Practicum and Internship Requirements
Practicum and internship are conceived to be that phase of the Master's in School Counseling Program in which a counselor' in-training is able to crystallize his or her educational experiences by translating theoretical constructs into practice. This type of supervised practice in school counseling is generally viewed as an experience that assists the prospective counselor to function effectively in a future employment situation. It serves as a bridge between the theoretical and the real. It is an opportunity for the counselor' in-training to apply what he or she has learned from the more didactic portion of the School Counseling Program.
Students entering practicum/internship training may find it necessary to make special arrangements with their employer, including taking a leave of absence, to fulfill this requirement. Students will need to arrange their schedule to complete this degree requirement.
Please note that local school boards may charge school counseling students a fee for practicum/internship placement in a school with a cooperating school counselor. Should a student elect to complete their practicum/internship in a school district that requires such a fee, it will be the student's responsibility to submit the fee on the designated day and time stipulated by the school board staff in accordance with their guidelines.
Practicum responsibilities require students to spend 100 hours (40 of which are direct student contact hours) at a Pre-K–12 grade school setting. It is a distinct experience where students gain basic counseling skills and professional knowledge which may include individual and small-group counseling, classroom guidance presentations, consultation, parent conferencing, individual and large group testing, involvement in the exceptional student education process, and other experiences relevant to the practicum setting. This experience is completed over the course of one 15-week semester (3 credit hours) and is to familiarize students with the role of the professional school counselor prior to internship. Students spend approximately 7 hours per week at a school.
Internship is an experience which requires students to spend 600 hours (240 of which are direct student contact hours) in a Pre-K–12 grade school setting. Students integrate knowledge acquired in the classroom to real, on the job supervised training. This experience enhances basic professional school counseling skills in the student academic, social/emotional, and career counseling areas. The six credit hours of internship afford students an opportunity to work with a variety of students, parents, and teachers over time. NSU ascribes to the American School Counselor Association National Model for school counseling programs and supports experiences that include leadership, student advocacy, collaboration and teaming, and systemic change.
Students may select from the following two scheduling options to fulfill the 600 hours (six credit hours) of internship experience:
- Completion of one 15-week semester where the student will be required to complete a minimum of 40 hours per week in a school setting.
- Completion of two continuous 15-week semesters where the student will be required to complete a minimum of 20 hours per week in a school setting.
Students employed by the school system will be required to obtain permission from their principal or designated school official for release time to pursue their internship requirement. NSU policy does not allow students to complete their internship at the school where they currently work, even if school districts and/or principals provide permission. Please be advised that waiver of practicum and internship experience for any reason will not be permitted. The student must file an application for practicum and internship and receive approval by NSU prior to registering for these courses.
The practicum and internship class schedule is a departure from the typical intensive weekend format. In addition to the experiential work required for practicum over one semester and for internship over one or two continuous semester/s, students will participate in bi-weekly group supervision meetings with NSU students and faculty members at the university. Additionally during practicum, individual or triadic supervision will take place on the alternate week with a university supervisor. Individual and group supervision meetings are held on evenings during the week. Specific details on practicum and internship are provided to students at the appropriate time in their program or upon request. Please be advised that during practicum and internship, students may also be enrolled in regularly scheduled intensive weekend classes.
To be eligible for practicum, students must have been matriculated. To be eligible for internship, students must have been matriculated and must have successfully completed the following course work:
- PYCL 502: Counseling Theories and Practice
- PYCL 504: Counseling Skills
- PYCL 512: Human Growth and Development
- PYCL 515: Principles of School Counseling
- PYCL 550: Contemporary Clinical Interventions
- PYCL 570: Ethical, Legal, & Professional Issues for Counselors
- PYCL 635: Group Theory and Practice
- PYCL 665: School Consultation Skills
- PYCL 685: School Counseling Practicum*
*Note: Course must be completed with a grade of 'B' or better.
Professional Liability Insurance
Students entering Practicum and Internship will be charged a nominal fee for liability insurance coverage provided under the Center for Psychological Studies' group policy. All students are required to abide by the Ethical Standards of the American School Counselor Association and the American Counseling Association, as well as to the policies and procedures of the Center for Psychological Studies and the laws, rules, and regulations of the school districts where placed.