Practicum and Internship Field Experiences

The counseling faculty make final decisions for your placement into practicum and/or internship after mid-term of the semester of submitting placement request(s) before your anticipated semester of the field experience placement start. Once counseling faculty finalize all field experience placement requests and enrollment sections, you will be notified via your student email from our field experience office ( of your group supervision course section and approval for enrollment.

All internship documentation for practicum counselors, interns and site supervisors is submitted via the NIU Counseling Program Community via Blackboard Anthology Portfolio.

M.S.Ed. counseling students, submit your enrollment requests for practicum and internship through our Blackboard NIU Counseling Program Community.

Ph.D. counselor education and supervision students, you will receive an enrollment survey inquiry e-mail from the current counseling faculty program coordinator.

M.S.Ed. Counseling Practicum (COUN 550)

M.S.Ed practica in Counseling work takes place in the Community Counseling Training Center (CCTC) in Graham Hall 416, where students, faculty/staff, and community members are able to take advantage of the counseling services offered. The CCTC has multiple counseling rooms, including a group and play therapy room. All sessions are observed for supervision via live and recording observations. Counselor preparation observations allow practicum counselors the opportunity to observe one another, to provide constructive feedback and to enhance their own counseling skills.

Minimum expectations for consideration for advancement into COUN 550 Practicum include the following:

  • Have completed foundation courses with a B or better.
  • Demonstrated consistency in professional dispositions.
  • Obtain student level professional liability insurance.
  • Complete a NIU volunteer service paperwork including consent to criminal background. check.
  • Read, in its entirety, the Community Counseling Training Center Handbook.

550 Practicum enrollment must be requested prior to any semester in which you intend to engage in practicum work:

  • Sept. 15 deadline for spring practicum enrollment requests.
  • Feb. 15 deadline for fall and practicum enrollment requests.

M.S.Ed. Counseling Internships (COUN 586)

An internship is defined as a supervised learning experience designed to provide a student with the opportunity to implement, in an actual work setting, the knowledge and theory acquired in the course work. CACREP regards internship as a distinctly defined, post-practicum supervised clinical experience intended to enable the student to refine and enhance basic counseling or student development skills, and integrate professional knowledge and skills appropriate to the student's specialization and initial post-master's professional placement.

You are expected to identify and complete internship in a setting that is congruent with your degree specialization program. Because of the diversity of career goals, student characteristics, and the learning experiences of each student, the internship must be individually developed. It is your responsibility to do this in consultation with your program adviser, the field experience coordinator, and the site supervisor. Approved placement sites must be able to provide diverse and comprehensive experiences needed for successful advancement towards post-master's degree professional practices. You should plan six to nine months in advance for applying to potential internship sites. Review your Master's Counseling Program Handbook for complete outlines of current information and expectations for successful completion of internship.

586 Internship must be requested for every semester in which you intend to accrue hours:

  • Sept. 15 deadline for spring internship enrollment requests.
  • Feb. 15 deadline for summer internship enrollment requests.
  • Feb. 15 deadline for fall internship enrollment requests.

Ph.D. Internships (COUN 786)

As a student in the Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral program, you are required to enroll in and complete a minimum of 6 credit-hours of COUN 786 Internship Seminar, which includes your accrual of a minimum of 600 clock hours of counselor education internship placements experience. The credit hour minimum is not directly equated to clock-hours of experience. All doctoral students will complete CES placement clock-hours in at least three of the five CACREP core areas of Counselor Education and Supervision. The required CES internships are in counseling, teaching and supervision; with optional placements for research and/or leadership. Each internship placement is planned in consultation with the student's program advisor, approved by counseling faculty, and monitored by the field experience coordinator. There are minimum experience expectations for doctoral internship, and some experiences have course or related experience hierarchical prerequisites. Review your Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision Program Handbook for complete outlines of current information and expectations for successfully completion of internship.

More Information

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Department of Counseling and Higher Education
Gabel 200
Counseling Admissions
Graham 416
Higher Education and Student Affairs Admissions
Gabel 201 B
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