Best Practices

best.jpg 1. After the initial contact from the College, complete preliminary discussions with the placement coordinator as soon as possible.

2. Once assigned and contacted by the graduate student return the phone call of the graduate student as soon as possible to discuss any initial considerations regarding the placement.

3. Provide an orientation for the graduate student to the school or agency either before or at the start of the placement.

4. Have the graduate student shadow you for the first and second day of the placement.

5. No later than the third day of the placement, the graduate student should begin to participate in direct service activities with clients or students. The degree of initial supervision depends on the site and on your assessment of the graduate student.

6. Do provide opportunities for supervision of student's work either by review of electronic recording or live supervision.

7. As you gain confidence in the graduate student's counseling skills, provide opportunities for the student to work with clients without direct live supervision.

8. Do review the mid-semester evaluation and end of the semester evaluation directly with the graduate student.

9. If you need to consult with the College regarding the placement you should contact the professor who is conducting the corresponding seminar for the graduate student.


Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ.jpg What is the definition of "direct" and "indirect" counseling hours?

Answer: Direct hours are any face-to-face work with clients. These include individual counseling, group counseling, guidance activities, phone contact, meetings with the client or family, etc. Direct hours include observation of others doing counseling such as observing the cooperating counselor working with a client "live" or as part of a clinical team behind an observation window.

Indirect hours are everything else including doing paperwork, planning, collaborating with a professional team, etc.


Why do graduate students differ in their readiness for practica and internships?

Answer: Graduate students come to us with varying levels of experience, maturity, work ethic, social and professional skills. While we do ensure that all students have met the required conditions for placement there is a "bell curve" of student readiness. Some students are already competent professional colleagues when they begin their site experiences, others need significant mentoring, most are somewhere in-between. We share the task of helping each individual graduate student to become the best young professional that he or she can be.


When should graduate students begin to work with clients in Practicum and Internship?

Answer: In a Practicum the first two days on site should be focused on orientation and shadowing the cooperating counselor. By the third day on site, although the graduate student may continue shadowing, he or she should begin to work with clients. The cooperating counselor in conjunction with the graduate student should judge the types of concerns that the graduate student should address in his or her initial sessions.


What do I do if I believe that the graduate student is not meeting the expectations of my site?

Answer: First, work with the student in order to help them meet expectations. Also you should contact the professor who is teaching the seminar and together you can develop a strategy to help the student meet expectations. If necessary, a formal remediation plan will be initiated by the professor.


Should the graduate student see clients on their own?

Answer: Yes, the cooperating counselor and the graduate student should determine the graduate student's readiness. No later than the 5th week of the semester the graduate student should have opportunity to see clients while supervised and to see clients independently.


What about recordings of sessions?

Answer: We highly recommend recording sessions. It is the best way for new counselors to learn. Recordings can be reviewed by the College Supervisor, or if the recording can't be taken from the site, it can be reviewed by cooperating counselors and the graduate student at the site. Sometimes only live supervision is allowed at the site. When recordings can't be taken from the site or only live supervision is allowed, two supervision sessions must be reviewed with the professor teaching the seminar either by phone or via e-mail. The Guide for Live Supervision (CLICK HERE FOR SUPERVISION GUIDE) should be used to facilitate phone consultation or completed and sent via e-mail to the College professor who will then reply electronically.


What is the value of the tuition waivers offered as an honorarium for the practicum and internship?

Answer: Current amounts are as follows Practicum = $750, Internship (Part Time = $1,000 - Full Time = 2,000)


Can a tuition waiver be used after the expiration date?

Answer: Yes, within reason, although it must be sent to the chairperson of the Department for a signature.