Clinical Education

Students will receive both Practicum and Internship Handbooks detailing specific information about clinical education requirements and assessment prior to their Practicum and Internship experiences.

Description of Clinical Experiences

The clinical portion of the graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology consists of dyadic/experiential and clinical course work. (Please consult curriculum on pages 21-23 for sequence of coursework.)

Didactic/Experiential Coursework:

RPSY 806:  Applied Counseling Skills in Rehabilitation Counseling & Psychology
This course blends didactic and laboratory instruction in order to bridge the gap between counseling theory and the application of counseling principles.  Students will be presented counseling techniques and skills necessary to function as a professional rehabilitation counselor in the didactic portion of the course.  The laboratory experience is designed to enhance interviewing skills and case conceptualization abilities that will prepare the student for practicum experience.  Students will be expected to responsibly use video recording equipment for taping simulated situations, which will then be reviewed with the course instructor and the class.  Pre-requisite for this course is successful completion of RPSY 702: Theories of Counseling and RPSY 712: Diagnosis & Practice with passing grades of “P” or better; failure to do so will prevent student from proceeding in the program. Students must complete RPSY 806: Applied Counseling Skills with at least a grade of “P” in order to enroll in RPSY 802 : Practicum.


RPSY 714: Principles of Group Counseling in Rehabilitation Counseling & Psychology
This course helps students learn strategies and techniques for developing and implementing groups in counseling. Attention is given to group counseling with persons with disabilities, specifically those with developmental and psychiatric disabilities.  As part of the course, students will have the opportunity to learn about group process and procedures by leading the class through group activity as well as observing outside groups in various agencies and leading an outside group.           RPSY 714: Group Counseling is a prerequisite for enrolling in RPSY 810:  Internship.  Students must complete RPSY 714: Group Counseling with at least a grade of “P” in order to enroll in RPSY 810: Internship.

Clinical Coursework
Note:  Students are required to complete clinical courses uninterrupted as scheduled. Once clinical experiences have begun, students must continue uninterrupted on schedule in sequence, until the full course of activities is completed. (Please be aware that even though clinical coursework may extend into summer, "vacation days" are not permitted while participating in practicum or internship). In the case of personal hardship, which may preclude a student from continuing the clinical experience, a written request to withdraw from the experience must be submitted to faculty.  If faculty agree to grant the student request, a letter must also be sent by the student to the site supervisor.  The Clinical Instructor at the time will also contact the site supervisor to discuss the student’s discontinuation of the clinical experience.  If the student’s request is approved by faculty, the student must repeat the clinical sequence the next time it is offered.
Note:  Students are required to supply their own micro cassette tape recorder and tapes to be used during their Practicum/Internship experience.

RPSY 802 - Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling & Psychology
Practicum provides Rehabilitation Counseling students with the opportunity to apply counseling theory and skills learned in prerequisite courses to a real world, clinical setting, as well as giving students the opportunity to participate in other related rehabilitation activities at the facility. In addition, students are taught to utilize sound clinical judgment by applying ethical decision making principles. Practicum facilitates development of basic rehabilitation counseling skills and prepares students for more advanced practice in their internship experience. The following topics will be covered in the didactic portion of practicum class: crisis intervention; assessing lethality; scope of practice and ethical standards for rehabilitation counselors; professionalization; review of HIPPA guidelines; an introduction to potential practicum sites, and practicum guidelines.  In order to successfully complete Practicum, students must reach a level of competency in counseling as determined by the faculty supervisor and site supervisor, and have had sufficient counseling experience so that supervisors feel comfortable recommending students to advance to more independent counseling function in Internship. The Practicum experience consists of 8 hours per week at the practicum site for 16 weeks, with a minimum of 120 hours of clinical practicum experience. Students are expected to complete the full uninterrupted 16 weeks of Practicum.  At least 40 hours of this time must be spent in direct client service as defined in the Practicum Manual.  Due to the developmental nature of practicum, 8 hours per week is regularly expected to meet the practicum hour requirement (in certain instances students may be encouraged to participate in educational experiences that may contribute to their clinical development at the site). The faculty supervisor will determine whether more than 8 hours in a given week will be counted toward fulfilling the practicum hour requirement. Failure to obtain 40 hours of direct client service or failure to attain a minimum of 120 hours may result in students needing to extend Practicum until the full complement of direct client service hours is obtained.  Each student must receive 1 hour a week of individual supervision on site from a faculty approved site supervisor.  The designated site supervisor must have at least a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC preferred) or in another credentialed counseling-related field.  Students are also required to attend a didactic seminar as well as meet once per week with faculty on campus for individual and/or group supervision. Only faculty pre-approved Practicum sites may be utilized. All Practicum placements must be within an hour of traveling time from campus unless preapproved by the faculty. Practicum is a prerequisite to entering the Internship in Rehabilitation Counseling.  Students must complete Practicum with at least a grade of “P” in order to enroll in Internship. Failure to reach a minimum level of competence in the estimate of faculty and/or site supervisor may result in extending practicum, repeating practicum, or failing practicum.

RPSY 810: Internship in Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology –
Internship is a full-time clinical experience consisting of 40 hours per week for 16 weeks at a faculty approved site consistent with the students chosen specialty track – either developmental or psychiatric disability.   Internship is designed to provide opportunities for students to refine their Rehabilitation Counseling skills and to prepare students for successful entry level employment as a Master’s level Rehabilitation Counselor.  During Internship, in addition to further counseling experiences, students will also participate in service delivery such as case management, community re-entry, vocational placement, and administrative activities.  During Internship students are required to complete the full 16 weeks, uninterrupted, and to have a minimum of 600 hours of applied experience in an agency pre-approved by the rehabilitation-counseling faculty. At least 240 hours in internship must consist of direct service to consumers. Failure to attain direct client service hours or failure to attain the minimum internship hours may necessitate extension of the internship experience beyond the 16 weeks, and potentially postpone graduation from the program.  Students are required to have at least one hour per week of supervision on site by a designated site supervisor.  The designated site supervisor must have at least a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC preferred) or in another credentialed counseling-related field.  If the site supervisor does not have a CRC, students must have weekly supervision by a CRC faculty member. Students are expected to attend a scheduled seminar and participate in group supervision on campus with rehabilitation counseling faculty.  All internship placements must be within an hour of traveling time from campus unless preapproved by the faculty.  Students must complete all the requirements for Internship with a “P” or better in order to qualify for graduation from the Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology Program. Students who fail to reach a satisfactory level of competence in the estimation of the faculty and/or site supervisor will, depending on the seriousness of the deficit, extend internship, repeat internship, or in the most severe cases, be dismissed from the program. Students should adhere to their course syllabus for a complete listing of all requirements.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE:

RCP Program Requirements for Clinical Education

  1. All practicum or internship sites must be pre-approved by faculty.

Sites Approved by Faculty for Practicum or Internship Must:

  • Serve persons with disability.  Internship sites must serve individuals with a developmental or psychiatric disability.
  • Have at least one person at the site with at least a master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC preferred) or other counseling field who is willing to provide one hour per week of one-to-one supervision with the student.
  • Have a signed and fully executed Affiliation Agreement between the School of Medicine and the agency.
  • Be within one hour of travel time from the University.
  • Be recognized by state or federal licensure or accreditation by the accrediting body appropriate to that agency.
  • Be able to provide the student with a representative sample of the agency’s client population for counseling.
  • Allow students to tape the counseling session (or an approved alternative).
  1. Prior to entering Practicum or Internship, students must provide documentation of:

 

  • Enrollment in personal health and accident insurance
  • Immunization record as well as any other specific health record required by the clinical site
  • Results of Tuberculosis Test
  • Current CPR certification
  • Record of Hepatitis B series (or Waiver as appropriate)
  • Completion of OSHA Training including blood borne pathogens and Tuberculosis/General Infection
  • Completion of HIPAA Training
  • Results of Drug Tests and fingerprinting (If required by Clinical Site)
  • Results of current Criminal background check*
  • Paid tuition receipt for RPSY 802:  Practicum and RPSY 810:  Internship given to RCP Program Assistant no later than the date of the first class of

the semester when students are enrolled in these two courses.

*Please be aware that a positive criminal background check may preclude you from participation in the clinical portion of the program.  Please note you must complete the clinical components of the program in order to graduate.  Students, who are concerned about this, should contact their academic advisor immediately.

Active status for all requirements listed above will be reviewed annually for second year students during the thurd week of August and any expired status in any requirement will prevent the student from entering or continuing their clinical placement. Before students can enter Practicum or Internship, the Clinical Training Requirements checklist on pages 35-36 must be completed.  Students should keep a copy of all documents for further use.  In order to be admitted to Practicum or Internship, 2nd year students should attach copies of all documents to the checklist and give the completed packet to the RCP Program Assistant no later than August 23rd.  Incomplete packets will not be accepted.  If various requirements or certifications have expired (such as CPR certification/OSHA-HIPAA training, TB test) or if all requirements are not completed students will not be allowed to begin Practicum or Internship.  The checklist must be complete and returned to the RCP Program Assistant by August 23rd. Failure to have materials returned to the RCP Program Assistant on time could cause the student’s program to be delayed by one year until the course is offered again.

Note:  When entering the program, even if certification or other requirements are not up for renewal, it is in the student’s best interest to renew requirements to meet the August deadlines so they will be in accordance with the RPSY schedule and therefore will have no delay entering Practicum or Internship. Students who withdraw from clinical experiences are responsible for renewing these requirements.  All requirements must be updated and valid before students will be allowed to return to the clinical experience. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the selected Practicum/Internship site to determine if additional requirements or documentation are required.
Students may not participate in dual capacities during Practicum or Internship.  That is, they may not be employed at the agency, fulfilling employment responsibilities, while at the same time fulfilling training requirements in Internship.  Students may receive a paid stipend for a paid Internship, but this stipend must be time limited and done in accordance with University policies concerning student training.  This avoids potential liability issues and confusion regarding whether the student is acting in the role of intern or employee.

PROCESS FOR SELECTING CLINICAL SITES:

Student placements at clinical sites are determined several factors.

  • Placement at the site is determined by the availability of an opening at the site
  • The Affiliation Agreement (See Appendix E) between the site and the University must be fully executed
  • Willingness of an individual at the site with at least a Master's Degree or higher in Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC preferred) or closely related counseling profession to accept a practicum student and to provide one hour of face to face supervision per week
  • Specific interests and career goals of the student in collaboration and discussion with their academic advisor
  • Students’ professional presentation, as well as skill and ability
  • Final decisions on placement sites will be made based upon the site’s ability and/or willingness to participate and/or by the faculty's judgment of the student’s ability to perform the various tasks, duties, and demands at each site
  • The faculty advisor or supervisor will share information with the site supervisor regarding the student’s strengths, limitations and any accommodations that may be required prior to final decisions regarding a student’s placement
  • Even the best efforts to secure a placement site cannot account for all the possible factors which might influence getting a clinical site confirmed in time. The Division cannot guarantee a clinical site for every student as a successful placement depends on certain factors that are beyond our control.

Note:  New clinical sites are considered for approval by the faculty.  In order for a prospective clinical site to be considered that is not on the approved list, faculty must have developed the placement and secured the signed affiliate agreement before a student could consider using the site.  Developing a prospective placement site does not guarantee a clinical site will meet the approval criteria and only the faculty can make that determination.

Practicum

  1. During Spring Semester Year 1, students should review faculty-approved sites described in the Clinical Placement Manual, which may be obtained from the RCP Program Assistant.
  2. After reviewing sites, students must discuss choices with their Faculty Advisor.  Under no circumstances are students permitted to contact prospective placement sites directly.
  3. By March 4th, students should request a “Practicum Request Form” from the Program Assistant and list their top two choices for Practicum placement.
  4. Faculty, as a whole, will review student requests and make preliminary placement decisions.  Although the student’s first choice will be considered as much as possible, the final decision will be based on:
  • Site availability
  • Number of students choosing a particular site
  • Faculty judgment regarding which site will best meet individual student needs.
  1. The Clinical Coordinator or a designee will contact each site to confirm the sites availability and willingness to participate.
  2. Once this confirmation has been obtained, the Clinical Coordinator or faculty advisor will notify each student of their potential placement site.
  3. Once students receive confirmation, they should contact their assigned site and arrange an interview.  Students should view the interview in the same way as they would if they were interviewing for a job at the site.  Individual sites have the right to make final determination regarding whether the student will be able to do their Practicum at the site.
  4. The Clinical Coordinator or faculty advisor will notify students of final placement once confirmation from the site is received.  If the student’s first choice is not possible, the student will be notified by the Clinical Coordinator or faculty advisor and the process described above will be repeated for the second site.

Internship
Prior to entering Internship, students must have successfully completed all didactic/experiential course work, successfully completed RPSY 714:  Group Counseling and RPSY 802: Practicum with a “P” or better, and successfully completed and defended their project/paper with their Committees.

All sites must be pre-approved by faculty and meet the criteria for faculty approved sites as described above.  In addition, Internship sites must serve the population that is consistent with the students chosen specialty of DD or PD.

  1. Students should begin exploring specific interests for Internship with their Faculty Advisor by mid-Fall semester and no later than October   15 thUnder no circumstances should students contact a site directly.
  2. By the end of Fall semester, students should submit an Internship request form to the faculty advisor or supervisor with their top two choices for placements.
  3. All Internship sites must be sites that have been pre-approved by Faculty.
  4. Faculty as a whole will review student requests and make preliminary placement decisions.  Although the student’s first choice will be considered as much as possible, the final decision will be based on:
  • Site availability
  • Number of students choosing a particular site
  • Faculty judgment regarding which site will be best meet individual student needs.
  1. The faculty supervisor or a designee will contact each site to confirm the sites availability and willingness to participate.
  2. Once this confirmation has been obtained, the faculty advisor or supervisor will notify each student of their potential placement site.
  3. When students receive confirmation, they should contact their assigned site and arrange an interview.  Students should view the interview as if they were interviewing for a job at the site.
  4. The faculty advisor or supervisor will notify students of final placement once confirmation from the site is received.  If the student’s first choice is not possible, the student will be notified by the faculty advisor or supervisor and the process described above will be repeated for the second site.
  5. Verification to confirm the intern placement with a site is then made by the Division.
  6. Verification that Allied Health has an active formal affiliation to cover the placement is confirmed (if the affiliation is becoming outdated, there will need to be a new one developed in advance of the students beginning a placement there).

 

Students who are interested in pursuing professional credentials other than CRC or LPC should check specific requirements for the credential prior to assignment to an Internship site.  It is the student’s responsibility to inform faculty of supervision requirements for the credential to determine whether a placement could be used to address the requirement.

Internship placements cannot be split between two sites unless preauthorized by the Division in order to obtain appropriately credentialed supervisors as related to specializations.

Student Performance & Remediation-
All students must be performing satisfactorily in both their clinical placements. In the unusual situation where a mid-term evaluation indicates unsatisfactory performance, the supervisor(s) will meet with the student to develop a remediation contract.  Students needing remediation in their clinical training will be required to meet with the site supervisor and faculty supervisor to review the student’s performance difficulties and develop an action plan.   Collaboratively all parties will develop a written determination of corrective actions for remediation or resolution of issues or problems.  The written determination will serve as a contract and include:
* Specific performance issues needing to be addressed
* Concrete steps to address the issues
* Clear plan with actions to identify how these steps will be evaluated
* Clinical practice measures which will be used to determine if effective remediation of the student’s performance difficulties has occurred

Following evaluation of the student’s progress in the action plan, an additional meeting with the site supervisor and faculty supervisor will occur to determine: if performance is acceptable; if the practicum needs to be extended; whether the practicum needs to be repeated; or if the practicum should be terminated. The student’s effort in the remediation plan will be factored into the final grade assigned in the clinical course.

Completion of Clinical Requirements and Extensions of Clinical Training-

All students are expected to finish their clinical requirements for Practicum and Internship on schedule within the semester of their original placement(s). It is the determination of the Faculty supervisor in conjunction with the site supervisor’s evaluation as to whether or not the student has successfully met the clinical training requirements in either of these courses based on the observed performance and professional conduct of the student.  A student may need to do additional hours on site and in effect extend their clinical placement(s), due to the unsatisfactory completion of the clinical training requirements. This will be ascertained by the faculty supervisor and site supervisor, explicitly giving the student details of what the extension of training will involve, e.g. a remediation plan and exactly what is expected in terms of student performance and professional conduct, so the student will know when the clinical course work can be completed. The student will officially be finished once the specified extension and performance/behavior requirements are accomplished during this period. Under no circumstances will students be permitted to continue in clinical placements after their requirements have been met. Students must terminate all their clinical client relationships in an ethically appropriate manner as part of their completion of clinical training. Under the new curriculum, failure to complete all the requirements of practicum and receive a grade for the class at the end of the fall semester, will result in an inability to continue on into internship and consequently delay finishing your program/graduating on time. Such is the case also for finishing internship, including fulfilling documentation requirements which will delay grading and finishing the program on schedule.

STUDENT REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN CLINICAL TRAINING (all levels)
updated 7/10/2011

*** All Students need to complete the Clinical Training Requirements checklist, attach all documents to the checklist, and give the completed packet to the RCP Program Assistant. Do not turn in incomplete packets.  Additionally, students should keep originals or their own copies of all documents as they will be needed throughout the student’s time in the program.  ** Online training –Contact the RCP Program Assistant for any problems accessing the websites listed. Be sure to print your exam results for each section of the trainings.  Some web browsers do not show all the materials.  Internet Explorer works for all the files.  Copies of completed Clinical Training documentation are due to the RCP Program Assistant by August 23, 2011 for all students. Failure to provide documentation by the due date will prevent second year students from beginning their Practicum/Internship placements. Additionally, it is important to note that students must maintain continuous coverage of all clinical training requirements as listed on the following pages 34-35, and students are responsible for giving a copy of their updated information to the Program Assistant to be placed in their permanent record as any changes occur.

Clinical requirements checklist for all students:

  • Enrollment in personal health and accident insurance, which must be maintained throughout the entire length of the program
  • Immunization record results must remain in file
  • Negative results of annual Tuberculosis Test
  • Completion of HIPAA Training

2nd Year Students only additional requirements

  • Record of Hepatitis B series (or appropriate waiver)
  • Completion of OSHA Training including blood borne pathogens and Tuberculosis/General Infection
  • Paid tuition receipt for RPSY 802: Practicum and RPSY 810: Internship given to RCP Program Assistant no later than date of first class of semester when students are enrolled in these two courses.
  • Completion of CPR training which may not expire during any clinical placement
  • Results of annual Criminal Background Check (facilitated by Allied Health Sciences)

Important: Second year student clinical requirements will be reviewed between August  16-23, 2011.  Failure to complete these requirements by the start of Fall classes in year two and staying current throughout the time students are active in their clinical placements will prevent students from participating in their clinical placements and possibly delay their program until the course is offered again, which may be the following year.