Practica are supervised opportunities for students to gain experience as counselors-in-training in a variety of settings with clients who exhibit a spectrum of psychopathological appraisal and treatment problems. Doane counseling students vary widely in their previous clinical experience, as well as in their professional interests and career objectives. Recognizing these differences, the program seeks to develop a practicum experience for each student that not only complements the student's previous experience, but also addresses particular clinical strengths and weaknesses.
Practicum placements are arranged through cooperative planning by the student, the program, and the agency. Students desiring placement at a site that has not previously been approved by the counseling program must have approval in writing from the Director of Clinical Placement prior to making any commitments to the site.
Students may, under some conditions, use their place of employment for a practicum. Students may request to use a place of previous employment for a practicum, if their practicum supervisor did not have a supervisory relationship with the student. The Director of Clinical Placement makes all decisions regarding conflicts of interest.
The program requires two practica of 100 hours each. Each of these may be fulfilled over one or two terms. Students may begin their initial practicum upon completion of all requirements for Level 2 and approval of the Dean. Transfer of credit for practica is never granted, nor are the practicum requirements waived.
Students must obtain 40 hours of direct contact service with clients during each practicum and must have one hour per week of supervision through out their practicum by an on-site supervisor. In addition, each student must meet in a small supervision group with a faculty member for 1 1/2 hours per week. A formal evaluation is made of the student's performance by the faculty member facilitating the supervisory group in consultation with the on-site supervisor. Grades are assigned on a pass/fail basis.
The program requires that all students complete six credits of an internship consisting of 800 clock hours following successful completion of their practicum training and attainment of Level 3. Students must complete 320 hours of direct-contact service with clients during their internship and must have one hour per week of supervision throughout their internship by an on-site supervisor. In addition, each student must meet in a small internship group with a faculty member for 1 1/2 hours per week. A formal evaluation is made of the student's performance by the faculty member facilitating the supervisory group in consultation with the on-site supervisor. Grades are assigned on a pass/fail basis.
Progress Toward the Degree
Performance as a professional counselor includes more than simply learning clinical skills. The counseling profession requires sound judgment, good interpersonal skills, and emotional well-being.
Academic excellence without personal development is not adequate preparation for the counselor. Program faculty are interested in training strong counseling practitioners and thus are involved in evaluating all aspects of students' clinical training, academic training, and personal development.
It is important for students to conceptualize their education in the counseling program as a synthesis of 1) academic work, 2) theoretical work, 3) clinical work as evidenced in practicum, internship, and clinically based courses, and 4) personal development.