Field learning is considered to be at the center point of any counselor education program. The internship provides the opportunity to combine didactic learning with actual experience in a clinical setting where students can engage in mental health counseling practice under the direct supervision of skilled and experienced licensed mental health professionals.
Within this clinical component of the program, the counselor-in-training develops the skills and competencies associated with the field of professional counseling. The student intern acquires a professional identity and an understanding of the role of the counselor in a variety of settings. The student intern acquires proficiency and confidence by applying his or her overall learning and emerging skills to work with clients, under the supervision of qualified and approved supervisors. Typically, students will spend one academic year (two consecutive semesters) in the same internship site. In addition to the required hours in the field, students are enrolled in an internship seminar class. The supervised internship experience is a preparation requirement for the mental health license in all states.
Students in the Program for Mental Health and Wellness are required to complete the New York State licensure requirement of a minimum of 600 hours (300 hours each semester or 20 hours per week) during two consecutive semesters in an approved mental health setting.
Students work closely with the Program Internship Director to secure their site based on their interests, skills and site availability. Every effort is made to match students with appropriate sites. Students have completed their internship in community mental health settings, LGBT programs, university counseling centers, addiction treatment programs, and domestic violence and rape crisis settings, among others.