Practicum and Internship

Welcome Statement

Welcome to the Department of Counseling Field Placement Website. We hope to provide current and prospective students, and field placement supervisors with information about our philosophy and our requirements.

It is our view that counseling proficiency, professional values, and knowledge of community agencies cannot be learned in a classroom alone. We are deeply committed to a partnership of field and coursework and have designed our program so that fieldwork is emphasized as an essential two-year long part of our student's education. Each practicum and internship course are accompanied by a field placement so that the skills learned in the classroom can be practiced in the field. Students take four practicum/internship courses in sequential order and are required to experience two different field placements each spanning an academic year. The field site supervisor is central to learning, and serves as teacher, role model, and mentor to our students in the field. The practicum/internship instructor serves as the Faculty Liaison, the link between the Department of Counseling and the field site and field site supervisor. The Faculty Liaison acts on behalf of the student to ensure an optimal learning situation. The Faculty Liaison monitors the student's progress, helps to ensure the integration of coursework and fieldwork, and collaborates with the field site supervisor.

The following pages are designed to provide information about our fieldwork program for both students and agencies. Our Practicum and Trainee Handbook, which details our fieldwork policies, can be accessed as well as the forms used by the students and those used by agency supervisors.

Potential field internship sites wishing to apply to this program may access the Internship Site Application Forms and learn about our requirements by reading the Handbook for a detailed description or accessing the Field Placement Guidelines for a brief overview. New Sites are approved by the Specialization Faculty Coordinator and the Internship Coordinator.

Overview

Trainee placements are an integral part of the graduate program. They are the student's opportunity to gain direct experience with clients and to develop skills. The Department has prepared a separate handbook detailing all policies, procedures, and expectations relating to trainees. Students will acquire a copy of the Handbook at the time they enter the program and will be responsible for its contents. The following are some of the general policies regarding trainee placements about which students should be aware: (The Practicum & Trainee Handbook should be consulted for a full description of all policies and practices.) 

Placements are for the full academic year (two semesters). Exceptions are made only in consultation with internship coordinators and the Department Chair. 

Students should expect to have two different one-year placements during their graduate program. A student must spend two consecutive semesters in each specialized trainee placement. 

Students using their place of employment as a traineeship setting cannot expect to fulfill all four semesters in that setting. Students cannot use their place of employment as their first internship site.  At least two semesters must be in a placement other than the one in which they are employed. Authorization from the Internship Coordinator is required, and conditions must be met, and additional forms must be submitted to gain approval to use your place of employment as your field placement. 

Students must put in a minimum of 700 hours of field placement for each specialization, with at least 280 hours of direct client contact. Students specializing in School Counseling must accrue a minimum of 900 hours of field placement (with at least 280 hours of direct client contact) for their specialization.

Students completing a school counseling credential must divide their trainee placements between both elementary and secondary school levels. The ratio of this division will be determined by the student's adviser and the School Specialization Faculty Coordinator. 

A traineeship setting is considered appropriate if it meets a variety of criteria:

  1. An identified supervisor with a Master's Degree in Counseling or its equivalent and two years of experience in the field.
  2. Availability of regular (at least 1 hour per week) supervision. (For each 12 hours of trainee placement, students must receive 1 hour of individual supervision per week throughout the duration of their internship).
  3. The agency and clients must be located in California.
  4. Approval by the Specialization Faculty Coordinator and Internship Coordinator.
  5. For specializations requiring supervisors to be licensed (MFCC) or credentialed (School/PPS), supervisors MUST be licensed/credentialled in California.

Trainee placements are developed by the Internship Coordinator in conjunction with the Specialization Faculty Coordinators and Faculty Liaisons.

Students seeking placement should consult the Internship Site Master List (available to all current students on iLearn and MS Teams). The Internship Site Master List contains the most up-to-date information on approved internship placements. Students can search for open internships by their areas of specialization and emphasis, as well as their geographical locations.

Liability for Professional Practice

CACREP requires all students in practicum/internship to purchase independent malpractice insurance. All trainees in the Department of Counseling must present verification of insurance coverage before they can engage in internship activities.

Several professional counseling associations offer professional practice insurance coverage for students, either as a part of general membership or for independent purchase. Students are advised to consider one the following options.

 

Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO)

Link: http://www.hpso.com/individuals/professional-liability/student-malpracti...

American Counseling Association (ACA)

Link: https://www.counseling.org/membership/aca-and-you/students

American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

Link: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/Membership/Proof-of-Insurance

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapist (CAMFT)

Link: https://www.camft.org/plip