The Senior Year Internship is a required clinical experience for teacher education majors at East Carolina University. It is a two-semester experience within a public school classroom, under the mentorship and coaching of a specially trained and licensed clinical teacher. The Senior Year Internship is designed to provide students with opportunities to internalize and apply previous teaching and learning experience, as well as opportunities to teach and grow professionally through observation, planning, teaching, assessment, and reflective work with an effective classroom teacher.
In Senior I, a teaching intern’s first semester, students acclimate themselves to the public school environment by gaining an understanding of policies and procedures, multiple roles of classroom teachers, the diverse needs of the students, as well as the beginning stages of a range of experiences of curricular planning, delivery of instruction, and assessment.
The second semester, Senior II, is an emersion semester of involvement with clinical teachers providing constant feedback to the intern about the teaching and learning process. In addition, the intern will complete a portfolio to document his or her growth and development as a classroom teacher with support from the clinical teacher and the university supervisor.
The Senior Year Internship is designed to allow students to gain practical experience and attain a level of competency needed for a high functioning novice beginning teacher. There is a key focus on specific and timely feedback from clinical teachers and university supervisors which is meant to augment the intern’s growth. The internship is invaluable in that it is practical learning combined with expert coaching from seasoned and trained teachers and supervisors.
Interns are generally able to make smooth transitions into their own classrooms once they are hired because of the depth of knowledge and experience they have acquired in this experience.
For more information regarding the Senior Year Internship, please see the Teacher Education Handbook.
The Senior Year Internship is a central feature of the initial teacher preparation programs at ECU and aligns with NCATE Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice