The Counseling Center is an advanced practicum site for doctoral students in Counseling and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Donna McDonald, Assistant Training Director, is responsible for the coordination of the practicum program.
Practicum counselors gain experience, training and knowledge in the various activities of a university counseling center, as well as further developing their ability to function as competent, effective and responsible therapists.
Training sessions and individual supervision are designed to be responsive to each trainee's individual developmental needs, as well as the needs of the clients.
The Counseling Center is also committed to issues of diversity and recognizes that each practicum counselor possesses unique qualities and strengths based on sociocultural issues as well as past training and counseling experiences.
Practicum counselors at the center provide individual personal, career and educational counseling for the diverse student population of The University of Akron. They also gain training and experience in outreach/programming activities and assessment (primarily for learning disabilities).
Practicum placement is for the academic year, during fall and spring semesters. Practicum counselors are not expected to work during finals week or during the break. However, they are expected to respond to the needs of their clients at the end of each semester in a professional manner.
Practicum counselors are required to spend 14 hours per week on site. These hours are divided as follows:
Practicum counselors also spend two additional hours per week (approximately five to seven times a semester) in didactic training sessions provided by the center. Past topics for training sessions have included:
A mandatory orientation session is held the week before classes start.
Each practicum counselor has the opportunity to be supervised by a licensed or license-eligible senior staff member for at least one semester. Most practicum counselors will also be supervised by an intern who is being supervised regarding his/her supervision. Informal evaluations are conducted at each semester's midpoint, and formal written evaluations are conducted at each semester's end.
Instructors of the practicum class at The University of Akron, Dr. Donna McDonald (Assistant Training Director), and Dr. Julia Phillips (Training Director), meet regularly to monitor the progress of the practicum class.
A document specifying the roles of the site supervisor and the faculty supervisor can be found here.
Practicum counselors are expected to follow all policies and procedures of the Counseling Center and to act in accordance with the ethical standards of the profession.
Prospective students submit application materials and are interviewed during spring semester. The center typically accepts six or seven practicum counselors each year. However, this number is subject to change based on agency needs. For more information contact Dr. Donna McDonald.