Master of Arts in Community Counseling

Practicum

Practicum is intended to provide students opportunities to begin practicing counseling skills at a variety of sites with varied clientele. The practicum is closely supervised by on-site and faculty supervisors who help the student counselor conceptualize client concerns and determine a strategy for working with the client.

Prerequisites for the first counseling practicum course are available from your advisor. These prerequisites include admission to candidacy, a grade of "B" or higher in CN501 Counseling Theory, CN502 Ethics and Professional Orientation, CN503 Relationship Dynamics, CN504 Human Lifespan Development, and CN505 Appraisal of the Individual. Students may not begin a practicum until having completed these courses, adequately responded to any remediation plans, removed any incomplete grades, and earned no grade lower than a "B."

Practicum Objectives

In the practicum, students will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to implementing and expanding the following areas:

  • Demonstrate effective counseling skills.
  • Establish and maintain a helpful and supportive counseling/therapeutic relationship.
  • Develop and apply appropriate individual counseling techniques.
  • Maintain client records, schedule client appointments, learn about and use community resources when appropriate.
  • Work effectively with supervisors and colleagues, including appropriate analysis and presentation of counseling sessions and case studies.
  • Continue development of professional behavior.
  • Display enthusiasm for and commitment to the counseling profession.
  • Express a willingness to learn.
  • Continue development of personal traits conducive to effective counseling, learning, and professional enrichment.

Practicum Requirements

  • The first 32 hours of practicum should be used for orientation and observation of direct services.
  • A minimum of 100 hours for one semester, with all hours occurring on-site with the exception of the weekly practicum group supervision class.
  • A minimum of 40 hours of direct service with clients is required each semester.
  • A minimum of one hour per week of individual on-site supervision. Individual supervision occurs when a student and on-site supervisor meet on a one-to-one basis to discuss the studentís work with clients. Triadic supervision may be substituted for individual supervision only in an emergency. Administrative supervision does not count towards this requirement. Students are encouraged to arrange for as much agency supervision as possible. Supervision is essential to the studentís development as a competent therapist.
  • Attend the practicum group supervision class, which meets 1.5 hours a week to review and discuss the on-site practicum activities with a licensed faculty member.
  • Any student who misses two group supervision classes receives an incomplete grade and will be required to complete additional practicum work the following term in order to receive credit. The student is expected to fulfill all obligations with the practicum site.
  • Purchase liability insurance while completing the practicum.

Documentation of Practicum Hours

For the purpose of student organization, the Practicum/Internship Record Checklist must be turned in with appropriate materials at the end of the semester (Appendix F).

Practicum hours should be recorded in the student's hours log (Appendix G).

On-site supervision hours should be recorded in the Record of Individual Supervision Hours Log (Appendix H).

At the end of each practicum term, the Practicum/Internship Verification form should be completed by the on-site supervisor (Appendix I).

Distribution of practicum hours Ė Students should record the following hours:

  • Direct service: Client contact (providing or observing therapy; providing or observing assessments; and providing or observing other direct patient care tasks): MINIMUM of 40 hours
  • Individual supervision with on-site supervisor: 1 hour/week provided on a regular schedule throughout the practicum: MINIMUM 15 hours in Fall and Spring terms and 12 hours in the Summer term.
  • Group supervision with faculty supervisor: 1 and 1/2 hour/week during the semester: MINIMUM 22.5 hours in Fall and Spring terms and 18 hours in the Summer term.
  • Additional hours in staff meetings, case presentations, in-service training, documentation, transcription and analysis of audio/videotapes or other activities approved in advance by students' supervisors: MINIMUM 22.5 hours

Minimum Total Hours Per Semester: 100

Note: If a student does not meet the minimum number of hours within a semester, an incomplete grade will be recorded, and the student must complete the remaining hours within the next semester. Students will be allowed to enroll in Intership I only after satisfactorily completing the Practicum.