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SOC-OFE Doctoral 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.

The current CACREP standards require that students completing practicum experiences do the following:

  • Complete a supervised doctoral-level counseling practicum experience that totals 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 clients. (The nature of doctoral-level practicum experience is to be determined in consultation with program faculty and/or a doctoral committee.)
  • Complete at least 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor.
  • 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.
  • Be covered by individual professional counseling liability insurance policies while enrolled in practicum (see Professional Liability Insurance).

Completion of Practicum Hours

  • All direct client contact hours must be completed at the approved site, and if the student is not licensed, 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. supporting 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 nontherapeutic purposes cannot count these hours as direct client contact hours.
  • Co-counseling is acceptable so long as the student has a significant level of involvement; students who co-counsel must direct the predominance of those sessions as they advance.
  • Case management, strict behavioral modification, and crisis counseling do not align with the training and curriculum of Walden’s counseling programs and will only count toward less than half of the direct client hours.
  • Students cannot begin accruing hours toward the field experience prior to the start of the quarter. They must enroll in an additional quarter of the course if hours need to be completed after the end of the quarter (see Field Experience Extensions).

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 Unsatisfactory (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.
  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 3 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 3 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.