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

General Practicum Requirements

The academic term consists of 10 weeks. Participation in practicum must begin during Week 1 and is expected through the full duration of Week 10, regardless of the accumulation of hours or completion of other course requirements. Students must participate weekly at the practicum site throughout the entire term in which they are enrolled. Students may not plan to complete the practicum in less than 10 weeks, and they should not plan time off during the field experience for vacations or other professional or personal obligations. Students must earn 1 continuous hour of live, in-person or videoconference supervision each week and must obtain at least 1 indirect or direct hour each week of the quarter.

In addition to the requirements listed under the Field Experience Requirements, the current CACREP standards require that students completing practicum experiences do the following:

  • Complete supervised counseling practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 hours over a full academic term that is a minimum of 10 weeks.
  • Complete at least 40 hours of direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills (see Program-Specific Hourly Requirements).
  • Complete at least 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor during each quarter of enrollment in practicum.
  • Complete at least 10 hours of individual or triadic supervision from their Walden-approved site supervisor during each quarter of enrollment in practicum (at least 1 continuous hour of live, in-person or videoconference individual or triadic supervision during each week of enrollment).
    • If a student has multiple sites, they must have at least 1 continuous hour of live, in-person or videoconference supervision by the Walden-approved site supervisor at each site where direct hours are accrued each week.

Program-Specific Practicum Hourly Requirements

MS in Addiction Counseling

The MS in Addiction Counseling practicum consists of 100 hours of clinical field experience, including at least 40 hours of direct counseling. At least 21 of the direct client contact hours must be devoted to individual addiction counseling. Students may engage in supervised couples, family, and/or group addiction counseling as part of the practicum, as long as the 21 direct individual addiction counseling hours are satisfied. Students must also earn a minimum of 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor and 10 hours of individual or triadic supervision from their Walden-approved site supervisor for each term of enrollment in practicum.

MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

The MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling practicum consists of 100 hours of clinical field experience, including at least 40 hours of direct counseling. At least 10 of the direct client contact hours must be devoted to marriage, couples, and/or family counseling using a systemic approach. Students may engage in supervised individual and/or group counseling as part of the practicum, as long as the 10 direct marriage, couples, and/or family counseling hours are satisfied. Students must also earn a minimum of 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor and 10 hours of individual or triadic supervision from their Walden-approved site supervisor for each term of enrollment in practicum.

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling practicum consists of 100 hours of clinical field experience, including at least 40 hours of direct counseling. At least 21 of the direct client contact hours must be devoted to individual mental health counseling. Students may engage in supervised couples, family, and/or group mental health counseling as part of the practicum, as long as the 21 direct individual mental health counseling hours are satisfied. Students must also earn a minimum of 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor and 10 hours of individual or triadic supervision from their Walden-approved site supervisor for each term of enrollment in practicum.

MS in School Counseling

The MS in School Counseling practicum consists of 100 hours of field experience, including 40 hours of direct face-to-face counseling, consultation, and classroom guidance. Students must also earn a minimum of 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor and 10 hours of individual or triadic supervision from their Walden-approved site supervisor for each term of enrollment in field experience. The school counseling field experience must be completed in a school (pre-K through 12).

MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling

Students in the Dual Degree must complete a clinical mental health counseling practicum, which adheres to the requirements listed under MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling above.

Some states may require an additional practicum in school counseling, which would adhere to the requirements listed under MS in School Counseling above.

Successful Completion of Practicum

Successful completion of the practicum includes passing both coursework and fieldwork requirements. The final grades are either Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U). A deficiency in any item listed below may result in a U grade for the course and require the student to repeat the field experience course before moving on in the program. Graduate students may retake a course only one time. Students who fail a required course twice will be dismissed from the university. Practicum is a required course for all of School of Counseling programs. To successfully complete practicum, all requirements, including hourly requirements and final documents must be complete by the end of Week 10; if hourly requirements are not met, then the student will need to request an Incomplete (I) grade or a Practicum Extension.

To complete practicum satisfactorily, students must achieve ALL of the following:

  1. Successful completion of all course work assignments with a cumulative score of 80% or above. All recording assignments must be completed satisfactorily.
  2. Attendance and active participation in all faculty group supervision videoconferences (minimum of 15 hours for each quarter of field experience), as well as individual or triadic supervision each week of the quarter (minimum of 10 hours for each quarter of field experience).
  3. Completion of Mid-Quarter Evaluation and site visit by Walden-approved site supervisor in Week 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  4. Completion of all hourly requirements for the field experience (including total and program-specific requirements) as shown on Time Log approved by site and faculty supervisors.
  5. Satisfactory End of Quarter Evaluation of Student at a minimum of an intermediate level (rating of 2 or above) and endorsement for progression provided by Walden-approved site supervisor.
  6. No concerns or reservations regarding a student’s ability to continue with professional practice curriculum expressed by the faculty supervisor/course instructor; satisfactory evaluation at a minimum of an intermediate level (rating of 2 or above) and endorsement for progression provided by faculty supervisor.
  7. No concerns expressed by the field experience coordinators or director upon review of the site supervisor and faculty information concerning the training experience.
  8. Adherence to all SOC-OFE policies outlined in the Field Experience Manual, as well as site and university policies, the ACA Code of Ethics, and all state regulations for counseling professionals.
Important note: All requirements, including completion of hours, must be achieved for a Satisfactory (S) grade for the practicum course, even if the student will be extending the practicum to an additional quarter.