Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Current Student Resources

Professional Practice: Field Experiences

Students should be advised that a substantial amount of time is spent in fieldwork to meet practicum and internship requirements. Although most of the courses are offered online, the fieldwork experiences are in person and most commonly completed during daytime hours. Program completion is not typically compatible with full time employment.

Eligibility for enrollment in Practicum (COUN 639) and Internship (COUN 640) requires admission to the Counseling Program and completion of all prerequisites. Because space is limited, students must apply to reserve enrollment for both practicum and internship prior to enrolling in each of these courses. Students cannot register themselves for practicum or internship and may not enroll in more than 3 semester hours of internship credit each semester without prior approval. Students must reserve enrollment by emailing the instructor 6-months prior to the beginning of the semester for which they intend to enroll. The Practicum and Internship Reservation Forms are due a minimum of 2-months prior to the beginning of the semester.

COUN 639: Practicum Reservation Form
COUN 640: Internship Reservation Form

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health clinical field experience consists of a full-time practicum (COUN 639) consisting of 100 hours, 40 of which will be in direct client contact and a full-time internship (COUN 640) consisting of 600 hours, 300 of which will be in direct client contact. The nature of this experience should be in a mental health counseling setting and similar to that of a regular counseling position, but with closer supervision. The field experiences will occur at the end of the training program, and the intern is expected to put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired in the program.

All prerequisites must be completed before students may enroll in Practicum Counseling: COUN 639. Prerequisites are COUN 531, COUN 533, and COUN 541. With regard to co-requisites, students may enroll in a maximum of two (2) co-requisite courses when they enroll in COUN 639. All other co-requisite courses must be completed before enrolling in 639. Students must have completed all course work prior to enrolling in Internship Counseling: COUN 640. Prerequisites are strictly enforced.

At least one (1) semester prior to enrolling in Practicum (COUN 639) or Internship (COUN 640), the student will obtain approval for an internship site from the appropriate field experiences instructor. A major criterion for selecting a site is the credentials of the agency’s on-site supervisor, namely possession of at least a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or clinical social work, licensure in such discipline, and two years of experience working in the field. The student must send a resume, and arrange a meeting with the potential site contact for an interview. The student, Site Supervisor and Faculty Supervisor, will then complete an internship contract once the site is agreed upon.

School Counseling

The School Counseling clinical field experience consists of a full-time Practicum (COUN 639) consisting of 100 clinical hours, 20 of which will be in direct client contact and a full-time Internship (COUN 640) consisting of 450 hours, 180 of which will be in direct client contact. The nature of this experience should be in a school counseling setting with responsibilities similar to that of a school counselor, but with close supervision. The field experiences will occur at the end of the training program, and the intern is expected to put into practice knowledge and skills previously acquired.

All prerequisites must be completed before students may enroll in Practicum Counseling: COUN 639. Prerequisites are COUN 531, COUN 533, COUN 541 and COUN 635. With regard to co-requisites, students may enroll in a maximum of two (2) co-requisite courses when they enroll in COUN 639. All other co-requisite courses must be completed before enrolling in 639. Students must have completed all course work prior to enrolling in Internship Counseling: COUN 640. Prerequisites are strictly enforced.

At least one (1) semester prior to enrolling in Practicum (639) or Internship (COUN 640), the student will obtain approval for an internship site from the appropriate field experiences instructor. A major criterion for placement is the credentials of the school’s on-site supervisor, namely possession of at least a master’s degree in school counseling, a school counseling endorsement, and two years of experience working in the field. The student must send a resume, and arrange a meeting with the potential site contact for an interview. The student, Site Supervisor and College Supervisor, will then complete an internship contract once the site is agreed upon.

For more information, please refer to our Counseling Handbooks:

Counseling Practicum Handbook
Counseling Internship Handbook
Counseling Supervisor Handbook

For more information, please contact Dr. Susan Schaeffer, Field Experiences Coordinator, or Dr. Tara Wilson, Internship Instructor.

Professional Liability Insurance

Before you can enroll in practicum or internship, you must have professional liability insurance. Please be sure that you have proof of insurance to show your professor the first day of class making certain the agreement lists your name as policyholder. You may obtain insurance from any provider; however, liability insurance is available at no additional cost with an American Counseling Association (ACA) or American School Counselor Association (ASCA) student membership.

Graduate Program Degree Requirements

Once admitted to the counseling program students must:

  1. File a Plan of Study.
    Students will receive an official plan of study from the Graduate Office upon admission to the Counseling Program. This plan must be filed between 9 and 18 hours into the program with a 3.0 grade point average or higher. In cooperation with your faculty advisor, you must complete your plan and choose a graduate committee. You will electronically submit your plan to the Graduate Office. See appendices at the end of this handbook for an unofficial draft of each plan of study. A signed plan of study must be on file prior to applying for graduation.
  2. Apply for graduation.
    Candidates who plan to graduate in December must file formal application prior to April 15th. Those who plan to graduate in the spring must file prior to November 15th. Students who plan to graduate in the summer (with the option to participate in December commencement) must file prior to June 1st. A link to the application can be found in your MyCSC To-Dos.
  3. Apply for oral examination.
    All counseling students must pass a final oral examination. The oral examination must be taken at least four weeks prior to the date of graduation. Following successful completion of the oral examination, approval forms will be signed by the student’s committee and presented to the Dean of Graduate Studies. See appendices for the Counseling Oral Exam Rubric.
  4. Complete a Graduate Counseling Portfolio.
    The counseling e-portfolio is an electronically submitted compilation demonstrating the students’ ability to create a holistic, summative expression of how the counseling program has prepared them for entry into the counseling profession. Students will submit a completed electronic portfolio to his/her advisor, through your CSC TK20 Portfolio Site, a minimum of two weeks prior to the oral exam date. An incomplete portfolio will NOT be accepted and could postpone your oral exam and graduation. Please follow this link for TK20 Counseling Graduate E-Portfolio Guide page, or download a PDF file of the TK20 Counseling Graduate E-Portfolio Guide, and contact Joy Omelanuk at tk20admin@csc.edu or your faculty advisor for clarification when needed. You will find instructions for the Counseling E-Portfolio in the appendices of your Graduate Counseling Handbook.
  5. School Counseling students must complete the Praxis Subject Assessment for endorsement in Professional School Counselor (5421) prior to graduation.
  6. This assessment must be completed for each endorsement application (i.e., should you apply at the PK-8 endorsement level and plan to return for another endorsement at the 7-12 endorsement level later, you will be required to retake the Professional School Counselor (5421) Exam upon completion of the second endorsement). It is highly recommended that students study for the exam; Follow this link to find an ETS study guide. Further information on school counselor endorsement may be obtained from the Chadron State College Certification Officer, lzeller@csc.edu, at 308-432-6032.
    • To assist you with this process, please see the Graduate Degree Progress Checklist found in your Graduate Counseling Handbook.
    • All graduate programs are under the auspices of Chadron State College Graduate Studies. It is the responsibility of students to become familiar with the policies and regulations of Graduate Studies. For this reason, students are required to access the Chadron State College Graduate Catalog.

Student Financial Resources

Nebraska Student Loan Program for Graduate-Level Mental Health Students

Applications are accepted April 1 through June 1 of each year. Please visit the Nebraska Office of Rural Health website for more information

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of on-campus Graduate Assistant employment opportunities are available for students enrolled in a graduate degree program at Chadron State College. Assistantships offer assignments designed to provide opportunities for supervised educational experiences at the graduate level.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is any type of funding used to help pay for school. This can include scholarships, grants, student loans and Work Study.

Contact:
Email: start@csc.edu
Phone: 308-432-6060
Location: Crites Hall 114

Professional Dispositions

Students in the Graduate Counseling Program are held to a higher standard due to anticipated interaction with clients and community members. As prospective counselors, you are expected to represent the College as professionals and adhere to the ethics and standards of the counseling profession. In addition to the Student Code of Conduct, the following Professional Dispositions apply to all students in the Counseling Program before, during, and after your Field Experiences. The standards address affective attributes and general dispositions attributed to a counselor. A corresponding Professional Dispositions Rubric provides further guidance. You will be evaluated on the following:

  1. Professional Ethics: Adheres to the ethical guidelines of the ACA, ASCA, IAMFC, & NBCC; including practices within competencies.
  2. Professional Behavior: Behaves in a professional manner towards supervisors, peers, and clients (includes appropriate dress and attitude). To include professional behavior in meeting all classroom expectations. Able to collaborate with others.
  3. Professional and Personal Boundaries: Maintains appropriate boundaries with supervisors, peers, and clients.
  4. Knowledge and Adherence to Site Policies: Demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for all counseling site policies and procedures.
  5. Record Keeping and Task Completion: Completes all weekly record keeping and tasks correctly and promptly (e.g., case notes, psychosocial reports, time logs, supervision reports).
  6. Professional Communication: Utilizes written, oral, and visual communication in a clear and effective manner in both formal and informal settings.
  7. Multicultural Competencies: Demonstrates awareness, appreciation, and respect of cultural difference (e.g., race, ethnicity, spirituality, sexual orientation, disability, SES, etc.).
  8. Emotional Stability & Self-control: Demonstrates emotional stability (i.e., congruence between mood and affect) and self-control (i.e., impulse control) in relationships with supervisor, peers, & clients.
  9. Motivated to Learn & Grow/Initiative: Demonstrates engagement in learning & development of his or her counseling competencies.
  10. Openness to Feedback: Responds non-defensively and alters behavior in accordance with peer, supervisory, and faculty feedback.
  11. Flexibility & Adaptability: Demonstrates ability to be flexible in the face of changing circumstance, unexpected events, and new situations.
  12. Congruence & Genuineness: Demonstrates ability to be present and “be true to oneself”.

When and How Student Dispositions Are Assessed

Dispositions for Counseling Program students are assessed at three points, referred to as Dispositional Decision Points. The three dispositional decision points will include: a) New Student Orientation when students assess themselves early in the program (Entry), b) COUN 639 when students have typically completed approximately half of the program courses (Midpoint), and c) during COUN 640 (Exit) when students affirm their commitment to the dispositions. Students may also be assessed anytime as determined by faculty.

Points of Assessment

  • Entry: Students will be introduced to professional dispositions, as well as the procedures for assessment of dispositions, within the entry point-New Student Orientation. Students will be provided information for accessing the Professional Dispositions Plan for the Counseling Program at CSC (available in the Student Handbook and on the Counseling Program website). During the entry point, students will complete the first dispositions self-assessment using the Assessment of Professional Dispositions and indicate their commitment to displaying professional dispositions utilizing the TK20 Online System (instructions for this task are available on the CSC TK20 Administrators Website). Faculty will assess students ONLY on their timely completion of these entry point self-assessments.
  • Midpoint: Professional dispositions and procedures will be reviewed in COUN 639. Students will complete the self-assessment at the beginning of the course using the TK20 Online System (instructions for this task are available on the CSC TK20 Administrators Website). In addition, the counseling faculty will assess professional dispositions for each student using the Assessment of Professional Dispositions document rubric and record these ratings in TK20 following the bi-annual review of students.
  • Exit: Students will complete the self-assessment at the beginning of COUN 640B using the TK20 Online System (instructions for this task are available on the CSC TK20 Administrators Website). In addition, the counseling faculty will assess professional dispositions for each student using the Assessment of Professional Dispositions document rubric and record these ratings in TK20 following the bi-annual review of students.
  • Anytime: Faculty may assess, coach, and remediate student professional dispositions at any point in the program. If necessary, faculty members may complete the Assessment of Counseling Dispositions when a problem has not been resolved through informal meetings.

When a Student Needs Improvement

The vast majority of our students emerge as highly effective and ethical graduates who demonstrate knowledge, effectiveness, and commitment to transforming lives by having a positive impact on children, youth, families, communities, and schools. However, occasionally there is a need to remediate students on the dispositional requirements of the profession. These procedures outline the process for tracking student dispositions with the CSC Counseling Program. In any dispositional area, students may receive a 1 rubric rating indicating improvement is needed:

  1. When it is indicated that a student needs improvement during a dispositional decision point. The student will receive an email from the Program Director stating that this has occurred. Dispositional decision point assessment data may be reviewed by course instructor, counseling faculty, department chairs, and the school Dean. If the nature of the area for improvement is such that further intervention is warranted, the student’s faculty advisor may request a conference with the student to directly discuss the issue, initiate a Professional Disposition Plan of Action, or both. If a conference is called or a Plan of Action is initiated, the Program Director should be provided a copy of all documentation. It is expected that course instructors will be diligent in coaching, informing, and remediating students on professional dispositions.
  2. When a faculty member or school/agency on-site supervisor indicates that a student needs improvement outside of a Dispositional Decision Point assessment.
    1. From a faculty member or school/agency on-site supervisor outside of a Dispositional Decision Point assessment. When it is indicated that a student needs improvement in any area from an assessment by a faculty member outside of a Dispositional Decision Point Assessment, the faculty member will conference with the student to discuss the concern and provide guidance for improvement. The faculty member or student may request assistance from the department chair, advisor, or other faculty member in conferencing. If a faculty member concludes that the concern requires formal documentation, the Conference with Student and Assessment of Professional Dispositions forms should be completed.
    2. If a school/agency on-site supervisor indicates a dispositional issue, that school/agency on-site supervisor may be asked to provide additional details to allow all parties to fully understand the articulated concern. The faculty member may complete the documentation for the dispositional concern expressed by the on-site supervisor. Students will receive a copy of all completed dispositional assessment forms. A copy of all documentation should be shared with the department chair and filed in the individual’s counseling program student record.

Professional Dispositions Plan of Action

In many cases, bringing the dispositional concern to the student is all the remediation needed to correct the behavior. In other, more serious cases, the dispositional remediation process may include additional activities/strategies as are appropriate. In such cases, a Dispositions Plan of Action should be developed. The faculty member should use the Professional Disposition Plan of Action to outline any long-term strategies or activities that may be required of the student in addressing the disposition concern. This includes any dispositions issue that is ongoing in nature and does not appear to be resolved with a single student conference. The Professional Dispositions Plan of Action will include the student’s expected behavioral changes and responsibilities and outline any additional faulty provided support. The Plan of Action may require the faculty member to periodically follow-up with the student throughout the remediation process. All parties will sign to indicate understanding of and adherence to the coaching and remediation activities indicated in the plan. Students will receive a copy of all completed dispositional assessment forms. A copy of all documentation should be shared with the department chair and faculty advisor, and filed in the individual’s counseling program student record. The faculty member or student may request assistance from the department chair, advisor, or other faculty member in conferencing. The Professional Dispositions Plan of Action form can be found on the Counseling Program SharePoint site.

When Multiple Dispositions Assessments indicate an Ongoing Problem

Periodically, student dispositions will be reviewed by faculty, the Program Director, the Department Chair, and/or the School Dean. If two or more negative assessment incidents are recorded for a student, the program faculty will convene to review the seriousness of the dispositional infractions and make decisions regarding the student’s advancement in the program. Notice of the review will be provided to the student and the student will be given an opportunity to speak on his/her behalf. The following options for action will be considered:

  1. Allow the student to progress in the program without conditions;
  2. Allow the student to progress in the program with conditions (this may include a new or more intensive remediation plan);
  3. Recommend to the Dean that the student be denied advancement in the program.

Options 1 and 2 will result in an oversight of the student’s dispositional progress at the program level. The Program Chair, Student Advisor, or appropriate program faculty, will monitor student progress. Further negative dispositional reports may result in a re-convening of program faculty. The Program Director will send written notification of the program faculty decision to the student outlining any additional steps for action as appropriate. A copy of this letter will be provided to the Department Chair.

Option 3 will result in a recommendation for denial of advancement to the School Dean. The Program Director, Department Chair, and School Dean will jointly send written notification of the decision to the student and include information regarding the student’s right of appeal. A student denied progression in the program or recommended for removal from the program may file an appeal with the School Dean. The student’s written request to appeal the program dispositions decision must be received in the Office of the School Dean within 10 business days from the date of the written notification to the student. The right of appeal lies solely with the student.

Student Disposition Appeals

A student has the right to appeal the decision of the Counseling Program Faculty to deny advancement in his/her program of study. This Disposition appeal must be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies within 10 business days of the date of the notification letter detailing the program decision.

The Graduate Dean shall review the case and provide the student with an opportunity to speak on his/her behalf. The Dean may interview any stakeholders including, but not limited to faculty, staff, or students who have previously assessed or provided documentation of past dispositions. After reviewing all documentation, and interviewing all relevant parties, the Dean will make a recommendation to deny or accept the denial of advancement, with or without conditions.