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EDUC696 - Practicum

Course Details

Course Code: EDUC696 Course ID: 2820 Credit Hours: 6 Level: Graduate

This 16-week course will offer the candidate an opportunity to observe and experience 100 hours of counseling activities in the school setting under direct supervision of an experienced school counselor. Candidates are required to complete specialized assignments that enhance their understanding of the role of the counselor in the school environment. Candidates observe and engage in activities with experienced school counselors which may include classroom guidance, group counseling, and individual counseling in addition to other school counseling related activities. Candidates are required to participate in synchronous group supervision sessions and complete weekly journals that document their on-site experiences and theoretical knowledge. Discussions include ethics, working with diverse populations, and practical issues in delivering a comprehensive school counseling program. All coursework must be completed prior to registration. Pre-Service candidates are required to contact the Coordinator of Field Experience when they have finished 50% of their program coursework prior to the Practicum course in order to discuss the Readiness Audit process. Upon receipt of candidate notification of 50% program completion, the School of Education will provide the candidate with a formal application for the Practicum (EDUC696) and Internship (EDUC699) courses. Careful attention needs to be paid to submission deadlines which require that all Readiness Audit documentation be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the Practicum start. NOTE: If you intend to complete your Practicum and Internship consecutively, without break, it is strongly recommended to begin the Practicum experience during August, September, or October to facilitate a smooth transition into the school setting during the regular academic school year. Practicum courses are not offered in the following months: April, May, June, and July. NO LATE REGISTRATIONS ALLOWED.

Course Schedule

No Course Offerings.

Current Syllabi

Upon successful completion of the course, candidates will be able to:

  1. Apply ethical and legal considerations consistent with standards in the field of school counseling to all practicum work WVDE Standard 5; CACREP 5-G 2n).
  2. Demonstrate a clear school counselor identity including advocating for school counseling role as practicum candidate (WVDE Standard 4; CACREP 5-G 2a, 2f).
  3. Demonstrate cross-cultural competencies (awareness, knowledge, and skills) needed to work with diverse individuals, groups, and classrooms (WVDE Standard 4; CACREP 2c).
  4. Recognize personal/professional limitations and when to seek supervision (WVDE Standard 5; CACREP 5-G 2n).
  5. Develop individual and group counseling skills to promote academic, career, and personal/social development of students (WVDE Standard 2; CACREP 5-G 3f).
  6. Advocate for learning and academic experiences necessary to promote academic, career, and personal/social needs of students (WVDE Standard 4; CACREP 5-G 3k).
  7. Advocate for school policies, programs, and services that enhance school climate and are equitable and responsive to a diverse student population (WVDE Standard 4; CACREP 5-G 3k).
  8. Analyze outcome data of school counseling programs, interventions, and activities (WVDE Standard 3; CACREP 5-G 3n).
  9. Conduct programs to enhance student academic development (WVDE Standard 2; CACREP 5-G 3d).
  10. Use best practices in consultation with teachers, staff, parents, guardians, families, and community-based organizations to promote student academic, career, and personal/social development (WVDE Standards 2 & 4; CACREP 5-G 1d, 2b, 3l).
  11. Demonstrates ability to plan, design, and manage a comprehensive school counseling program (WVDE Standard 1; CACREP 5-G 1b, 3b).
  12. Examine approaches to increase promotion and graduation rates. (WVDE Standard 2; CACREP 5-G 3i)
  13. Develop interventions to promote college and career readiness. (WVDE Standard 2; CACREP 5-G 3j)
  14. Use strategies for implementing and coordinating peer intervention programs. (WVDE Standard 2; CACREP 5-G 3m)
  15. Identify preparation standards and credentials relevant to practice of school counseling. (WVDE Standard 5; CACREP 5-G 2l)
  16. Create school counseling core curriculum lesson plan with differentiated instructional strategies. (WVDE Standard 2; CACREP 5-G 3c)

Group Supervision

During your practicum, you will be required to attend and participate in group supervision for approximately 1.5 hours weekly with your faculty supervisor. At the end of the term, you will be assigned a grade for your participation and attendance. You must be in attendance for all group sessions unless given permission from your university supervisor. Missing group supervision sessions can result in failing the course. Note: If you miss one group supervision session, you will be required to attend an alternate group or to complete an alternate assignment. If you miss more than one group supervision session, a conference will be held with the program director.

Recorded Individual Counseling Session and Response Paper

During your practicum, you are required to audio/videotape one counseling session with a candidate at one of your sites. This recording will be submitted to your APUS supervisor for the purpose of providing feedback on your counseling skills. The recorded session should be 15-30 minutes in length. You will also submit a 2-page response describing the counseling experience (due at the same time as the video). Your response should discuss your use of counseling skills and techniques during the session, whether you adhered to a theoretical orientation(s) in your counseling, what you would do differently, your “next steps” with the candidate, and your comfort level when providing counseling. This assignment is required and must be completed to pass this course.

You must have a signed permission form to record BEFORE taping the candidate. Return a copy of this form with the recording and response.

The recorded session and response paper are due by Midnight on 11:55 p.m. ET of Week 10. The session may be recorded and submitted any time prior to the due date. For example, you may record the session at your elementary practicum site.

Change Agent Project (** E-portfolio item in Internship course)

You will create a plan to better meet the needs of an underserved population in your school setting (elementary setting, secondary setting, or both). You will identify the student population (e.g., a racial/ethnic minority, exceptional learners, English language learners, candidates of lower socio-economic status, etc.) and identify the current support they receive in your setting. You will also identify additional needs and ways to meet them.

Examples of plans the school counselor could develop are: a small group for a certain population, a training session for staff on the needs of a certain population, a program to better inform non-English speaking parents, etc. Discuss your potential topics with your site supervisor to determine what would best fit the needs of the school’s demographics.

Your paper should be 10-12 pages in length and include:

  • Introduction including school counselor’s role in advocacy and social justice and rationale for choosing the underserved group at your site
  • Information about the needs identified among the underserved group of your choice (based on your observations and interview with the school counselor and/or other educational professionals in the school, may also use a needs assessment if approved by site supervisor and school site)
  • Analysis of current support being provided to underserved group.
  • What barriers are present in research and also barriers specific to your site that might be challenging to overcome?
  • A clear, detailed description of your plan for better serving this population, including:
  • How the plan supports the mission and vision of the school and the school counseling program
  • Specific elements of the plan (e.g., if the plan involves small group counseling, describe the topics covered and number of sessions; if the plan involves staff training, describe the topics and amount of time for the training)
  • Collaboration with other stakeholders (e.g., parents, teachers, administrators, community members, etc.)
  • Method of evaluation (include surveys or other evaluation instruments in the appendix) The evaluation section should include identifying measurable outcomes for the plan, analyzing and using data to identify effectiveness of interventions, providing recommendations for improvement, and reporting findings.

Your paper should be presented in APA format with a title page, abstract, and reference page. The Change Agent Project is due by 11:55 p.m. ET on Sunday of week 12. Please save this Key Assessment to upload in your Internship e-portfolio.

Parent Topic Presentation

You will create a PowerPoint presentation that you could present to parents in your school setting (elementary setting, secondary setting, or both). Your presentation is on a topic of your choice, but should be relevant to the needs of the school. The audience must include parents (it may include staff, candidates, and/or community members as well), and must relate to meeting the academic, career, and/or personal/social needs of candidates.

Examples of appropriate presentations would be: community resources and how to access them, post-secondary options for your child, preparing your child for middle school, keeping your children safe online, etc. Discuss your potential topics with your site supervisor to determine what would best fit the needs of the school’s demographics. You will be able to view your classmates’ PowerPoint presentations online, so you will receive an overview of many different topics.

Your project should include:

  • A 1-2 page description of the topic, intended audience, method for sharing the information (e.g., parent support group, after-school presentation, etc.), and why you chose this topic
  • A flyer advertising the presentation with details about the topic, presenter(s), intended audience, time, and location
  • Any handouts you would give at your presentation
  • A satisfaction survey or other means for evaluating the presentation
  • The PowerPoint presentation you would present to the parents, which should include
    • essential information about the topic
    • why this information is important for parents
    • additional resources (such as Web sites) on the topic

The completed presentation should be designed to take approximately 30 minutes to present. All work should be presented in APA format. The project is due by 11:55 p.m. ET on Sunday of Week 14. You will be required to respond to at least three of your classmates’ presentations by 11:55 p.m. ET on Sunday of Week 14.

Comprehensive Plan and Design

Create a comprehensive school counseling program based on WVDE and ASCA guidelines (review the ASCA National Model and WVDE Model attached to help). The following components need to be include in your plan.

  1. Philosophy & Beliefs
  2. Vision
  3. Mission
  4. Proposed Calendar of activities that demonstrates complete program and recommended use of time (direct and indirect hours)
  5. Needs Assessment & Results of Needs Assessment
  6. Delivery System components recommended based on needs assessment
  7. Example of a GRIP or DATA report used during Practicum indicating use of data to determine effectiveness and student learning

This project addresses WVDE Standards:

Standard 1 Program Planning, Design and Management

Standard 2 Program Delivery

Standard 3 Data Driven Accountability and Program Evaluation

The project is due by 11:55 p.m. ET on Sunday of Week 15. You will be required to respond to at least three of your classmates’ presentations by 11:55 p.m. ET on Sunday of Week 15.

Weekly Journal and Activities Log

You will make weekly journal entries about your practicum experience, noting behavioral observations, activities, examples of counseling and leadership, and effective responses. The journal must be up to date and available for review by the university supervisor as requested. This journal will be part of your field experience notebook that will contain the following tabbed sections:

  • General school information
  • Site supervisor information (name, phone number, etc.)
  • Daily activities log where you document all activities (community contacts, group work, guidance curriculum, individual counseling, supervision, indirect services, etc.).

Your logs will require you to note any experiences with diverse populations (e.g., minority racial/ethnic groups, candidates of lower socio-economic status, exceptional learners, and English language learners). You will also have discussion board prompts asking you to describe some of these experiences. You will need to also note your direct and indirect service time. Direct service is time spent in contact with candidates or parents. Indirect service includes time on site not in direct contact with candidates or parents, as well as staff or other school meetings, weekly supervision from the site supervisor and APUS supervisor, and time spent planning services.

Logs and journal entries will be uploaded into your APUS online classroom for review by your APUS supervisor by Midnight each Sunday.

NOTE: It is crucial that you protect the identities of persons you describe or to whom you refer. Confidentiality is a keystone of the school counseling profession and you should honor it at all times. Do NOT use real names of anyone other than yourself or your host supervisor in your postings; use pseudonyms! In addition, do not provide sufficient information such that any individual (other than yourself or your host supervisor) may be specifically identified through the information you post!

Forum Participation

The Forum will be employed as a method for discussing issues of interest to the class through the web. Candidates are required to post their biography in the Forum (week 1) and participate in seven additional Forum threads (modules 1 – 8). Also, appropriate “NETIQUETTE” should be followed for all postings. Your original discussion board post is due by Midnight on Thursday of the week listed. Your responses to classmates’ postings are due by Midnight on Sunday of the week listed.

Field Experience

This is a field experience practicum course, and as such, grades are heavily based on skills and attitude displayed during field experience. Candidates must receive a grade of “B” or better to successfully complete this practicum. Additionally, you will have a midpoint review of professional dispositions. Your university supervisor will rate your performance on the School of Education professional dispositions and this item is ungraded. All assignment rubrics are placed in the Assignments area of the course.

We should work to achieve conversational exchanges with each other through Forums and emails, constructively challenging each other to think broadly and critically about ideas or assertions posed by the readings.

In all participation and assignments I am looking for evidence of:

  • demonstration of substantial knowledge and higher order thinking and analytic skills and application of facts, concepts, terms, and processes learned/read/discussed;
  • critical contemplation, e.g., "grapple" with issues and topics;
  • appropriate use of knowledge learned;
  • imaginative thinking and responses to challenges/problems/issues;
  • exploring underlying assumptions about the lifelong value of education and schooling;
  • clarity of expression and logical connection among ideas expressed;
  • writing that reflects precise and concise thinking;
  • excellent grammar, syntax, and spelling.

NameGrade %
Weekly Journals 10.00 %
Journal and Activity Log 1 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 2 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 3 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 4 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 5 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 6 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 7 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 8 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 9 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 10 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 11 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 12 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 13 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 14 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 15 0.63 %
Journal and Activity Log 16 0.63 %
Direct Supervision 40.00 %
Wk 16: Direct Site Supervisor Evaluation 13.33 %
Wk 10: Recorded Individual Counseling Session and Response Paper 13.33 %
University Supervisor Evaluations 13.33 %
Forums 10.00 %
Forum Week 1: Introduction and Social Media 0.83 %
Forum Week 2: Peer Intervention Programs 0.83 %
Forum Week 3: Goals 0.83 %
Forum Week 4: Consultation Scenario 0.83 %
Forum Week 5: Follow-up from Supervision 0.83 %
Forum Week 7: Closing the Achievement Gap 0.83 %
Forum Week 8: College Going Culture 0.83 %
Forum Week 9: School Counseling Core Curriculum Lesson 0.83 %
Forum Week 11: Follow-up from Supervision 0.83 %
Forum Week 13: English Language Learner Experience 0.83 %
Forum Week 15: Evaluation of SMART Goals 0.83 %
Forum Week 16: Internship Plans 0.83 %
Parent Presentation 10.00 %
Wk 14: Parent Topic Presentation 10.00 %
Change Agent Project 10.00 %
Wk 12: Change Agent Project 10.00 %
Group Supervision 10.00 %
Group Supervision 10.00 %
Comprehensive Program Plan and Design 10.00 %
Comprehensive Program Plan and Design 10.00 %

American School Counselor Association (2012). The ASCA National Model: A Framework for

School Counseling Programs (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Author.

Book Title:ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (3rd edition)
Publication Info:American School Counselor Association
Author: No Author Specified
Unit Cost:$55.05

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.