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SOC-OFE Masters Students - Field Experience Manual: Field Experience Requirements

Field Experience Requirements

All students are required to complete at least one quarter of practicum and at least two quarters of internship. Students in the MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program will complete one quarter of CMHC practicum, followed by two quarters of CMHC internship, then two quarters of SC internship, in accordance with the guidelines below.

Site-Based Requirements

You are required to participate at your field site throughout the duration of your enrollment in field experience, regardless of when you complete the required hours for the field experience. Participation includes at least 1 hour of supervision with your Walden-approved site supervisor (see Site Supervision) and at least 1 direct or indirect hour for each week of the quarter.

Practicum Hourly Requirements

Practicum (one term) requires the completion of at least

  • 100 total hours (includes direct hours, supervision hours, and other indirect hours);
  • 40 direct hours, directly related to your program of study
  • 10 individual/triadic supervision hours with the Walden-approved site supervisor (for each quarter of enrollment); and
  • 15 hours of faculty group supervision (for each quarter of enrollment).

Internship Hourly Requirements

Internship (two terms) requires the completion of at least

  • 600 total hours (includes direct hours, supervision hours, and other indirect hours);
  • 240 direct hours, directly related to your program of study
    • CMHC students must engage in individual clinical mental health counseling,
    • MCFC students must engage in couple and/or family counseling,
    • SC students must engage in school/guidance counseling, and
    • Direct hours must include at least 10 hours leading or co-leading a counseling or psychoeducational group for all programs (see Appendix C. Group Counseling);
  • 10 individual/triadic supervision hours with the Walden-approved site supervisor (for each quarter of enrollment); and
  • 15 hours of faculty group supervision (for each quarter of enrollment).

Note: You cannot “bank” 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.

Documentation of Field Experience Hours

You are required to keep a daily record of field experience hours in the Meditrek® Time Log. You are encouraged to enter hours in Meditrek® every day, and all hours for the week must be entered in Meditrek® by Day 7 of each week of the quarter. Hours must be entered on the date corresponding to the date on which they were earned. You cannot log hours prior to earning them. Daily time log entries must be approved by both site and faculty supervisors to count toward field experience requirements. Detailed information and instructions for the Meditrek® time log are available in the Meditrek® Student Guide.

Note: Direct service hours include those that utilize graduate-level counseling skills with actual clients. Direct service hours that are not of a counseling nature or not at the graduate level should be logged as "Other Indirect Hours” on the Meditrek® time log.

Provision of Counseling Services

  • All direct client contact hours must be completed at the approved site, and the approved site supervisor or designee must always be on site when you are seeing clients.
  • Direct client contact hours can include counseling over the phone (e.g., supportive counseling until the client can be seen in person); however, telephone counseling cannot be the primary source of counseling hours. You cannot count phone calls to clients for scheduling and other administrative purposes as direct hours (these hours should be logged under “Other Indirect Hours” on the Meditrek® time log). Telephone counseling needs to take place on site with the approved site supervisor or designee present. Students should not manage calls of any kind off site (e.g., crisis hotlines, cell phones).
  • Co-counseling is acceptable so long as you have a significant level of involvement; if you continue to co-counsel, you must direct the predominance of those sessions as you advance in internship.
  • Case management, strict behavioral modification, and crisis counseling (e.g., crisis hotline, suicide diversion intervention that occurs outside of a traditional counseling session) do not align with the training and curriculum of Walden’s counseling programs and will not count toward direct client hours.
  • Substance abuse counseling cannot be the majority of direct hours.
  • Academic advising will not count toward direct client hours for any program other than the MS in School Counseling program.

Supervision Requirements

Faculty Group Supervision

You are required to participate in a 2-hour faculty group supervision videoconference with your classmates and faculty supervisor during each week of enrollment in field experience, for a total of at least 15 hours during each quarter.

  • Attendance of all faculty group supervision videoconference calls is expected, even if total group supervision hours exceed 15 hours during the quarter.
  • You must attend faculty supervision via both audio and video at the designated time. You are required to adjust your schedule to accommodate the faculty group supervision videoconference, as needed.
  • You will earn weekly points for attendance, professionalism, and participation on the faculty group supervision call.
  • Your Faculty Group Supervision Contract must be completed (signed by both you and your faculty supervisor) for you to participate in faculty group supervision.

Note for International Students: Like all students in field experiences, international students are required to participate in weekly videoconference group supervision. You will need to plan accordingly for any time zone differences.

Site Supervision

You are required to participate in at least 1 hour of supervision with your Walden-approved site supervisor during each week of enrollment in field experience, for a total of at least 10 hours for each quarter. It is strongly recommended that supervision be scheduled for the same day and time each week. The Walden-approved site supervisor must perform the weekly supervision for the hours to count toward the required supervision hours.

Site supervision must be

  • Either individual (just you and the site supervisor) or triadic (you, your site supervisor, and no more than one other student); group supervision cannot be substituted for this requirement;
  • Continuous (the 1 hour of required weekly supervision cannot be divided into shorter sessions); and
  • Live, either in-person or via videoconference (telephone supervision without a video component will not meet this requirement).

Note: If you see clients during the break weeks in between quarters, you must have weekly supervision from the Walden-approved site supervisor to count those direct hours.

Site Visits

You will be responsible for scheduling a Site Visit teleconference between your site and faculty supervisors during each term of enrollment in field experience. During the call, your supervisors will discuss the results of your Mid-Quarter Evaluation and consult on any other needs related to your field experience.

Note: Students working with more than one site for a field experience must schedule a site visit with the Walden-approved site supervisor at each field site.

Evaluations

The following evaluations are required for each quarter of enrollment in field experience:

  • Mid-Quarter Evaluation: completed by your Walden-approved site supervisor in Meditrek® prior to your site visit;
  • End-of-Quarter Evaluation: completed by the end of Week 10 by your Walden-approved site supervisor in Meditrek®; and
  • End-of-Quarter Evaluation: completed by your faculty supervisor in Meditrek® after your site supervisor has completed their end-of-quarter evaluation.

Satisfactory scores are 2 and above for Practicum and Internship I, and 3 and above for Internship II.

Note: Students working with more than one site for a field experience are required to be evaluated by the Walden-approved site supervisor at each field site.

Course-Based Requirements

The field experience courses consist of discussions, quizzes, skills demonstrations, and application assignments, similar to other courses in your program.

Note: Submitting any work for course assignments that has already been submitted for prior courses is considered plagiarism and will result in an academic integrity violation.

Recording and Alternative Assignment Policy

You will be required to submit video recordings of one full-length client session in Practicum and two full-length client sessions in each quarter of Internship at designated points in the quarter. Each recording has specific requirements, and you should refer to the classroom instructions for guidance and associated due dates. Video recordings must occur during enrollment in the field experience course. Recordings that occurred prior to enrollment (for example, in a previous term if you are repeating the course) cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

The client session video recordings should be reviewed in your weekly on-site supervision sessions. This approach allows you to identify areas of progress and areas of needed improvement in a timely manner, as well as to receive instruction from your site supervisor to assist with the counseling process. The client session recordings must be submitted in the classroom by the due dates indicated on the syllabus so the course instructor can provide additional feedback.

If you are at a site where video recording is not possible or where submission of recordings cannot be made to the Walden University classroom, you will be required to submit the site’s recording policy to your field experience faculty supervisor who will provide you with the alternative assignment. You are expected to be knowledgeable of the recording requirements and inform your site of the recording requirements as part of the interview process.

Informed consent documents for recording purposes must be completed for all session recordings. You can either use site-based recording informed consent documents or templates provided in your field experience classroom at the discretion of the site supervisor.

Notes:

  • The camera must always remain on you (and not on the client).
  • You must get a signed parental or custodial consent for anyone under the age of 18 regardless of state and agency requirements.
  • Recording informed consent forms are not to be submitted in the field experience classroom, as this would constitute a breach in confidentiality. They are for use at the site only and should not be viewed by Walden faculty members. Instead, informed consent documents should remain a part of the client or student record at your field site.
  • You must delete all recordings from the classroom during Week 11 of each term, after grades and feedback from both videos are received.