University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s (IB/M)
Teacher Education Program

Third Year Clinical Experience (Master’s)

The Internship

The clinic experience in the master’s year is known as the internship. Unlike all previous clinic placements in this program, the internship lasts a full academic year. Students work 18 hours per week in their internships, following the university’s calendar for beginning and ending dates, as well as vacations. One goal of the internship is to give the IB/M student the opportunity to function as a teacher leader in an educational setting. A second goal of the internship, to give the IB/M student an opportunity to conduct a significant piece of professional inquiry, is addressed in the form of an inquiry project that grows out of the internship in a meaningful way.

In most cases, internships have been designed and proposed by school district personnel to meet the needs and interests of the school and district in which the internship takes place. Typically, internships place IB/M students in leadership roles, working collaboratively with teachers and administrators. Often, interns are responsible for designing and implementing curricula and special programs. Interns frequently have major responsibility for scheduling and communicating with teams of people who need to be coordinated. Finally, most internships involve work with children or adolescents in some capacity, often outside the context of a self-contained classroom.

Here is a list of recently instituted internship projects:

  • Facilitating Literacy Curriculum Change in a Unified Literacy Program
  • All Students as Readers and Writers/Early Readers as Writers/Literacy Assistant for Early Readers
  • Teaching American History in the Capitol Region
  • Project M3: Mentoring Mathematical Minds
  • Differentiating Reading Instruction – Elementary Schools
  • Intervening for At-risk Students
  • Improving Science Literacy Through an Innovative K-12 Curriculum Examining the use of technology and its impact on student learning across curriculum areas
  • Early Reading Intervention
  • Inquire and Lead New Hands-on Science Excitement
  • Enrichment Opportunities in Mathematics
  • Exploring Interests and Talents through Schoolwide Enrichment
  • Accelerating the Achievement of Proficient Readers Inquiry and Communication – Using Multiple Intelligences and Environmental Experiences
  • Exploring the Use of Technology and Primary Sources to Teach History
  • Project VITAL: Vocabulary Intervention Targeting At-risk Learners
  • Behavior Support/Intervention Program
  • Character education in an urban setting
  • Updating an Inquiry-based science teaching program for the betterment of students’ academic achievement
  • Integration of Technology in the World Language Classroom
  • Action Reserch for Teacher Leadership – Developing Co-Teaching Skills

The Inquiry Project

IB/M students are required to complete a professional inquiry project as a part of their master’s program. University faculty teaching the various “5094 seminars” guide the students in the conceptualization, development, implementation, and writing of these projects. Through the process of completing the master’s year inquiry project, students learn how, when and why to use the basic tools of professional inquiry.

  • At the end of the fall semester, students submit to their 5094 seminar leaders a proposal for their inquiry project.
  • At the end of the spring semester, students submit to their 5094 seminar leader the final report of their project.
  • Successful completion of the proposal and the final report of the inquiry project is required for a passing grade in the 5094 seminar each semester.
  • Students can not complete the IB/M program without successful completion of the inquiry project.

Just as the internships that give rise to inquiry projects are varied, so are the projects that grow out of them. However, one feature common to all projects is that they address issues and questions of genuine interest and concern to the faculty and administration of the school and district in which the intern is working. Inquiry projects should generate information that will be useful to the teachers and administrators connected to the internship.

The final reports should be shared with the school personnel who have a vested interest in the outcomes of the study. Thus, interns should work closely with the clinic leaders who are supervising their internships in the articulation of a focus for the study and the actual research questions. The best inquiry projects actually drive the next layer of decisions about how to proceed with the initiative that was the focus of the internship and inquiry project.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Clinic Team

The clinic team in the Master’s year includes the IB/M student, the school-based internship supervisor, the 5094 seminar leader, and the Neag School of Education faculty mentor, if there is one assigned to the project. While the general expectations for all clinic experiences detailed in this handbook go a long way in defining the roles and responsibilities of all three members of the clinic team, there are a few unique expectations of each clinic team member that apply to the internship placement.

Typically, internship placements are posted in early May. Once the internship placements are posted, IB/M students are required to contact the school district person whose name appears on the proposal as the internship supervisor and to attend an internship orientation session in the PDC, scheduled for early May. Individual meetings with internship supervisors and PDC orientations will help each IB/M student become familiar with the details of the internship and with the sort of preparation that can be done over the summer to ensure a smooth beginning in the fall.

Internship supervisors/clinic teachers for the internship placement share all of the responsibilities of clinic leadership that characterize the role in other phases of the IB/M program. However, given the intensive nature of the internship experience and the specific requirements that students must meet within the context of their internships, internship supervisors must:

  • recognize the important role of professional inquiry in the internship experience and support the intern in his or her efforts to conceptualize and carry out an inquiry project that will be significant to the school and district;
  • provide the intern with some space (perhaps a desk) as a base of operations;
  • assure that the school’s faculty and/or staff, especially those individuals who are likely to have contact with the intern given the nature of the internship duties and/or inquiry project, know the intern and the nature of his or her work.

Given the unique nature of the internship seminar, however, there are also some expectations of the 5094 seminar leaders that are specific to the internship seminar experience:

  • Make certain that IB/M students in their seminar are getting the feedback and assistance they need to produce an acceptable inquiry project. This task may include facilitating and coordinating the work of faculty mentors and interns.
  • Structure the seminar to promote the continued development of reflection and analysis of teaching practice and schools as organizations, including readings, reflective assignments, and dialogue.
  • Visit and communicate with their interns’ supervisors, as well as the persons who proposed the internships, to discuss not only the progress of the interns, but also the effectiveness of the internships.
  • Develop plans for the proposal, implementation, and assignment of the internship for the next year.
  • Work with school district personnel to smooth over any concerns or implement any procedures regarding needed permissions for the inquiry projects.
  • Guide IB/M students as they begin to make the transition from preservice teacher in a teacher education program to professional educator engaged in the job search (e.g., providing guidelines related to the development of resumes and showcase portfolios, as well as preparation experiences for the interview).