Clinical Field Experience Courses: Practicum and Internship

Campus view during springAppalachian State University's master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) since 1983 and is accredited under the 2009 standards in Clinical Mental Health Counseling through 2022. Thus, the requirements for both practicum and internship in clinical mental health counseling meet the standards as set forth by CACREP. The new Clinical Field Experience Manual has been revised as of October 2018.

Students applying for any field experience courses (Practicum/HPC 5900 and Internship/HPC 6900) must submit a permission to register form and an ASU internship contract. This contract is electronic and must be completed with your advisor. Additional forms required prior to registration are located in the Clinical Field Experience Manual.

Practicum Requirements: Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (HPC 5900)


Students must complete supervised practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 clock hours (around 10-15 hours per week over one 15 week semester). This practicum provides for the development of counseling skills under supervision. The student's practicum includes all of the following:

  1. A minimum of 40 hours of direct service with clients, including experience in individual and group work. Direct service includes individual, group, family, or marital/relationship counseling, intakes, and consultation. The remaining 60 hours should involve opportunities for the practicum student to become familiar with a variety of professional activities in addition to direct services (e.g., record keeping, referral services, inservice, meetings, conferences, professional development, etc.);
  2. Weekly interaction with an average of one (1) hour per week of individual and/or triadic supervision which occurs regularly over a minimum of one academic term by an approved on-site practicum supervisor;
  3. Weekly interaction with an average of one (1) hour per week of individual and/or triadic supervision which occurs regularly over a minimum of one academic term by a university program faculty member or a supervisor working under the supervision of a university program faculty member;
  4. An average of one and one-half (1 ½) to three (3) hours per week of group supervision that is provided on a regular schedule over the course of the student's practicum by a university program faculty member or a supervisor under the supervision of a university program faculty member, and;
  5. Evaluation of the student's performance throughout the practicum, including formal and informal evaluation.

Internship Requirements: Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (HPC 6900) until Spring 2016

The program requires students to complete a supervised internship of 600 clock hours (around 40 hours per week over one 15 week semester or 20 hours per week over two 15 week semesters) that begins after successful completion of the student's practicum. The internship provides an opportunity for the student to perform, under supervision, a variety of counseling activities that a professional counselor is expected to perform. The student's internship includes the following:

  1. 240 hours of direct service with clients appropriate to the program of study. Direct service includes individual, group, family, or marital/relationship counseling, intakes, and consultation. The remaining 360 hours should involve opportunities for the internship student to become familiar with a variety of professional activities in addition to direct services (e.g., record keeping, referral services, inservice, meetings, conferences, professional development, etc.);
  2. Weekly interaction with an average of one (1) hour per week of individual and/or triadic supervision which occurs regularly over a minimum of one academic term by an approved on-site internship supervisor;
  3. An average of one and one-half (1 ½) hours to three (3) hours per week of group supervision provided on a regular schedule throughout the internship, usually performed by a university program faculty member;
  4. Evaluation of the student's performance throughout the internship, including formal and informal evaluation.

Requirements to be a Practicum or Internship Site Supervisor

A practicum or internship site supervisor must have:

  1. A minimum of a master's degree in counseling or related profession (e.g., marriage and family therapist, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist) with equivalent qualifications, including appropriate certifications and/or licenses;
  2. A minimum of two (2) years of pertinent professional experience in the program area in which the student is completing clinical instruction; and
  3. Knowledge of the program's expectations, requirements, and evaluation procedures for students.

Clinical Field Experience Resources

Practicum and Internship Site Supervision

North Carolina Licensure for Professional Counselor

LPCA: Licensed Professional Counselor Associate Application