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SOC-OFE Doctoral Students - Field Experience Manual: Internship Requirements

General Internship Requirements

The internship takes place of a minimum of two 10-week quarters. Participation in each section of internship begins in 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 internship site(s) throughout the entire terms in which they are enrolled. Students may not plan to complete the internship in less than the two 10-week quarters, and they should not plan time off during the field experience for vacations or other professional or personal obligations. If the bulk of required hours are completed early, students must continue to be active at their field site(s) throughout the duration of the term to ensure that they are able to meet coursework and weekly supervision requirements.

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

  • After successful completion of practicum, complete at least 600 clock hours including supervised experiences in at least three of the five doctoral core areas: Counseling, Teaching, Supervision, Research and Scholarship, Leadership and Advocacy (see Internship Hourly Requirements).
  • Complete at least 15 hours of group supervision from their faculty supervisor during each quarter of enrollment in internship.
  • Complete at least 10 hours of individual or triadic supervision from their Walden University individual supervisor during each quarter of enrollment in internship (at least 1 continuous hour of individual or triadic supervision during each week of enrollment).

Internship Hourly Requirements

The internship field experience requires students to complete a total of 600 hours. The 600 hours include counselor education and supervision experiences in at least three of the following domains: Counseling, Teaching, Supervision, Research and Scholarship, and/or Leadership and Advocacy. Students will work with program faculty members to assist with the development of an Individual Internship Plan based on the students’ experience and training, goals of the internship, and appropriateness of the field sites. Internship activities completed at the approved field sites should reflect most of the activities of an individual who is regularly employed in that setting.

All proposed internship hours, unless otherwise noted, must be completed during enrollment in internship. Students will have flexibility to increase or decrease the hours in a proposed domain up to 25 hours (+/- 25 hours) to reflect opportunities at their sites, so long as hour changes do not exceed the maximum number of approvable hours in a given domain. For example, a student proposing 200 clinical hours and 200 supervision hours, could flex on the final hours such that she or he had 175 clinical hours and 225 supervision hours. However, the same student could not flex hours such that she or he had 225 clinical hours and 175 supervision hours, because this exceeds the maximum number of hours allowed in the clinical domain.

Types of Internship Hours

Counseling

Students are eligible to accumulate up to 200 hours (across two quarters) of counseling (clinical practice) as part of their Individual Internship Plan. Students may use their current place of employment for achieving clinical hours, but they must engage in new clinical experiences that demonstrate professional development opportunities beyond their regular job duties. See Field Experience at Place of Employment for detailed policies around completing a field experience at an employment site.

Hourly requirements for counseling in internship should reflect the same 2:3 ratio of direct-to-professional hours that exists in practicum. For example, a student seeking to complete the full 200 hours of counseling will need to complete at least 80 direct client contact hours, with the remaining hours as professional development hours. Site requirements mirror the practicum experience.

Teaching

Students are eligible to accumulate up to 300 hours* (across two quarters) of teaching as part of their Individual Internship Plan. Teaching opportunities, which can be completed at land-based and online universities, must include graduate-level teaching of counseling or related courses.

*Students seeking teaching assistantships (TA) with Walden are only eligible to accumulate up to 200 hours (across two quarters; 100 hours per quarter) of teaching as part of their Individual Internship Plan. Additional teaching opportunities can supplement these hours.

Supervision

Students are eligible to accumulate up to 300 hours (across two quarters) of supervision as part of their Individual Internship Plan. Supervision hours include providing individual, triadic, or group supervision to counselors or counselor trainees at a master’s level or above. Students also receive credit for hours of supervision received while enrolled in internship.

Students will automatically be granted 15 hours of supervision credit for hours they earned while enrolled in COUN 8135 - Clinical Supervision. These hours will automatically be accounted for on the student’s Individual Internship Plan and should be factored into the overall hourly requirements for internship. Students will need to enter these hours into their Meditrek Time Log at the beginning of enrollment in internship.

An additional 26 hours of supervision will be received in both individual/triadic and faculty group supervision each term of internship. These supervision experience hours should be recorded on the Time Log and will be accounted for on the student’s Individual Internship Plan.

Research and Scholarship

Students are eligible to accumulate up to 100 hours (across two quarters) of research and scholarship as part of their Individual Internship Plan. Research must be conducted with a doctoral-level counselor educator, and projects must be fully developed research opportunities that include data collection.

Leadership and Advocacy

Students are eligible to accumulate up to 100 hours (across two quarters) of leadership and advocacy as part of their Individual Internship Plan. Opportunities for leadership or advocacy may include holding elected positions within counseling organizations, serving on professional committees, volunteering for crisis or disaster response or presenting at state and national counseling conferences. Conference presentations must be fully accepted for participation at the time of application. Leadership and/or advocacy hours should demonstrate hours of service that advance professional identity. The leadership and advocacy hours are intended to be highly individualized and will be approved on an individual basis through the field experience coordinator.

Applying Hours From Other Work

Applying Hours From Residency

Students will automatically be granted 40-hours of internship credit for hours they earned while attending Residencies 2 and 3. These hours will be accounted for on the student’s Individual Internship Plan and should be factored into the overall hourly requirements for internship. These hours do not reflect a specific domain but should be deducted from the total 600 hours when students are creating their Individual Internship Plans.

Applying Hours From Dissertation

Students cannot count time spent on dissertation research toward the internship requirements for the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program.

Individual Internship Plan Changes

Students are not able to make changes to the Individual Internship Plan once the application submission window for the quarter for which the student is applying has closed. In rare circumstances it may be necessary for students to make changes to the Individual Internship Plan after an application deadline. In the event that a change is required after the application deadline or during enrollment in internship, the changes must be approved by the director of field experience or designee. Students will be required to submit a rationale for why the change is warranted, and a determination for approval and timing of the change will be made by the SOC-OFE.

Important note: Any and all changes to the Individual Internship Plan must be approved by the director of field experience before students can continue with the internship.

Completion of Internship Hours

  • All direct client contact hours for Counseling experiences 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 for Counseling experiences 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.
  • 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 start 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).
Important note: Students are prohibited from “banking” extra practicum hours for internship. CACREP standards do not allow for excess hours accumulated during the practicum to be counted toward the 600-hour internship. CACREP states, “The duration of a student’s supervised practicum experience is to extend across a full academic term to allow for the development of basic counseling skills and the integration of knowledge. Practicum is completed prior to internship.”