The Practicum course is taken in the third semester. Students are required to be at their community or school sites for one to two days each week for the entire semester. They usually begin seeing clients shortly after beginning the placement. Students receive extensive supervision during this portion of their training.
One hour per week is devoted to individual supervision by the university supervisor. One additional hour per week of supervision is provided by the site supervisor. Students also have group supervision once a week, during which they process cases and developmental issues together.
The internship is a full-time placement at a counseling or school site five days a week. Students spend least three hours daily providing direct counseling services to clients. The site supervisor provides regular supervision. There is also weekly group supervision in which students can share issues or concerns and refine their skills. Of course, there are a few differences between the two types of internships.
In Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students engage in many activities to develop a good understanding of what a counselor does. They often are involved in case consultations, staffing of clients, crisis counseling, and other related activities. In most settings, students observe others doing individual and group counseling and lead or co-lead groups.
In School Counseling, students follow the schedule of their site supervisors and learn all aspects of counseling. They work closely with the site supervisor. The faculty supervisor also works with students in the continued refinement of effective classroom guidance and consultation skills with teachers and parents.