We value our community partners as they play an important role in the education of our Bachelor of Education students (referred to as candidates or interns). The community partner provides a challenging opportunity to increase the student’s knowledge of teaching, learning, program design, implementation and/or curriculum development outside a traditional classroom setting.
EDUC 442: Community Field Experience takes place every May. This date is not flexible as it’s part of the Bachelor of Education program schedule.
Community Field Experience from the community partner perspective
The Okanagan School of Education (OSE) is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our interns/candidates, faculty, staff, and our partners in the community. This document provides guidelines for OSE candidates/interns, faculty advisors, and intern observers who will be working at school sites during field experiences and/or place-based learning events during coursework. These guidelines must be followed to prevent and control the spread of infectious agents such as COVID-19.
This guide is for community partners collaborating with the Okanagan School of Education to offer field experience for teacher candidates in non-traditional educational settings.
The teacher candidate will expect a clear outline of the project or experience the community partner has planned for the CFE and specifically, what the candidate’s role(s) will be in it. That project could be program development, program execution, instruction, curriculum development, research, etc. Further, the candidate will appreciate a clear set of expectations for such things as daily protocol (e.g., start and end times), dress code, parking, workspace, possible on-site partnerships (e.g., other staff that the candidate will be working with), teaching/instructional opportunities or duties, possible job shadowing, etc. They expect to be involved in a new educational situation, to be able to contribute, and to learn new ideas, information, and skills.
The candidate is responsible to arrange an initial meeting with the partner in early February to introduce themselves and begin the process of getting to know their partner and the plan for the CFE.
Our expectations are that the partner will develop a project that will benefit your organization, require the skill sets our candidates possess and are refining, and that can be initiated and/or completed during the Community Field Experience (CFE) timeframe. Prior to the start, and during the CFE, we ask that you establish and maintain effective communication with the candidate and, as necessary, with the CFE Coordinator.
We also ask that during the first few days of the placement that you and the Candidate review and complete the WorkSafeBC Orientation and Checklist.
Near the end of the placement, we ask that you complete a brief online comment form, designed to provide us with feedback about how the CFE worked for your organization. We encourage you to complete this form with your candidate.
You are not expected to evaluate or grade the candidate.
At this point in their educational program, candidates will soon be considered professional teachers. As a result, you should expect professionalism from them – punctuality, commitment, engagement, curiosity, and a willingness to teach and learn.
Candidates can be asked to write curriculum specific to your program requirements. They can also be asked to test new curriculum and participate in revisions. Community partners are encouraged to recognize the candidate’s curriculum development contributions by citing the candidate and UBC Okanagan School of Education in the documents produced.
You are encouraged to have candidates work on various projects or curricula during the experience. If applicable, you may ask for a report or an accounting of these completed projects.
You are encouraged to keep your candidate engaged for a minimum of five hours per day, to a maximum of eight hours per day. The exact dates and working times, and location for these working times, are negotiated between you and the candidate.
For example, in some placements such as an after-school program, the candidate might be required to work from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Some placements will include weekends or evenings; others will involve regular business or school hours. Teacher candidates will have to adapt to their community partner’s hours.
The workday protocol should be established well in advance of the start of the placement. The teacher candidate’s time with you is governed by the regulations of the Workers Compensation Board, if you run a program where a Teacher Candidate works more than eight hours (e.g. some outdoor camps), you must clear all overtime with the candidate.
Candidates are required to alert you and the Community Field Experience Coordinator as soon as possible anytime they discover they will not be able to arrive to the CFE on time or at all (e.g. illness, family emergency, buses not running, traffic jam).
All missed time must be made up before the teacher candidate will receive a Pass/Fail grade for EDUC 442: Community Field Experience. The candidate will discuss options with the Community Field Experience Coordinator if the time cannot be made up (e.g. teacher candidate returning from an international Community Field Experience).
In the vast majority of placements, no costs are involved. In cases where the Partner and UBCO are unable to cover required costs (e.g. a TB medical exam), the teacher candidate will be made aware of these costs before the Community Field Experience begins.
Teacher candidates are required to have Accident Insurance either through UBC or through their own coverage.
WorkSafeBC coverage is provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education. Although these students are covered by the Ministry, UBC continues to have responsibilities in relation to ensuring the safety of these students and working with the clinical placement organization to ensure that students are provided required training as outlined in part 3.22 – 3.25 of the BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (training and orientation).
During the first or second day after the candidate starting their Community Field Experience site, all occupational safety education must be provided to the Candidate by their Community Partner Host. The Host and Candidate must review and complete WorkSafeBC Orientation and Checklist and send a copy to the Community Field Experience Coordinator at the Okanagan School of Education.
The Coordinator serves as the conduit between the community partner and the Okanagan School of Education. The coordinator’s role relative to the candidate is one of oversight, rather than supervision, and communication rather than evaluation. Tasks include:
- Monitor (generally) the partner’s satisfaction during the CFE.
- Celebrate accomplishments as seen from the partner’s point of view.
- Provide suggestions (as necessary) about maximizing the experience.
- If necessary, troubleshoot with a partner struggling with a candidate’s possible lack of fit.
Steps for a successful community field experience
- Create an idea (a project/task(s)) that would provide a meaningful experience for the candidate while using their skills and energy to advance your organization.
- Make time to meet with candidate to introduce, share and discuss your organization’s reason for participating in the CFE and the project or tasks that the candidate will be working on; include possible partnerships (e.g., other staff that the candidate will be working with), teaching/instructional opportunities or duties, possible job shadowing, etc.
- Develop a sample daily protocol to share with the candidate that outlines your expectations e.g., start and end times, dress code, parking, on-site workspace, etc.
- On the first or second day of the CFE, complete the WorkSafe BC Orientation and Checklist form with your teacher candidate, and submit it to the CFE Coordinator.
- Give clear direction regarding expectations, resources, limitations
- If possible, meet weekly with the candidate to monitor progress and check-in on any challenges
- On the last day or two of the CFE, complete the Community Partner Feedback Form, you are encouraged to work on this with your candidate
- Pass any ideas, questions or concerns on to the CFE Coordinator