What is it?
- You can think of practicum as a sort of pre-internship. It gives you an opportunity to observe you supervisor, learn how to work within the school system, and practice your individual and group-counseling skills.
- You will spend 200 hours working in your practicum, this includes 24 hours of class-time and 175 hours spent at your site, completing homework, and designing a group counseling curriculum. You will keep track of hours on a weekly and monthly basis, getting signatures from your site supervisor and your university supervisor (Kathy Frazer).
- At the end you will complete a Portfolio of work you completed while working at your site, examples of assignments you might include are in a tread on the forum. By the end of the year you should be prepared to begin your internship.
- There is information about practicum included in the School Counseling Handbook (link at the top of the page)
What to do before December
- First you need to get your Certificate of Clearance. Kathy Frazer should be able to help you with this, but the file below has the basic instructions for applying for your certificate online. You will receive a confirmation email when your certificate is approved and you should keep this for your records and to submit as part of your packet.
- Next you need to make sure you complete a Livescan and get a background check and have your finger prints taken, you should get a receipt form the LiveScan and be ready to turn this in as a part of your packet.
- You will also need proof that you have had a TB test. You can get this done at the CVS minute clinic is you aren't sure what to do, and again, keep the receipt for your packet.
- You will need to pass both sections of the CBEST exam before starting your practicum. You can sign up for the exam at http://www.cbest.nesinc.com/ Once you pass the exam you will receive your results by mail and a copy of these should go in your packet.
- Finally, you will need to join ASCA and register for liability insurance before you start your practicum, all of this can be done online at http://www.schoolcounselor.org/
- You should turn everything in to Maria Lynch (basement of Smith Hall) and you can contact her with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
December and Beyond
- Sometime before December gets underway you should be starting to arrange a practicum site. Below is an excel file with sites recommended by Chapman. If you have a school in mind you can call that school's counseling department and ask if they are interested in having a Chapman practicum student.
- You should plan to start practicum around the same time as you start the second semester classes at Chapman, but you can get an early start if you want (starting early is a good idea if you will be working during this semester).
- Depending on the district you choose you may have to file some more paperwork and be fingerprinted again at the district office before you can start at the school, make sure to check on this before you are set to begin practicum.
- Once you start, you should keep track of your hours regularly (and keep copies for yourself just in case!) It's handy to buy a notebook to keep track of what you're doing while on site, as you need to record significant fieldwork activities on your weekly and monthly logs.
- One or two days a week should get you your hours by the end of the term without any problems.
- You should expect to be spending your time observing and conducting individual and group counseling, as well as doing schedule changes, reviewing 504 plans, attending IEP meetings and anything else going on at your site.
- Start thinking about your portfolio early!
- If you like your site you might be able to stay on as an intern in your second year. Hints on getting an internship will go up closer to the end of the year.