Frequently Asked Questions


NCIS Policies and Info for Candidates

(August 2015)

Candidates are responsible for all information in this handout.

1. How will I receive my placement information once I’m accepted to NCIS?

  • You will receive an email with your placement information before the semester begins (or shortly thereafter). This email will contain information on your placement, who to contact for district clearances (like background checks, etc.), and your school liaison contact information.

2. What is the background check requirement? Do I have to take a drug test?

  • All districts in North Carolina require at least an approved background check from any individual who seeks to enter a school building and work one-on-one with P12 students. In addition, some districts also require passing an authorized drug test as well. There may be other additional requirements depending on the district (fingerprint ID, or a district-level meeting with HR, for example). All candidates must meet these requirements as directed by the P12 partner district in order to participate in the NCIS program. You will receive specific information on these requirements at your NCIS Orientation and/or with your placement information email.

  • Please note: all candidates (NCIS or not) must meet these district requirements prior to beginning the student teaching semester. By completing them as part of NCIS, you get them completed early!

3. Who do I talk to when I go to my school for the first time?

  • When you receive your placement information via email, you also receive directions about communicating with the school liaison for the first time—in most cases, this is the school principal or an assistant principal. When you report to the school, you will ask for the liaison (unless the liaison has given you different instructions via email).

4. What will I work on once I get to the school site?

  • We will provide you a “checklist” of activities aligned to whatever courses you are currently taking. This checklist has been shared with faculty and with your P12 partners. You will work throughout the semester to complete these items. The lists include instructional items, things like “tutoring one on one with a student” and “reviewing a lesson plan with a teacher” to more mundane (yet critical) items, like meeting the school secretary and monitoring student activity in the halls. As you progress through your coursework, the checklist activities become more advanced as you move toward the full-time student teaching semester.

  • Your assigned P12 team also is asked to provide some of the activities on your checklist that they feel will help you better integrate into the school / classroom setting.

5. What are the expectations for attendance for NCIS?

  • There are typically 15 weeks in a semester; you are expected to visit your assigned school site once a week for 10 of those 15 weeks. Each visit should be a minimum of 3-3 ½ hours (or approximately half the school day). This kind of regular attendance allows you to build rapport with your teachers and also allows you to get to know the routine of a classroom.

6. Do I have to go at the same day/time every week?

  • The NCIS program is built on flexibility, so candidates are not required to go at the same time/day each week. HOWEVER, your teachers will be planning on your regular attendance so that they may plan on your support in the classroom. Developing a routine, regular schedule of attendance is integral for candidate success. Candidates are expected to regularly and proactively communicate their schedule for attendance and any subsequent changes to their assigned P12 teachers as soon as possible.

7. What if I suddenly can’t attend one week because of sickness or some other unforeseeable circumstance? Do I have to make it up?

  • Again, one of the best aspects of the NCIS program is flexibility. If you are sick or something unexpectedly occurs one week, you can reschedule for the next week AS LONG AS YOU PROACTIVELY COMMUNICATE TO YOUR P12 TEACHERS. DO NOT JUST “NOT SHOW UP.” Give your teachers as much notice as possible of your absence. If you plan to get your 10 weeks completed, it should not be a problem. If you realize you are running out of weeks to attend, you may also consider “doubling up” your hours. Candidates are expected to regularly and proactively communicate their schedule for attendance and any subsequent changes to their assigned P12 teachers as soon as possible.

8. Can I double up on my hours early in the semester and “knock them out?”

  • While we encourage you to attend your assigned school site as much as you can, NCIS is designed to extend your clinical hours across an entire semester. The requirement of “once a week for 10 weeks” is not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of our P12 partners too. Having our candidates in schools working with children benefits us all! So while you are welcome to double up on your hours, earning extra hours does not remove the minimum “once a week for 10 weeks” expectation of NCIS.

9. Should I be working with a variety of teachers?

  • Yes, you should, but not necessarily the first day. This is a pilot, so we are not exactly sure what it will look like for each candidate. But by the mid-point of the semester, you should have worked with at least two teachers (or more) in some capacity. You also should be working in at least two different teachers’ classrooms.

10. Should I only work with teachers in my content area?

  • If it works out that way, great! But otherwise, candidates are highly encouraged to work closely with any good teacher. Pre-student teaching candidates are still learning about and exploring the nuances of teaching. There is much to be learned from a good teacher, no matter what the content area. Rest assured that by the time you get to the full-time, all-day, every day, student teaching internship, you will be assigned to a teacher (or teachers) in your licensure content area. Until then, you are free to interact with an array of teachers from a variety of content areas – we just want you to be a part of a positive learning experience!

11. How will I be assessed in the NCIS program?

  • It is difficult to grow as professionals without feedback on performance. As teachers, we give feedback to students; as educators, we understand and acknowledge that actively welcoming feedback—especially constructive feedback—may be challenging, but can ultimately help us improve our practices and become better educators. With this is mind, a key part of NCIS is providing feedback to candidates from P12 partners as well as UNC Charlotte faculty on candidate performance.

  • We ask P12 partners to give us their feedback on our candidates and their performance in the classroom. For NCIS candidates, this is an assessment of professional dispositions that P12 partners complete near the end of each semester (see additional information below). We will send an electronic link to the assessment to the school liaision, and ask the liasion to forward it to anyone who has worked with you during the semester and feels comfortable completing the assessment. You may also request that a specific P12 partner at the school site complete the assessment after you have had a chance to work with different teachers.

  • These assessment results will be compiled and available to you; P12 partners who complete the assessment are also asked to print a copy and provide it to you directly to better inform your performance. A conferencewith P12 partners and the UNC Charlotte candidate to discuss the results is also recommended. These assessments will NOT negatively impact your course grade for AY 2015-16; HOWEVER, assessments which indicated a concern or needed area of improvement may be used to conference with the candidate on ways to improve (which is part of this process).

  • Your course grade is determined by your course instructor. See your instructor or course syllabus for details.

12. What do I do with my checklist at the end of each semester?

  • At the end of each semester, you turn your checklist section that corresponds with the courses you are taking to your course instructors as evidence that you have completed any assigned clinical activities. You also should email/fax/mail a copy of your completed semester checklist to Rex Mangiaracina at Fax: 704-687-1487. US Mail: Office of Field Experiences, COED 139, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223.

13. Who can I contact if I have any questions?