The practicum is the first field experience students have while in the professional counseling program. One day a week is spent at a site in their program area of interest. Additionally, students have a 5 hour class on campus where they engage in personal growth counseling sessions with volunteers from our program and the Human Services Leadership Department. The students also spend time engaged in group supervision by watching their peer’s counseling sessions and then sharing feedback.
Applying for Practicum
Practicum Applications are due on April 15th or November 15th
Students submit their applications the semester before they expect to complete their Practicum course. For example, if a student is going to take Practicum in the Spring, their application would be due on November 15th. Below step-by-step guide to securing and applying for a practicum site.
- Plan Accordingly
Students should be aware that it takes time to secure a Practicum Site, so we typically advise students to begin searching two semesters before they expect to complete Practicum. The site supervisor database is a great place to start your search. Students could also set up a meeting with Michelle Henderson, Clinical Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cover Letter and Resume
Sites and supervisors want to be sure you are the “right” person for their site. Alternatively, students should also make sure the site is the “right” fit for them. Students should have a Cover Letter and Resume ready to present to potential sites and expect to engage in an interview process prior to being “hired” at a site.
- These resume tips developed by the Career and Professional Development Office can help you as you format your resume.
- Practicum Application
Once students have secured their site, they can complete their Practicum Application. Applications need to be typed, have succinct answers to each question, and have all requirements attached to the application.
- Students will need to get information from their site supervisors (e.g., license number, years of service, site information, etc…) and obtain a signature from their supervisor before handing in their application.
- Defined goals and objectives. If students find this is a struggle please use the Tips for Writing Goals and Objectives Guide.
- Additionally, applications will not be accepted if the following are not attached:
- Verification of TB Test
- Criminal Background Check
- Liability Insurance
- Admission to Candidacy form
- Mandated Reporter Online Training Certificate
- Site Information Form.
- Application Review
Once a student has handed in their application, the application will be reviewed by two faculty members. If the faculty members both approve the application, you will receive an email from email@example.com sharing that their application has been Unconditionally Approved. Once the student’s application is Unconditionally Approved, they are ready to prepare for the experience of Practicum.
- If the application needs to be REVISED, the student will receive an email indicating that their application has been Conditionally Approved with feedback. The student can then respond to the feedback and re-submit their application for approval.
Please note that if a student is intended on moving sites after their Practicum or Internship semester, it is professional to discuss their intentions with their site supervisor.
FACULTY AND SITE SUPERVISOR EVALUATIONS
Students are evaluated by both faculty and their site supervisor during Practicum. The evaluations are intended as a venue for feedback to help the student continue their development as a Professional Counselor. The faculty and site supervisors evaluate students at the midterm and end of the semester in Tk20. Students are able to view the results of the evaluations in their tk20 field experience binder as soon as they have been submitted.
- Faculty and Site Supervisors will be sent a link to the evaluations on October 1st and December 1st for Fall Practicum Students and on March 1st and May 1st for Spring Practicum Students. Students can expect their results after their respective release dates.
- Evaluation Criteria
The linked practicum evaluation form is here to help students understand the criteria for which they are being evaluated. Students should NOT give this evaluation to the site supervisor to fill out. Students SHOULD request that their site supervisor use Tk20 to evaluate them.
Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate their Site Supervisors at the end of the semester. The evaluation will be filled out on Tk20 in their field experience binder. This is an opportunity for the student to share final feedback with their site supervisor. It should be noted that the student can deliver feedback to their site supervisor at any time of the semester. The Site Supervisor Evaluation is available below. Please feel free to use this evaluation form as a guide to helpful feedback for the site supervisor throughout the semester.
Students have documents that they are required to have completed by the last Friday of the Semester. Please note that many of these documents have to be completed or signed by their site supervisor, so it is wise to plan ahead. Students need to ensure:
- their Practicum Evaluation has been completed by their site supervisor in Tk20.
- have completed their Site Supervisor Evaluation.
- the faculty are able to access student evaluations in Tk20.
- have turned in a summary of their Practicum Hours using the Final Practicum Log. Please note that students can use the Practicum Activity Log Spreadsheet to help track their hours, but this form is not required to be handed in.
You’ll never know how far you can go until taking risks become the norm and being comfortable becomes a thing of the past. The endless amounts of support and compassion I received throughout my practicum experience helped to guide my growth as an upcoming professional school counselor in truly remarkable ways.