Information and Support for Cooperating Counselors

This Guide serves two purposes:

1. Specific information regarding the procedures and logistics for a Practicum or Internship.

2. Some useful background about supervision models and process. 

Contacts at the University 

Ms. Tara Pace, Clinical Site Coordinator ->  e-mail:

Contact Ms. Pace for all placement questions until the start of the semester. After the semester starts,  the professor who teaches the seminar should be contacted. 

Dr. Holly D'Angelis -> Department Co-Chair     Phone: 716-888-3187  e-mail:

Dr. David Farrugia-> Department Co-Chair & School Counseling Program Coordinator     Phone: 716-888-2393 e-mail:

Dr. Ashley Luedke -> Coordinator of the Mental Health Counseling Program  e-mail:

Dr. Tikana Truitt -> Full time Faculty Member e-mail: 

                                       Field Placement Requirements for Graduate Students

1. Must be in at least the third semester of study and a student in good standing

2. In addition to other courses, must have completed the pre-practicum before a practicum

3. Must have completed the practicum before an internship

4. Other courses completed will vary by student

If you wish to see our full curriculum - the links are below:

                                                                   Procedures for Placement

1. Application is done in the semester before the placement begins

2. Students can request possible locations or age groups

3. We check that the student has met our conditions for placement

4. Our placement coordinator contacts you and informs the student

5. The student then contacts you and arranges start dates

6. Questions before the semester starts go through the placement coordinator (see above: Contacts at the University)

7. At the start of the semester you receive the applicable practicum or internship cooperating counselor's handbook from the student

8. After the start of the semester, communication is through the professor teaching the seminar

Note: NYS Education Department is specifically prohibited from reviewing fingerprints for student teachers/interns

                                                               At the Start of the Semester

1. Start dates vary by semester -- it is OK for students to begin a week or so before the University semester starts conversely, it is OK for students to start a week or so after the University semester starts

2. By the end of the semester the student is required to have the required number of "direct" and "indirect" service hours

3. Students come to you with varying levels of experience, maturity, work ethic, social and professional skills therefore each supervision experience is unique - The goals of all supervision include the growth of the intern, protection of the welfare of the client, gatekeeping for the profession and eventually empowering the supervisee to become a self-supervising independent professional

4. Assess your intern and develop your approach to helping them grow

5. Begin to map-out the required and unique activities for the semester -- Pay special attention to the supervisory process - If recorded sessions cannot be taken from a Practicum site for review by the University supervisor, the Guide for Live Supervision (found in the Handbook for Cooperating Counselors) should be used to facilitate at least 2 direct meetings, phone conversations or e-mail consultations with the University professor.

Cooperating Counselor's Handbooks for Download

You will receive one of these from your Graduate Student...each contains required and suggested activities - expectations for the student, the site and the University - agreement forms - student evaluations - and other useful resources as well. If you like, you can download a copy of the appropriate handbook below:: 

Mental Health Counseling Practicum

School Counseling Program

Mental Health Counseling Internship

School Counseling Internship

                                      Philosophy and Objectives for Practicum and Internships 

Expectations for the counseling experiences gained from field placements are based on the standards of the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Services (CACREP). This means that students in practicum are expected to have significant supervision of their direct work with clients. Direct counseling work is essential in the practicum. In addition to the supervision of the cooperating counselor, students have a weekly group seminar and are individually supervised by a University supervisor. While students are expected to begin to explore the range of professional counseling activities in the practicum, the primary focus is on developing solid individual and group counseling skills, hence the intensive supervision.

During the internship experience students are expected to perform the full range of counseling activities and service. They are required to have a total of 600 hours of direct and indirect service (240 hours must be direct service) as compared to the practicum where 100 hours of direct and indirect service are required (40 hours must be direct service). In addition to supervision by the cooperating counselor, students have a weekly seminar. Individual supervision is only done by the cooperating counselor, although the professor leading the seminar provides group supervision and is available to assist students individually. 

When graduate students begin working with you, expect to provide them with an appropriate orientation to your site. Most graduate students are unsure of your expectations for them, therefore during the first several weeks of the semester provide them with clear direction and structure. As the semester progresses and routines develop, support the graduate student in becoming more independent as appropriate to your work site. Make sure you take the time for supervisory discussions. Most cooperating counselors find that several brief conversations/meetings across the day work best. Student counselors progress at different rates so be sure to tailor the experience according to the abilities and needs of the graduate student.

Evaluations are done at the mid-semester and at the end of the semester. The evaluations require a quantitative review, but also allow for qualitative comments from the cooperating counselor. Do expect to be contacted by the University professor during the course of the semester. Should you need consultation regarding expectations for the site experience Do not hesitate to contact the attending professor at any time .

Tuition waivers are sent at the end of the semester.

                                                                                 Best Practices

1. After the initial contact from the University, complete preliminary discussions with the placement coordinator as soon as possible.

2. Once assigned and contacted by the graduate student return the phone call of the graduate student as soon as possible to discuss any initial considerations regarding the placement.

3. Provide an orientation for the graduate student to the school or agency either before or at the start of the placement.

4. Have the graduate student shadow you for the first and second day of the placement.

5. No later then the third day of the placement, the graduate student should begin to participate in direct service activities with clients or students. The degree of initial direct oversight depends on the site and on your assessment of the graduate student.

6. Do provide opportunities for supervision of student's work either by review of electronic recording or live supervision.

7. As you gain confidence in the graduate student's counseling skills, provide opportunities for the student to work with clients without direct live supervision.

8. Do review the mid-semester evaluation and end of the semester evaluation directly with the graduate student.

9. If you need to consult with the University regarding the placement you should contact the professor who is conducting the corresponding seminar for the graduate student. 

                                                                Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the definition of "direct" and "indirect" counseling hours?

Answer: Direct hours are any face-to-face work with clients. These include individual counseling, group counseling, core curriculum work (guidance activities), phone contact, meetings with the client or family, etc. Co-counseling also counts as direct hours as long as the intern contributes to the session. Indirect hours are everything else including doing paperwork, planning, collaborating with a professional team, etc.

Why do graduate students differ in their readiness for practica and internships?

Answer: Graduate students come to us with varying levels of experience, maturity, work ethic, social and professional skills. While we do ensure that all students have met the required conditions for placement there is a "bell curve" of student readiness. Some students are already competent professional colleagues when they begin their site experiences, others need significant mentoring, most are somewhere in-between. We share the task of helping each individual graduate student to become the best young professional that he or she can be.

When should graduate students begin to work with clients in Practicum and Internship?

Answer: In a Practicum the first two days on site should be focused on orientation and shadowing the cooperating counselor. By the third day on site, although the graduate student may continue shadowing, he or she should begin to work with clients. The cooperating counselor in conjunction with the graduate student should judge the types of presenting concerns that the graduate student is ready to address in his or her initial sessions.

What do I do if I believe that the graduate student is not meeting the expectations of my site?

Answer: Work with the student in order to help them meet expectations. In addition, you should contact the professor who is teaching the seminar and together you can develop a strategy to help the student meet expectations. If necessary, a formal remediation plan will be initiated by the professor.

Should the graduate student see clients on their own?

Answer: Yes, the cooperating counselor and the graduate student should determine the graduate student's readiness. No later than the 5th week of the semester the graduate student should have opportunity to see clients while supervised and to see clients independently.

What about recordings of sessions?

Answer: We highly recommend recording sessions. It is the best way for new counselors to learn. Recordings can be reviewed by the University Supervisor, or if the recording can't be taken from the site, it can be reviewed by cooperating counselors and the graduate student at the site. Sometimes only live supervision is allowed at the site. When recordings can't be taken from the site or only live supervision is allowed, at least two supervision sessions must be reviewed with the professor teaching the seminar either by phone or via e-mail. The Guide for Live Supervision which is located within the Handbook for the Cooperating Counselor should be used to facilitate phone consultation or completed and sent via e-mail to the University professor who will then reply electronically.

What is the value of the tuition waivers offered as an honorarium for the practicum and internship?

Answer: Current amounts are as follows Practicum = $750, Internship (Part Time = $1,000 - Full Time = 2,000)

Can a tuition waiver be used after the expiration date?

Answer: No, vouchers must be used prior to their expiration date. 

A Comprehensive Resource on Supervision

 ACA Publication -> Clinical Supervision in the Helping Professions: A Practical Guide, 3rd Ed., (2021). Authors: Corey, G. Haynes, R., Moulton, P and Muratori, M.

Background from Corey Et al. - Supervision Book listed above

●  The quality of the relationship between supervisor and supervisee is indicative of success of supervision, just like in the therapeutic process.

●  Similarly, the safety of the environment that the supervisor creates dictates how free the supervisee feels to try new skills and to experience success or failure. A safe environment also allows supervisees to become aware of their own biases and work on them in a productive and positive manner.

●  Theory of supervision is beneficial for supervisors, as theory of practice is for counselors. (see below)

●  An effective supervisor is knowledgeable and has expertise, creates a warm environment that fosters empathy, is flexible, is invested in the supervisee, and follows ethical guidelines while assessing for countertransference. A non-effective supervisor is essentially the opposite - they are unreliable, uninvested, inflexible, and they generally come across as cold.

Supervisor Considerations:

-Harsh feedback and judgment negatively affect the supervisee.

 -Just like with clients, the supervisor should establish a trusting and supportive relationship with the supervisee. This will help supervisee to be more open to feedback.

 - Evaluation should be utilized to improve performance.

 -Supervisors and supervisees should both be clear on what their expectations and goals are for this relationship.

         Models of Counseling Supervision: What We Like


Cooperating Counselors are encouraged to use whichever Supervision Model that resonates with them. Supervision models include the Integrated Developmental Model, Life-Span Model, Psychodynamic Model, Person Centered Model, Cognitive Behavioral Model, Feminist Model, Solution Oriented Model, the Discrimination Model and more. Supervision should also include attention to multicultural considerations at the site and as part of the growth of the supervisee.


From the Integrated Developmental Model


New counselors move through developmental stages as they grow as professionals. Although each grad student is unique, most start the Practicum with emerging skills and lacking in confidence (Level 1). As student counselors grow through the Practicum and into the Internship their skills and confidence increase (Level 2). Depending on the student and their experiences most become primarily self-directed and supervision becomes more informal and collegial (Level 3).


From the Discrimination Model


The supervisor has three roles; that of a teacher, a counselor and a consultant. The particular role of the supervisor depends on the needs of the supervisee. Typically, a supervisee at Level 1 will depend on the supervisor as a teacher helping the supervisee with appropriate intervention skills, case conceptualization, assessment, development of treatment plans as well as the particulars of the agency or school in regard to normal procedures, record keeping and the like. At times the supervisee will be confronted with a challenging new awareness or an experience of transference or counter transference that affects them personally. In this case, the supervisor becomes a brief short-term counselor to the supervisee. At times it is appropriate for the supervisor to refer the supervisee to more in-depth counseling depending on personal issues that can be elicited by their work. As the student counselor moves toward Level 3, the supervisor becomes more of a consultant to the supervisee. 


Discrimination Model for Supervision - 2014  - YouTube Video PPT Overview of this classic supervision model  

Discrimination Model For Counseling Supervisors - 2012 YouTube Video – Lecture and Role Plays 

Constructive Supervision Model.  2015 - An Alternative Supervision Model - ABSTRACT