The purpose of the rehabilitation counseling pre-practicum, practicum, and internship is to help you develop, under appropriate supervision, your professional competencies in assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve their vocational or independent living goals.
Through experiences in real-life settings, you will apply the knowledge, skills and abilities you are learning from your rehabilitation courses. This is an important part of the process for building your confidence, competence and readiness to become a professional rehabilitation counselor.
You are required to complete 50 hours of pre-practicum, 100 hours of practicum, and 600 hours of internship. For pre-practicum, it is typical to spend 5-10 hours a week at your site, depending on when you begin the supervised practice experience. During your practicum it is typical to spend 10 hours a week at your supervised professional practice site. The internship usually takes two quarters, during which you are spending about 30 hours a week at the supervised professional practice site. Depending on where you work, it may be possible to do your pre-practicum, practicum, and/or internship on your current job.
In practicum, your focus is on meeting with and providing counseling to clients of an organization. As an intern you will learn about and work with all aspects of the organization in serving their clients.
Before you can begin your practicum, you must complete RC 583, Practice of Rehabilitation Counseling, with a grade of B or better.
You must pass your practicum before going on to the internship. During both practicum and internship you will participate in a series of seminars with a faculty supervisor. You will also have weekly meetings with your on-site supervisor.
Some of the work settings used for practicum and internship include community rehabilitation providers, public rehabilitation agency district offices, hospitals, programs for persons with long-term mental illness, organizations serving veterans with disabilities, rehabilitation hospitals, and supported employment programs.
As you begin to plan for your field experiences, your faculty advisor will be able to help you find a site that is a good fit for your talents and interests.
Ideas for Field Experience Sites
- WA Division of Vocational Rehabilitation field offices
- Department of Services for the Blind
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Programs
- Community Rehabilitation Providers
- Centers for Independent Living
- Other agencies in partnership to serve individuals with disabilities
In order to protect you in case anything you do is questioned, students are required to buy Student Malpractice Insurance, which costs $16 per year. See the Internships section on the Special Risks section of Western's Risk, Compliance & Policy Services website. The online enrollment form for the Student Medical Malpractice Insurance Program can be found here.