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Director certification requires a six-week, 300-hour internship (See below how the 300 hours was derived), usually performed in the summer at the end of the director program.  The internship consists of field work activities that apply knowledge and demonstrate skills learned throughout the director program.  Activities take place in the administrative offices of an approved secondary career and technical education institution.  Interns are encouraged to select a location that matches their future career goals.  Internship sites cannot be the same location where candidates are employed.  A school administrator who has earned the Vocational Administrative Director credential will supervise candidates' field work throughout the internship period.  Leadership interns do not need to register for coursework or pay any fees during the summer internship.

During the internship, candidates will be required to

  1. Maintain a log of fieldwork activities
  2. Keep a journal of reflections on practices carried out during fieldwork
  3. Complete a special, individualized project with a written final report
  4. Attend meetings with your instructor as necessary

Internship field work activities must go above and beyond the scope of the regular teaching or administrative duties of leadership candidates.

Areas where candidates must demonstrate knowledge and skill include

  • Theories of educational leadership, including
    • Leadership styles, systems theory, and decision-making models
    • Staff selection, supervision, evaluation, and dismissal procedures
    • Staff induction, support, mentoring, and development
    • Team building and cultivation of school culture that promotes learning
  • Role of the director as instructional leader, focusing on teaching and learning, including
    • Curriculum development, including programs for special needs students
    • Data-driven decision making and problem solving
    • Instructional scheduling
    • Instructional technology
    • Teaching skills, differentiated instruction and inclusionary practices
    • Learning theory and student motivation
  • School organizations and structures within a social and political environment, including
    • Local school boards and community organizations
    • State board of education and state government
    • Special interest groups
    • Professional organizations and labor unions
  • Historical and contemporary issues in school law and the legal responsibilities of school administrators, including
    • Special education, due process, least restrictive environments, and student medications
    • Discipline, suspension, and expulsion
    • Record keeping, assessment data, and privacy
    • Safe schools, drug-free schools, and sexual and physical abuse/harassment
    • Labor relations/contract management, and due process
  • Fiscal operation of the school including
    • Strategic planning for school improvement
    • Budget planning and resource allocation
    • Facilities management
    • Technology selection and utilization
  • Role of a proactive director in school/community relations, including
    • Promoting parental participation
    • Articulating and marketing the school programs, media relations, and pubic relations
    • Interpreting student performance data to parents and community
    • Understanding the roles of parents, community and business leaders, school boards, and taxpayers
    • Seeking and using community feedback
    • Mediating concerns of students, staff, parents, and the community

At the completion of all field work, candidates are required to describe how they demonstrated knowledge and skill in each of the six areas of study. The supervising administrative director will evaluate candidates' progress and proficiency, and complete a detailed written assessment.

Internships are designed to provide a mutually enriching experience for leadership candidates, the supervising administrative directors, and leadership program personnel from IUP. To this end, meetings of these educators will be held at various schools where field work is being done. Agendas will focus on CTE school administrative strategies and other current educational topics of interest. Sites where field work and meetings are carried out will span the entire range of schools in IUP’s service area, from the inner city to rural areas. Visits to disparate meeting locations will allow leadership candidates, the supervising administrative directors, and IUP leadership program personnel to compare programs and leadership styles, share ideas about management of educational facilities, and learn from one another with the goal of improving career and technical education in western Pennsylvania.

300 Hours

Three-hundred hours was derived from the following text:

II. Performances

The professional education program provides evidence that Vocational Education Director Certification candidates are assessed and demonstrate their knowledge of and competence in applying the fundamental concepts of school administration during a minimum of 500 hours of participation in authentic simulations, field experiences, and an internship including

  • Completion of identified role expectations and competencies
  • Performances at diverse settings and educational levels
  • Customized projects that address identified needs of the candidates
  • Use of current research and best practices
  • Participation in a 300 hour internship

Source: PDE General Standards And Specific Program Guidelines for Vocational Administrative Director