Practicum & Internship

The CMHC program requires students to complete a sequential clinical practicum and internship experience. The practicum and subsequent internship occur during the last 3-4 semesters of a student's program of study.


Students may only begin practicum once they have completed specific pre-requisite courses with a grade of "B" or higher. Practicum is an apprenticeship experience, and is the student's first opportunity to the working life of a mental health professional. Practicum typically begins with the student observing clinical services and progressing slowly to the initial delivery of services by the student to counseling. All of the student's clinical work is closely supervised by an appropriately credentialed mental health professiona on-site. Additionally, practicum students meet with a program faculty member for 2.5 hours each week as a group. During this time 1.5 hours are devoted to group supervision of the student's practicum work, and 1 hour is devoted to advanced didactic instruction across a wide range of issues in mental health practice. The practicum experience consists of 100 hours at an approved mental health agency, 40 of which are spent in observing, co-delivering, or autonomously delivering direct counseling/therapy services to clients. The remaining 60 hours are accrued through various activities on-site other than direct service to clients.


The internship consists of 600 hours at an approved agency, and is typically completed at the same agency at which the student completed their practicum. The internship experience is meant to allow the student to experience the full working life of a professional counselor, which includes autonomously delivering various counseling and related mental health services. Again, during internship the student is closely supervised by their site supervisor for 1 hour per week and for 1.5 hours per week by a CMHC program faculty group supervisor. The CMHC program maintains a small and carefully chosen set of agencies with which it collaborates to place students for practicum and internship.  Students may interview at one of the approved sites. Students may not select/approve their own sites, unless approved by the CMHC Practicum/Internship Coordinator.

The Primary CMHC practicum/internship sites are listed below: 

  • Altapointe Health Systems
    • Child and Adult mental health, chronic and serious mental health problems
    • Community Mental Health Center
    • Student must complete practicum in either child or adult services, but may potentially split internship across both.
    • Students who are current Altapointe employees must get permission from Altapointe Human Resources to work as practicum/internship students at the agency. Students cannot work as practicum/internship students in the same Altapointe department in which they are employed.
    • Family Counseling Clinic (adults, children, adolescents and families)
    • E.N.D. Program - counseling with female perpetrators of domestic violence
    • Child Advocacy Center - abused children
    • Rape Crisis Center
  • Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative 
    • Mobile juvenile court/Strickland Youth Center and rotations in related agencies such as the Youth Advocate Program and Continuous Learning Center.
    • Training in CBT, Trauma-focused therapy, family therapy, and parent training
    • Adolescent mental health, at-risk youth, juvenile offenders, participation in university research and program evaluation. 
    • Designed to prepare students for entry into doctoral study in counselor education and/or psychology.
  • Penelope House
    • PH is a women's shelter that provides care for women and their children who are experiencing domestic violence. Clients are provided shelter, food, child care, counseling services and assistance with legal and vocational needs. Interns will have opportunities to conduct counseling with children and adult women in both residential and outpatient settings.
    • Interns get the chance to work in the Outreach Program and in Court Advocacy Services
  • The Bridge Inc.
    • The Bridge provides residential and intensive outpatient counseling services for adolescent substance abuse. They also provide rehabilitative services to juvenile offenders.
  • The Shoulder - Daphne, AL
    • Adult substance abuse treatment
    • 12-Step Christian-based residential and outpatient programs
    • Baldwin County
  • Singing River Health Systems - Pascagoula, MS
    • Community mental health 
    • Possible experiences in intensive outpatient group counseling services, emergency mental health services and inpatient psychiatric services, and geriatric psychiatric services
  • St. Mary's Home
    • This site provides residential therapeutic and group home services to adolescents involved in the foster care system. Some of these youth are also involved in the juvenile court system. 
    • Both individual and group counseling experiences
Secondary Sites:

The program also maintains relationships with secondary sites if the primary sites are filled or for students who commute from Mississippi. Placement at these sites occurs on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the Practicum & Internship Coordinator.

Sites that may not be used as an initial Practicum site or a stand-alone Internship site, but may be used as a second Internship site when split with one of the above sites.

  • Mobile County Drug Court
  • 15 Place - Homeless Shelter
  • DivorceCare Group Counseling at Christ United Methodist Church