Practicum and Practicum Seminar Requirements
Students in the MA in Clinical Psychology degree program are required to complete 6 credit hours (minimum of two semesters) of practicum and practicum seminar. All students who enter the practicum application process must be in good academic standing, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) and have completed all the practicum prerequisite courses prior to the beginning of the practicum. Argosy University, Twin Cities faculty review all practicum applicants to determine their academic and clinical suitability. Student readiness for practicum is determined by the department chair.
Students will not be allowed to apply for practicum if there is concern about their ability to function competently and professionally at the training site. Students who are on probation are not permitted to apply for practicum. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the department chair. Students who have received a grade below a “B-” in any course may not begin practicum until the course(s) have been retaken and a satisfactory grade has been earned. The departmental Student Professional Development Committee may stipulate that a student delay application for practicum as part of an overall remediation plan for the student.
The practicum experience must meet each of the following requirements:
- The practicum must include 700 hours of documented clinical experience. For students completing the Addiction Studies courses the practicum must total 880 hours of mental health and addiction clinical experience.
- Students will spend approximately 20-25 hours per week on practicum duties.
- The practicum must extend over a minimum period of two semesters.
- Students must enroll in two 3 credit hour courses PP6201 - Master’s Practicum I and PP6202 - Master’s Practicum II while in the Practicum.
- Students must attend a practicum seminar during enrollment in PP6201 - Master’s Practicum I and PP6202 - Master’s Practicum II . Practicum seminars meet weekly while classes are in session.
All students on practicum are covered by professional liability insurance purchased through the school. This coverage is mandatory, even if the student is otherwise insured.
All practicum sites must be approved by the department chair, and students must work with the program officials throughout the practicum process. The program will provide students with a list of potential practicum sites to which they may apply. However, students must be accepted by the site for training at that site. Argosy University, Twin Cities does not guarantee practicum placement. While there are some practicum sites located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, in some cases the student may need to travel outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area to obtain practicum training.
Practicum Training Sites
In assisting students in their search for a practicum site, the program attempts to match student needs and interests. If a student is interested in a particular clinical area, the department chair, in collaboration with the student, will attempt to find such a site. The department chair welcomes student and faculty input on the development of practicum sites. The practicum’s experience will extend throughout the two semesters.
Students are expected to receive at least one hour of supervision per week on site. These supervisory hours should be regularly scheduled and continue throughout the practicum. A practicum may not be done in a student’s place of employment without approval from the department chair clearly defining the scope of the practicum as outside of the scope of employment.
Practicum Application Process
Detailed procedures for the practicum application process are provided in the Practicum Policies and Procedures handouts which are distributed to students as they begin the application process.
Students may only apply to practicum sites approved by the program. Practicum site supervisors expect that applicants have been referred to them by the program and that all clinical training is coordinated through the program. Students who do not follow these guidelines can expect disciplinary action.
Practicum sites vary considerably in how and when they interview and select students. Students at Argosy University, Twin Cities compete with students from other graduate programs for practicum sites. Students should apply, conduct interviews, and accept/decline practicum positions with the utmost professionalism.
When students receive an offer, they may ask that site supervisor for a reasonable period of time to complete interviewing at other sites; reasonable means several days to two weeks. Once a student accepts an offer, that acceptance is binding. By accepting a practicum site, a student makes a professional and ethical commitment to a site; students must conduct themselves accordingly. The student should then notify other sites of his or her withdrawal from candidacy and thank them for their consideration. Students should inform the department chair immediately after accepting a practicum site and complete the Practicum Placement Agreement and the Training Release of Information. The Practicum Placement Agreement form identifies the student, the site, the supervisor, and the days and times the student will be on site. The student is responsible for completing the forms and returning it to the department chair. Practicum placements are not officially approved until these forms have been completed and accepted by the department chair.
Practicum Seminar Requirements
All practicum students are required to attend a practicum seminar. This seminar meets regularly during the student’s enrollment in PP6201 - Master’s Practicum I and PP6202 - Master’s Practicum II . Attendance at the practicum seminar is required. Students regularly present tapes and diagnostic reports.
Evaluation of Student Progress in Practicum
Student performance in the practicum is assessed in basic areas of clinical functioning, including:
- Theoretical knowledge base
- Clinical skills
- Professional/ethical attitudes and behavior
Performance at the practicum site is evaluated each semester by the assigned practicum site supervisor. Performance in the practicum seminar is evaluated each semester by the seminar leader. These evaluations must be completed using the approved forms, and will review both strengths and weaknesses. If students are having practicum problems, they should consult with the seminar leader or the department chair. Practicum supervisors are also encouraged to immediately contact the department chair with any concerns about their student.
All practicums are graded on a “Credit” (“CR”) or “No Credit” (“NC”) basis. Students are initially assigned a grade of “Progressing” (“PR”) for their practicum work each semester.
The final grade of “CR” or “NC” is assigned by the department chair when all documentation in support of the student’s practicum experience has been received and reviewed. Required documentation includes:
- Practicum Supervisor evaluations
- Practicum Student evaluations
- Faculty seminar leader evaluations
Unsatisfactory ratings on any of these evaluations may be grounds for granting a grade of “NC” for the practicum. Students may not receive partial credit hours for a practicum. If a student receives a grade of “NC” for a practicum the entire practicum must be repeated.