Class preparation and assignments reflect levels preK-8 or 5-12 depending on fieldwork level and license level sought.
Onsite training supervised by a state-approved licensed/certified school guidance counselor at the level sought is required; currently, 600 contact hours minimum, 240 of which must be in direct service with students, and 360 hours of indirect service (per CACREP National Standards). Entry requires approval from school guidance counseling chair. Students must pass required parts of MTEL (Massachusetts) or other state tests before entry.
This is the first of a two semester capstone experience where interns engage in the role of school counselor and attend a seminar that runs concurrent with fieldwork. Interns work with children and adolescents under supervision of a licensed school guidance counselor. They participate in individual and group counseling; utilize technology in the counseling process; apply counseling principles to career, social, personal, and academic development of students, and students with normal and abnormal behavior. Students are taught to use measurable outcomes for school counseling programs and activities. They utilize behavioral observation and program evaluation in planning successful interventions for students. They work with special education teams in understanding diagnosis of learning and behavior disorders. Interns are introduced to resources within the school district and community for referral. They develop plans for the prevention, treatment and referral of students engaged in legal or illegal substance abuse, personal, physical, and sexual abuse, school violence, school crises and other trauma causing situations. Students engage in ethical and legal practices of school counseling; campaign for an identity as a school counselor; work in support service teams to identify opportunities that enhance or impede academic, personal/social and career development. They work with task and peer counseling groups; deploy multicultural strategies in relation to diversity, equity, and opportunity in student learning; involve parents to promote academic, personal/social, and career development. Students are taught to use data to make decisions regarding accountability; learn and practice concepts, principles, and strategies to help close the achievement gap and school drop-out; employ suicide risk procedures; and are involved with designing curriculum and instructional strategies to teach a developmental guidance curriculum. Students also apply consultation strategies with parents, staff, administration and community resources; plan and implement developmental classroom guidance programs; learn the special education referral processes; and are taught to recognize and discuss personal limitations in supervision. Students are expected to utilize leadership strategies in the planning and implementation of parent education programs, and advisor/advisee programs. And lastly, students become familiar with the state achievement tests and the state curriculum frameworks. One contact hour of weekly supervision with a licensed supervisor and attendance at a seminar that runs concurrent with fieldwork is required.
The fieldwork experiences in this course address all of the Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling (except standard k).