Downstate students are required to complete two practicum experiences during their second year in the program. During the first practicum in the fall, students must be engaged in school counseling related activities for seven hours per week. The second practicum in the spring requires that students be involved in 14 hours per week or school counseling activities. Both of these experiences must be supervised by permanently certified school counselors.
Students in the Downstate program are responsible for identifying potential school sites (and the field supervisors) at which they may complete their practicum experiences. Once a site is identified, the university's practicum coordinator makes direct contact with the supervisors to inform them about the practicum structure and requirements. Students who are not working in school settings will be assisted in locating practicum sites by the Downstate practicum consultant and will be responsible for scheduling practicum times with their field supervisors.
During both practica, class meetings will be scheduled in a different format than most regular Downstate counseling courses. Practicum seminar activities require that classes be smaller in size and meet more frequently. While students can expect that classes early in the semester may meet in the standard one-day format, classes will eventually be split into smaller groups that will meet with the instructor at alternate times more frequently as the semester progresses. Seminar activities include reviewing audio and videotapes of counseling sessions, case discussions, and tracking of each student’s practicum activities.
At the completion of the second year, students should have completed approximately 300 contact hours of supervised school counseling experience.