COVID-19 Guidance for Educator Preparation Providers

ODHE Guidance related to Ohio Administrative Code Provisions for Educator Preparation Providers

 

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Guidance for Academic Year 2020-2021 (August 6, 2020)

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) recognizes that the continued efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 are impacting clinical experiences (field, student teaching, and internship placements), and this places EPP programs and students at risk of not meeting requirements outlined in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC). (For instance, OAC Rule 3333-1-05 requires that a student complete a minimum of 100 clock hours of field experience prior to student teaching and a minimum of 12 weeks of student teaching for initial teacher licensure.)

The Ohio Department of Education has released a guidance document for the reopening of schools that can be found here. Please note relevant information for student teachers can be found on page 8 of the linked document. ODHE is also aware that each of our higher education institutions is in the best position to understand the unique needs of its students, its local K-12 partners, and the disruptions to educational experiences that will occur as a result of ongoing and rapidly evolving efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

Consequently, ODHE is providing flexibility for each EPP in meeting the requirements associated with these experiences for the 2020-2021 academic year, using the basic guidance provided below.

 

ODHE Guidance

Education Preparation Programs should develop and be prepared to implement plans to provide students with alternative experiences, assignments, or instruction that may be needed to satisfy requirements for hours or weeks of clinical experiences, including field experiences, student teaching, and internship placements, that the students may miss due to ongoing state and local health directives, or modification of educational activities necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19. The alternative experiences, assignments, or instruction shall allow students to demonstrate mastery of the expected outcomes of clinical experiences. The alternative experiences, assignments, or instruction may include participating in virtual or remote learning, as well as alternative learning experiences that allow candidates to design lessons and units of instruction, select and implement instructional strategies, teach lessons and content, assess learning to evaluate student progress and inform instructional decisions, create a supportive learning environment, manage the classroom effectively, and other appropriate activities.

 

ODHE Notification

You will be receiving a survey at the end of each term of the 2020-2021 academic year from our office requesting summary information related to your plan and basic information regarding the number of students affected. The survey responses are for documentation purposes only — they will be used in the future for state authorization and accreditation purposes. ODHE will notify CAEP of these plans to ensure it does not negatively impact CAEP accreditation or state authorization for our education preparation providers.

When requested, please submit the necessary notification to EdPrep@highered.ohio.gov, and do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have questions or concerns about this guidance document or the survey.

Addendum (March 31, 2020)

Addendum

On March 20, 2020, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) issued guidance to educator preparation providers (EPPs) allowing flexibility for students completing clinical experiences during the spring term. That guidance addressed placements that were already underway, but were disrupted by school closures and other efforts put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This addendum is designed to address the clinical placements of students who have not yet begun their clinical experiences—those students who were planning to begin their clinical experiences during late spring or summer terms.

ODHE is temporarily allowing educator preparation programs flexibility regarding the number of field experience hours or weeks that candidates must complete in order to be eligible for an education license or endorsement.  Educator preparation programs may provide alternative instruction, experiences and assignments that will allow students to demonstrate mastery of expected outcomes as an alternative to the traditional field experiences.  Students who successfully complete the alternative experiences will be eligible for licensure and endorsement recommendations.

 

ODHE Notification

Consistent with the previous guidance, you will be asked to complete a survey from ODHE summarizing your plans and providing general information on the number of students affected.  That survey will be sent at the end of April and your responses to the survey will be due by June 1, 2020.  In the survey, you will be asked to provide information regarding both your spring term and your summer term plans.  The survey responses are for documentation purposes only—you do not need to seek approval for your plans from ODHE.   

Guidance for Educator Preparation Programs (March 20, 2020)

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) recognizes that efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 are impacting the duration of clinical experiences (field, student teaching, and internship placements) and this places EPP programs and students at risk of not meeting requirements outlined in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) (for instance, OAC Rule 3333-1-05 requires that a student complete a minimum of one hundred clock hours of field experience prior to student teaching and a minimum of twelve weeks of student teaching for initial teacher licensure). We are therefore temporarily offering flexibility in meeting the number of weeks and/or hours required for Education Preparation Program (EPP) students whose clinical experiences have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

ODHE recognizes that each EPP is in the best position to understand the unique needs of its students and the disruptions that have occurred to their educational experiences as a result of the unprecedented efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Consequently ODHE is providing flexibility for each EPP to design a plan to help students meet the expected outcomes of those clinical experiences, using the basic guidance provided below.

An EPP with students who will not meet OAC minimum requirements will be required to notify ODHE of the strategies used to ensure that students achieve the expectations and outcomes associated with their clinical experiences. This notification will take place later this semester (see notification information at the end of this document). Please note that the documentation submitted to ODHE is for notification purposes only; EPPs do not need to seek ODHE approval as long as the plans align with the guidance provided below.

 

ODHE Guidance

Each EPP should provide alternative experiences and/or assignments and instruction as appropriate to ensure that expectations and outcomes for each student’s clinical experience are met. The opportunities may include, but are not limited to, virtual learning, designing lessons and units of instruction, selecting and implementing instructional strategies, teaching lessons and content, assessing learning to evaluate student progress and inform instructional decisions, creating a supportive learning environment, managing the classroom effectively, and other appropriate activities.

EPP students who have made satisfactory progress through at least 50% of the required number of weeks and/or hours associated with their clinical experience and who can demonstrate sufficient mastery of the accompanying outcomes through alternative experiences provided by the EPP will be eligible for licensure recommendation. However, any EPP student not making satisfactory progress or not having completed at least 50% of the clinical experience will not be eligible at the end of the semester, but should be given the opportunity to extend their clinical experience, using available options, such as a grade of Incomplete. It is up to the discretion of each EPP to determine the best path forward for remediating students who have not made satisfactory progress or who have not completed at least 50% of their clinical requirements at the end of the semester.

 

ODHE Notification

You will be receiving a survey at the end of April from our office requesting summary information on your plan and basic information regarding the number of students affected. Your responses to the survey will be due by June 1, 2020. The survey responses are for documentation purposes only—they will be used in the future for state authorization and accreditation purposes. Please submit the necessary notification to EdPrep@highered.ohio.gov and do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have questions or concerns about this guidance document or the survey.