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Ed.S. Practicum

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

Prerequisites

Students wishing to complete a practicum at the Counseling Center must be second-year graduate students in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; must have successfully completed the program's required preparatory counseling courses; must have permission of the Counseling Program Coordinator and Practicum Coordinator; and must obtain their own personal professional liability insurance by the beginning of the practicum experience.

Responsibilities

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, process observe a therapy group (1.5 hours per week), receive one hour of individual supervision, and are responsible for the maintenance of their client and process observation notes. Practicum students may elect to co-facilitate psychoeducational outreach programs with other staff members. There are additional training opportunities which students may choose to attend (e.g., Training Seminar, Case Conference, Groups Supervision, Brief Therapy Treatment Team, Psychiatric Consultation, and Staff Meeting), but these are in addition to the previously mentioned required activities.

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 an EdS 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
  • demonstrate professional and ethical behavior
  • develop skill in engaging in the supervision process
  • enhance personal qualities relevant to effective counseling practice

Deadlines

Application deadlines for Fall semester: April 15
Application deadlines for Spring semester: November 1

Students interested in completing a summer practicum must petition the Coordinator of Graduate Training for an exception to the Counseling Center's policy of not sponsoring summer practica experiences.

Application Process

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Coordinator of Training at the Counseling Center by calling 568-6552
  2. Submit the following application materials before the stated deadline:
    1. Cover letter stating interest in the Counseling Center as a practicum site and how it relates to short- and long-term career goals
    2. Resume (with listing of classes completed and to be completed during practicum)
    3. Name of professor who is familiar with your clinical skills and will serve as reference
  3. Applicants are chosen based upon recommendations from the Practicum Coordinator. Candidates will be notified of their selection within 2-3 weeks. The Counseling Center usually accepts 2-3 practicum students each semester

Questions

Questions about EdS practicum experiences at the Counseling Center should be directed to Nina Critz, Coordinator of Ed.S. Training, Counseling Center, MSC 0801, 568-6552, or critznh@jmu.edu