Start early! Preparation for field experience should start in the first year of your program, and you should start actively seeking out field placements at least 1 year before the expected start of the field experience. Refer to the Field Experience Student Checklist for your program of study for suggested activities to complete during each quarter of enrollment to help ensure that you are prepared for field experience at the time prescribed by your program of study.
First, learn about your program’s field experience requirements by reading this manual in detail. You will need to ensure that the sites you select offer experiences in line with your program of study and that your site supervisor for practicum meets the site supervisor requirements. Be familiar with your program of study to ensure that you are clear on the timing of your field experience (contact your student success advisor for assistance).
In preparation for contacting potential field sites, it is highly recommended that you join a professional association as a student member for networking opportunities as well as your own professional development. You will also need a quality résumé or curriculum vita as well as a cover letter that will help you stand out. Walden’s Career Services Center is an excellent resource.
After familiarizing yourself with your field experience requirements, start to consider potential field sites in your community. You can search for potential field sites online and use your networks to identify possible locations. Walden also keeps a database in Meditrek® of sites where the university has current affiliation agreements.
Note: The Meditrek® affiliation agreement database includes all field sites covered under current active affiliation agreements between Walden University and various entities for programs requiring a field experience component. A site being on this list does not guarantee field experience placement for Walden University students and not all sites where Walden has affiliation agreements have placements appropriate for all programs.
Walden offers a variety of in-house opportunities that are eligible for PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision students to apply to for doctoral internship hours. These positions are competitive; you are not guaranteed acceptance for Walden in-house internship opportunities, and you should have a non-Walden back-up in mind to complete your individual internship plan in case placement is not awarded. See the SOC-OFE website for available placements and applications.
Walden’s goal is to assist you in identifying and securing a field experience that meets the requirements for your degree programs, while giving you flexibility to conduct field experiences in locations and with site supervisors that best meet your needs. Walden commits significant human and technology resources to this effort.
The SOC-OFE website offers a variety of resources for students searching for field experience sites. The SOC-OFE also offers several weekly drop-in calls with field experience academic coordinators where you can ask questions about field experience matters, including your site search process. See the SOC-OFE website for call times and information.
If you feel like you have used all resources provided on the SOC-OFE website, and you still have been unable to secure a field site, you are welcome to request additional assistance from a field experience academic coordinator. During this self-referral process, you will be required to complete the Field Experience Site Contact Record (available on the SOC-OFE website) to demonstrate your outreach efforts and to give the academic coordinator important information to support you. You will need to demonstrate that you have made at least three good-faith attempts to contact at least 10 sites prior to contacting the SOC-OFE to request additional support in securing a field site.
Note: Inability to locate an appropriate site and/or site supervisor will not result in an alteration or extension of any university deadlines.