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Field Experience

Field experience is designed as the final learning experience and provides the opportunity to integrate and practice learning obtained throughout the degree/certification program. All students enrolling in a field experience for the first time are required to attend a Field Experience Orientation meeting (consult Counselor Link for meeting dates and information).

Even though the field experience is scheduled as one of the last classes in a student’s program, early planning is necessary. The department mandates that all required COUN degree coursework must be completed before a student is eligible for field experience. Electives and research (GSR 615) may be completed concurrently with the field experience or after its completion since they are not core counseling degree courses. Students should read the information below and consult the Field Experience Handbook to understand the requirements for this experience.

Course Requirements

The field experience provides a supervised clinical placement for students in the clinical mental health and school counseling programs. The exact plan and scope of the field experience will be determined by the field experience student, faculty supervisor, and site supervisor on an individual basis. However, the following are the minimum requirements for this experience.

Required Hours

Clinical Mental Health Counseling students and School Counseling students are required to complete a 600-hour field experience. Students may have a maximum of two field experience sites during the 600-hour field experience. Licensure-only or certification-only students may only be required to complete a 300-hour field experience. A breakdown of hours for both the 600- and 300-hour field experience is included below.

For 600-hour field experiences, students may complete the hours in one semester (600 hours) or over two semesters (300 hours each semester). For school counseling students, at least one 300-hour experience must be completed in a public school setting.

For Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling Single Certification students: Conduct a minimum of 75 hours (of the 240 total hours of direct service) of individual and group counseling sessions with clients over the course of the 600 hours. This includes a minimum of 10 individual counseling sessions and four ongoing group counseling sessions (including two classroom guidance lessons for School Counseling students) over the duration of the field experience.

For School Counseling Dual Certification students: At each certification level (elementary, secondary), conduct a minimum of 75 hours (of the 120 hours of direct service) of individual and group counseling sessions with students. This includes a minimum of 10 individual counseling sessions, four ongoing group counseling sessions, and two classroom guidance lessons at each certification level.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling Single Certification:

600 hours in one semester

Direct Service: 240 hours, including minimum 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Indirect Service: 360 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week group supervision at the university

Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling Single Certification:

600 hours over two semesters

Direct Service: 240 hours, including minimum 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Semester one (300 hours): 120 hours, including minimum 37.5 hours of individual and group counseling

Semester two(300 hours): 120 hours, including minimum 37.5 hours of individual and group counseling

Indirect Service: 360 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week group supervision at the university

Semester one(300 hours): 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week group supervision at the university

Semester two(300 hours): 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week group supervision at the university

School Counseling Dual Certification:

600 hours in one semester:

Direct Service: 240 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling at the elementary level and 75 hours of individual and group counseling at the secondary level

Elementary School (300 hours): 120 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Secondary School (300 hours): 120 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Indirect Service: 360 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university

Elementary School (300 hours): 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university

Secondary School (300 hours): 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university

School Counseling Dual Certification:

600 hours over two semesters:

Direct Service: 240 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling at the elementary level and 75 hours of individual and group counseling at the secondary level

Semester One, Elementary or Secondary School (300 hours): 120 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Semester Two, Secondary or Elementary School (300 hours): 120 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Indirect Service: 360 hours including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university

Semester One, Elementary or Secondary School (300 hours): 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university

Semester Two, Secondary or Elementary School (300 hours): 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university

300 hours in one semester: (For students seeking School Counseling Certification only, or license only, if needed for program)

Direct Service: 120 hours, including minimum of 75 hours of individual and group counseling

Indirect Service: 180 hours, including one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision per week on-site and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at the university.

The other requirements for the field experience can be found in the Field Experience Handbook, Planning Schedules, and PowerPoint Presentation:

Summer 2013, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 Field Experience Handbook

Summer 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Field Experience Handbook

Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 Planning Schedule

Spring 2015 Planning Schedule

Summer 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015 Field Experience PowerPoint Presentation

Pre-Field Experience Planning

Field Experience Orientation Meeting

All students enrolling in a field experience for the first time are required to attend a Field Experience Orientation meeting, typically scheduled in December for those students desiring summer, fall, and spring placements in the upcoming year. This meeting provides information on liability insurance, clearances, course requirements, site selection, time deadlines, etc. The additional steps for field experience planning are outlined below.

Step 1: Attend Field Experience Meeting

    Students become familiar with:

    1. Appendix A - Field experience application
    2. Planning schedule
    3. Professional liability insurance information
    4. Child abuse clearance, criminal background check, and arrest conviction clearance applications
    5. Federal fingerprinting clearance information
    6. TB test information
    7. ACA Code of Ethics
    8. Affiliation agreement information

    Students Submit:

    1. Appendix A1
    2. Transcript

    Step 2: Review Handbook and Eligibility Requirements

    Eligibility requirements include:

    1. Minimum of 3.00 GPA in master’s degree program
    2. All program course prerequisites have been completed.

    Step 3: Field Experience Approval and Registration

    After submitting your application, the field experience coordinator will notify you about class registration. You should register for your assigned section of the class.

    Step 4: Site Selection

    1. Review site requirements specified in Appendices D and E.
    2. Learn about field experience sites that seem most appropriate in satisfying the field experience requirements and meeting your personal and professional goals. A database is available to help with choices. Students are permitted to do the field experience at their place of employment if the site meets the field experience requirements and involves master’s level counseling work. Field experience sites must be within a 90-mile radius from the campus location (Indiana or Penn Center). Students may have a maximum of two field experience sites during the 600-hour field experience.
    3. Select your top choice as a field experience site and contact the site for an informal interview. Be prepared to do the following:
      1. Provide a copy of the Field Experience Handbook and your résumé to the potential site supervisor.
      2. State why you want to explore field experience opportunities at their site.
      3. Determine if the site can meet the field experience requirements.
      4. Determine if there is a mutual agreement for placement.
      5. Complete Appendix B.
      6. Work with site supervisor to complete other required paperwork (Appendices C-E).
      7. Check the database to determine if the site has a pre-existing affiliation agreement with IUP. (In the database, select the appropriate tab(s) at the bottom to look at site(s) that have current affiliation agreements). *If there is no existing Affiliation Agreement with the potential site, the student will take a blank copy of the Affiliate Agreement to the proposed site and obtain a signature from an individual who is able to sign on behalf of the site.
      8. Obtain and submit an affiliation agreement if needed.
      9. Complete and submit Appendix M.

    Step 5: Submit Required Paperwork

    To the field experience coordinator:

    1. Appendix A2 – Field Experience Application and transcript (Form requires student, advisor, and departmental contact for clearances signatures)
    2. Appendix B – Field experience item checklist and student agreement
    3. Appendix C - Field experience site information sheet
    4. Appendix D - Field experience contract
    5. Appendix E - Checklist/site and supervisor qualifications
    6. Appendix M – Affiliation agreement receipt
    7. Affiliation agreement (if required)
    8. Administrator Letter (if completing field experience at work site)
    9. Appendix A2 – Field experience application and transcript

    *Students who do not submit the paperwork by the required due dates may be referred to the Student Issues Committee.

    Dr. Lorraine J. Guth, Field Experience Coordinator
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Department of Counseling
    Stouffer Hall, Room 206
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705

    Step 6: Field Experience Approval

    After all paperwork is reviewed and found to meet eligibility requirements, you will receive an e-mail from the field experience coordinator stating that you are approved for field experience. After receiving this approval e-mail, you may begin the field experience on the first day of the IUP semester.

    Important Notes:

    Students must be in compliance with Departmental Clearance and Liability Insurance Policy. This means verifying that Appendix L, required clearances, TB test (if required), and proof of current professional liability insurance ($1 million per claim/$3 million per occurrence coverage) have been submitted to the departmental contact for clearances and will be current for the duration of the field experience. Failure to comply with this policy will result in removal from the field experience and referral to the Student Issues Committee.

    Continuing interns must submit a field experience application for the second placement and new paperwork by the specified due dates.

    Completing the Field Experience

    Interns are required to document their hours. Students should download and use the log for School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students who are continuing their field experience in a second semester should download and use the log for Continuing School Counseling or Continuing Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

    If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Lorraine J. Guth at lguth@iup.edu.

    • Counseling Department
    • Stouffer Hall, Room 206B
      1175 Maple Street
      Indiana, PA 15705
    • Phone: 724-357-2306
    • Fax: 724-357-7821
    • Office Hours
    • Monday through Friday
    • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.