Practicum

Career Counseling Practicum Program

Integrating Professional Counseling, Career Development and Cultural Competence

Thank you for your interest in our career counseling practicum program at Texas Career Engagement. We are excited to offer practicum training for students in counseling-related graduate programs. Feel free to reach out to Practicum Coordinator Dr. Adria Villarreal at adria.villarreal@austin.utexas.edu with any additional questions.

Who We Are and What We Do

Texas Career Engagement serves all students, employers, and campus and community partners with a specialized focus on identity-centered and interdisciplinary career development and campus-wide employer engagement. We do this through identity-centered career education for undergraduates and alumni, academic and non-academic career advising for graduate students, collaborations with campus partners, curricular integrations with faculty, and consultations with employers to develop campus-wide talent pipelines.

In support of our mission to provide equitable access to career engagement for all University of Texas at Austin students, identity-centered career education is at the top of mind as we develop our programs, services and resources for students and alumni. To that end, TCE career education has at its core a focus on specialized career support for students who identify professionally with identities beyond the academic major – particularly affinity identities, such as students with disabilities, students of color, LGBTQIA+ students and first-generation college students.

What Is Career Counseling?

Career counselors engage in a professional relationship with students to foster deeper exploration into the role identity and personal development play in on-going career and life decisions. The work is often introspective and process-oriented. Given the changing nature of work and shifting priorities of today’s college students, career counseling is more relevant than ever. Career decision-making is a life-long process and our role is to help students learn who they truly are, how majors and careers are related, and how to explore their options in order to make informed decisions, now and in the future.

Career counselors help students address important questions, such as:

  • How do my identities impact career decision-making?
  • What are my values and how can understanding them inform my career decisions?
  • How do my interests shape my academic path and career?
  • What are my core personality traits and how might these impact satisfaction on my academic and career journey?
  • What skills do I possess and what do I want to gain from my experience at UT?
  • What are my personal and academic strengths and how can I maximize these in my work life?
  • What barriers am I experiencing and how can I minimize the impact of these barriers on my career journey?

Career Counseling Team

The Career Counseling team consists of a diverse group of professionals with graduate degrees in counseling, psychology and higher education. Individual supervisors hold professional licensure as Licensed Psychologists and/or Licensed Professional Counselors. Working within a large, multidisciplinary team of career practitioners, we offer a wide range of career services to students.

Practicum Training

Training Overview

At TCE, we value trainees and prioritize their growth as counselors. We take a developmental approach and provide training and support based on individual trainee needs. Our primary goal is to train graduate students to provide specialized career counseling and integrate career theory and practice into their future counseling work.

Practicum students provide individual counseling sessions for students struggling with career decision-making or needing support on their career journey. Career counseling often focuses on helping students expand their self-awareness and begin to consider what they want their work life to look like. Practicum counselors also provide concrete resources, such as online assessments, career information and career exploration resources to students.

Given the nature of career counseling in a university setting, we often use a short-term model. Many students meet with a career counselor once or twice, though there are opportunities for ongoing counseling as well. At TCE, we view students from a holistic perspective and understand there is more to their experience at UT than academics and career planning. We partner with many offices on campus and make referrals for additional support as necessary.

Training Components

The goals of the training year align with career counseling minimum standards outlined by the National Career Development Association:

  • Develop counseling skills and intentionality with a diverse population of UT students
  • Understand ethical considerations within career counseling, as well as within the broader fields of counseling and psychology
  • National Career Development Association Code of Ethics
  • American Psychological Association Code of Ethics
  • American Counseling Association Code of Ethics
  • Integrate career counseling theories into theoretical orientation
  • Learn the role identity and family-of-origin play in college student career development
  • Enhance multicultural awareness and cultural competence through cultural humility
  • Recognize and honor the unique challenges and strengths within marginalized student populations and how these may impact the career decision-making process
  • Gain awareness of the intersection of mental health, well -being and career development, and learn how to make effective referrals for mental health support
  • Explore the role of career assessments in the career counseling process, including FOCUS 2 Career, Strong Interest Inventory, MBTI and Clifton Strengths
  • Develop skills in helping students navigate the job and internship search process

Orientation

At the beginning of the fall semester, practicum counselors will attend a three-day orientation that will focus on the following areas: Career Counseling Ethics, Career Decision-Making Model, Self-Assessment, Online Career Resources, Internship and Job Search, Career Counseling Theory and Practice, Resumes, CVs and Mock Interviews, and Diversity and Multicultural Career Counseling.

Individual Counseling

Practicum counselors will have a caseload of between eight and 10 students. Many will be seen once or twice, however there will be opportunities to work with some students more consistently.

Individual Supervision

Practicum students receive a minimum of one hour of individual supervision from a licensed professional. During supervision, counselors have an opportunity to share concerns about students and receive support and feedback on counseling skills. Practicum students will record sessions (with student consent) to utilize in supervision.

Group Supervision

Practicum students will attend a one-hour group consultation meeting each week to share student cases and receive feedback from a team of career practitioners.

Special Projects

Time-allowing, there may be opportunities to engage in special projects throughout the year, e.g., developing and presenting a workshop series on a topic of interest, assisting with training of Longhorn Career Peers, or other projects developed in collaboration with your supervisor.

Hours and Activities

Typical schedule per week:

  • Fall: Eight-10 hours individual career counseling
  • Spring: 10 hours individual career counseling
  • One hour for individual supervision meeting
  • One hour for case consultation/group supervision
  • One-two hours administrative time

Approximate total hours per week = 12-13

Eligibility

Students who are interested in applying for the practicum program must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in a counseling-related graduate program
  • Completed at least one counseling techniques course by start of practicum
  • Completed or will concurrently enroll in a career development course
  • Able to devote 12 hours/week to practicum program
  • Available to attend a three-day orientation training, typically one week before semester starts

This is typically a two-semester practicum site, although competitive students available for only one semester will be considered.

Application Process

Please submit a resume/CV, along with a cover letter outlining how this training opportunity fits within your professional goals, to adria.villarreal@austin.utexas.edu.

Deadline for Fall 2023 placement:

Students from UT graduate programs: February 3, 2023

Students from all other graduate programs: April 3, 2023

Students who apply and meet the requirements will be invited for a 45-minute interview. This interview is with a panel of TCE Career Education staff and includes a role play.

The applicant will be assessed on the following factors:

  • How effectively they articulate how this practicum experience relates to career goals
  • Their demonstration of interpersonal skills and aptitude of an effective career counselor
  • Excellent communication and language skills

Please do not hesitate to contact the practicum coordinator with any questions:

Adria Villarreal, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, adria.villarreal@austin.utexas.edu

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