A distinctive of Western's Counseling Program is the emphasis on learning while doing - the internship (or practicum) experience. During the program each student will complete a minimum of 5 semesters of internship. Each internship offers opportunity for the student to apply their classroom learning to the practical world of actual counseling.
Western's Counseling Program does not recommend waiting for the internship until the student's last year. Rather, beginning in either their second or third semester of their program, students have the opportunity to develop their skills while still involved in the classroom experience. This combination of the practical experience and academic experience provides a rich learning environment. Students have increased motivation to learn and better retention because they have someplace to apply the material immediately. They ask better and tougher questions in class which in turn motivates the faculty to be on the cutting edge in their own professional lives.
Internships are under the close direction of both a site supervisor and an on-campus supervisor. In case conferences (consisting of 4-6 student peers and one faculty member) students are given a chance to grow both personally and professionally. The student peers and supervising faculty review audio and video tapes of the interns work. Feedback is provided in an encouraging atmosphere assisting the students personal and professional growth.