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Site Supervisor Requirements

Site supervisors for all counseling masters’ students must possess the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of a master’s degree, preferably in counseling or a related profession;
  • Relevant certifications and/or licenses for independent practice in the state, district, or province where you are completing the field experience (see Accepted Licenses);
  • A minimum of 2 years of pertinent professional experience after master’s degree in the program area in which you are enrolled;
  • Knowledge of the program’s expectations, requirements, and evaluation procedures through completion of Walden’s Counseling Site Supervisor Orientation;
  • Relevant training in counseling supervision and, when applicable, holds the required supervisory credentials in the state, district, or province where you are completing the field experience[1]; and
  • Employed by the field site (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.).

[1] The School of Counseling offers a Foundations in Counseling Supervision course that prospective site supervisors may complete to meet this requirement.

Accepted Licenses

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)—preferred;
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW[2]);
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT);
  • Licensed Clinical or Counseling Psychologist; or
  • Licensed or Certified School Counselor (for School Counseling experiences only).

Note: Licensed master’s-level mental health professionals not mentioned on the Accepted Licenses list may be approved to supervise counseling students at the discretion of the field experience director, provided they have the required 2 years of clinical experience.

You are encouraged to provide a link to the Site Supervisors section of the SOC-OFE website to prospective site supervisors for information about the program as well as site supervisor requirements and responsibilities.


[2] Social work license titles vary by state. Site supervisors must be licensed for independent clinical practice.

Site-Approved Designee

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 the student 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 states’ or federal rules and regulations.
  • Designees must be trained in how to respond to mental health and other emergencies.

Temporary Site Supervisor

A temporary site supervisor may need to be identified if the Walden-approved site supervisor is temporarily out of the office. The temporary site supervisor will assume all of the duties of the Walden-approved site supervisor during their absence (see Site Supervisor Responsibilities above). Students are permitted to work with a temporary site supervisor for no more than 2 weeks. If the absence is longer than 2 weeks, the student must go through the formal application process to have a new site supervisor approved. There is no formal application process for approving a temporary site supervisor, but the temporary supervisor must meet the Site Supervisor Credentials and Requirements listed above, and the student must provide specific information about the temporary supervisor to the faculty supervisor and the SOC-OFE before seeing clients under the supervision of the temporary site supervisor.

Examples of situations where temporary site supervisor may be needed:
  • Vacation
  • Short-term medical leave
  • Bereavement leave

Multiple Roles in Supervisory Relationships

Multiple role relationships in supervision occur when a counselor is in a professional role with a supervisor and, at the same time, is in another role with the same supervisor. It is essential for counselors to refrain from entering into multiple role relationships. The establishment of clear role boundaries between you and the site supervisor increases the likelihood of objective and appropriate supervision. The counseling masters’ programs adhere to the American Counseling Association (ACA) standards and best practices regarding multiple role relationships. The current ACA Code of Ethics requires that one avoid supervising close relatives, romantic partners, and friends. You also may not be approved to complete field experiences at any site where you hold a leadership position because of a potential conflict of interest. Additional information and review may be required.