All counseling students are required to complete a practicum and an internship consisting of a practice under the supervision of a Walden-approved site supervisor in a setting appropriate for their program of study. Students are encouraged to complete their practicum and internship field experiences at the same site and/or within the same organization whenever possible. Students are expected to begin searching for field experiences at least 12 months before the expected start of the field experience and apply by the application deadline posted on the application deadline posted on the SOC-OFE website, which is approximately 3 months prior to enrollment in the practicum or internship.
Each of the programs has specific clientele requirements, (e.g., couples/families, addiction, mental health, school, etc.). When selecting a field experience site, it is imperative that students schedule a face-to-face appointment or at least participate in a telephone interview with potential site supervisors to ensure that the site and site supervisor fit the requirements of their program (see Section 3 of this manual for detailed information about requirements). Students should discuss the type of counseling experience they can expect to receive at the site (e.g., client population served, supervision policies and procedures, how clients are assigned) and ensure that the site supervisor will meet the field experience requirements. Students are encouraged to provide a link to the Site Supervisors section of the SOC-OFE website to prospective site supervisors for information about the program and site supervisor requirements.