Because practicum and internship enrollment periods are heavily supervised, the faculty must plan ahead to meet student needs. Students must file a statement of their intent to complete the practicum or internship by the middle of the semester prior to the semester in which they wish to begin. Students also are required to submit proof of liability insurance and to obtain Act 33 and 34 clearance verifying that they have not committed a felony and that they have not been indicated as a perpetrator of child abuse, prior to enrolling for the practicum or internship. Students can purchase liability insurance through student membership in the American Counseling Association (ACA or the American School Counselors Association (ASCA). FBI fingerprint clearances are also required. School Counseling Program students are also required to have a TB test prior to beginning their work in the school setting. Some Marriage and Family and Mental Health Counseling students may also be required to have a TB test prior to beginning their field experience if the agency with which they will be working requires the testing.
The 100-hour practicum is comprised of 1 ½ hour weekly group supervision sessions which students develop and refine counseling awareness, skills, and techniques and at least 40 hours of direct counseling service to counselees at an arranged practicum site. In addition to this, each practicum student also meets with a faculty supervisor for an additional hour of weekly individual or triadic supervision and one hour each week with their on-site supervisor.
The internship is usually a full-time placement directed by a supervisor on site as well as by a program faculty member who meets with students in a weekly internship group supervision seminar. The internship ordinarily lasts one semester. Some students may not complete the required hours and may need to register for an additional semester to complete the experience. Internships are offered in the Spring and Summer semesters. The Marriage and Family Internship and the Mental Health Internship are six-credit-600 hours. The Elementary School Counseling Internship and the Secondary School Counseling Internship are each 300 hours for a total of 600 hours..
In order to receive the required weekly faculty supervision, students must be enrolled for at least three internship credits each semester of their internship placement. Therefore, it is important that students carefully discuss and plan this schedule with their faculty and internship supervisors. Only six internship credits (reflecting 600 internship hours) will be counted toward graduation. Therefore students who do not finish the internship in the allotted amount of time will be charged additional tuition for credits which will not count toward graduation. Additional details of setting up the internship, supervision, course expectations, and requirements are outlined in the various Geneva College MA in Counseling Programs Practicum and Internship Manuals.
The first biopsychology major graduated in 2012 and has been hired as an IOM Tech in UPMC’s Center for Clinical Neurophysiology (CCN).