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Technology Specialist Certificate Field Experience

The information provided here is designed to assist students as they prepare to complete the field experience requirement for the Technology Specialist Certificate.  Below you will find a general description of the process and required documentation.  The links to the right will provide more detailed information on each specific topic. 

Do I need a 3 credit or 6 credit field experience?

If you have any current or prior experience as a technology teacher, technology coordinator, or similar positin approved by the Field Experience Coordinator you are required to complete a 3 credit (100 hour) field experience. If you have no current or prior experience then you must complete a 6 credit (200 hour) field experience.  If you are unsure if your prior experience is acceptable please contact the ETRA field experience coordinator.

Where can I engage in field experience hours?

Regardless of the total number of field experience hours required you must complete at least 1/2 of your total hours in a K12 setting under the supervision of a certified technology specialist.  The remainder of your total hours can be completed at any other combination of technology settings (K12, University, Public etc). 

What is a field supervisor and what do they need to do?

For each location you complete hours you need to have a field supervisor who is willing to supervise the field experience and write an evaluation report.  Field supervisors must be identified before you begin collecting hours at a location and each field supervior must be documented using a Field Supervisor Agreement form which can be found in the Forms and Documents section. Please, refer to Field Supervisor Qualifications and Responsibilities for more details.

How do I create my goals?

Once a fieldwork placement has been secured, a student should work with a fieldwork supervisor and will create a list of internship goals/objectives that will be accomplished during fieldwork placement. Both a student and a fieldwork supervisor need to mutually agree upon internship goals/objectives. Internship goals/objectives need to be described well, with as much detail as possible and should be aligned with ISTE standards. Include a variety of goals/objectives to meet each technology standard. Note: AECT standards may be used when an internship placement is in business or industry. ETRA field experience coordinator must approve internship goals/objectives before a student can start collecting any internship hours. Click on the link on the right side of this page for more information.

What is the diversity requirement?

Part of the field experience is the opportunity to work with diverse learners in diverse settings. Field experience students must document these experiences for the field experience final portfolio. Click on the link on the right side of this page for more information.

How do I document my internship experience?

During fieldwork experience each intern will keep a log documenting all fieldwork activities and hours by date. A spreadsheet or a table is a good way to do it. At the end of the semester in which a student is registered for the field experience course, students must submit a log to Blackboard as part of their Field Experience Portfolio.  

When can I begin working in my field experience?

You can begin working on your hours as soon as you have a set of goals approved by the ETRA field experience coordinator and secured an appropriate location and field supervisor as documented by a completed Field Supervisor Agreement form and have completed the Criminal Background Check and TB test requirements.  Students often need more than one academic semester to complete their necessary number of hours and that is not a problem at all but we do not have you register for the course until the semester in which you will COMPLETE the total number of required hours.

How is my internship experience evaluated?

Internship evaluation procedures include the following: field supervisor’s evaluation, university supervisor’s visitation report, and field experience portfolio. In addition, students pursuing Library Information Specialist Certificate will submit the content collaboration assignment. Field experience portfolio should be visible in your Blackboard soon after you enroll in the internship course. If this is not the case, contact the ETRA Field Experience Coordinator Dr. Olha Ketsman at 815-753-9687 or oketsman@niu.edu. Field experience portfolio includes several sections. Follow the instructions included in each section to complete your field experience portfolio.

What is the field visit by the ETRA field experience coordinator?

At least once during your field experience the ETRA internship coordinator will visit with you at one of your field experience locations to evaluate first hand your performance. You must work with the ETRA field experience coordinator to schedule the field site visit.  The evaluation checklist that is used during that visit can be found in the Forms and Documents section.