Internship Information

An internship is a clinical training experience that takes place in a health care delivery system. Students generally take internship during the last two semester of their course work. To enroll for internship, students must be in good standing, maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better, and have successfully completed CNL 590, 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606, 608, 610, 611, 630, and 635.

Internship is treated like a course. It carries 6 credit hours per semester (internship + seminar = 6 credits) for a total of 12 credit hours for the academic year. Students apply for and secure internship sites prior to the semester in which they enroll in the course. All students enrolled in internship must also concurrently attend a weekly group supervision led by a faculty member. The content of the supervision varies according to the internship sites represented.

Internship Application and Placement Procedures

1) Submit an application for internship and secure permission for placement

During the semester prior to beginning internship students must submit an Internship Registration Form to the Counseling Program Internship Coordinator. The Internship Coordinator will review applications and provide permission to those students meeting all the necessary qualifications. Students should not contact internship sites until securing approval from the Counseling Program Internship Coordinator.

2) Review the internship database and begin an internship search

Once eligibility is established and the Internship Coordinator has granted permission to take internship, students should review the internship database. The Internship Database contains sites that have met minimum training standards as determined by the Counseling Program. No site is recommended over another. When selecting a site, students should consider factors such as commute time and professional needs. Students may also wish to contact fellow students who trained at sites of interest in previous years to discuss their experiences. After determining internship sites of interest, students should prepare a current resume, perhaps including completed courses taken prior to beginning internship. Also, prepare a brief cover letter highlighting why you would like to train at that particular site, what you would bring to that site, and what you would hope to gain while there.

3) Submit an application(s) to a site(s) of interest

Students should submit an application to the site (s) of interest. The application process varies from one site to another. Some sites are very competitive and have specific application deadlines. Be sure to pay attention to these. After submitting an application to a site, a student might be contacted for an interview. Students are responsible for arranging their own interviews with the site supervisors. Much like a job interview, these meetings are an opportunity for students and sites to evaluate each other and review training opportunities, expectations, needs, and responsibilities. Internship sites vary considerably regarding their interview and selection schedules. Students begin accepting offers during the middle of the semester prior to beginning internship. Before accepting internship offers, students may request a reasonable amount of time (i.e., a few hours to 1-2 days) to hear back from other prospective sites. Sites are not required to honor such requests, though many do so in order to give students enough time to make informed decisions.

Verbal acceptance of an offer constitutes a contractual agreement between McKendree, the internship site, and the student in which the student’s delivery of service is exchanged for clinical supervision, access to clinical populations, facilitation of professional role development, and participation in other professional activities (e.g., rounds, staffing, seminars, etc.). The contract may only be withdrawn under the most unusual and/or extreme of circumstances and requires the full endorsement of all parties. In these rare instances, students must contact the Counseling Program Internship Coordinator before discussing a potential withdrawal with his or her internship site. Following acceptance of an offer, students contact other sites by phone, email, or mail to withdraw their active candidacy and to thank them for their consideration.

If a student does not receive or accept an offer from the initial list of sites, the selection process continues until a match is found. Students experiencing difficulties obtaining a site must contact the Counseling Program Internship Coordinator for individualized assistance and for approval of additional sites to which they can apply.

4) Notify the Internship Coordinator of your internship site selection

An appropriate representative from the site completes an Affiliation Agreement with McKendree University that outlines the responsibilities of both institutions. The Internship Coordinator manages distribution and collection of these agreements. Students may not begin their internship until this signed affiliation agreement is secured from their site. Students should not begin seeing clients at their internship site until the beginning of the semester in which they are enrolled in internship. Students are permitted to complete required training or orientation prior to that time if needed.