Skip to main content

SOC-OFE Masters Students - Field Experience Manual: Field Experience Requirements

Field Experience Requirements

The current CACREP standards require that field experiences (both practicum and internship) abide by the following:

  • Students are covered by individual professional counseling liability insurance policies while enrolled in practicum and internship (see Professional Liability Insurance).
  • Plan to participate on-site and in the field experience course each week throughout the entire length of the field experience course, regardless of when hourly requirements are complete.
  • Supervision of practicum and internship students includes program-appropriate recordings and/or live supervision of students’ interactions with clients (see Recording and Alternative Assignment Policy).
  • Formative and summative evaluations of the student’s counseling performance and ability to integrate and apply knowledge are conducted as part of the student’s practicum and internship.
  • Students have the opportunity to become familiar with a variety of professional activities and resources, including technological resources, during their practicum and internship.
  • In addition to the development of individual counseling skills, students must lead a counseling or psychoeducational group during the internship (the counseling masters’ programs require at least 10 hours of group counseling during internship).

Completion of Field Experience Hours

  • All direct client contact hours must be completed at the approved site, and the approved site supervisor or designee must be on site at all times that the student is seeing clients.
  • Direct client contact hours can include counseling over the phone (e.g., supportive counseling until the client can be seen in person); however, telephone counseling cannot be the primary source of counseling hours. Students who are making phone calls to clients for scheduling and other administrative purposes cannot count these hours as direct client contact hours. Telephone counseling needs to take place on-site with the approved site supervisor or designee present. Students should not manage calls of any kind off-site (e.g., crisis hotlines, cell phones).
  • Co-counseling is acceptable so long as the student has a significant level of involvement; students who continue to co-counsel must direct the predominance of those sessions as they advance in internship.
  • Case management, strict behavioral modification, and crisis counseling (e.g., crisis hotline, suicide diversion intervention that occurs outside of a traditional counseling session) do not align with the training and curriculum of Walden’s counseling programs and will not count toward direct client hours. Substance abuse counseling will count toward less than half of the direct client hours except for the MS in Addiction Counseling program. Academic advising will not count toward direct client hours for any program other than the MS in School Counseling program.
  • Students cannot begin accruing hours toward the field experience prior to the start of the quarter.
  • Students must have the State Education Specialization added to their programs if additional term(s) or credits of field experience are required for licensure in their state. Students are responsible for reviewing state board requirements to determine whether additional terms or credits are required.
  • Students can continue to work with clients at their sites between quarters as long as they continue to receive weekly on-site supervision from their Walden-approved site supervisor. However, hours completed between practicum and the first internship term and any excess practicum hours accumulated while in the practicum course cannot be counted toward the hourly requirements for internship. All requisite hours must be earned by the end of the academic quarter. Students should inform their instructors about continuing their work at the field site (see Continuing Field Experience Between Quarters) so arrangements can be made for faculty supervision as needed during this time.