Purpose/Hypothesis : The purpose of this pilot study was to 1) gather insight into how CCCEs acquire the skills necessary for their roles, 2) explore their perceptions of differences between credentialed and non-credentialed Clinical Instructors (CIs) and 3) determine how a university could support CCCEs in their role.Number of Subjects : 10 CCCEs participated in the study. 90 percent were female with an average age of 40 years (range 30-54). Hospital, outpatient and skilled nursing practice settings were represented.Materials/Methods : A mixed research design was used with a qualitative focus group methodology in addition to a quantitative demographic questionnaire. CCCEs that supervised a full time WSU student during the summer of 2012 or were a member of the Detroit Area Clinical Educators Forum (DACEF) that attended a meeting in March 2013 were invited to participate in a focus group via email. Three focus groups were conducted between Dec 2012 and March 2013 using a flexible guide of questions. Questions addressed CCCE development, differences noted between credentialed and noncredentialed CIs as seen by the CCCE and desired support from the university. All information from the focus groups was digitally recorded. The data was transcribed from the audiotapes. The transcriptions were coded in a systematic way with patterns and themes developed. The researchers analyzed the data, developed theory and drew conclusion about the findings.Results : Mentorship, regional forums, experience, continuing education, dedicated time to CCCE role, resources and personal characteristics were all important in the development of the CCCE. The APTA Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing Programs (CIECP) were specifically recommended. CCCEs noted differences between credentialed and noncredentialed CIs in the following:1) personal characteristics, 2) ways in which to manage exceptional students (those struggling and excelling) 3) awareness of tools /resources available and 4) documentation. Universities could support the CCCE role with ongoing communication (site visits, email contact, updates, regional meetings), efficient administration of the student program (uniform mailing dates, standardized request forms, consistent start dates, timeliness with information), benefits including continuing education opportunities for CI/CCCEs. Limitations included a small sample size with 3 practice settings represented.Conclusions : Role development of the CCCE is multifaceted. CCCEs perceive differences between credentialed and non-credentialed CIs. Academic support of the CCCE role is important.Clinical Relevance : The CIECP may be a valuable tool in the professional development of the CI and CCCE; clinical educators should consider becoming credentialed CIs. Academic support of the CCCE role is important in the development of the CCCE and administration of the student program.