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Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Site Supervisors Orientation

Note: All supervisors of counseling students in the field must have the following qualifications before beginning the supervision experience: (1) a minimum of a master's degree, preferably in counseling, or a related profession; (2) relevant certifications and/or licenses; (3) a minimum of two years of pertinent professional experience in the specialty area in which the student is enrolled; (4) knowledge of the program's expectations, requirements, and evaluation procedures for students; and (5) relevant training in counseling supervision.

 Introduction:

The Department of Counseling Foundations and Leadership, Columbus State University, provides this orientation information to supervisors of practicum/internship students in order to contribute to the successful clinical experience for both the supervisor and student. Faculty are grateful for the training assistance that site supervisors offer our students. We are available to you during this experience at any time.

This information and the provided guidelines and expectations will help prepare those involved with practicum/internship for a positive clinical experience in accordance with Departmental, Site, and Student Guidelines.

* Departmental Goals and Mission

The mission of the Department of Counseling, Foundations & Leadership is to prepare professionals in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling for appropriate levels of professional responsibility consistent with professional standards as stated by appropriate accrediting agencies and laws and regulations governing the licensure and certification of professional counselors. To accomplish this mission, the Faculty in the Department Counseling, Foundations & Leadership is active in the areas of Research, Teaching, and Professional & Community Service.

Importantly, a student's supervised practicum and internship training serves as the initial clinical field experience and are some of the most intensive and rewarding classes in which our students participate. For a successful experience to occur, a number of people, including site supervisors, department supervisors, agencies, and faculty must be involved in the process. It will be the responsibility of the Department of Counseling, Foundations & Leadership at Columbus State University to provide assistance and consultation to Sites and Site Supervisors for any concern that may arise concerning Practicum/Internship students.

* Departmental Guidelines

The department requires the counseling student to prepare for the practicum/internship experience by completing prerequisite course work (COUN 6115, 6225, 6155, 6265, 6795, 6796, and 6187), prior to being eligible for a practicum or internship. It is the responsibility of the students to investigate and find a Site suitable for their professional goals. This choice of practicum Site must be approved by the appropriate Practicum/Internship Coordinator by Summer term for beginning Practicum in the Fall. Each student must submit a formal application to enter the Practicum/Internship (COUN 6405/ COUN 6698) sequence by early. Each student will follow the guidelines in the Practicum Handbook for required forms and deadlines. The Site Supervisor will sign approval for students accepted at their site and the original copy of this form will be kept on file in the department.

In addition, students are required to purchase professional liability insurance prior to the beginning of the Practicum. This may be obtained at a very reasonable rate through the American Counseling Association and forms can be found in the department. Students will be asked to provide documentation of insurance purchase before the end of the second week of the Practicum experience.

* Practicum

There are distinctive differences between the practicum and internship experiences. The supervised practicum experience provides for the development of individual counseling and group work skills under supervision, while the internship experience focuses on more advanced clinical issues and skills. The practicum experience is designed to orient the student to the role and responsibilities of the professional counselor. Specifically, the program requires students to complete supervised practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 clock hours. The student's practicum includes the following:

(1) a minimum of 40 hours of direct service with clients, in both individual and group work (25% or 10 hours must be in group work);

(2) a minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision on-site (using audiotape, videotape, or live supervision) over a minimum of one academic term;

(3) an average of one and one-half hours per week of group supervision with other students in similar practica and one hour per week of individual supervision with the university supervisor over the academic term;

(4) evaluation of the student's performance throughout the practicum including a formal evaluation at the completion of the practicum.

The 100 hours spent on-site over 10 weeks gives the student the opportunity to understand the philosophy and administrative guidelines of the community setting and to participate to a limited extent in the agency's day-to-day operation. Students will become familiar with the policies and procedures within the organization and define their counseling roles accordingly.

* Internship

The supervised internship experience includes a minimum of 600 clock hours, after successful completion of a student's practicum. The internship provides opportunities for the student to perform under supervision a variety of tasks and activities that a regularly employed staff member in the setting would be expected to perform. The student's internship includes the following:

(1) a minimum of 240 hours of direct service with clients

(2) a minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision on-site

(3) an average of one and one-half hours per week of group supervision with students in similar internships and one hour per week of individual supervision with the university supervisor

(4) the opportunity for a wide variety of professional activities

(5) formal evaluations of the student's performance during the internship by both the University and Site Supervisors.

Students are expected to complete two semesters of internship, at 450 hours for Internship I and 150 hours for Internship II. The student will spend 20-30+ hours per week in the organization and begin to perform duties in the role of a professional counselor. This role will involve individual and group counseling responsibilities, as well as other professional duties such as: case staffing, consultation, etc. The on-site experience gives the student the opportunity to understand the philosophy and administrative guidelines of the organization and to participate fully in the organization's day-to-day operation.

Forms are furnished on the departmental website (cfl.columbusstate.edu) for reporting on the internship experience and can be printed. Forms include a general report on the site location and total number of hours at the site, a log of the hours (which indicates how the time was actually spent), and evaluation forms which the site supervisor completes. These reports are due during the week of final exams at the end of each semester. They should be presented to the University supervisor for signature and returned to the Practicum/Internship Coordinator. Students should make a copy of all forms for their own records.

* Practicum/Internship Site Guidelines

Supervisors at Practicum/Internship Sites must have a minimum of a master's degree in counseling or a closely related field and appropriate state licensure. A minimum of two years of pertinent professional experience and knowledge of departmental requirements and evaluation procedures is necessary.

The Practicum/Internship Site Supervisor agrees to provide clinical experiences for the practicum/internship student in accordance with Practicum Guidelines, which include: 40 client contact hours for practicum and 240 client contact hours for internship; orientation of the University Supervisor and the practicum student to the facilities, philosophies, and policies of the site; and, scheduling University Supervisor site visits. Included in the orientation should be the procedure for assigning clients to the student, procedures for taping clients for supervision purposes, emergency procedures of the site, and any site-specific limits to confidentiality.

Further, the Site Supervisor attempts, within site philosophy and administrative guidelines, to help the student meet departmental requirements by providing adequate office space for the practicum/internship student. Minimally, a private space will be provided for the student while he/she is seeing clients. The Site Supervisor will also: assist the student with policies and procedures concerning the taping of clients for supervision purposes; assist in the evaluation of the practicum student's clinical performance relative to the objectives of the experience; and, notify the University Supervisor of any problems which may influence the student's successful completion of the placement.

* Practicum Student Guidelines

Students are aware of their responsibilities for practicum/internship participation, including learning the policies and procedures within the agency, Site expectations, rules, and other regulations. Students are taught to ask first, before acting. Students are also expected to abide by the ethical standards of the American Counseling Association and other appropriate professional associations.

Further, students agree to: follow the administrative policies, standards and practice of the Site; report to the Site on time and follow all established regulations during the regularly scheduled operating hours of the Site; conform to the standards and practices of the University while training at the Site; and, keep in confidence all medical and health information pertaining to clients.

* Sample Agreement

The document below is a sample agreement among the Site Supervisor, University Supervisor, and student regarding expectations for the practicum/internship experience. Students will be asked to collaborate with their Site Supervisor to create a similar agreement (called a prospectus) which is more specific to the activities available at their site.

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SAMPLE PRACTICUM PROSPECTUS AGREEMENT

This agreement is made among the Site Supervisor (__ ) , the graduate student (__________________________), and the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership, Columbus State University, for the purpose of defining the student and site responsibilities when this student provides services to clients at (Site) ___________________________ as a part of practicum/internship requirements. This agreement is flexible and may be renegotiated at any time during the semester.

This agreement is voluntary and may be terminated by either party at any time, although both parties agree that, except in unusual circumstances, reasonable efforts will be made to solve problems prior to termination of the agreement.

Section A. Counseling Department agrees to:

1. Provide adequate Departmental supervision in accordance with the Department's Practicum/Internship Guidelines.

2. Provide a copy of the Practicum Guidelines to the Site.

3. Indicate to the practicum student that the Department expects the student to abide by the policies of the site.

4. Initiate, as indicated, conferences with the Treatment Coordinator and /or Site Supervisor for the purpose of discussing the student's performance.

5. Emphasize to students their professional responsibilities to clients.

6. Encourage students to purchase liability insurance prior to the beginning of practicum.

Section B. The Site agrees to:

1. Provide clinical experiences for the practicum student in accordance with Practicum Guidelines which include 40 client contact hours over the term. At Least 2 hours each week must be spent in individual counseling.

2. Make provisions for orientation of the Department and the practicum student of the buildings, philosophies, and policies of the site. Included in the orientation should be the procedure for assigning clients to the student, emergency procedures of the site, and any site-specific limits to confidentiality.

3. Attempt, within site philosophy and administrative guidelines, to help the student meet departmental requirements.

4. Provide office space for the practicum student to the extent feasible. Minimally, a private space will be provided the student while he/she is seeing clients.

5. Assist in the evaluation of the practicum student's clinical performance relative to the objectives of the experience. The site will notify the University supervisor of any problems which may influence the student's successful completion of the placement.

6. Assure that the student will be properly supervised at all times by a master's level counselor with a minimum 2 years experience.

C. Section C. The Practicum Student agrees to:

1. Follow the administrative policies, standards and practice of the site.

2. Report to the Site on time and follow all established regulations during the regularly scheduled operating hours of the site.

3. Conform to the standards and practices of the University while training at the site.

4. Keep in confidence all medical and health information pertaining to particular clients.

Section D. It is agreed and understood that:

1. Placement will be made by mutual cooperation of the Site and the Department.

2. No representative of either party will discriminate against a representative of the other party on the basis of race, color, gender, creed, national origin, disability, or sexual preference. Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities.

3. This agreement may be modified by mutual consent, provided that such modifications are in writing and signed by representative of each party.

4. The Site does not assume liability for any injury that the student may receive during his/her experience at the Center, but will make reasonable efforts to provide a safe working environment.

This agreement is entered into on the date when all individuals listed below have signed.

_________________________ ______________________
Student's signature                                 Date

_________________________ ______________________
Site Supervisor's signature                      Date

_________________________ ______________________
Ryan Day, Ph.D.                                         Date
Practicum Placement Coordinator