Practicum & Capstone Project

The Applied Child & Adolescent Psychology: Prevention & Treatment degree program includes valuable hands-on experience through an extensive practicum and a capstone project, allowing you to integrate your classroom knowledge with real-world practice.

Practicum

therapist and child

In this supervised clinical experience, you’ll get a chance to apply your classroom learning to a mental health or community setting where children and adolescents with mental health concerns are being treated. You'll work under the guidance of a clinical supervisor, such as a psychologist, social worker, counselor or related professional.

Practicum Goals

While the exact details of the practicum will vary depending on the services offered at the practicum site, each practicum experience is designed to allow you to:

  • Gain real-world, hands-on experience in a mental health, community or educational setting
  • Strengthen your assessment, diagnostic and intervention competencies
  • Develop your professional interaction and communication skills
  • Benefit from the mentoring of experts in their area of practice

Students also meet on campus with faculty member two to consult on cases and discuss issues related to clinical work in general. You’ll talk about topics such as professional resilience (e.g., mindfulness and stress management, self-care, secondary trauma), ethical issues related to working with children; and how to be successful in a team environment.

Practicum Placement and Schedule

Practicum sites include community mental health agencies, group practices, schools and educational service districts, nonprofits, and health care organizations. Students share their interests and training goals with the practicum coordinator during the placement process, and every effort is made to match them with their preferred site. You’ll generally be placed at one of your top five choices.

Students work at a single practicum site for the duration of the program. Most practicum placements start in September and are 12 months long, although some last only 9 to 10 months. For 12-month placements, you’re expected to serve 16 hours a week (2 days). For 9- or 10-month placements, you’re expected to serve 20 to 22 hours a week in practicum. Students arrange their specific weekly schedule with the practicum site.

Capstone Project

The capstone project allows you to integrate in-class learning with your practicum experience. Through a final paper and a poster-style presentation, you’ll examine your conceptual understanding of a specific evidence-based treatment and analyze how it was applied to a specific case during your practicum.