School of Counseling Office of Field Experience
The SOC-OFE supports counseling students’ development as competent scholar-practitioners and agents of social change in culturally and contextually diverse opportunities throughout practicum and internship. The Office of Field Experience is composed of the director of field experience, an academic team (School of Counseling faculty), and an operations team (Walden University staff).
Figure 1. School of Counseling Office of Field Experience (SOC-OFE)
Operations staff support the operational aspects of field experiences. They guide you to information about Walden policies and procedures and support you through the field experience application process. They provide procedural and technical support with Meditrek® forms, time logs, and evaluations. The operations team consists of the operations director, operations coordinators, and assistant operations coordinators. Operations staff are available via live chat, email, or by telephone appointment. Specific contact information for the operations team is available on the SOC-OFE website.
Academic coordinators and field experience faculty support the academic aspects of the program, such as program-specific advice and consultation, contact to sites prior to field experience, and student concerns. The academic team consists of academic coordinators, course leads, and faculty supervisors (course instructors). Academic coordinators can be reached through drop-in support calls and email (see the SOC-OFE website for specific contact information). Faculty supervisors (course instructors) are the main point of contact for you when enrolled in field experience and should be contacted via the field experience classroom or faculty group supervision calls.
Note: You should begin your inquiry at the level at which your questions are most likely to be answered. It is expected that you will be familiar with the policies and procedures in this manual before seeking additional information. Delays in obtaining information may result when you inquire first from an administrator and must be referred to the appropriate resource person.
Prior to beginning field experience, you must identify a site supervisor who meets the Site Supervisor Requirements and who will fulfill all the Site Supervisor Responsibilities listed below. This individual must be listed as the site supervisor on the Meditrek® application for field experience and be formally approved by the SOC-OFE. Any changes to the Walden-approved site supervisor must be approved in advance by the SOC-OFE.
Site supervisors are responsible for
- Providing a mentoring relationship and an educational opportunity to assist counseling work as well as to orient you into the profession.
- Providing at least 1 continuous hour of live, in-person or videoconference individual or triadic (a maximum of one additional student) supervision each week of the quarter (i.e., Weeks 1–10). Group supervision cannot be substituted for the individual or triadic on-site supervision requirement.
- Reviewing and working with you to complete your Field Experience Application Worksheet and any other required application documents for submission with the Meditrek® application.
- Completing the Walden Counseling Programs Site Supervisor Orientation prior to the start of your field experience.
- Reviewing the required audio or video recordings or fulfilling an alternative observation method, as determined by the director of field experience.
- Completing evaluations of you in Meditrek® by the designated deadlines and assisting with the completion of other program documentation (e.g., Individual Field Experience Plan and time log).
- Attending a mid-quarter teleconference “site visit” with your faculty supervisor.
- Corresponding with the faculty supervisor in biweekly communication (if applicable) or as needed to coordinate supervision efforts to support you.
- Remaining on site at any time you are seeing clients, for the safety and welfare of the clients and students; or
- Assigning a site-approved designee that meets School of Counseling program requirements to be on site if the Walden-approved site supervisor is not available when you are seeing clients.
A designee can be approved by the Walden-approved site supervisor for the purposes of acting in the case of a mental health or other emergency or supporting you upon request. Designees are not supervisors and do not provide supervision in lieu of the site supervisor. The Walden-approved site supervisor must fulfill the remaining Site Supervisor Responsibilities listed above.
Site-Approved Designee Credentials and Requirements
- Designees must be mandated reporters (e.g., for immediate suicidal ideation) by their state or federal rules and regulations.
- Designees must be trained in how to respond to mental health and other emergencies.
Student Responsibilities for Field Experience
Field experience is different from other courses in that you must take an active role in preparation for your field experience well before the coursework begins.
- Read and become intimately familiar with this Field Experience Manual and adhere to the policies and procedures within.
- Use the Field Experience Student Checklist to ensure you are prepared to start field experience.
- Complete Paving the Way to Field Experience, the Field Experience Student Orientation, Telemental Health Training (TMH), and Home-Based and Community-Based Safety Training.
- Seek out field experience sites and site supervisors in accordance with program requirements. Use the provided Site Search Resources and request support if you need it.
- Complete applications for field experience within published application windows (an application is required for each quarter of field experience).
- Be aware of all requirements of field experience and monitor progress toward requirements using the Grading Checklist in Meditrek® during each field experience course.
- Be familiar with and adhere to the School of Counseling’s professional dispositions (see the Counseling Student Program Guide), the Walden University Code of Conduct, and the ACA Code of Ethics throughout your field experience process.