Practicum and Internship
Field experiences are vital building blocks in your development as a professional counselor. To enhance your direct service and professional skills and knowledge, Walden requires each M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling student to take part in a supervised practicum and internship.
While both the practicum and internship offer rigorous, supervised, hands-on experiences, the practicum, which lasts for one quarter, offers an introductory perspective to direct practice with the supervision of a qualified professional. Throughout the practicum, you will be able to take what you have learned in your coursework and research and apply that knowledge to the care of clients.
An internship is longer, more intensive, and offers a broader experience with added responsibility under direct supervision. Internships are designed to further develop the key competencies required to perform as a practitioner in the field. This planned, programmed training series is overseen by a licensed mental health practitioner.
After completing the prerequisite coursework, you’ll work with Walden’s field education faculty to find the most suitable field experience. The field education coordinator can provide information about potential sites and help you determine what type of site and practice experience best fits your area of interest. The coordinator will also act as your advocate during the administration of the practicum and internship, providing site directors with key information about Walden and your academic training.
Walden also offers a Field Training Intensive that helps you understand the complete field training process and the steps required to prepare and sit for state licensing exams. The Field Training Intensive, which takes place during each six-day residency, includes lectures and other information sessions as well as hands-on simulations and problem-solving designed to prepare you to apply for and take part in a successful field training experience.