Practicum and Internship

The culminating Field Experiences of the CHR Program are the 100- hour Practicum and the 600- hour Internship Experiences.

The practicum is a 100 hour (3 credit) supervised experience, which will provide students with the opportunity to practice and enhance skills that they have acquired in previous courses.  Throughout the practicum experience, students gain familiarity with the counseling process and begin to conceptualize cases. Students are expected to find their own placement for Practicum, and must work under the supervision of a certified School Counselor or Clinical Mental Health Practitioner.
*Note: For full-time students in the School Counseling track, it is recommended that Practicum be completed in the Spring semester of your first year to allow for completion of Internship I & II beginning the following Fall semester.

Internship I and II are experiential courses which combine supervised counseling experience in an approved agency or school with an intensive review of this experience in seminars on campus. Students are required to participate in the six credit hour two-semester Internship sequence in a setting appropriate to their concentration in the Counseling Program. School Counseling students must work in an approved school under the supervision of a certified school counselor. Clinical Mental Health Counseling students are similarly required to work in an approved agency which corresponds to their area of professional interest. Students must log a minimum of 600 clock hours in their field experience during their two-semester Internship. The exact schedule is to be developed by the sponsoring agency/school personnel and the counselor trainee with the approval of their professor.

The purpose of the Internship is to provide the counselor trainee with the opportunity to work directly with clients individually, and in small groups. Hopefully, students will integrate their theoretical knowledge with the realities of the internship site. It is important that counselor trainees have a broad range of experiences, including some of the less desirable clerical tasks which are invariably associated with counseling.



Prior to beginning the Practicum Experience, students are required to have completed the following prerequisite coursework: CHR 8605 – Laboratory in Counseling Skills, CHR 8687 – Laboratory in Counseling Theory and Practice, CHR 8883 --  Ethics and Professional Orientation in Counseling and CHR 8688 -- Clinical Mental Health Orientation or CHR 8680 School Counseling Orientation.  Students may take CHR 8655  -- Laboratory in Group Dynamics concurrently with the practicum experience.


To qualify for Internship I, students must have completed Level I and Level II (with faculty approval, a student may take a Level II course concurrently with Internship) and submit an Application for Internship.

* ApplicationForInternship.pdf
Application for Internship

Those applying for a Fall semester Internship must file an application by February 1; those applying for a Spring semester Internship must file by October 1. Application for internship does not replace registration; it simply alerts the faculty of a student's intentions.

Internship I and Internship II are each three-credit courses which are typically completed in the same school/agency during consecutive semesters. Students need apply for Internship I only; it is assumed they will continue with Internship II the following semester. Students must register for both Internship I and Internship II.

Students applying for an internship in a school setting must plan to complete Internship I during the Fall semester and Internship II during the Spring semester, to coincide with the calendar of most schools. A Spring and Summer semester Internship I and II experience is usually offered for Clinical Mental Health students. Internship I and II are uniquely intensive courses; students are advised to plan accordingly, avoiding additional demanding course work. Students may, but usually do not, receive pay for Internship.

Professional Liability Insurance

The Counseling Committee requires all internship students to carry and to provide proof of coverage of professional liability insurance for the period during which they are enrolled in internship. Students may not begin working at a field site without having met this requirement. For internships which span the Fall and Spring semesters, coverage should commence August 1st and extend over 12 months. For Internships which commence in the Spring, coverage should commence December 1st and extend over seven months. The maximum amount of liability/malpractice insurance is recommended.

Although there may be other sources of insurance which students are welcome to explore, we recommend insurance through the American Counseling Association (ACA), 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304, 1.800.545.2223 or 703.823.9800. One must be a member of ACA before he/she can qualify for this insurance. Membership dues are reduced for students. Forms for both membership and insurance coverage are available in the Office of Education and Human Services.

Child Protective Services Law

The following information pertains to counselor trainees who desire an internship in Pennsylvania's public schools. Pennsylvania Act 34, the Child Protective Services Law, requires all employees of Pennsylvania's public schools to submit to a criminal record check and child abuse history clearance. The purpose of Act 34 is to protect students from adults with criminal records of abuse to children. A teacher, counselor, administrator or staff member with a record of abuse cannot continue/find employment in Pennsylvania's public elementary and secondary schools.

Applicants to Pennsylvania's public schools and, in many cases, internship students and student teachers, are asked to provide proof that they have been investigated and received clearance.

Pennsylvania Resident Requirements

Go to any Pennsylvania State Police barracks and request the forms required by Act 34. School personnel offices will often have the forms. Forms are also available in the department, SAC 302 and online at:

Complete the form and mail it to Harrisburg with the required $10.00 fee. Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Student and School Services, Bureau of Community and Student Services, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17126‑0333. Phone: 717.783.3750

Clearance documentation will be sent by mail in two to six weeks.

Non-Pennsylvania Resident Requirements

Go to any Pennsylvania State Police barracks and request the forms required by Act 34.

Be finger printed (the FBI uses these prints to complete the investigation; Pennsylvania State Police do not have jurisdiction outside of the state.)

Complete the form and mail it to Harrisburg with the required $10.00 fee. Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Student and School Services, Bureau of Community and Student Services, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17126‑0333. Phone: 717.783.3750

Clearance documentation will be sent by mail in six to ten weeks.

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Tuition Reduction

Teachers and school administrators  may apply for a special Tuition Reduction
40% for those employed by Catholic schools;
20% for those employed by non-Catholic schools.

Additional links to financing options are found on the Graduate Studies pages and the benefits for everyone are shown here ....  Why Villlanova?


Department of Education & Counseling
302 St. Augustine Center
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4620
Fax: 610.519.4623

Faculty Assistance

Although the major responsibility for internship placement rests with the student, faculty members willingly assist students by writing letters and making telephone calls so as to facilitate a placement in the student's best interest. In the Spring semester, students in the Counseling program should contact the professor in whose section he/she is enrolled to discuss possible sites. After registration, students will be contacted by their Villanova internship supervisor for an internship orientation meeting which will be held the spring before the internships begin.

Students interested in completing their internship in the School District of Philadelphia must contact a faculty member to obtain a copy of the policies and procedures of the School District of Philadelphia. Due to the fact that there is a plethora of clinical mental health agencies and school districts, a practicum/internship site directory is made available to facilitate internship placement for students in the Counseling program. The directory may be obtained from the Department of Education and Human Services office.