Practicum in Counseling

Course Details

Course Number: COUN 5293  Section Number: 80

Summer I 2011

Location: Bea Wood Hall

Classroom Number: 226

Days & Times:

Mondays and Wednesdays - 5:30--7:30

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Judith Elaine Beechler LPCS, NCC   
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Course Objectives

This is designed as the culminating experience in the counseling program as it provides 150 clock hours of counseling experience under the supervision of experienced personnel.  This course is required for the student seeking certification as a school counselor or licensure as a professional counselor.  Prerequisites:  COUN 5273 and COUN 5283 PLUS PERMISSION OF Department Chair and relevant faculty.  The course is designed to:


  1. Provide opportunities to observe and consult with a successful counselor at a site where services are delivered.
  2. Provide 150 (200 school counselors) clock hours of experience performing counseling services under the supervision of both a qualified on-site professional and a faculty supervisor.  Counseling services will include:  individual counseling, group counseling, consulting, and no more than 15 hours test administration
  3. Provide shared insights with peer practicum students and professor regarding case conceptualizations, client reactions, and effective use of interventions and counseling style.
  4. If a student’s place of employment qualifies as a Practicum site, the student must complete 25 hours at another site.


Students are required to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of counseling skills and techniques
  2. Successfully complete 150 hours (100 Indirect hours, 50 Direct hours for General counselors and 100 each Indirect and Direct hours for School Counselors)
  3. Present audio &/or video tapes for review in class, if allowed by site
  4. Apply ethical standards through all practicum experiences
  5. Purchase required liability insurance ($14.50 annually)
  6. Document counseling services; provide an overall summary of practicum experience and comply with agency requirements for client notes
  7. Deliver to faculty supervisor evaluation forms signed by on-site supervisor/s.

CACREP Standards:

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) provides criteria for clinical instruction (Standards, 2001, Section III).  Among the requirements are:

  1. A site supervisor must have Masters Degree, 2 years experience, and knowledge of the program’s expectations, requirements and evaluation procedures for practicum students.
  2. Site settings for individual counseling and small-group work have assured privacy and sufficient space.
  3. Sites have procedures that insure the client’s confidentiality and legal rights are protected.


Course Objectives:

Students will be evaluated on their demonstration of the following behavior and skills.

The Practicum Counselor:

  1. Organizes duties in a clearly methodical manner.
  2. Demonstrated adequate knowledge of counseling skills.
  3. Clearly demonstrates empathic understanding for clients.
  4. Demonstrates ability to vary counseling strategies.
  5. Demonstrates ability to analyze and synthesize.
  6. Can identify and allow for individual differences.
  7. Administers tests with adequate skill.
  8. Uses and interprets tests and records appropriately.
  9. Writes client reports according to professional standards.
  10. Is punctual and reliable in attendance.
  11. Demonstrates a high degree of resourcefulness.
  12. Performs administrative duties and procedures responsibly.


The Practicum Counselor:

  1. Appreciates the philosophy and process of counseling.
  2. Respects each client.
  3. Benefits from learning experiences.
  4. Evaluates self honestly and effectively.
  5. Exhibits high degree of awareness of self and others.
  6. Respects attitudes and opinions of co-corkers.
  7. Accepts and applies suggestions of supervisors.
  8. Is open to peer feedback regarding clinical work.
  9. Reflects on the impact of self in relationships.
  10. Reflects on and articulates theoretical and ethical issues.

Course Expectations

Class Requirements:

  • .Students will complete and submit 2 SOAPS.  Specific instructions will be available in class.
  • Students will, on an ongoing basis, come to class prepared to discuss the progression of their clinical experience
  • Students are required to compose two (2) case studies.  Formatting and specific details will be discussed in class.  This assignment is to be turned in typed, APA format
  • Attendance is mandatory for each class.  If a student is unable to attend a class, he/she must contact the instructor prior to the absence.  In the event of an emergency, contact must be made as soon as feasible.


Please note:  The expectation for the class is that the student will complete the required 150 (200 for school counselors) hours during the semester.  A grade of Incomplete will be given under only the most extenuating circumstances, and only, if the student has completed 115 hours by Week 15.  Any student who receives a grade of Incomplete must attend the Practicum class offered the followed semester while complete the required hours.  A student must complete Practicum I before enrolling in Practicum II.

Grading Standards


Attendance and Participation             150 pts.

Case Study                                          100 pts.

SOAPS                                               100 pts..

Total points                                         350 pts.


350 – 300 pts. =          A

299 – 250  pts.=          B

249 – 199 pts. =          C

198 – 150 pts. =          D

150 and below            =          F

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend each class meeting.   Any absence must be approved by the instructor, and failure to obtain approval will negatively affect the student’s final grade.  Two unexcused absences will result in a lowering of the final grade by one letter.  More than two absences will require a meeting with the instructor. While it is imperative Practicum students complete their hours, class attendance is mandatory.


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.