students.
  • Information literacy:  Collaboratively develop and implement an inquiry unit with a teacher that requires student higher level thinking.
  • Information literacy:  Examine the schools information literacy program and analyze its alignment with state standards for information and technology literacy and the Common Core State Standards as well as integration into curricular units. 
  • Staff development: Examine the current program for staff development in information and technology literacy as well as the role of the LMS. Develop a plan for staff development in these areas for the coming year.
  • Assessment:  Develop a series of assessments that might be either used by the LMS or provided to the teacher to evaluate students' information literacy skills.
  • Literature:  Examine the research on reading motivation and develop an argument for the role of the library media center in support of literacy.
  • Literature:  Develop a plan for a reading motivation program for the school.
  • Literature:  Develop a literature unit for students that supports literacy instruction in the classroom.
  • Literature:  Examine the use of a computerized reading management program in the school (e.g., Accelerated Reading, Reading Counts) and its impact on the library media center and voluntary reading.

Combined projects

  • Gather resources for both students and the teacher in all formats for an upcoming unit. Recommend items for acquisition or interlibrary loan that are not currently available in the school. Develop a webpage of resources for an upcoming unit including website, databases, etc. (Access and collection management and use)
  • Work with a teacher to collaboratively plan and implement an integrated information literacy lesson involving student technology production. Examine the level of thinking required of students. (Technology and instructional leadership)
  • Discuss appropriate roles for the LMS in technology in the school. Describe strategies that might be used to prevent assigning technician duties to the LMS. Develop a set of procedures and / or instructions for common technology problems that could be used to relieve LMS of some basic technology problem-solving duties and make teachers and students more self-sufficient. (Administration and technology)
  • Review the library's website and develop suggestions for improvement or additions in resources, organization, design, and services. Develop template webpages for the website and/or teacher unit pages. (Access and technology) 
  • Examine collaboration with public library and develop plan for increasing. Work with the public library on developing and implementing a reading motivation program for students (Access and instructional leadership and administration)

Evaluation and Evidence

For each project the student should include artifacts showing work on the projects. This may range from lesson plans to webpages to manuals or brochures you created. This should be followed by data showing the effectiveness of the projects and how it demonstrates the competencies have been met.

The projects will be judged on the artifacts, the data collected on the success of the project, and the reflection on how each project demonstrates mastery of the competencies. The data may include:

  • Examples of student projects with an assessment of skills learned
  • Teacher surveys or feedback forms (e.g., on lesson presented, documents created, collections developed)
  • Cooperating LMS or teacher written observations on lesson presented
  • Interview data from teachers, students, or administrators
  • Test scores