Supervised Clinical Experience

The Department of Human Development Counseling offers three separate levels of supervised counseling experience. In HDC 512 Prepracticum students demonstrate their competency with basic skills using classmates and other HDC students as clients. After successfully completing the Prepracticum as well as HDC 501, HDC 511, HDC 513, HDC 515, HDC 546, HDC 575, students are eligible to enroll in HDC 587 Professional Experience: Practicum. Practicum is offered in agencies and schools in the community and emphasizes the development of individual and group counseling skills with real clients. The program concludes with HDC 590 Professional Experience: Internship which offers an in-depth supervised field experience in schools or agencies. Internship enables students to refine and enhance the knowledge and skills developed during practicum and to engage in all of the counselor’s professional activities.

NOTE: There is no guarantee that each student requesting practicum or internship placement can be accommodated in a particular semester. Individual agencies may have policies limiting placement or requiring additional training before working with clients. Upon the recommendation of the faculty, students may be required to take additional coursework before placement approval. A student who has received permission to enroll in a clinical experience and who withdraws after July 15 (Fall) and December 15 (Spring) will receive no priority in applying for the next semester’s clinical experience. A student who wishes to withdraw must notify the HDC Department Chair by letter stating a reason for such action.

A student who has signed up for an initial clinical experience cannot have his/her name placed on a list for the subsequent enrollment period at the same time.

Clinical Experience Goals

In order to successfully complete practicum and internship, students will:

1. Examine their personal dynamics and behavior as these relate to the helping relationship

2. Demonstrate the HDC competencies in individual and group counseling identified under the categories of:

  • Process Skills
  • Group Counseling Skills
  • Relationship Skills
  • Professional Growth
  • General Supervision

3. Demonstrate understanding and skills specifically related to counseling clients in a multicultural society:

  • Using appropriate consultation skills with parents, teachers, significant others, and agency representatives
  • Helping clients access community resources
  • Using preventive strategies applicable to the agency’s clientele
  • Helping to provide outreach programs to the community
  • Helping implement administrative policies, procedures, ethics, and legal aspects of practicum or internship site.


Students are eligible for practicum after completing HDC 501, HDC 511, HDC 512, HDC 513, HDC 515, HDC 546 and HDC 575.

The supervised practicum requires a minimum of 100 clock hours with a minimum of 40 hours of direct service work with clientele appropriate to the program area of study. The direct service work must include a minimum of 15 hours of group facilitation or co-facilitation and no more than 120 hours.

NOTE: Liability Insurance. Professional liability insurance is required for participation in practicum and internship. Liability insurance is available to ACA student members at special student rates (for $1,000,000,000 each accident/$3,000,000 annual aggregate.) Students are expected to have applied for liability insurance prior to the start of practicum.


Students must successfully complete practicum as well as HDC 521, HDC 524, HDC 525 HDC 533, HDC 543 and associated concentration course(s) (HDC 542, HDC 531, or 2 of 4 MCFC courses) before enrolling in Internship.

The supervised internship requires a minimum of 600 clock hours including a minimum of 240 hours of direct service work with clientele appropriate to the program concentration. The direct service work must include a minimum of 25 hours of group facilitation or co-facilitation (maximum 120 group hours). Internship should be completed within three semesters. The Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling concentration requires 120 hours of couple or family direct service work.