Students enrolled in the (30 credit) MA in Psychological Counseling or the (60 credit) MS in Psychological Counseling are required to successfully complete the three credit Counseling Practicum course. The field practice requirement for this course is 100 hundred hours, with 50 of them being in direct service.
Students enrolled in the MS in Mental Health Counseling program are required to successfully complete a Mental Health Internship. This internship is comprised of three semesters enrollment in the (3 credit) Clinical Internship course. The field placement requirement for each semester is 300 hundreds of experience with at least 150 hours of direct service.
In order to give a flavor for the operation of different agencies and different client groups, we encourage students to engage in a varied field experience. Thus, if students do their practicum or internship at their work they are potentially losing a chance to broaden their view of counseling. However, if their constraints are such that they need to get at least some of their field-work in during their job, they can do two semesters there with a couple of constraints in mind: a) The student must have a qualified supervisor who is not in his or her work supervision chain (having any say over your his or her work promotions, raises or assignments would imply a dual role which is unethical; b) The site must agree to the same constraints that all other sites agree to when they take one of our students (hours, supervision, taping, etc.).
Only one field assignment can be taken during any semester (including summers). The hours required and the need to take full advantage of the experience does not allow students to do it any differently.
Our standards do not allow students to take 595 hours over to a 680. They are considered a different level of experience and the 595 hours can’t count as 680 hours. Students can carry up to 100 hours over from one 680 to the next (the 100 hours is a limit for the total of all carryovers for the degree).
Because CACREP and the faculty of the Psychological Counseling department set high standards for all components of field placement, transfer courses and professional experiences from outside the department are acceptable as substitutes only for the practicum course and only if they meet or exceed these minimum program requirements.
In accord with the CACREP standards, the Department of Psychological Counseling requires that site supervisors meet the following requirements:
In addition to these requirements we recommend that Site supervisors be trained and certified in the practice of supervision. The Approved Clinical Supervisor certificate is available from the Center for Credentialing and Education. Monmouth University seeks to assist site supervisors in attaining this level of professional development.
Students are required to secure their own placement and are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the nature of the population served, services provided, and support offered to students in considering potential placements. Students enter field placements at the beginning of any semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) and they begin the process of seeking a placement very early in the semester prior to their placement.
Students whom you select for placement at your site will ask your assistance in completing the Site Approval Form which will outline the agreement between your site and the University. If your agency has additional affiliation agreement, please forward that to the Field Placement Coordinator.
Students seeking placement at your site from our program are young professionals seeking to develop skills of the profession. They have met our criteria for continuation in the program and have been endorsed by two faculty members as prepared for the level of field placement for which they are applying.
The Psychological Counseling Department recognizes that the supervision of student counselors is very generous contribution of time and effort on your part. We seek, therefore to insure that we make a administrative processes as least cumbersome as possible, while fulfilling the necessary requirements of accountability for the student. The Field Placement Coordinator provides an email orientation and support program for on-site supervisors and is available by telephone and email for supervisors.
Apart from evaluation and administrative requirements, the supervisor is free to provide structure for the student's experience, either formally or informally. However, a comprehensive internship should include the following important elements: orientation to the site, clear expectations, clear information and feedback, and evaluation of the intern and the internship experience.
Orientation normally encompasses a description of the organization's mission and goals, administrative structure, and policies and procedures. Of course, the student should be introduced to the staff members and have their various roles and duties explained. The student's lines of reporting and authority should be clarified. It is helpful if the intern is taught how the agency fits into the greater organizational picture, as well as the institutional mission.
Structuring of the internship should be accomplished early in the student/supervisor relationship. This involves defining expectations of both student and supervisor, and describing agency rules, procedural guidelines, departmental norms, and expectations regarding work hours. The practical matters of availability of office space and assignment of a desk also should be addressed. Other staff members might need clarification of their responsibilities concerning the intern, particularly with regard to reporting and supervision. We hope the staff will be encouraged to interact with the student as a colleague and that supervisory lines are clear to everyone involved.
Because clear goals area as important as clear expectations, we ask the students to work with the supervisors to develop clear goals and objectives for the internship experience. The student’s goals should identify specific learning outcomes and objectives provide clear means to achieve those outcomes. These goals and objectives also serve as one aspect of his evaluation at the end of the semester.
Putting the internship into action once expectations have been established requires supporting the student by providing access to information and giving feedback. The intern should be directed to literature, manuals, and other information resources that will help in preparing for and assimilating this new role. Additional input should be given by the supervisor to complement written material and provide on-going guidance. As a supervisor, you are very important to provide a sense of perspective regarding the agency's present role in the community, identifying future trends affecting agency policy, and to share insights regarding other professional issues.
Assessment and consultation through regular meetings or informal conversations should be planned in advance. These are opportunities to discuss the student's progress towards his or her objectives, conflicts or problems she or he may be having, or other concerns. Most important, this is an important time for the student to receive on-going feedback.
The intern should be prepared to assume normal staff duties by first attempting them under supervised conditions. This is designed as a developmental learning experience and as such, challenge and support go hand in hand. When possible, student participants should be allowed to tackle problem solving situations, as would other staff members.
Approximately halfway through the semester, the student will schedule an appointment to review the goal statement with you. This mid-term evaluation is an important tool for corrective feedback and making adjustments to the goal statement. Near the end of the semester you will be asked for a final end-of-the-term evaluation of the student’s work.
The evaluation of the intern is based upon the competencies as indicated on the Evaluation Form in the Appendix Section of this manual. The evaluation form may serve a dual function. First, it is an objective rating of the student's progress. Its second purpose is to guide the content of your supervision throughout the semester. Therefore the evaluation form will be distributed to you at the beginning of the semester.
The Field Placement Coordinator is available to answer any question you may have regarding accepting a student or supervising a student once accepted at your facility. If there is information regarding a student that you feel is important for the program to have, please pass that along as well. The Field Placement Coordinator is:
Dr. Gary Handler732firstname.lastname@example.org