The counseling practicum and internship experiences are one of the most gratifying components of the Counseling Program. They are intended to enhance students’ academic knowledge and skills â€“ they are the experiential methods of training that introduce and engage students in activities fundamental to a professional counselor’s job requirements and responsibilities. The purpose of the counseling practicum and internship is to provide actual counseling experiences that allow for the application of theory and the development of counseling skills under professional supervision, while still in a learning situation.Â
Practicum in Counseling: Students gain 100 supervised total hours, 40 of which are direct service with clients/studentsInternship I and II: Over the course of two semesters, students will accumulate at least 600 total hours, 240 of which are direct service with clients/students.
- The school counseling students will be provided with a comprehensive experience that includes, but is not limited to, individual and group counseling; career and guidance counseling; consultation; assessment; record-keeping; in-service and staff meetings; and program planning and evaluation.
- The mental health counseling students will be provided with a comprehensive experience that includes, but is not limited to, individual, group, or family counseling; psychiatric diagnosis using the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association; mental health assessment; treatment planning; mental health consultation; record-keeping; in-service and staff meetings; and program planning and evaluation.
The Child and Family Services Center
As part of the practicum experience, all counseling students will provide counseling services one evening per week at the Child and Family Services Center (CFSC). The CFSC is both a training clinic and outpatient facility that serves as a secondary practicum site for all counseling students in their second semester. Students may provide mental health counseling, play therapy, group counseling, and consultation to individuals and families in the underserved rural communities surrounding Alfred, on a sliding-fee schedule, or no-cost if necessary.
The CFSC contains state-of-the-art digital recording/observation capabilities. All counseling session rooms are equipped with microphones and video cameras that are wired to a control room which contains monitors for which faculty supervisors and students can observe counseling sessions in real time. Live supervision utilizes wireless netbook communication or a telephone intercom system between the faculty supervisor and student.
Students’ counseling sessions can also be digitally recorded and archived so that faculty supervisors and students may review sessions in order to improve counseling skills. Students are expected to engage in collaborative problem-solving with their peers and faculty supervisor and to stay well informed about cases through direct observation, videotapes, and group supervision.
Overall, the program is designed so that throughout the practicum and internship experiences, students are enrolled in specific courses that provide a foundation for and at times complement the practicum or internship as well as prepare students for successful careers in professional counseling.