The practicum for students in the Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program provides an opportunity for students to develop and enhance their basic counseling skills in a university counseling center setting.


Students wishing to complete a practicum at the Counseling Center:

  • must be second-year graduate students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at James Madison University
  • must have successfully completed the program's required preparatory counseling courses
  • must have permission of the counseling program co-coordinators and practicum instructor
  • must obtain their own personal professional liability insurance by the beginning of the practicum experience.

The primary focus of the practicum experience is on the development of clinical skill. To that end practicum students see 4-5 individual clients per week, observe a therapy group (1.5 hours per week) and/or co-facilitate a specialized treatment program, receive one hour of individual supervision, and are responsible for the maintenance of their client notes. Practicum students may elect to co-facilitate psychoeducational outreach programs with other staff members.

Practicum students are expected to work 10-15 hours per week and to accrue a minimum of 100 hours of service, at least 40 of which must be in direct service hours (e.g., individual and group counseling, psychoeducational program presentations). Practicum students are expected to abide by the established policies and procedures of the Counseling Center and the ethical standards of the counseling profession. Practicum students are also expected to participate in an orientation to the Counseling Center and the practicum experience prior to the start of the practicum.

Learning Objectives

Students completing the  Ed.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling practicum at the Counseling Center will acquire the following knowledge, skills and experiences. Practicum students will:

  • develop skill in operational/agency factors related to work in a university counseling center
  • enhance individual counseling skills and knowledge
  • acquire group process observation skills and/or treatment program co-facilitation skills
  • demonstrate professional and ethical behavior
  • develop skill in engaging in the supervision process
  • enhance personal qualities relevant to effective counseling practice

Questions about Ed.S. practicum experiences at the Counseling Center should be directed to Nina Critz, LPC ( or Wendy Gerlach, LPC (, Co- Coordinator of Ed.S. Training, Counseling Center, MSC 0801, 568-6552

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