Structured Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this research study was to describe university supervisors’ perception of extending the student teaching time frame in a family and consumer sciences (FCS) teacher education program. Background: Recently, a Midwestern State University FCS teacher education program extended the length of student teaching from 10 to 16 weeks. To verify if the student teaching timeframe mattered in enhancing the development of FCS teacher candidates, this study sought the perspectives of university supervisors who worked in both timeframes. Method: Using a qualitative design, interviews were conducted with two FCS university supervisors who supervised student teachers in Spring 2013 for the 10 week duration and Spring 2014 for the 16 week timeframe. The data was transcribed and analyzed for themes. Results: The most notable finding was that student teachers were just as prepared for entering the teaching workforce in both timeframes however the additional weeks allowed for more time to develop under supervision. Conclusion: The increase to 16 weeks enhanced the development of FCS teacher candidates from the university supervisor’s perspective. Application: The findings provide empirical data for justifying extending the student teaching timeframe for program evaluation and add to the lacking voice among university supervisors in teacher education. Additionally, the findings can be a data resource to review for other teacher education programs considering extending or shortening the student teacher timeframe.