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. 

Student helping patient with art therapy
Joint program between UIS’s Human Development Counseling department and SIU School of Medicine to do art therapy with memory loss patients. 

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 25 hours of individual, couple or family counseling 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. Across practicum and internship the direct service work must include group facilitation or co-facilitation (minimum 40 hours and maximum 120 group hours). Internship should be completed within two to three semesters. Across the clinical experience, students are to complete ALL hours in “roles and settings with clients relevant to their specialty area” (CACREP 2016, 3.J.). The Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling concentration requires 120 hours of couple or family direct service work.


The Department of Human Development Counseling and the University Counseling Center are each assigned one assistant from HDC; however, HDC students are eligible for other campus-based assistantships. HDC students are also eligible for Graduate Public Service Internships (GPSI) available each year. Interns receive a monthly stipend plus tuition waivers and work 20 hours per week during the academic year.

Counseling Honor Society

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honors society that acknowledges and supports excellence in Professional Counseling. The mission of our Sigma Sigma Upsilon Chapter is to “promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence” ( There are currently more than 150,000 initiated members nationally.

Counselors-in-training are eligible for membership in the Sigma Sigma Upsilon chapter at UIS after they have successfully completed 12 credit hours of counseling coursework, with an overall GPA of 3.5 or above, and the support of HDC faculty.

Visit our Chapter Group page for more information.

Questions regarding membership in Chi Sigma Iota/Sigma Sigma Upsilon may be directed to the Faculty Advisors: Dr. Tiffany Nielson or Dr. Tim Hakenewerth