The internship experience (REHB 234/235) provides students with observation and participation as a counselor in one or more vocational rehabilitation agencies that are either in the nonprofit, public, or private sector. In order to take Internship, students must have successfully completed practicum. During the internship experience, students are exposed to a vast array of services such as intake, assessment, individual and group counseling, case management, advocacy, training, placement, and follow up services. It is also a goal during internship to expose students to a diverse range of clients across disability, ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, etc. The range of population and services will in part depend on the site(s) selected for internship. Placement into a site will be made with an advisor’s approval and according to the student’s needs.
The student will be under the supervision of both the agency and the University, requiring weekly one-hour site supervision sessions to discuss progress and problems during internship. Internship sites must have CRC supervision available. CRC supervision from the University is also required. In addition, those in the combined program will require supervision by someone who is a LMHC or has another acceptable credential approved by the State. A total of 600 hours (300 per semester) is required with 240 of these hours involving direct service to individuals with disabilities. The internship is offered during the fall and spring semesters and is generally taken during the second year of the program. Permission of an advisor is required.
Other requirements of internship include:
- meeting weekly for internship seminar, with at most 10 students.
- completing internship logs that document activities and time spent at the site. Students must specify their client contact and supervision hours.
- presenting four case studies with audio-recording during seminar.
- journaling internship experience as it relates to professional growth and development.
- submitting progress notes evaluating one’s own growth.
- filling out a survey on the clinical supervision received.
- being formally evaluated twice a semester by the site supervisor
- finishing other seminar work as assigned by the academic instructor (e.g. program evaluation, ethical dilemma assignments, etc.)
Prior to the start of internship, an orientation meeting is held to prepare students. Topics discussed include policies and procedures of internship, their roles and functions as an intern, program expectations in terms of performance, and ethical considerations as it relates to the CRCC Code of Ethics. Students are expected to provide proof of liability insurance prior to starting internship. During the meeting, students also begin to explore potential internship sites. Site selection is done collaboratively between the student and faculty to ensure that students are placed in a setting that is in compliance with the program’s mission and standards; and meets the student’s interests and needs.
In terms of performance measures, site supervisors complete a survey twice each semester, once at mid-semester and again at the end of the semester. This survey uses a Likert scale and measures the student on several dimensions. The survey rates students on their knowledge, skills, and aptitudes. The score received weighs in on the decision to move students to the second half of internship or graduate from the program for those who are in their second semester. Students rated below a level of acceptance, are brought in to discuss a plan of remediation in an effort to elevate their score to a more acceptable level. The student’s advisor monitors this plan until a level of acceptance is achieved. In the event, a student fails to achieve this level of acceptance; a process of counseling the student out of the program may begin. Informal supervision also takes place during the weekly seminars where students are expected to reflect on case studies that are present. Their professionalism and appropriateness in response to the issues presented are observed as a measure of their professional development.