Counselor Field Experience
What is Clinical Experience?
Fresno State’s Clinical Field (Practicum and Internship) experiences bridge the gap between the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom and the world of professional practice. Entering into a clinical placement signals for students that they have attained sufficient competencies in the practice of counseling and are ready to function as beginning professionals under the supervision of faculty and site supervisors. Students' efforts, professional interests, and continued openness to learning will largely determine the quality of clinical field experiences. The counseling faculty assists students through this period of professional and personal growth.
What is OCP's role?
Interns will secure their own placements in various organizations relevant to their program of study with guidance from program faculty and the Counselor Placement Coordinator. The Counselor Placement Coordinator supports students, faculty, program coordinators, university supervisors, school districts, and various agencies that provide clinical experience to students in the Counseling Education and Rehabilitation Department.
What should I expect?
Students in the CER department participate in a minimum of two (2) semesters of clinical field experience. Students are expected to obtain experience in a broad range of skill areas, including individuals counseling; group counseling; psycho-educational groups and/or classroom guidance; parent and/or family counseling; program development, implementation, and evaluation; staff development and training; and appropriate administrative functions and processes relative to their clinical placement.
All clinical experiences are associated with a credit-earning clinical seminar course. The courses integrate each student’s field learning experiences with a discussion of the theory and practice of counseling, a review of client/student cases, and an opportunity for the student to receive university-based clinical supervision (both individual and group). The clinical field experience is one component of a comprehensive training program for counseling professionals. It is an essential component, as it provides an opportunity for each counseling student to integrate the information and skills gained from courses, workshops, seminars, and readings into a personal philosophy of counseling practice. It also allows the student to explore areas of interest within the field and test out possible career options. In order to facilitate student success, all students in the Counselor Education and Rehabilitation (CER) Department undergo a Clinical Review of their academic performance, counseling skills, and personal/professional dispositions while enrolled in COUN 208 and REHAB 238. However, throughout their program, students are continuously assessed for their abilities and dispositions as counselors-in-training therefore, students may receive a clinical review at any point in time while enrolled.
For specific practicum and internship requirements, please view the program-specific pages.
Clinical Practice Resources by Program
Professional Associations - Ethical Practices
Throughout the course of counseling students’ training and especially during their clinical field experience, students are required to adhere to “ethical practice” as described by the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) 2014 Code of Ethics. Throughout a student’s clinical training, these ethical codes and standards of practice are enforced and guide the development of a professional identity.
Areas of specialization also have ethical standards of practice covering specific clinical work with clients and students.