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.


Practicum Requirements

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
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.

Internship Requirements

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.

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.

Clearance Requirement Information

Below are the links for the four clearances needed for school counselors to complete all required field experiences. Clinical mental health students should check with their agency to see which clearances are needed. Please apply SOON as the process can take up to a month to be completed.  Your clearances are good for the length of time you are at Villanova and do NOT have to be redone yearly.  Once you get all four clearances back, please make a copy of each and give the copies to Jennifer Carangi, Field Placement Coordinator, in 302 SAC.  If you have any questions, contact Jennifer at

Act 34 PA State Police Background check

Act 151 Child Abuse Clearance

Act 114 FBI fingerprinting

TB Test can be done at the Villanova Health Center or through your family doctor.

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.