HANDBOOK for COUNSELING PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP

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1 UMUC Europe/Bowie State University Graduate Counseling Program HANDBOOK for COUNSELING PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP Graduate Programs UMUC Europe Unit APO AE Phone: Revised January 2014

2 Contents Introduction and Purpose 3 The Graduate Counseling Program 3 Overview of the Practicum/Internship Experience 4 Who is Involved in Practicum/Internship 5 Prerequisite Requirements 6 The Placement Process 7 Goals of the Practicum/Internship 10 Accompanying Coursework 12 Scheduling Your Time 13 The Role of the Field Site Supervisor 14 Placement Sites 15 Liability Insurance 17 Memoranda of Understanding 18 State Licensing and Credentialing Boards 18 Checklist of Steps for Practicum Placement 18 Forms

3 Introduction This handbook is a guide to be used in the University of Maryland University College Europe/ Bowie State University practicum/internship program. It outlines the program s approach to applied professional training in counseling, and the mechanisms by which this training is successfully carried out. The handbook is intended for student and faculty use and for use by professionals in various agencies, schools, hospitals and related programs who are participating in the practicum/internship training of graduate counseling students. Purpose Practicum/internship provides a supervised field experience which affords the graduate student an opportunity to continue skill development and to put into practice what has been learned in the academic setting. It allows students an opportunity to evaluate themselves in terms of individual interests and professional direction within the field. Most importantly, the practicum/internship experience gives students an opportunity to continue to develop their own professional identity. Typically, students in the practicum/internship are near completion of their graduate degree. Practicum/internship emphasizes the development of those competencies that can lead to positive client growth. Though it is not possible to guarantee a particular placement, students are encouraged to choose a site that is compatible with their interests, needs and eventual career goals. The Graduate Counseling Program The Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling Psychology and the Master of Education (MEd) in School Counseling are designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for practice in counseling and related human service professions. The MA in Counseling Psychology degree program provides professional preparation for those wishing to become counselors working primarily with adults in a range of community counseling settings. The MEd in School Counseling degree program is designed to prepare counselors to work with children and youth across all school levels (K-12). Both degrees require completion of 48 credits and have a common core of courses. Integrating the theoretical with the practical, the programs combine academic preparation in the areas of behavioral sciences as well as related areas of counseling and research, with relevant practical experiences. These degree programs place strong emphasis on interpersonal and helping relationships, and require considerable commitment on the part of the student

4 Overview of the Practicum/Internship Experience Operating in conjunction with participating agencies within the military and civilian communities, the graduate counseling student, when possible, is placed in an agency appropriate to his/her interests. Agencies such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation units, dependent schools, chapels, family service and support centers, community counseling centers and mental health clinics may be participating placement training sites. A total of 700 practicum/internship hours is required by most master s degree counseling programs nationwide. The practicum/internship experience is comprised of a 300-hour practicum in the sixteen-week fall term (sessions I & II) of the academic year, and a 400-hour internship in the sixteen-week spring term (sessions I & II). Under the individual supervision of an on-site supervisor, the student spends an average of 18 (practicum) to 25 (internship) hours per week at the placement site throughout the entire practicum/internship experience, including a total of at least 280 direct client hours. Students earn 3 credit hours for the practicum (COUN/PSYC 836) and 3 credit hours for the internship (COUN 837/PSYC 858). A variety of practicum/internship experiences may be appropriate to the student's interests and capabilities and consistent with the facility's needs and policies. Over the course of the practicum/ internship, the student takes on various appropriate service responsibilities. The student also attends an online class conducted by the practicum/internship instructor for the purpose of ongoing group supervision. Given the extent and duration of the mandated practicum/internship experience, it is hoped that trainees will be allowed flexibility, wherever necessary, in adapting the schedule of their primary duty assignment to the demands of the training facility. Conversely, wherever possible, it is expected that the training facility will accommodate its training program to allow the trainee to perform his/her primary duties. Students are also expected to demonstrate flexibility regarding their practicum/internship schedules in order to meet the needs of the training site. This mutual accommodation is necessary to parallel the standards of comparable civilian education programs. The student should normally complete practicum/ internship requirements during daytime duty hours and must be able to arrange his/her work schedule to meet this requirement. The rewards of a good practicum/internship program benefit all parties concerned. The military community profits from having personnel who have learned important counseling skills: listening, communicating and interpersonal awareness. The practicum/internship agency personnel achieve professional role expansion and growth through the supervisory experience. In addition, site supervisors in most settings find students are able and willing to assume many responsibilities, thus adding effective service hours to the productivity of the agency. Students and faculty, obviously, reap the rewards of the opportunity for hands-on experience during which students integrate the conceptual learning that is the foundation of professional work. Finally, many agencies are able to provide additional service to their client community because of the assistance provided by new professionals-in-training

5 Who is Involved in the Practicum/Internship Experience? A list of the individuals involved in the practicum/internship experience is provided to assist the reader of this handbook with a better understanding of the practicum/internship program, the placement process and other relevant information. Included is a general explanation of the functions of each individual along with the range of terms used in this handbook. 1. Counselor-in-training This is the student who will be enrolling in the practicum/internship. Other terms used interchangeably with counselor-in-training are trainee, intern and practicum or internship student. 2. Field Site Supervisor The field site supervisor is the individual in the community who agrees to provide supervision to the counseling student. The field site supervisor does not need to be certified/licensed but must hold a master's degree or higher in professional counseling or a related field. Supervisors may not receive payment for their services from the university or the student. DoDEA employees and other civil servants are prohibited by Federal Law from receiving payment for these services. The field site supervisor is also referred to as site supervisor or supervisor. 3. Practicum/Internship Professor The practicum/internship professor conducts the online group supervision class in which all counselors-in-training must be enrolled throughout the practicum/internship experience. The instructor communicates with each field-site supervisor of the students in his/her course to gain feedback regarding student progress. If, during the academic year, issues arise related to a student's site placement, the instructor should be notified immediately. 4. Graduate Programs Staff The Graduate Programs staff for the counseling program is responsible for student practicum/ internship records, and they track the receipt of students documents. They can advise students regarding status of completion for the placement. They also assist students in enrolling for the correct practicum or internship class and section. All requests, questions or concerns related to the counseling practicum/internship placements should be directed to the Graduate Programs Staff

6 Prerequisite Requirements The student is strongly advised to wait until near the end of his/her academic program to begin the practicum/internship (from this point referred to as practicum), so that he/she may be better prepared to undertake the variety of tasks that are part of the applied experience. Most field site supervisors prefer that students have as much academic preparation as possible before beginning practicum. The student must fulfill the following minimum requirements to be accepted for the fall practicum in counseling: a. Have a cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better. b. Complete each of the following courses: PSYC 502, PSYC 734, PSYC 780, COUN 610, COUN 731, and - for the M.A. degree: COUN for the M.Ed. degree: COUN 840. *Note: In addition, students wanting to do a DoDEA practicum placement must also take COUN 608, COUN 762 and PSYC 710, and these classes must be completed by the end of Spring Session 1 prior to the start of the practicum. c. Be advanced to candidacy in the counseling program by the end of the summer session prior to start of practicum. d. Obtain a recommendation for practicum from a graduate counseling faculty member. e. Attend a face-to-face or online practicum orientation. f. Obtain liability insurance. g. Only those master s students who are degree-seeking with UMUC Europe/Bowie State University are eligible to enroll in the practicum and internship courses. PSYC 806 Advanced Internship is an elective course offered to those students wanting additional internship experience (300 hours are required). The student must have completed the counseling internship and obtain permission from the counseling internship manager to enroll in PSYC

7 The Placement Process Outlined below is the process by which the student is placed in a practicum site for the upcoming academic year. Included is a list of the student's responsibilities in order to enroll in the practicum. The deadlines for each step are indicated and should be strictly followed to ensure that placement is granted. The UMUC Europe/Bowie State University graduate counseling program is proud of its record of having students in a variety of viable and mutually beneficial practicum sites. The military community remains our primary source of sites overseas and is supplemented by host country sites as available. The military contracts do not guarantee that students will be provided practicum placements. Community size regulates the number of possible sites and individual site managers may or may not accept practicum students. Individual student flexibility and experience are factors that may influence placements. Inflexible work responsibilities limit practicum placement. Student attitude, personality and interviewing skills may also hinder placements. Some occupations and assignments may preclude placement opportunities. For instance, long and extensive temporary duty and field assignments make it impossible to be a regular member of a practicum class and to have regular hours at a practicum site. Conflicts of interest may preclude practicum placements in certain sites or communities for some students. Students may choose to divide their practicum/internship time between two or more sites. A separate contract with site-supervisor signatures must be completed for each of these sites. MARCH:. Pre-practicum meetings will be held for all students who plan to enroll in the fall practicum to elaborate on the placement process and to answer any questions students may have. These meetings will take place in March, and will be onsite and online (format to be announced). Attendance at a meeting is mandatory. If at all possible, you should plan to attend an onsite meeting. The online meetings will be only for those located too far away to attend an onsite meeting. Student Responsibilities: The student must bring the following forms to the pre-practicum meeting (or them directly to the Graduate Programs office, if participating in an online meeting). a) Faculty Recommendation(s) Form(s) completed by a graduate counseling faculty member. b) Resumé c) Practicum/Internship Verification of Responsibility form Please note that there are additional deadlines for students applying for a DoDEA school placement. See DoDEA Placement- Requirements and Steps

8 APRIL/MAY: During April the graduate counseling faculty will review all students who have applied for practicum placement. If members of the faculty have reservations concerning a student s enrollment in the fall practicum, the student will receive notification following the faculty discussion. Student Responsibilities: Following the pre-practicum meeting, students may begin to interview with site supervisor(s) for possible placement. Each of these interviews should be considered a job interview, during which the student and the site supervisor will determine whether the student is an appropriate match with the site staff. For each interview the student should: a. Attend and dress for the interview in a professional manner; b. Take a copy of the Counseling Practicum/Internship Handbook; c. Take a copy of a current resumé; and d. Prepare questions that can be asked during the interview that will allow him/her to be well informed about the site. If mutual agreement is reached, the student and site supervisor should complete the Practicum/Internship Contract. The student should then: a. Send the signed Practicum/Internship Contract and a copy of the cover sheet of the student s Liability Insurance to the Graduate Programs office by 15 July 2014 unless s/he has made arrangements for a late placement with the Graduate Programs office: UMUC Europe Graduate Programs Unit APO AE b. Retain a copy of the Practicum/Internship Contract for his/her records. c. The Liability Insurance cover sheet should include the student s name, dates and amount of coverage

9 JULY/AUG: The completed Practicum/Internship Contract will be reviewed by the Graduate Programs office. If the criteria for approval (as discussed during the pre-practicum meeting) are met, the contract will be approved. The student's file will be reviewed after the summer term to confirm that all requirements have been fulfilled, i.e. advancement to candidacy and successful completion of prerequisite coursework. The student will then receive a Letter of Verification, a copy of the completed Practicum/Internship Contract and a copy of the Letter of Verification to the site supervisor when the placement is final. Students will then enroll in either COUN 836 or PSYC 836 as appropriate. (Students may be assigned to a particular section of the online class.) Student Responsibilities: 1. After receiving the Letter of Verification, the student should call the site supervisor during late July/early August to confirm the start date and to schedule a meeting prior to the start of practicum. At this meeting, the student will need to make a commitment of times and days of the week that s/he will be on-site. 2. The student should contact the Graduate Programs office with any changes in phone numbers and/or addresses of the student and/or the site supervisor. 3. The student is committed to remain at the same practicum or internship site(s) and in the same course for the duration of the fall practicum and/or spring internship for which the contract was signed. Changing sites and/or course location constitutes an exception to policy and requires permission from the practicum instructor involved and the counseling internship manager

10 Goals of the Practicum/Internship and Associated Activities GOAL 1: The counselor-in-training will gain as much information as possible about the overall functioning of the site in which s/he is working, and about the roles/responsibilities of the various staff members, especially those of the site supervisor. ACTIVITIES: It should be clear, based on Goal 1, that the student is expected to become a working member of the staff at the practicum setting to the fullest extent possible. In assisting a student in meeting Goal 1, the following activities are suggested: a. Student conducts interviews with as many staff members as possible, focusing on the actual tasks they perform as well as the ways they interface with other staff. b. Student observes the site supervisor and other staff members in counseling sessions and other direct service activities when appropriate. c. Student attends administrative staff meetings on a regular basis and participates as appropriate. GOAL 2: The counselor-in-training will practice counseling skills learned through the academic portion of the master's program and continue in the building of new skills while under the supervision of a qualified site supervisor and a UMUC Europe/Bowie State University practicum instructor. ACTIVITIES: It is recommended that the student be gradually integrated into direct counseling experiences in the following way: a. Student observes a variety of counseling sessions conducted by the site supervisor (or designee). b. Student becomes co-facilitator/counselor with the site supervisor (or designee) in the counseling session. c. Student becomes primary counselor with the site supervisor (or designee) present in the counseling sessions. d. Student later conducts counseling sessions without the site supervisor present and takes on a caseload of clients for whom s/he is responsible (case management). The student should accrue 280 direct client contact hours over the entire practicum/internship experience to qualify for usual state certification/licensure requirements. e. Student receives a minimum of one hour per week of scheduled, face-to-face supervision from the site supervisor. The American Counseling Association (ACA) recommends that Practicum supervision from a qualified supervisor be provided at a ratio of one hour for each four hours of direct client contact. The primary supervisor at the field site must hold a master's degree or higher in counseling, social work, mental health, psychology or human services. (Counseling must be a significant part of his/her training program.)

11 f. Student attends on a regular basis, and participates in, case conferences where counselors are expected to present and discuss selected cases with the rest of the staff. g. Student regularly attends and, if appropriate, presents at staff in-service training sessions or other in-service programs held outside the practicum site (as arranged with the class instructor and site supervisor). During the practicum every student is encouraged to become involved in a variety of counseling services, keeping in mind the model from which services are delivered to the clientele served by the field site. These services may include individual and group counseling, family therapy, assessment/ testing, intake interviewing, development of case history and similar activities. The pace with which a student moves from observation to direct counseling is determined by the student's demonstrated readiness to take on direct counseling responsibilities, and by the judgment and needs of the site supervisor. GOAL 3: The counselor-in-training will learn as much as possible about other community agencies and how the practicum site personnel interface with other professionals in the community. Further, the student will begin to develop the necessary skills to work cooperatively with a variety of human service personnel outside the agency. ACTIVITIES: In addition to providing direct services to clients and working as a member of a staff, the student seeks to develop community consultation and other client screening skills during the practicum. In order for the student to learn to function as a knowledgeable member of the human services community, the following activities are recommended: a. Student visits other agencies within the community and interviews staff regarding the purpose and mode of service delivery to the client population of the agency. b. Student observes or participates with the supervisor in providing consultation services to other human services personnel and command (if appropriate). c. Student discusses with the supervisor the screening process used by the supervisor in the referral of clients to other settings. Student implements the screening process and refers clients to other agencies as appropriate. All of the outlined activities discussed in Goals 1-3 can help facilitate the student's attainment of the goals of the practicum/internship experience. However, there are many other possibilities that may be developed by the student and supervisor that are not mentioned here. The overall goal the shaping of a well-rounded, highly-skilled professional counselor primarily depends upon the flexibility, creativity and determination of both the student and the site supervisor in "fitting" the practicum/internship program requirements with the counseling opportunities within the site in the most optimal way. Note: Before additional responsibilities (e.g., activities not outlined in this handbook) are assumed by the student during the practicum, such activities must be approved by both the class instructor and the site supervisor if the student wishes to log such activities as practicum hours. A total of 700 hours minimum must be logged by the end of practicum/internship

12 Accompanying Coursework Throughout the duration of the practicum/internship experience, the student will be concurrently enrolled in the corresponding online courses: COUN 836 or PSYC 836 Practicum, then COUN 837 or PSYC 858 Internship, with the assigned class instructor. These courses provide the foundation for on-going weekly group supervision and peer consultation involving other students-in-training. Under the direction of the instructor, the courses also provide on-going institutional liaison between the student, the graduate counseling program and the field site. The practicum/internship instructor designs the specific format of these courses with focus on the following: a. Continued skill building b. Group supervision c. Peer consultation d. Methods for effectively functioning in an agency or system e. Confidentiality and other legal and ethical issues in counseling f. Any other relevant issues which arise or that the instructor wishes to include g. Personal issues which affect or relate to counseling skills and experiences Students are required to submit weekly activity logs in the online classroom documenting practicum/internship hours accrued. These must be signed by the student and his or her site supervisor. In addition, students are expected to keep a journal of their practicum experiences which is posted in the online classroom for discussion. One of the most important aspects of the learning process during the practicum course comes from the student's recording of counseling sessions with clients and submitting the audio files along with transcript and self-critique to the class instructor. All students in all sections of the practicum or internship course will be required to record one counseling session with a client for the purposes of learning and evaluation, and for aiding the counselor-in-training to develop self-supervision skills. In the event that recording is not permitted in a site, the student will arrange alternatives with the instructor to fulfill this requirement. Any recording is done only after the signing of client release forms. Only the class instructor has access to the client recordings and transcripts. Students are also required to submit one case report per term for class review and discussion. Students are encouraged to withhold or change identifying details as needed to maintain client confidentiality. As another way of facilitating learning and evaluating student progress, the class instructor will communicate with each site supervisor. Through these communications, the instructor attempts to gain a better understanding of the site in which the student is working, to coordinate the training process with the field site supervisor, to obtain feedback about the progress of the student and to address any issues or concerns which may have arisen over the course of the student's practicum experience. All decisions about the kinds of experiences outside the placement site which may be used to fulfill the practicum/internship requirements are made by the instructor and the site supervisor. The instructor can allow a student to document a limited amount of outside reading, case report writing, preparation time, attendance at professional meetings and other administrative tasks as part of the

13 practicum time. It is best to discuss early in the fall term which outside activities will be recognized by the instructor and site supervisor as practicum time. The instructor will assign grades for the course. While the input from the site supervisor is advisory, it is a very important factor in determining a student's final grade. Equally important is the student's performance of class assignments, demonstrated progress in the further development of counseling skills and other areas outlined by the instructor. Practicum/internship hours are normally accrued only during the announced term dates in which the practicum or internship are being taken, under proper supervision. Practicum (COUN 836/PSYC 836) students must accrue a total of 300 clock hours to include direct client contact, individual and group supervision (on site and in class), and all other related tasks assigned by the field site supervisor and the instructor. Internship (COUN 837/PSYC 858) students must accrue a total of 400 clock hours as specified above. A total of 700 practicum/internship hours must be accrued, including 280 direct client contact hours. Direct client contact includes observing, co-facilitating, and/or facilitating individual, group, and couples counseling, and conducting psychoeducational classes. Enrollment for Practicum (COUN 836/PSYC 836) and Internship (COUN 837/PSYC 858) UMUC Europe students may enroll online for the above classes only if they have received final approval of placement, and proof of liability insurance has been received. If a student does not receive a letter stating that placement is final, s/he will not be permitted to register. Scheduling Your Time The practicum and internship are the culminating experiences of the counseling program. They require a commitment of 18 (practicum) to 25 (internship) hours per week to be spent at, or in association with, the placement site. In addition, the student participates in the online class with a UMUC Europe/Bowie State University instructor and other counselors-in-training. Clearly, this is a significant commitment of time and energy on the part of the student. A student should plan to enroll in the practicum/internship only if s/he can make the necessary arrangements in his/her schedule in a way which allows consistent time each week to devote to the practicum/internship. Site supervisors and clients should be able to expect to see the student at regularly scheduled times each week. Most students spend several half and/or full days weekly at their sites, following a schedule cooperatively developed with the site supervisor. However, placements and hours must conform to the demands and constraints of the available field sites. Practicum/internship and other coursework In view of the time commitment involved, taking other courses while enrolled in the practicum or internship is a serious decision to make. The student should carefully consider the increased workload that will be produced by taking additional coursework. However, many students have successfully completed courses concurrent with practicum

14 The Role of the Field Site Supervisor The field site supervisor is the immediate source of support, training and feedback for the counselor-in-training. Cooperation by the site supervisor is voluntary and signifies a commitment on the part of that individual to the training of developing professionals in his/her community. The primary responsibilities of the field site supervisor include: 1. Orientation of the counselor-in-training to the site and the human services community. 2. Guidance of the student in the planning of an appropriate schedule that provides for systematic training opportunities, responsible provision of direct service to clients and participation by the student in a range of activities offered by the site. 3. Provision of assistance to the practicum student in arranging an array of counseling opportunities. While the student may begin the practicum by observing or co-participating in counseling sessions with a supervisor, it is important that the student acquire a caseload of a minimum of six to eight individual clients by half-way through the practicum. It is recommended that the caseload consist of clients needing both short- and long-term counseling services. It is essential that students have their own caseload for internship. 4. Submit monthly progress notes and one final evaluation at the completion of each term (see Student Progress Report) to discuss the student's progress in the practicum setting and to coordinate training efforts. 5. Provision of a minimum of one hour per week of direct, face-to-face supervision with the student. The purposes of the supervision include, but are not limited to, the provision of: a. Support to the student as s/he further develops and refines counseling skills. b. Guidance of the student in developing counseling/treatment plans on an ongoing basis. c. General training of the student regarding the array of skills needed to function effectively as a counselor. d. Ongoing feedback to the student regarding his/her performance in the counseling setting. We acknowledge and sincerely appreciate the investment of time and energy made by field site supervisors. It is our hope that the site supervisors will also benefit from the placement of UMUC Europe/Bowie State University graduate students in their counseling setting through the students' contributions to the services of the various agencies

15 Placement Sites The majority of the available practicum sites overseas are within the Air Force, Navy and Army military communities. The practicum site options that are typically available within the military communities are described below. The descriptions of agencies are given only to provide the student with an idea of the kinds of experiences that may be offered within the respective agencies. Because every agency in every community is different, the descriptions are not written to reflect the specific services that a particular agency in a given community may offer. Finally, the decision rests with agency personnel in each community about whether to provide sites to counselors-in-training. Therefore, it should not be assumed that every agency mentioned below will provide a practicum site in every community. Important Note: It is very difficult to find a practicum placement only on evenings and weekends. Practicum/internship in student s own work setting While it is possible for a student to perform practicum duties in his/her work setting, there are limitations. A student must be able to obtain an agreement from his/her supervisor stating that the student will have release time to perform practicum duties which are not presently part of his/her work responsibilities. In essence, the practicum are performed in areas not already assigned to the employee. Practicum hours are, thus, separate hours but occur in the work location. Practicum placement in one's own work setting is a sensitive issue, as it may present a conflict of interest. Students must therefore seriously consider the pros and cons of such a placement and secure, in advance, the approval of the Graduate Programs Staff. Categories of Practicum/Internship Placement Sites A. Community-Based A variety of agencies in military communities offer practicum placement sites. The focus of all of these agencies tends to be not on diagnosis but on provision of counseling services, crisis intervention, support services and/or education/prevention programs. The following agencies serve as examples of the kinds of community placement options that may be available to a student. 1. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA): The DoDEA system has offered counselors-in-training many opportunities for practicum training. The practicum student can be involved in a wide range of guidance and counseling experiences within elementary, junior and senior high school guidance counseling programs. Education/career counseling, individual/group and affective education are some of the counseling possibilities available to a counselor-in-training placed with DoDEA guidance counselors. 2. Family Services/Advocacy: While the focus of Family Services/Advocacy is primarily on prevention/community education, these agencies may also offer short-term marriage, family, group and individual counseling opportunities in some communities. The student is typically involved in both the preventive and counseling programs. 3. EDIS (formerly, Exceptional Family Member Programs): EDIS are multi-disciplinary teams designed to provide evaluation, diagnosis and treatment to children and adolescents, and support to

16 the families of these youngsters. The student is usually placed under the supervision of a member of the social work or psychology department, and is involved in the activities of the respective department. Both evaluation and treatment options are generally available to a student within the EDIS placement sites. 4. Substance Abuse Centers: These programs provide outpatient drug and alcohol education, assessment and treatment services. While a great deal of group counseling is provided, many of the programs offer the student opportunities to engage in individual, couples or family therapy. 5. Adult Education Centers: Assessment and counseling with adults regarding educational and career options are typically provided through the education centers. When a student is placed in an education center site, coordination with the Education Services Officer and supervising counselor is required to assure that the student is afforded case management and extended counseling opportunities 6. Chapel Programs: The Army and Air Force chaplains may serve as supervisors for students. A range of counseling opportunities may be available through the chapel programs, particularly family therapy, since a number of chaplains are affiliated with the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (AAMFT). 7. Army Community Services (ACS): This agency provides a wide array of services to the community ranging from crisis intervention, community education, information and referral, to financial counseling or foster care placement. Counseling opportunities open to a student placed at ACS are limited and typically short-term and/or crisis oriented as well as being more psychoeducational in nature. Many ACS sites offer classes in parenting skills and education for stepfamilies. B. Facility-Based The most common facility-based placement sites are within U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force hospitals, health clinics or dispensaries. A number of departments within these facilities provide excellent placement sites for the student. Due to the complexity of client/patient referral issues, placement requirements may be stringent. 1. Department of Psychiatry (Inpatient and Outpatient): A student placed in a department of psychiatry can expect to find an emphasis on evaluation and diagnosis through the use of the Practicum interview/mental status examination. Opportunities for counseling following a psychiatric evaluation are also available. Client population is typically broad and varied, thus affording the student a wide range of practicum experiences. 2. Department of Social Work Service: Within a department of social work service, a student will typically find emphasis on family advocacy. Thus, opportunities are often available in providing case management and counseling to family members who have been touched by child abuse or domestic violence. Additionally, an array of other counseling possibilities may be offered within these departments (e.g., marriage and family, adoption, parenting). 3. Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities: The ATF/RTFs are inpatient alcohol/drug treatment programs. Staffed by psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and/or social workers, these

17 programs offer group treatment to patients, often augmented by other therapies (individual, couple, family). 4. Mental Health Services: Some military communities are not large enough to support separate mental health departments such as the ones listed above. Thus, mental health services or clinics within larger health clinics or dispensaries may offer practicum sites with supervision from the clinicians who provide services through the clinic. These clinics can be staffed by psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers. Typically, a full range of counseling opportunities are available in these settings. C. Host Country Sites Certain European host country sites may be considered as possible practicum placements. Requests for these kinds of placements are evaluated individually and are given serious consideration. Complete fluency in the host-country language is required. As previously stated, the above list of practicum sites is not an exhaustive list of community services within the military system. Further, the descriptions only touch on the many services provided through each program. Liability Insurance Each graduate counseling student who has been approved for a practicum setting is required to carry professional liability insurance, at their own cost and prior to starting a practicum/internship. Though we are not promoting a particular insurance company, students can, for example, obtain liability insurance at no cost with membership in: American Counseling Association (ACA) or American School Counselors Association (ASCA) Online enrollment is also available, for example, at the following, using a Stateside address: CPH and Associates Healthcare Providers Service Organization NBCC Professional Liability Insurance Program ***IMPORTANT*** Please note that, as a student volunteer participating in a practicum/internship learning experience, you may NOT publish any material related to your placement site unless it has been reviewed and cleared by the site authorities. This includes: 1. No classified information may be published. 2. Patients rights to privacy may not be infringed. 3. Site procedures must be conducted accurately

18 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) A memorandum of understanding is a document outlining the terms and details of an agreement between UMUC/BSU Europe and certain practicum/internship sites, including each party s requirements and responsibilities. Though not required by UMUC/BSU Europe, occasionally officials at the practicum/internship site will request an MOU before a student can begin seeing clients/students. Establishing a new MOU with an institution can take 3-4 months and often requires consultation with our attorneys. It is very important that the process of establishing this relationship begins early in the practicum/internship cycle. Important: It is the student s responsibility to ask the potential site supervisor if an MOU will be required by the institution. If an MOU will be necessary, the officials at the practicum/internship site must send the MOU to the Director of Graduate Programs to begin the process no later than 15 July State Licensing and Credentialing Boards States vary widely in their requirements for professional licensing and school counselor certification. Many now require more than 700 hours of practicum/internship and 60 graduate credit hours for licensing. Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the state in which they plan to pursue a license or school counseling credential. Links to state licensure boards may be found here: and information regarding state school counseling credential requirements is available here: Some states also stipulate that students must be supervised by licensed professionals in the practicum/internship for those hours to count towards hours of experience needed for licensing. Students are advised to check state licensure boards for specific requirements. Checklist of Steps for Practicum Placement (Important note: The steps for requesting a placement in DoDEA schools are slightly different, and students will receive that information separately.) 1. Counseling Practicum/Internship Application. The student submits the completed form to the Graduate Programs office by 20 February Recommendation(s) from a graduate counseling faculty member. Prior to the prepracticum meeting, the student requests a Faculty Recommendation from a graduate counseling faculty member with whom the student took an on-site class, OR requests two Faculty Recommendations from graduate counseling faculty members with whom the student took online classes. The completed recommendation form(s) may be forwarded by the student or the faculty member(s) to the Graduate Programs office or brought by the student to the pre-practicum meeting

19 3. Resumé. The student prepares a current resumé that outlines his/her particular skills and experience. 4. Pre-practicum meeting. Pre-practicum meetings are scheduled for March/April. Attendance is mandatory. *** All the above steps must be completed prior to the following interview step! *** 5. Interview with site supervisor. After the pre-practicum meeting, students may begin to contact prospective placement sites, following guidelines explained in the meeting. The students are advised to do the following: arrange a time for an interview, dress for the meeting in a professional manner, bring a copy of the Practicum/Internship Handbook and a copy of his/her current resume, and bring a list of prepared questions regarding the site and its opportunities. 6. Submit your completed Practicum/Internship Contract and liability insurance by 15 July After being signed by the counseling internship manager, the student and the site supervisor will both receive a copy. 7. Confirm starting date with site. A few weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall 2014 term, the student arranges a time to meet with the site supervisor to confirm the exact days and times the student will be on-site during the placement. 8. Contact the Graduate Programs office with phone and address changes. The student must inform Graduate Programs of any changes of address or phone number for him/herself and the site supervisor. 9. Class meetings. COUN 836/PSYC 836 Practicum begins the first week of the fall term and runs for sixteen weeks Sessions I & II. Students may start their on-site hours the first week of the term. (Students wishing to start on-site hours one week prior to the beginning of the term must have approval from their site supervisor and practicum instructor; however no client contact is permitted until the first day of the term.) 10. Students provide contact information for the site supervisor in the online classroom and keep it updated throughout the term

20 Forms All form can be found on the Graduate webpage at 1. Practicum/Internship Application To be completed prior to the pre-practicum meeting, and submitted to Graduate Programs. 2. Faculty Recommendation To be completed prior to the pre-practicum meeting, and submitted to Graduate Programs. 3. Practicum/Internship Contract To be completed with the practicum or internship site supervisor, and submitted to Graduate Programs. The following forms are to be used during the practicum/internship: 4. Weekly Practicum/Internship Activity Log To be completed each week, documenting actual practicum/internship hours, and posted in the online classroom. 5. Permission for Counseling & Recording (General) All students must obtain permission to record sessions. 6. Permission for Counseling & Recording (DoDEA) All students in DoDEA school placements must obtain permission to record sessions. At the end of the field site experience, the following forms should be forwarded to the Graduate Programs office to be included in the student's permanent file as documentation of their practicum and internship (students should be sure to keep a copy for their own records): 7. Practicum/Internship Student Progress Report To be signed by site supervisor(s). Student submits the completed reports to the instructor and returns to the Graduate Programs office at the end of the practicum and again at the end of the internship. 8. Student s Evaluation of the Practicum/Internship Site Student returns a completed form to the Graduate Programs office and to the instructor at the end of the practicum and again at the end of the internship. 9. Practicum Certification * Student returns the completed form to the practicum/internship instructor for signature. Instructor will then forward the completed form to the Graduate Programs Office. 10. Internship Certification * Student returns the completed form to the practicum/internship instructor for signature. Instructor will then forward the completed form to the Graduate Programs Office. * Essential when you request verification of practicum/internship hours for licensure!

21 Graduate Programs Counseling Practicum/Internship Handbook Verification of Responsibility Form To Students: Please bring the completed form to the pre-practicum meeting (or send directly to the Graduate Programs office if participating in an online meeting). I am applying for counseling practicum/internship placement for academic year By signing this form, I am consenting that I have carefully read, understand, and agree to abide by the information set forth in the Handbook for Counseling Practicum/Internship. Student Printed Name Student Signature Date

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