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University of Illinois Springfield

Department of Human Development Counseling University of Illinois Springfield

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Practicum Policies

Policy for Employment in Practicum

Definition of counseling employment: 40% direct contact with clients (individual, couple, family, or groups) for the purpose of personal change (growth, self awareness, behavior change, etc.) involving identification and application of counseling skills.

Field experience options for a student employed in a full-time counseling position:

  • Change counseling agencies with or without leave of absence
  • Change counseling units within the same agency
  • Reduce time in primary unit, take on second unit for 20% of work time
  • Maintain same job, alternate clinical supervisor. Requires minimum 1 contact a week with on-site supervisor accessible and providing consultation as needed
  • Maintain same job and same on-site supervisor, but increase supervision. Requires additional 1 contact per week and change in focus of supervision
  • Same part time job, additional part time placement
  • Full time job with additional 6% practicum hours per week
  • No change of employment, full practicum or internship credit for regular full-time or part-time job. (This applies to students in their first year of employment on this job.)
  • Exceptions for the unusual case require documentation of student expertise.

HDC Policy Regarding Inadequate Performance in Practicum

In the event that a student’s performance during practicum is seriously inadequate and/or the student is disruptive to the operation of the placement site, the Department of Human Development Counseling reserves the right to remove that student from his/her field placement at the discretion of the faculty practicum supervisor and on-site supervisor, in consultation with the student’s adviser. In such cases, remedial steps will be recommended as deemed appropriate. A student may apply for readmission to practicum when all remedial steps have been carried out to the satisfaction of the student’s faculty practicum supervisor and adviser. If the student’s performance in practicum is in violation of the HDC policy on student conduct, appropriate measures will be taken as outlined in that policy statement.

Policy on Student Conduct

Since counselors interact with their clients at a time when clients are particularly vulnerable, counselors must exhibit professional judgment and behavior. HDC students are expected to display personal and professional integrity in their roles as counselors, students, and citizens. Any violation of professional ethics (ACA Ethical Standards), the university code or local, state, or federal laws will be grounds for consideration by the HDC Department Committee that the student be removed from the HDC Department. The Department Committee’s decision shall be independent of the student’s academic achievement and of any decisions made by professional organizations or the legal system.

Gatekeeping

The counselor educator has a responsibility to the community to ensure that unprepared counselor-trainees are not allowed to advance in the counseling Department. The faculty reserves the right to review a student’s fitness, at any time, on the basis of personal characteristics or dispositions for continuing in the Department.

Students with characteristics or dispositions that could prove dysfunctional in the profession will be reviewed by the entire Department when it is so recommended by two or more faculty members. The Department’s evaluation results in a recommendation for: (a) continuation in the Department, (b) continuation with conditions, or (c) dismissal from the Department.

HDC Policy on Appeals

To appeal a decision regarding a grade or another Department matter, the student will first try to settle the disagreement with the faculty or staff member involved. If still dissatisfied the student will next consult the adviser, and finally, the Department Chair. If the student is still dissatisfied with the results, a written request will be submitted to the Chair for a hearing before the HDC Department Committee. The University grievance process remains available if all efforts at the Department level are unsatisfactory.

University Policy on Appeals

A grievance is a complaint arising from any alleged unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by a member of the University community which adversely affects the status, rights, or privileges of any member of the student body. The two principal functions of the student grievance are to determine whether institutional error has occurred and, if so, to determine an appropriate redress for the grievant.

Grievable issues are those in which there is a possibility of error in University policies and procedures (or lack of them) and/or the administration of such policies and procedures. A complete statement of policy and procedures is available on the Student Affairs website.

Evaluation Protocols

Evaluation is viewed as an important part of the clinical experience, enabling the HDC Department to provide constructive feedback to students and faculty supervisors and to provide high quality clinical experiences for HDC students.

Formative evaluation occurs throughout the clinical experience in group and individual supervisory sessions from peers and supervisors. Summative evaluations are provided in writing by University and on-site supervisors.

For practicum students, the faculty supervisor is the primary supervisor and uses the “Faculty Supervisor’s Evaluation of Practicum Student” Form. On-site supervisors provide feedback in written narrative form using the “On-site Supervisor’s Evaluation of Practicum Student” Form. These written evaluations of Practicum students are placed in the students’ permanent file in the HDC office.

At the conclusion of the practicum experience, students are asked to evaluate the faculty/primary supervisor using the “Practicum Student’s Evaluation of Faculty Supervisor” Form and the placement site using the “Practicum Student’s Site Evaluation” Form. Students’ evaluations of placement sites are kept by the HDC Department; evaluations of the faculty supervisor are kept by the HDC Chair.