Practicum Information

 

 

The purpose of practicum is for students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in their child development courses.  That’s why both CD 2810 and CD 2840 require that students have completed CD 1230 and 12 credits in child development before they take either practicum course.

Students are best served by completing practicum in a high quality early childhood program that will provide you with instruction, coaching, and timely feedback.  You want to choose a practicum site that allows you to learn from the best and build positive skills.   Select a site that models the theories, practices, and skills we teach in our program.

CD 2810 Practicum I and CD 2840 Practicum II are offered every fall and spring semester as a 16 week course.  During the summer practicum courses are offered as an 8-week intensive that runs through June and July.

Practicum courses begin with an evening meeting the first week of the semester.  This is a required course orientation session.  The dates and times are printed on the course schedule on the RCTC website.  After that, students work independently, participate in online discussions, and turn in assignments online through D2L.

As a practicum student you will complete 144 hours of student teaching during the 16 week semester you are enrolled in CD 2810 and CD 2840. This works out to approximately 9 hours.  You will design your own consistent weekly practicum schedule for the semester that will include a minimum of 2 shifts, each lasting at least 3 hours, on a minimum of 2 separate days, Monday-Friday. The majority of your practicum hours will be completed between 8:00 a.m. and noon.  One of your shifts may include nap time.

Required paperwork includes:

  • A current criminal background check through Rochester Community and Technical College
  • A signed contract with the placement site
  • Information packet.

 

Feedback and Evaluation

  • Your college instructor will formally observe you at least twice during the semester and give you verbal feedback at the end of the observation and formal feedback in writing.
  • Your placement supervisor/classroom teacher will also give you written formal feedback on your work with children.  He or she will also complete a final evaluation based on your performance.
  • At the end of the semester you will meet with the instructor for a final review of the practicum experience and evaluation of your employability and job readiness.

 

 Complete Your Practicum In A High Quality Program

Students are encouraged to complete their practicum courses at high quality early childhood programs.  One way to achieve quality is through accreditation.  Accredited programs meet criteria that go above and beyond licensing standards. To learn more about accreditation and to search for accredited programs near you, go to http://www.naeyc.org/academy/interested/whyaccreditation

The Minnesota Association For The Education of Young Children and the Minnesota School-Age Care Alliance also work to encourage the accreditation of child care centers, school-age programs, and family child care homes.  Learn more about the program and view accredited programs at http://mnaeyc-mnsaca.org/?page=accred_about

Parent Aware.  Parent Aware is a star rating system designed to help parents identify the best child care and early education programs for their children.  Parent aware ratings are not yet statewide.  It will be available in Olmsted County in 2014 and will be statewide in 2015.  Look for a program with a four star rating. This lets you know that the program uses a curriculum that is aligned with the early childhood indicators of progress, assesses children’s development and progress twice a year using an approved tool.  For more information about Parent Aware of to http://www.parentawareratings.org/

 

Minimum Practicum Requirements

  • The site must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
  • You are scheduled with the same group of children for all of the practicum with a minimum of three hour blocks.
  • The majority of your time is scheduled when children can freely choose activities. Times that cannot be included are nap time, enrichment class time, teacher-directed time, early morning or late afternoon child care or during/riding the bus.
  • The coordinating teacher (person directly supervising you on site) must have a two year degree in child development or early childhood education and at least five years experience working with children.
  • Practicum courses give you an opportunity to demonstrate needed skills. As a practicum student you might be required to complete assignments in the classroom These include observations, arranging the environment, planning and carrying out activities with children in specific interest areas, leading group times, and planning curriculum.  At times you will even need to be able to assume the lead teacher role.
  • The center director must agree to the above requirements and sign a practicum agreement form.

 

Using Your Place of Employment as a Practicum Site.

We realize that most of our students work full or part time.  And we encourage our students to work with children and youth while they are attending college.  You may complete your practicum courses at your place of employment as long as it meets these conditions:

  • The site is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and preferably is accredited or has a four start rating through Parent Aware.
  • You must have been employed for two months in the same classroom to use it as your practicum site.
  • You are employed at least 10 hours per week in the program with the same group of children.
  •  You are scheduled with the same group of children for all of the practicum with a minimum of three hour blocks.
  • The majority of time used toward practicum hours will be when children can freely choose activities. Times that cannot be included are nap time, enrichment class time, teacher-directed time, early morning or late afternoon child care  or during/riding the bus.
  • The coordinating teacher (person directly supervising you on site) must have a two year degree in child development or early childhood education and at least five years experience working with children.
  • Practicum courses give you an opportunity to demonstrate needed skills. As a practicum student you might be required to complete assignments in the classroom These include observations, arranging the environment, planning and carrying out activities with children in specific interest areas, leading group times, and planning curriculum.  At times you will even need to be able to assume the lead teacher role. You must have permission to complete these assignments even though they may be outside of your current job responsibilities.
  • The center director must agree to the above requirements and sign a practicum agreement form.
  • If you are completing practicum in your own family child care home, you must have at least three children other than your own who attend regularly.  You will be required to complete three observations of other family child care homes or child care centers.

 

Additional Practicum Options

RCTC is fortunate to be able to offer our students many alternative practicum placements.  Look through the options below to see if any of these exciting opportunities match your interests and professional goals.

 

Option 1: Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester

This position will assist with daily development department operations in a fun and fast-paced fund-raising office.  This position will help process donor acknowledgments, submit grants, maintain files and other organizational systems and have the opportunity to either work on an appeal to a select audience or help plan, organize and execute a year-end donor event.  The Development Intern will gain firsthand knowledge of research and the grant-writing process, learn to navigate and use the Raiser’s Edge database, as well as experience the day-to-day operations of a non-profit organization.

Major Job Accountabilities

This is an estimate of the duties to be included in the internship.  The exact duties and projects will be determined by mutual agreement of the intern and development staff.  Depending on experience and background, the intern may have the opportunity for more creative and independent work.  All duties will be carried out with direction and supervision of the Development and Marketing Coordinator.

 % of Time

30-40%     Assist with set-up and implementation of development events Or Assist with preparation, execution and analysis of a donor appeal

20-25%       Research individual, corporate and private foundation donors and prospects

15-20%    Prepare and send mailings to individuals and assist in submitting grant proposals to corporations and private foundations

10%         Update donor records, enter donations in Raiser’s Edge and process acknowledgment letters as needed

10%         Organize and file donor correspondence and help maintain other systems

5%           Other duties as assigned

 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Formal education or experience in a related field (development, marketing, communications, journalism or related experience) (degree not required
  • Excellent computer skills, especially in data entry, database skills (knowledge of Raisers Edge preferred but not required)
  • Able to conduct online research
  • Excellent written, verbal and organizational skills
  • Strong attention to detail, accuracy is important
  • Ability to work well with others as well as on an independent basis

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Preferred

  • Experience planning and/or working large-scale events
  • Experience planning and/or executing donor-based events
  • Experience planning and/or executing family oriented events

 

Training Provided

1.  Intern Orientation

2.  Policies and practices of development/fund-raising procedures in a nonprofit cultural institution

3. Navigation and use of Raiser’s Edge

Barbara Wold  |  Development and Marketing Coordinator 
P: 507.218.3103  F: 507.218.3010
BWold@mcm.org

Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester
1643 1/2 North Broadway Street
River Center Plaza
Rochester, MN  55906

Sparking children's learning through play

Option 2:  RCTC Summer Early Childhood Education Internship at Quarry Hill Nature Center

 

Quarry Hill Summer Internship

 

Option 3: AmeriCorps LEAP Member

LEAP stands for Learning Early Achieves Potential and focuses on the social and emotional development of young children.  LEAP members are placed in service at schools and early childhood programs for 11 months.  There are full and part time options with this program. LEAP provides participants will a lot of additional training.  Students may be able to complete additional RCTC coursework through credit for life experience.

 

LEAP Application 2012-2013

Option 4: Military Extension Internship

The United State military operates some of the highest quality child care programs in the nation.  This internship offers you the opportunity to spend 10 weeks to six months in a military early childhood, school-age, or youth program.  You can be placed at an installation in the United States or go overseas.

 

Military Extension Internship

Option 5: Study Abroad Options

You may complete part of their practicum hours through either of the two study abroad options available through RCTC.  Every year RCTC students travel to Cambodia during winter break and to Guatemala in August.  The Guatemala trip is a wonderful opportunity for students who are interesting in strengthening their Spanish and learning more about Latino culture.  The Cambodia trip offers students a wonderful experience in community development.  Students work with the instructors prior to the trip to design meaningful and relevant experiences.  Upon completion of the trip, you will earn 80 hours toward their practicum requirement.  To learn more about study abroad go to http://www.rctc.edu/studyabroad/

 

 


 

Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Celebrating 100 years!    1915-2015    www.rctc.edu/100th
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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