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One-Credit After School Education Field Experience Practicum

Completion of a practicum is a requirement to earn a Credential in After School Education. A practicum is performance based and enables you to earn credit by demonstrating that you have knowledge and competencies in the area of after school education and that you can apply your knowledge in actual situations.

When to Apply: Notify your instructor of your intent to apply for the Charter Oak practicum at the beginning of the fourth class of your course work for the Credential in After School Education. It is through your courses that you will gain much of the theoretical knowledge that you will be expected to apply during the practicum assessment process.

Your practicum site can be your current place of work or the site of your recent work experience (within six months of application for the Credential) in an after school program. An after school program is defined as before and after school, vacation and summer programs which assume responsibility for participant safety and extend educational support or provide positive youth development to children and youth and families in a program operating under state approval or licensing authority or legally exempt from licensing under state statutes. A minimum of 240 hours is required and must have been completed in one setting prior to applying for the practicum credits and completing the assessment process.

Your supervisor will be someone in your work setting who will verify your responsibilities and comment on your work. The supervisor must have at least three years of experience in the field and hold an AS, BA, BS or advanced degree in child development, recreation, physical education, elementary education, special education or related field from an accredited college. The faculty consultant may approve exceptions.

Your faculty consultant has been assigned by Charter Oak. The faculty consultant will determine if credit should be awarded for the practicum based on the paper, the Professional Portfolio and your supervisor’s statement concerning the adequacy of your work experience.

The major steps for the one-credit practicum are outlined below (All steps must be completed by the end of the semester.*):

  1. Complete the Application and the Job Description form.
  2. Identify your supervisor for your work experience.
  3. Complete the Discussion Board question each week.
  4. Compose and submit a Practicum paper.
  5. Complete and submit your Professional Portfolio.
  6. Engage in periodic phone conferences with the faculty consultant at mutually agreed upon times.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Understand the core competencies that after school professionals need in order to provide quality child and youth programming.
  2. Identify principles or theories, related to each core competency, that were learned in the required courses for the Credential in After School Education.
  3. Understand how to apply the principles or theories learned in the courses for the Credential in After School Education in an after school education setting.
Application (PDF)Job Description Form (PDF)Supervisor's Form (PDF)

Elements of the One-Credit After School Education Field Experience Practicum

  1. The Practicum Paper

    Paper Length and Format: Your practicum paper should discuss each of the core competencies (1-10). The paper should be at least five typed, double-spaced pages, using standard type and margins. Your name, date, and course number should be on page one. Use footnotes and cite references when necessary. Make sure you carefully proofread the paper.

    The areas listed below are the core competencies that define what all after school professionals need to know and be able to do in order to provide quality child and youth programming.

    1. Child/Youth Growth and Development

      Knows the typical benchmarks of growth and development and uses this knowledge to provide a program that meets the multiple needs of children and youth.

    2. Learning Environments and Curriculum

      Creates a high-quality learning environment and implements age-appropriate curricula and program activities.

    3. Child/Youth Observation and Assessment

      Understands and applies observation and assessment techniques and tools to meet individual needs.

    4. Interactions with Children and Youth

      Recognizes the importance of relationships and communication in the practice of quality child and youth care, and implements guidance techniques and strategies to support children and youth individually and in group experiences to develop self-regulation, self-concept, coping mechanisms, and positive interactions with their peers and adults.

    5. Youth Engagement

      Acts in partnership with children and youth to foster appropriate child and youth leadership and voice.

    6. Cultural Competency and Responsiveness

      Actively promotes respect for cultural diversity and creates an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment that embraces diversity.

    7. Family, School, and Community Relationships

      Builds on respectful, reciprocal relationships across settings to promote optimal development for children, youth, and families and to enhance the quality of after school and youth development services.

    8. Safety and Wellness

      Ensures the safety and wellness of children and youth by implementing prevention, preparedness, and health and safety practices.

    9. Program Planning and Development

      Supports staff and serves as a role model around professional development plans by building healthy relationships with colleagues and families, providing developmentally appropriate practices, and connecting with and utilizing resources.

    10. Professional Development and Leadership

    Acts ethically, is committed to continuous learning, and advocates for best practices and policies for children and youth.

    Your practicum paper must address A and B below:

    1. Your practicum paper should discuss each of the core competencies (1-10). For each core competency, state at least one related principle or theory. Give an example of how you have used that principle or theory in your work in after school education. (See example below)
    2. In addition, you should address one of the following: 1) recommend changes to enhance the experiences of children and youth in the setting in which you were working. When providing the rationale for these changes, be sure to cite appropriate principles or theories; or 2) evaluate your growth and development in the area of after school education from your early experience to the present.

    Example

    1. Family, School, and Community Relationships

    Builds on respectful, reciprocal relationships across settings to promote optimal development for children, youth, and families and to enhance the quality of after school and youth development services.

    Principle or Theory: Uri Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory shows that close communication between parents, schools and after school program supports a child’s development .

    Application: I use a variety of communication strategies to communicate with parents. In the hallway where parents pick up their children there is a bulletin board with information we wish to share with the parents. Each family receives a handout when they first enroll their child.

    We publish a monthly newsletter to keep parents informed about activities and send notes home when necessary. I try to speak with parents each day at pick up time. Twice a year, we have a more formal conference with each child’s parents. I am in close contact with the school that the children attend.

  2. Professional Resource File

    Submit the complete Professional Resource File you compiled during the four courses required for the Credential in After School Education. Make any edits, changes or additions as necessary. Your Professional Resource File should include any additional resources collected, a table of contents, a complete reference list and a summary page describing the portfolio and how these resources will help you in your work in an after school program.

  3. Conference with Faculty Consultant

    Throughout the course of the practicum, you will have periodic conferences with your faculty consultant, at mutually arranged times.

    Upon completion and submission of your Practicum paper and Professional Resource File, your faculty consultant will schedule a concluding phone conference with you to discuss your knowledge and competencies in the area of after school education.

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies and the “Course Policies” link for specific policies related to this course. COSC Resources information regarding available COSC academic support services and resources.