Practicum & Capstone Project
The 12-credit practicum allows students to get valuable hands-on practice right from the start of the program. 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.
Each quarter, you’ll work at a practicum site two days a week for a total of 8-10 hours. You'll work under the guidance of a clinical supervisor, such as a psychologist, social worker, counselor or related professional.
For those seeking to become a licensed mental health counselor, your practicum hours are designed to count toward licensing requirements. Over the course of the program, you’ll earn a total of 320-400 hours of practicum experience.
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 program faculty two hours a week to consult on cases and to discuss issues related to clinical work in general. You’ll talk about topics such as professional resilience (mindfulness and stress management, self-care, secondary trauma, etc.), ethical issues related to working with children; and how to be successful in a team environment.
Students work at a single practicum site for the duration of the program. Practicum sites include community mental health agencies, schools, non-profit organizations and health care organizations. During an initial pre-placement interview, you and the practicum coordinator will discuss your training goals for the practicum, and sites are matched to student interest whenever possible.
The capstone project allows students to integrate in-class learning with their practicum experience. In a final report 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.