School Counseling Internship FAQ's

How do I choose an internship site?

The internship is your chance to get supervised practice in your chosen profession. It is important to consider what you want to get out of this training and find a site that fits those needs and goals. Ideally you would be able to visit several schools, meet with the principal and school counselor, and discuss the school counseling program. You need to find out how you can be involved in the activities of the school counseling program. Find out what the duties of the school counselor at that school entail. Will you be more of an administrator, or a counselor? Does the school counselor conduct individual and group sessions with students? Will you be expected to conduct classroom guidance lessons?


It is wise to also consider these questions for each potential placement: Can you accrue the required number of direct contact hours? Is it possible to earn the total number of hours? Can you find an onsite supervisor who meets the requirements? Is this person willing and able to supervise you weekly?


It is your responsibility to seek out potential internship sites.


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How do I get approval for an internship?

You must complete and submit the appropriate internship application forms by the publicized due date. Some school systems require direct contact with UTM in order to approve an internship placement. Typically these are larger school systems (Memphis City Schools, for example). In this case, UTM is placing you in the internship and you must complete and submit the appropriate placement form. If you have found a school and wish to “self place”, you must complete and submit the appropriate self-placement form.


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When and how will I be notified that my internship application has been approved?

There is no set notification date for internship approval. Your application is approved by the university internship supervisor soon after being submitted. For students who do not self-place, the placement is often not approved by the requested school until close to time for the semester to start. The Education Student Services office will notify you as soon as the school tells them whether your placement has been approved.


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Where do I get the internship forms and how do I submit them?

The internship forms can be found on the Education Graduate Program Announcements Blackboard site, under the “Counseling” section. You should submit your internship forms on this site. Pay strict attention to the due dates for these forms.


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What are the requirements for a potential onsite supervisor?

Your onsite supervisor needs to be a licensed school counselor with at least two years of school counseling experience. It is preferable that the onsite supervisor is an active member of school counseling professional organizations and has experience as a supervisor, though this is not mandatory. Your onsite supervisor must be willing to meet with you for an hour of supervision each week of your internship.


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Will there be a Canvas course for internship?

Yes. You should go to the Canvas course immediately when you are enrolled in order to read about the specific requirements for completing your internship.


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What assignments do I have to complete in internship?

Internship is your chance to immerse yourself in the job of school counselor. Your focus should be on becoming as active as possible at your site, performing the duties of a school counselor. The exact duties will be determined by you and your onsite supervisor. For the course, you must: complete your 300 hours onsite and submit a Final Log of those hours, signed by your onsite supervisor; complete a separate evaluation of your onsite supervisor, your site, and your university supervisor; ensure that your onsite supervisor submits both a midterm and final evaluation of you; make a weekly Discussion Board post; and, write a paper about your experience based on an assigned book.


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How many hours do I have to complete during internship?

Each internship requires 300 hours at the school. A minimum of 120 hours must be in direct contact with students. Each week you must meet with your onsite supervisor for an hour of supervision, for a total of 15 hours. The remaining 165 hours can be in indirect contact with students.


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What is meant by “direct contact hours”?

Direct contact hours include any activity in which you are meeting face-to- face with students. This could include, for example, individual counseling, group counseling, classroom guidance lessons, or administering standardized tests.


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What is meant by “indirect contact hours”?

Indirect hours can include any task required of a school counselor that does not include meeting face-to-face with a student. This may include administrative tasks such as keeping records, filing, meetings, planning guidance lessons, or consulting with teachers.


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I currently work as a school counselor. Can I use my job as my internship?

Yes. You can use your job to complete your internship hours. You must, however, find someone to serve as your site supervisor. This person will sign off on your hours, complete your midterm and final evaluations, and provide at least one hour of individual supervision per week. If you are the only school counselor at your school, you can find a school counselor at a nearby school to be your site supervisor.


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I currently work as the only school counselor in a rural school. Who can be my onsite supervisor?

You should find a school counselor from a neighboring school who is willing to serve as your onsite supervisor. This person should be willing to be available for consultation as well as weekly supervision sessions.


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I currently work as a school teacher. Can I continue to work while completing the internships?

The ideal situation would be for you to not work while completing your internship. Many students take a leave of absence from their job in order to finish their internships. However, this is not financially feasible for all students. So, you are allowed to continue working as a teacher while you complete your internship. However, you must work out these details with both your employer and your internship site. You must find a way to construct a realistic schedule that allows you to complete all of your internship hours. There is no one solution for this situation. It is up to you to negotiate with your principal for the time off to complete your internship hours.


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When can I begin to accrue hours for my internship?

You must be enrolled in the internship course in order to accrue hours for internship. Your school may have a different academic calendar than UTM. If so, you may begin your internship when your placement school’s semester begins, as long as all of the appropriate paperwork has been submitted and approved. This may occur before UTM’s semester starts.


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Can I start my internship if I haven’t submitted all of my paperwork?



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What if I can’t complete all 300 hours for an internship during a semester?

If you find yourself at the end of UTM’s semester without having the required hours, you can be given an incomplete for the course. Then you may continue at the site until your hours are completed. Once you have completed all requirements for the course, the incomplete will be removed.


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Can I complete my internship during the summer?

Some schools may provide summer programs that include school counseling components. If this is the case, then yes, you can complete a summer internship. There are several problems with attempting to complete your internship in one of these programs. First you would have to find a way to accumulate 300 hours, which can be very difficult during the summer. Second, you must find a summer placement that allows you to have direct contact with students while performing school counseling activities. And, finally, you must be supervised by a licensed school counselor during these activities. If you are able to find a summer program that meets these requirements you may apply for a summer internship.


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Can I take another course while I am enrolled in internship?

UTM allows students to take one other 3-hour course while enrolled in internship.


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Can I take COUN 785 while I am enrolled in internship?

No. The Practicum course, COUN 785, must be taken before you begin internship.


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Can I complete both internships at the same time?

Under certain circumstances you may complete both internships during the same semester. You must be able to demonstrate that it is possible for you to work with both schools in order to schedule the required number of hours at each site during the semester. Contact Dr. Dietrich to discuss this option before submitting an application.


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