The supervised practicum experience builds a bridge from academic coursework to practice working as an alcohol and drug counselor and is vital in the development of professional competence. It is a time for students to integrate, sharpen and apply the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes in an actual clinical setting. Having the opportunity to apply what has been learned in the classroom under competent supervision allows the student to gain competence and confidence in their abilities to prepare for and meet minimum qualifications for an entry-level counselor position in chemical dependency treatment services.
The supervised practicum is intended to be a mutually beneficial experience in which the student pursues specific learning goals and gains on-the-job experience while providing valuable services for the practicum site as well.
The supervised practicum courses for alcohol and drug counseling students include the following three course sequence:
- Pre-Practicum Seminar (HSCD 320). This 1-credit course is designed to help students assess their readiness for practicum, evaluate and select suitable sites for practicum, and prepare for the practicum experience. The prerequisite for this course is the completion of 24 credits in alcohol & drug counseling coursework. Note: this course must be taken as a classroom course. There are not any alternative learning strategies offered (i.e. FDIS, SDIS, or Prior).
- Alcohol & Drug Counseling Group Practicum I (HSCD 380). This 4-credit course combines the first 440 hours of supervised practicum with class sessions which focus on important professional issues (e.g. counseling practice, diversity, and ethics) and continued development of counseling skills. The prerequisite for this course includes successful completion of the requirements for the Pre-Practicum Seminar (HSCD 320) and at least 32 credits of alcohol & drug counseling coursework.
- Alcohol & Drug Counseling Group Practicum II (HSCD 390). This 4-credit course combines the second 440 hours of supervised practicum with class sessions which continue to focus on important professional issues and continued development of counseling skills. The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of Practicum I (HSCD 380).