The counseling program has established some protocols regarding field placements in response to the COVID-19 developments in our area. These protocols may change as new developments occur in our region. We ask that students reach out to their respective practicum and internship instructors if they need clarification about the FAQs we developed listed below.
Clinical practice must take place in an educational setting for school counselors and in mental health agencies for clinical mental health counselors. If your site is closed, what other options are available?
Please work directly with your practicum or internship instructor to identify suitable alternatives that will allow you to work remotely while also accrue hours. Clinical practice includes direct and indirect hours. Indirect hours can take place through remote instruction, online learning, or as part of an extended work day at your site. Indirect hours can include planning, instruction, case notes, project-based activities, advocacy project, and reflection that prepares the candidate for the role. Direct hours can include telehealth counseling, remote work with students such as email, phone, and teleconference platforms that your agency and/or district supports. If there are questions between what counts as direct and indirect hours please reach out to your practicum and/or internship professor. They will do their best to make appropriate accommodations while making sure to keep in mind certification, licensure, and accreditation requirements.
How do I meet group supervision hours requirement?
CACREP requires that students meet for group supervision while engaged in the internship. Group supervision will take place using Zoom video conference for the remainder of the Spring term. We are asking students to register for your practicum and internship courses in spring as planned. Your practicum/internship instructor will send you invitations to group supervision class.
How do I meet individual on-site supervision hours requirement?
CACREP requires that students meet with their site supervisors for a minimum of one hour a week. We are asking students to schedule these meetings using technology our Zoom platform, because it is HIPAA compliant. Please coordinate with your practicum/internship instructor to set up a weekly Zoom supervision meeting between you and your site supervisor.
What if I start practicum this spring?
You will be registered for spring practicum and expected to work remotely. Contact your site supervisor about what options are available for remote work and inform your practicum instructor. Group supervision class will meet remotely using Zoom. Practicum includes a total of 100 hours. Of these, 60 are indirect hours and 40 are direct hours (working directly with clients/students). It is likely that you will not be able to accrue the necessary direct hours to complete practicum because your site is closed. Students registered for practicum in spring will likely receive an “N” grade, which means, “In Process”. In such cases, direct on-site hours (i.e., direct work with students/clients) will be accrued during the fall term when you register for internship. You will be enrolled simultaneously in both practicum and internship in the fall. Once you complete your practicum hours, and have sufficiently met all the requirements for practicum, your “N” grade would be changed to “CR” for Credit. You will then begin to immediately accrue internship hours. The hours for practicum will be completed at your internship site and not at the practicum site you were in.
What are other clinical practice requirements?
Clinical practice must be under the general supervision of a certificated practitioner who has three years' experience in the role for which the candidate is seeking certification. The preparation program must offer experiences for candidates to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for their role.
What happens if I cannot meet my required clinical practice hours?
We are working with CACREP, the state, and also with our institution to explore alternative ways for our students to be able to meeting clinical practice hours. Once we have more information from them we will let you know. Currently, we are encouraging students in field placement to work remotely. Please reach out to your practicum and/or internship instructor regarding alternative ways that you may accrue hours.
What if I don’t have a practicum/internship site secured?
Please work with Dr. Jackie Leibsohn, the field placement coordinator, in determining how to secure placement. It is likely that placements may be delayed either because sites are closed or because they are trying to figure out what to do. If this is the case, know that the program will do their best to make sure you are placed.
Students are required to attend the Practicum and Internship Placement Orientation meeting one year prior to beginning the field experience, to learn about the placement process.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program seeks sites with quality supervision and in-service training, a variety of clientele and presenting problems, a philosophy of supervision which encourages respectful and responsible risk-taking by the intern, and a placement which seeks to help the student integrate theory with practice via case conceptualization.
The student counselor must be provided a broad range of clientele, counseling orientations, and counseling experiences. In keeping with the mission of the Counseling Programs, the student's site should include experiences with diverse populations.
All students in the Counseling Programs are required to complete a one-quarter practicum. This involves a minimum of 100 hours on-site, 40 of which are direct contact hours. Students take part in a weekly group supervision class on campus, as well as individual or triadic supervision with a faculty supervisor one hour per week.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling students may need to complete a fingerprinting or background check through their agency or site prior to beginning practicum.
All students in the Counseling Programs are required to complete a three quarter internship. This involves 600 hours on-site (200 per quarter), 240 of which are direct contact hours (80 per quarter). Students also take part in weekly group supervision class on campus each quarter.
You will find the most recent version of the Practicum and Internship Agreements and the Practicum and Internship Handbook on the Student Resources Page of our website.