The educational leadership (EDL) practicum experience for your program is considered a high stakes assessment. You are expected to complete all coursework, practicum hours, and activities required during the term that the practicum is registered. There are two steps that must be completed before you are eligible to begin your actual practicum coursework, practicum hours, and activities.
Step 1: You, your clinical supervisor (CS) and you mentor must fill out, sign, and upload a series of documents to the WGU Field Experiences department that are vital to your ability to begin your practicum when the time is required. When the WGU Field Experiences department receives all of the required documents and checks necessary to approve your K-12 case study practicum site locations and clinical supervisor, both you and your student mentor will receive and email notification that you have completed the first of two required steps.
Step 2: Once you and your mentor have received the email confirmation as listed in Step 1 for your approved K-12 case study practicum site locations and approved CS, you must register the actual practicum course into your degree plan for the appropriate term, and your mentor can assist you with that.
Once Step 1 and Step 2 have been completed, you may begin your educational leadership practicum on-ground field experiences. Practicum coursework, hours, and activities occurring before these two steps are approved and completed are not allowed.
When the WGU Field Placement office approves your practicum, they will enter the start date of the practicum to reflect the date of the approval and the end date of the practicum will align with the last day of your current term. Before you may begin your practicum, you must enroll and accept the practicum assessment into registration for the current term.
Your placement must be at the appropriate level in an accredited U.S. school that meets WGU and state licensure requirements. Different states and different WGU programs have specific placement requirements. Placements must be in a traditional, on ground setting (residential treatment facilities, prisons, home schools or virtual placements do not meet this requirement). WGU does not allow field placements to be waived or shortened regardless of an advanced program candidate’s previous experience.
WGU strongly recommends that, prior to or during the educational leadership field experience, you take and pass both your state’s licensure examination(s) required for certification as a school principal and the Praxis 0411 (or 5411 for the computer version) – Education Leadership: Administration and Supervision exam. These exams are required by your program before you can graduate and be recommended for licensure/endorsement to your state.
Note: The number of hours required for your program varies by state and WGU program requirements. Refer to the Teacher Licensure Home Page in the Student Handbook, which contains detailed information about the licenses your state offers that align with WGU programs and how to apply. You will work with the WGU Licensure office at email@example.com or call 866-889-0132, option 3, regarding all certification and endorsement questions.
WGU requires Educational Leadership candidates to complete a ground-based field practicum experience at two K-12 building sites in accordance with the minimum hour requirements listed here over the entire practicum term(s). In accordance with ELCC Standard 7.2, practicum activities, coursework, and hours must occur every week and be evenly distributed over a minimum of six consecutive months. Those term minimums are listed again below for your convenience. All practicum hours must be conducted at the assigned school(s) or during school-related activities in the community.
For students in the states of AR, CA, NV, OR, OH, TX, WA, WI & WY who license through the state of Washington, there are additional state-directed and WGU program requirements in how you will work through your practicum experience over 12 months (2 full registered terms) during an entire academic school year, which may include limited summer opportunities, and how those practicum hours and activities will be completed and recorded. The practicum courses here many not be taken in the same registered term and must be the final two terms of enrollment in your program. Carefully review the C774 & C775 Practicum in Educational Leadership I & 2 Courses of Study and the Washington Educational Leadership & Activity Log.
For students in all other states enrolled in LRT1, you will also follow state-directed and WGU program requirements in how you will work through your practicum experience over 6 months (1 full registered term) during an entire academic school year, which may include limited summer opportunities, and how those practicum hours and activities will be completed and recorded. The practicum course here must be in the final term of enrollment in your program. The activity log you will completed is the Educational Leadership Practicum Log.
For students in Missouri, there is an additional state required assessment, the MoSLPA, that must be completed during your practicum. Refer to the Teacher Licensure Home Page in the Student Handbook and the Missouri folder.
Once you receive written approval of your CS and Field Experience Application by the WGU Field Placement office, you may then contact your mentor to determine when the appropriate time is to register for the practicum course(s) and begin your full 6-month or 12-month engagement. The CS, through observations and midterm and final evaluations, provides regular, detailed feedback regarding your performance and mastery of WGU competencies aligned to the 2011 standards of the Educational Leadership Constituents Council (ELCC):
• ELCC Standard 1.0: A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by collaboratively facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a shared school vision of learning through the collection and use of data to identify school goals, assess organizational effectiveness, and implement school plans to achieve school goals; promotion of continual and sustainable school improvement; and evaluation of school progress and revision of school plans supported by school-based stakeholders.
• ELCC Standard 2.0: A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning through collaboration, trust, and a personalized learning environment with high expectations for students; creating and evaluating a comprehensive, rigorous and coherent curricular and instructional school program; developing and supervising the instructional and leadership capacity of school staff; and promoting the most effective and appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning within a school environment.
• ELCC Standard 3.0: A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by ensuring the management of the school organization, operation, and resources through monitoring and evaluating the school management and operational systems; efficiently using human, fiscal, and technological resources in a school environment; promoting and protecting the welfare and safety of school students and staff; developing school capacity for distributed leadership; and ensuring that teacher and organizational time is focused to support high-quality instruction and student learning.
• ELCC Standard 4.0: A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources on behalf of the school by collecting and analyzing information pertinent to improvement of the school’s educational environment; promoting an understanding, appreciation, and use of the diverse cultural, social, and intellectual resources within the school community; building and sustaining positive school relationships with families and caregivers; and cultivating productive school relationships with community partners.
• ELCC Standard 5.0: A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner to ensure a school system of accountability for every student’s academic and social success by modeling school principles of self-awareness, reflective practice, transparency, and ethical behavior as related to their roles within the school; safeguarding the values of democracy, equity, and diversity within the school; evaluating the potential moral and legal consequences of decision making in the school; and promoting social justice within the school to ensure that individual student needs inform all aspects of schooling.
• ELCC Standard 6.0: A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context through advocating for school students, families, and caregivers; acting to influence local, district, state, and national decisions affecting student learning in a school environment; and anticipating and assessing emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt school-based leadership strategies.