Students enrolled in the Mental Health Worker Track of the Psychology Major are required to complete at two semesters of practical experience. Gaining experience in the field is an important way for students to encounter real-life clinical situations in a supervised environment and make critical decisions about career paths in the counseling field. Each practicum provides students with approximately ten agency hours per week for a full semester (minimum 120 hours total) and includes an on-campus seminar where students learn more about case conceptualization, ethical boundaries, and counselor wellness, while gaining additional supervision of their field work.
Students prepare for Practicum I by demonstrating mastery in the prerequisite courses: Introduction to Psychology (PS101), Theories of Personality (PS315), Abnormal Psychology (PS301), and Theories/Techniques in Counseling Psychology (PS430). Additionally, students must display readiness for field placement with the maturity and professionalism necessary to represent Mount Ida College in the community; thus, permission of instructor is necessary to enroll. Students will spend a minimum of 120 hours per semester as a supervised volunteer at a human service/mental health agency approved by the Program Director of Psychology. Supervision in the field will include training and meetings with a degreed, credentialed supervisor who communicates with the practicum supervisor about the student's progress and developmental needs as a counselor-in-training. The practicum seminar will take a treatment team approach, meeting as a regular course does, with individualized readings, assignments, and presentations designed to enhance the student's ability to work with the population served at practicum. Students will take Practicum II (PS402), an additional semester of supervised field work, after successful completion of Practicum I, with positive recommendations from the site supervisor and Practicum I seminar instructor.
Prior to Practicum I, students:
- Must demonstrate mastery in prerequisite courses listed above;
- Should speak with practicum site supervisors and previous students from those sites;
- Arrange for interview(s) with the site supervisor(s) until an agreed match is made (interview during the spring semester for fall placement and during the fall semester for spring placement – see "Interviewing for Practicum" below);
- Complete the Practicum Form with your site supervisor, specifying hours, duties, and supervision time;
- E-mail the Program Director for Psychology at firstname.lastname@example.org with a summary of your desired practicum for preliminary approval and to arrange a time to meet, discuss readings, and have your paperwork signed;
- Bring your completed form and a current copy of your transcript to your meeting with Dr. Miranda;
- Bring your completed Practicum Form, with all signatures, to the Registrar’s Office so that you are officially enrolled for credit; and
- Arrange to meet with your supervisor during the first day of your practicum.
During your Practicum experience, be sure to represent Mount Ida College in a professional manner, including excellent attendance and ethical interactions with clients and agency employees. Attend all Practicum Seminar meetings as scheduled, as credit for practicum depends on both your field work and seminar work. After successful completion of Practicum I, students in the Mental Health Worker Track must take Practicum II. The enrollment process for Practicum II is the same as for Practicum I. Students in other tracks may apply for Practicum as an elective beyond their requirements for Senior Seminar and/or Senior Thesis, however, they must demonstrate exceptional clinical ability to be considered.