Walden University- M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
There are two major field experiences in this degree program. These include a practicum, an internship, with a required 100 hours of clinical experience for the practicum and 900 hours for the internship.
For your practicum, Walden will help you choose a local site for you to practice client care and you will then be observed by a supervising professional in the field.
There are several places you can do your practicum at. These include: mental health centers, hospitals, college counseling centers, social service agencies, and of course private practices as well. The site you choose, however, must be approved by Walden prior to the start of your field work and you are report back and discusses cases with the school's practicum faculty twice a week.
The internship works in a similar manner, except that it is a longer field experience. You are to demonstrate all off the knowledge obtained in your online coursework and put it into practice. You will be observed and evaluated by a licensed mental health practitioner Walden's field experience coordinator will work with you to determine which site will be best suitable for you and your interests. This coordinator acts as your "academic advisor" and will be the mediator between the supervising practitioner and the internship faculty at the school. You will be assessed on your application of skills and interaction with your clients and evaluation of their cases.
In addition to these field experiences, there are two 6-day residencies, where on campus attendance is required that focuses on more in-depth training and preparation for the field as well as peer and faculty interaction. The first of these involves workshops and is a prerequisite for the practicum and the internship. The second involves individual sessions and a 10 hour group session.
If you are interested in becoming an online student in the field of education or health care, there are options for field experiences or practicum experiences prior to graduation. It is possible to fulfill the requirements of online coursework in the same manner as traditional coursework, but at more of a convenience for you!