Site Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities
General Resources for Site Partners
These apply to all programs except Education and Child Life.
This web page clarifies Wheelock's criteria and guidelines for the student's assigned supervisor. Thus, although students may interact with and receive guidance from other site personnel, including the site director, the practicum student should have for the duration of the semester an assigned supervisor who supports him/her during each visit, and who ensures that the criteria and guidelines as cited below are fulfilled.
Guidelines for Site Supervisors
- Work with the student to determine his/her weekly schedule in accordance with program requirements and Wheelock's academic calendar
- Orient the student to the site, i.e., provide an overview of site policies and procedures; introduce key personnel; explain roles/responsibilities; and help the student to navigate systems and facilities
- Support the student to develop a learning plan that outlines 3-4 learning goals for the semester, and determine appropriate activities and strategies for meeting these goals.
Note: The learning contract is a "living document" that may be modified as the semester and activities evolve.
- Assign clear, concrete objectives and tasks that involve the student in program activities and deepen his/her engagement as an emerging professional
- As appropriate, include the student in staff or planning meetings, in-service trainings, workshops, or other professional activities that support learning goals and the student's sense of the professional/organizational culture
- Meet with the student individually on a regular basis to provide direct supervision, explicit instruction, and specific, actionable feedback on strengths and growth areas, relative to the student's performance
- Provide opportunities to discuss practical or theoretical applications to issues in the field, and to explain the rationale or conceptual underpinning behind decision making
- As appropriate, facilitate meaningful collaboration and learning opportunities with other professionals within the organization
- Participate in at least one meeting on site with the student and faculty liaison to review the goals and activities for the practicum
- Document and share any concerns with both the student and the Wheelock faculty liaison and/or the Office of Field Education
- As needed, maintain open, ongoing communication with the Wheelock field liaison/seminar instructor and/or the Office of Field Education., who will assist however possible
- Complete the mid-term and final written evaluations of the student, and use the evaluations as points of discussion during supervisory meetings
Indicators of Effective Supervision
- Fosters a welcoming relationship with the student, promoting trust while being open to the student's needs and concerns as a learner and emerging professional
- Meets individually with the student on a regular basis to build a sense of clarity, expectation, and shared responsibility within the mentoring relationship (i.e., appropriate to the growth and development of the student)
- Provides specific, timely, ongoing, and action-oriented feedback that promotes the student's acquisition of skills and knowledge as well as the attainment of his/her learning goals
- Creates meaningful opportunities that broaden the student's perspective and reflection; deepen his/her sense of continuity across learning experiences; and strengthen his/her capacity to translate experiences into explicit knowledge, skills or practices
- Supports the student's initiative and engagement by continuous, ongoing communication about the student's performance and development
- Models ethical practices, continuous learning, collaboration with colleagues, and a commitment to high expectations and standards for practice
- Explains and clarifies expectations, policies, procedures, and when applicable, relevant laws or regulations as they pertain to the organization and its clientele