Clinical Policies and Procedures
Applications for Clinical Experience
Each program has distinct fieldwork experiences (fieldwork) and supervised teaching (student teaching and/or practicum) requirements and applications. Students must apply for select fieldwork experiences and/or supervised teaching in order to register and/or be placed by the Office of Clinical Experiences. Each program has specific application, registration and placement processes and procedures. Students must have fingerprint clearance before registration permission is granted for a clinical course. To review the requirements and procedures specific to each program, please review the School of Education's Fieldwork and Fingerprinting page at education.hunter.cuny.edu/academics/fieldwork.
New York State law requires fingerprinting as a means to perform criminal history background checks for applicants for certification and all prospective employees of school districts, charter schools, and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) within New York State. All students in teacher preparation programs as well as programs in school counseling need to be fingerprinted so that they are cleared to work with children in various settings including New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public schools, charter networks, and other organizations. Fingerprint clearance is a professional expense related to certification. As such, candidates are responsible for related costs.
Students enrolled in programs leading to certification in teacher preparation and school counseling programs who do not yet have fingerprint clearance from both the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) must complete all steps of the fingerprinting process.
If you are in a program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), you only need fingerprint clearance from NYSED by the dates indicated above.
Students in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Development and Learning (ECDL) programs that lead to certification and who may be placed in non-NYCDOE settings that serve children from birth to age 3 years and select Pre-K programs must be fingerprinted by both NYSED or NYCDOE and the Department of Investigations (DOI) as records cannot be shared between the DOI and other entities. Note that this only applies if the students are placed in sites subsidized by the Department of Health not the NYCDOE.
Note that your fingerprint clearance status will be reflected as a milestone in CUNYfirst (as “PETS Clearance Complete”) after all steps below have been completed and processed by NYSED and the NYCDOE.
More information on the School of Education's Fingerprinting Policy and step by step guides can be accessed on the School of Education's Fingerprinting page at education.hunter.cuny.edu/academics/fieldwork/fingerprinting.
School of Education Fieldwork Policy
The following Fieldwork Requirements and Procedures (“the Procedures”) are established by the Hunter College (“the College”) School of Education (“SOE”) to ensure productive and safe learning experiences for teacher candidates enrolled in SOE fieldwork placement programs and effective service for the schools and community agencies participating in those programs. A SOE teacher candidate’s conduct in these programs demonstrates to the College the teacher candidate’s ability to earn the College’s recommendation for National and State-wide professional licensure or certification.
Code of Conduct
In addition to following the standards outlined in the College’s Code of Conduct applicable to all teacher candidates, a SOE teacher candidate whose education includes any fieldwork component must:
Meet any and all standards or competencies required in the teacher candidate’s professional program of study or license/certification; and
Comply with the Rules/Policies of the school or community agency in which the teacher candidate is placed to conduct his or her fieldwork that do not conflict with College policy
The Office of Clinical Experiences (“OCE”) places teacher candidates for fieldwork intensive courses. Each SOE program has established procedures for making those placements, which may vary from program to program. A SOE teacher candidate enrolled within a program is responsible for learning and following the procedures applicable to his or her program. In addition, the teacher candidate must ensure that he or she:
completes the required placement forms, applications, site selection processes, prerequisite coursework, and/or contracts before the established due dates; and
meets the standards for continued acceptance at the placement site.
Moreover, a teacher candidate who intends to participate in a fieldwork placement program must exhibit professional behavior. Failure to behave in a professional manner may result in the denial or denial of a fieldwork placement pursuant to the processes stated below.
Placement Security Clearance
A teacher candidate applying for a fieldwork placement in a New York City (“NYC”) public school or other clinical setting is required to obtain security clearance by the NYC Department of Education (“DOE”) or other authority prior to placement. This process usually includes fingerprinting. A teacher candidate may also be asked by his or her fieldwork placement program to complete a self-reported, background check. The purpose of these checks, which are subject to the policies of the partnering organization, is to ensure public safety and avoid unacceptable risk to vulnerable populations. A teacher candidate who refuses to submit fingerprints, or is otherwise unable to obtain security clearance, cannot be placed and will be administratively withdrawn from the placement and/or program.
Background checks for private institutions are typically conducted by the placement site. If a violation is discovered, authorized personnel at the placement organization will determine the suitability of a candidate for placement. The SOE Program Coordinator or staff member in the Office of Clinical Experience (“OCE”) may also determine the suitability of a candidate for field placement based on discovered or self-reported information. Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but are not limited to, the following:
In case of a criminal conviction, the relevance of the crime to the practical experience;
The nature of the work to be performed;
The passage of time since the conviction;
The age of the candidate at the time of the offense;
The seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense;
The number of offenses;
The existence of pending charges; and
Any relevant evidence of rehabilitation.
A teacher candidate may challenge a security clearance finding by appealing to the appropriate contact within the partnering organization as determined by that organization.
A SOE teacher candidate’s Inability to Qualify for a Placement
If a SOE teacher candidate is unable to qualify for a fieldwork placement, based on the determination of a partnering organization, the teacher candidate will be placed on academic probation for one (1) semester and the teacher candidate will be given no more than one (1) opportunity at another placement (this would amount to a total of two placements including the initial unsuccessful fieldwork placement). A SOE teacher candidate must be available to placement organization staff in their assessment of the teacher candidate’s qualifications for placement. A teacher candidate who is unable to qualify for placements with a partner fieldwork organization after two attempts at placement by the SOE will be deemed unable to continue in the SOE and will be terminated from the program.
Addressing Problems during the Fieldwork Placement
The Concerns of a SOE Teacher Candidate
If a SOE teacher candidate in a fieldwork placement encounters problems related to the placement, the teacher candidate must:
Inform the Clinical Placement Specialist and on-site Fieldwork Placement Coordinator (i.e., the primary supervisor/teacher of record for the field placement, practicum, and/or internship) within ten (10) business days not including any legal holidays;
Work with the Clinical Placement Specialist and faculty, if appropriate, on a plan to resolve the issue; and/or
Follow the plan with the Clinical Placement Specialist, faculty, and/or relevant school staff to resolve the problem.
The Concerns of a Fieldwork Placement Site
If a fieldwork placement site encounters problems related to the teacher candidate’s conduct, the fieldwork placement site shall:
Inform the Clinical Placement Specialist overseeing the teacher candidate’s placement of the problem within ten (10) business days, not including any legal holidays; and then either
Work on a plan with the Clinical Placement Specialist and/or faculty to address the problem with the SOE teacher candidate, to the extent possible, or
Inform in writing the Clinical Placement Specialist and/or faculty that the teacher candidate should be removed from placement site.
The SOE teacher candidate must follow the plan to the satisfaction of the placement organization.
If the plan does not satisfactorily address the fieldwork placement organization’s concerns about the SOE teacher candidate’s conduct:
The organization will contact the assigned Clinical Placement Specialist in SOE’s OCE of the problem within ten (10) business days, not including any legal holidays; and
OCE will determine the appropriate method needed to satisfactorily conclude the concern, for example, by engaging with the placement site coordinator to formulate a mutually acceptable plan, to the extent possible.
If this process does not lead to a satisfactory conclusion and the organization does not permit the teacher candidate to continue, the teacher candidate will receive a failing grade in fieldwork and a failing grade in the course. In addition, the teacher candidate will be placed on academic probation for one (1) semester and the teacher candidate will be given no more than one (1) opportunity at another placement (this would amount to a total of two placements including the initial unsuccessful fieldwork placement).
Different Scenarios for Dismissal from the SOE and applicable Procedures
Scenario 1: A SOE teacher candidate’s Arrest or other Security Clearance Related Issue
If a SOE teacher candidate is arrested and/or charged with a crime during fieldwork placement, he or she must follow the procedures listed below, in addition to following the procedures listed in the College’s teacher candidate Code of Conduct regarding the requirements upon a teacher candidate charged with a crime during his or her enrollment at the College:
Report the arrest to On-site Fieldwork Placement Supervisor and the SOE OCE placement specialist overseeing the teacher candidate’s placement within forty-eight (48) hours of the arrest, not including weekends and legal holidays; and
Notify the NYC DOE within forty-eight (48) hours of the arrest, not including weekends and legal holidays. If the teacher candidate does not report the arrest to the On-site Fieldwork Placement Supervisor and the SOE’s OCE, the NYC DOE will send a staff member to remove the teacher candidate from the fieldwork placement. It is highly recommended that the teacher candidate avoid such a situation. Under such a circumstance, College faculty and staff cannot determine the teacher candidate’s eligibility to remain at the assigned site.Only the NYC DOE can determine whether the teacher candidate may return to the placement site. The reason for the arrest may determine the timeframe of when the teacher candidate may return to the site. For example, a teacher candidate charged with driving while intoxicated (“DWI”) may be required to present court documentation to the NYC DOE, and a DOE determination may take two to four weeks. On the other hand, where a teacher candidate is charged with assault, the NYC DOE may require further investigation, which could take at least a year, before a teacher candidate is cleared for a placement.
Scenario 2: The teacher candidate Jeopardizes the Safety and/or Well-being of a Minor
If a SOE teacher candidate is dismissed by a fieldwork placement organization for having jeopardized the safety or well-being of a minor, the teacher candidate will be removed from the course and receive a failing grade. The OCE cannot knowingly place a teacher candidate who has compromised the safety or well-being of a minor, client, or patient in a clinical setting. If fieldwork placement is required for completion of a degree, license, or certificate, such a dismissal will result in the teacher candidate’s termination from the program. If the teacher candidate is terminated from the program, his or her action in coursework and clinical experience within the program will cease immediately.
Scenario 3: Removal by a Fieldwork Placement Organization
A SOE teacher candidate should be aware that as a member of the College community, he or she must follow the procedures listed in this document as well as the other policies referenced herein. There is no requirement, however, that a fieldwork placement organization follow these procedures. As such, if a fieldwork placement organization removes a teacher candidate from a placement due to unprofessional or egregious conduct or unsatisfactory performance, the College cannot mandate that the placement organization take the teacher candidate back.
Where a teacher candidate has been removed from a placement by the participant organization and alleged conduct does not involve behavior in which the SOE teacher candidate jeopardized the safety and/or well being of a minor, the OCE staff will refer the matter to the Department Chair and Associate Dean for appropriate action. In such a case, the Department Chair and Associate Dean will:
Review the SOE teacher candidate’s alleged unprofessional or egregious conduct and determine whether re-placement within a second fieldwork placement organization would be appropriate given the conduct in question;
If re-placement is appropriate, teacher candidate will be placed on academic probation for one (1) semester; and
Instruct the SOE to make no more than one (1) attempt to find that teacher candidate another placement (this would amount to a total of two placements including the initial unsuccessful fieldwork placement). A SOE teacher candidate must be available to placement organization staff in their assessment of the teacher candidate’s qualifications for the re-placement.
If the Associate Dean and Chair determine that replacement is not appropriate, they will recommend this action be reviewed by the SOE’s Clinical Standards Committee, which shall be comprised of the SOE’s Dean and one or more SOE Department Chairs. The teacher candidate will be placed on academic probation until the CSC issues a written decision. This decision shall serve as the final determination by the College’s SOE.
Failure to Meet the Terms of Academic Probation
A teacher candidate who is on academic probation and who thereafter violates the code of conduct will be removed from the fieldwork placement program by the SOE’s OCE. If fieldwork placement is required for completion of a degree, license, or certificate, such a dismissal or removal will result in the teacher candidate’s case being referred to the Clinical Standards Committee for review of the teacher candidate’s termination from the program. If the CSC affirms the termination of the teacher candidate from the program, his or her action in coursework and clinical experience within the program will cease immediately.
The Appeals Process
A teacher candidate who wishes to appeal an adverse decision under these procedures, may submit a timely written appeal to the Provost of Hunter College, stating reasons for his/her appeal. The Provost will decide the appeal within a reasonable time period and this decision will be the final decision by the College.
Policy for the Video Analysis of Teaching (VAT)
All teacher candidate for a degree or certificate program at the Hunter College School of Education engage in analyzing video records of their practice for the purposes of gathering evidence for growth. Selected video may then be shared with faculty, supervisors or peers as part of course assignments.
Before teacher candidates record video in clinical placements, consent must be obtained from the mentor/cooperating teacher, and parental/guardian consent, obtained for all students in levels Birth - Adult. Any breach of this policy is considered a serious violation of the School of Education's Policy on Professionalism listed at the bottom of this page.
Please note that the NYC Department of Education's Media Consent forms are not acceptable. The Hunter College School of Education Consent Forms must be used.
FERPA is a federal law that protects K-12 and university students from the disclosure of personally identifiable information. When sharing video records of practice, candidates and faculty must only upload videos to our School of Education approved, FERPA complaint platform. This means that candidates and faculty must only be storing and sharing videos of practice via their School of Education approved account. These accounts are Hunter SOE administered, password-protected and FERPA compliant.
Please note that personal email accounts, Dropbox and YouTube are not FERPA compliant, and do not protect student privacy, and are not appropriate for video analysis.
In addition to exclusively using these approved platforms, at the end of each semester, it is the teacher candidate and faculty's responsibility to delete any video records from smartphones, computers, or other electronic devices to avoid any videos being shared outside of the School of Education approved account after the course is completed.
Questions and Concerns
For Technical Assistance or other related questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or review the Frankfort Center page on the School of Education website at education.hunter.cuny.edu/frankfort.
The School of Education Policy on Professionalism
The Hunter College School of Education is dedicated to the preparation of deeply thoughtful, knowledgeable and highly effective teachers, administrators and counselors. Our commitment is to educating these candidates — future professionals who will make a significant impact on the academic achievement, as well as the intellectual, social and emotional development of their students
As such, the Hunter College School of Education values professionalism among its students, professors, and staff. In this section, you will find the standards of professionalism that you are expected to follow while a student at Hunter College.
As part of students’ professional development, and in order to nurture a safe and supportive learning environment for professors, teacher candidates, and students alike, all members of the Hunter College School of Education community are expected to adhere to the codes of professionalism outlined below. As a student at Hunter College, whether you are in class or at your fieldwork experience, you are a representative of Hunter College, and not an employee of the NYC Department of Education (DOE) or any other organization where you are placed, and are expected to adhere to these codes.
Below, you will find the description of the various aspects of professionalism that are expected of the School of Education’s students, both while at Hunter and as a guest in a field site, during coursework and during your clinical experience.
1. Professional Behavior
Interpersonal Relationships: As a member of the Hunter College School of Education community, you shall be courteous to and respectful of faculty, staff, other students, and any other members of the education community irrespective of race, political ideals, belief systems, and gender or sexual identification, so that all may feel at ease in a learning environment where everyone is free to participate in an open exchange of ideas. Throughout your professional career you will be in contact with people from different cultural perspectives, and it is important to be sensitive to these differences. Therefore, you shall make every effort to respect cultural diversity both at Hunter and when you are a guest in a field site, and shall discourage any prejudice or discrimination in your own classroom. You shall at all times respect multiple points of view from your teachers, peers and your own students, and willingly accept constructive feedback from your professors, supervisors, mentors and cooperating teachers.
Punctuality and Attentiveness: Hunter students shall arrive promptly and be attentive in class, without engaging in private conversations, texting, or other activities that may be distracting to you or to other students. As professionals, you are expected to be on time for class, fieldwork, and other appointments.
Professional Attire: As Hunter College teacher candidates or counselors, you are representatives of the School of Education. As such, Hunter College expects that you dress in a professional manner when working in schools or in other professional settings where you will be conducting your clinical experiences.
2. Professional Integrity
Hunter College School of Education students are expected to conduct themselves ethically and with integrity, according to the expectations of the professions of teaching, administration, counseling and educational psychology. You shall interact with your peers, faculty, administrators, classroom teachers, and students, with respect and fairness, as well as follow the rules of confidentiality for your students and peers (see the rights and protections of privacy afforded to Hunter students by FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act). All work you complete shall be your own, and you shall familiarize yourself with Hunter College's policy on Academic Integrity.
3. Professional Communication
Email Address: You are expected to use your Hunter College email address for all electronic communications relating to your work at Hunter or in the field, since this email address is evidence of your professional affiliation with Hunter. If you absolutely must use an alternative email address, that address should signify who you are (i.e. your name), and not be a nickname, phrase, or be in any way provocative or childish. Conversely, you should avoid using your professional email address for personal correspondence.
Email Etiquette: You shall also follow basic rules of email etiquette. Always include a clear and direct subject line, and be clear and concise in the body of the email. Obey standard rules of grammar and style, write in full sentences, and avoid being overly familiar. Avoid humor, and be aware that written communication is different from face to face communication, since social cues such as facial expressions and tone are lost when writing, and something you might mean as a harmless joke could be taken as an offense by the recipient.
Communicating with Your Professor: When writing to a professor, be sure to indicate your course and section number, and follow the basic rules of email etiquette discussed above. Also include your EMPL ID number.
4. Social Media
Social Media (sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other sites that encourage interactivity with the use of text or multimedia “sharing”) is a powerful tool for communication and networking, with the potential for useful teaching and learning opportunities. Although Hunter College does not have a specific policy related to Social Media, you are cautioned to use common sense with online interactions, and to adhere to the same behavior as described in the above section under “Interpersonal Relationships.” The privacy of others in the community must be respected according to the college’s FERPA policy, which includes the posting of information about, or photos and videos that depict your students or peers.
If you are placed in a DOE facility for your clinical field work, you are required to adhere to the Guideline from the DOE on Digital Citizenship and Social Media which can be accessed at the following website schools.nyc.gov/school-life/school-environment/digital-citizenship.
In addition to the above standards, you should be prepared to adhere to the standards of professionalism that will apply to your future employment as a teacher, administrator, or counselor in a school system. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification defined a model code of ethics for educators in a recent document published on the web:
Responsibility to the Profession, including upholding the rules, policies, and regulations of the profession, maintaining mental and physical health, and engaging with professional associations.
Responsibility for Professional Competence. This includes keeping up-to-date on content and pedagogy, disposing of student records, and working to provide all students with equal access to curriculum and resources.
Responsibility to Students, including respecting their backgrounds, avoiding inappropriate relationships with students, and protecting student privacy.
Responsibility to the School Community, including working collaboratively with peers, supporting and mentoring new teachers, and communicating with parents in a timely and respectful way.
Responsible and Ethical Use of Technology. This includes using social media in accordance with school and district policy, monitoring the potential for cyberbullying, and using technology to supplement teaching and learning.
The full text of the above code of ethics can be accessed on the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification website at nasdtec.net/page/MCEE_Doc#Top. It is recommended that you take the time to familiarize yourself with these standards, which offer a common framework that will most likely be applicable in some form in any educational institution where you will be employed in the future.