Skip to Main Content

SOC-OFE Masters Students - Field Experience Manual: On-Site Supervision

Walden-Approved Site Supervisor

All students in all field experiences must identify a site supervisor that meets the Site Supervisor Credentials and Requirements and who will fulfill all of the Site Supervisor Responsibilities listed below. This individual must be listed as the site supervisor on the Meditrek application and be formally approved by the SOC-OFE. Any changes to the Walden-approved site supervisor must be approved in advance by the SOC-OFE.

Site Supervisor Credentials and Requirements

Site supervisors for all counseling masters’ students must possess the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of a master’s degree, preferably in counseling or a related profession.
  • Relevant certifications and/or licenses for independent practice in the state, district, or province where the student is completing the field experience (see Accepted Licenses).
  • A minimum of 2 years of pertinent professional experience post master’s degree in the program area in which the student is enrolled.
  • Knowledge of the program’s expectations, requirements, and evaluation procedures for students.
  • Relevant training in counseling supervision and, when applicable, holds the required supervisory credentials in the state, district, or province where the student is completing the field experience.[1]
  • Employed by the field site (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.).

Important notes:

  • Site supervisors and students cannot have multiple role relationships. See “Multiple Roles in Supervisory Relationships,” below.
  • Site supervisors will NOT receive payment for supervision from the student or the university.
  • Students are not to have any financial responsibility to the field site or supervisor for the field experience.

Accepted Licenses

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) – preferred.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Licensed Clinical or Counseling Psychologist
  • Licensed or Certified School Counselor (for School Counseling students only)
Important note: Licensed master’s level mental health professionals not mentioned on the Accepted Licenses list may be approved to supervise counseling students at the discretion of the field experience director, provided they have the required 2 years of clinical experience.


Site Supervisor Responsibilities

Site supervisors are responsible for the following:

  • Providing a mentoring relationship and an educational opportunity to assist counseling work as well as to orient the student into the profession.
  • Providing at least 1 continuous hour of live, in-person or videoconference individual or triadic (a maximum of one additional student) supervision each week of the quarter (i.e., Weeks 1–10). Group supervision cannot be substituted for the individual or triadic on-site supervision requirement.
  • Reviewing and accepting the student’s field experience application in Meditrek and completing additional documentation in Meditrek as required to complete the application process.
  • Completing a site supervisor orientation prior to the start of the student’s field experience.
  • Reviewing the required audio or video recordings or fulfilling an alternative observation method, as determined by the director of field experience.
  • Completing evaluations of the student in Meditrek by the designated deadlines and assisting with the completion of other program documentation (e.g., Individual Field Experience Plan and time log).
  • Attending a mid-quarter teleconference “site visit.”
  • Corresponding with the faculty supervisor in biweekly communication (if applicable) or as needed to coordinate supervision efforts to support the student.
  • Remaining on site at all times while the student is seeing clients, for the safety and welfare of the clients and students; or
  • Assigning a site-approved designee (see below) that meets School of Counseling program requirements to be on site in the event that the Walden-approved site supervisor is not available when the student is seeing clients.


[1] The School of Counseling offers a free Foundations in Counseling Supervision course that prospective site supervisors may complete to meet this requirement.

Site-Approved Designee

A designee can be approved by the Walden-approved site supervisor for the purposes of acting in the case of a mental health or other emergency or supporting the student upon request. Designees are not supervisors and do not provide supervision in lieu of the site supervisor. The Walden-approved site supervisor must fulfill the remaining Site Supervisor Responsibilities listed above.

Site-Approved Designee Credentials and Requirements

  • Designees must be mandated reporters (e.g., for immediate suicidal ideation) by their states’ or federal rules and regulations.
  • Designees must be trained in how to respond to mental health and other emergencies.

Temporary Site Supervisor

A temporary site supervisor may need to be identified if the Walden-approved site supervisor is temporarily out of the office. The temporary site supervisor will assume all of the duties of the Walden-approved site supervisor during their absence (see Site Supervisor Responsibilities above). Students are permitted to work with a temporary site supervisor for no more than 2 weeks. If the absence is longer than 2 weeks, the student must go through the formal application process to have a new site supervisor approved. There is no formal application process for approving a temporary site supervisor, but the temporary supervisor must meet the Site Supervisor Credentials and Requirements listed above, and the student must provide specific information about the temporary supervisor to the faculty supervisor and the SOC-OFE before seeing clients under the supervision of the temporary site supervisor.

Examples of situations where temporary site supervisor may be needed:
  • Vacation
  • Short-term medical leave
  • Bereavement leave

Multiple Roles in Supervisory Relationships

Multiple role relationships in supervision occur when a counselor is in a professional role with a supervisor and at the same time is in another role with the same supervisor. It is essential for counselors to refrain from entering into multiple role relationships. The establishment of clear role boundaries between site supervisor and student increases the likelihood of objective and appropriate supervision. The counseling masters’ programs adhere to the American Counseling Association (ACA) standards and best practices regarding multiple role relationships. The current ACA Code of Ethics requires that one avoid supervising close relatives, romantic partners, and friends. Students also cannot be approved to complete field experiences at sites where they hold leadership positions.