Students in the online master of education (M.Ed.) in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling program are required to complete three internships in school settings in or near their own communities. As a cornerstone of the Peabody Online M.Ed. curriculum, these internships prepare students to serve as effective, empathetic professionals who successfully apply human development theory to practice.

Internships also prepare students to meet fieldwork requirements needed for school counseling licensure in most states. Through these experiences, students will have the opportunity to assume the school counselor role and work one-on-one with children at various stages of development.

Internship Locations

Students complete one internship each at an elementary, middle, and high school, allowing them to work with children of various ages and backgrounds. By working at schools in their region, students can form relationships with local families, school faculty, and community leaders who can inform their practice and may accelerate their careers after graduation.

Please note: Students must complete their internships at schools in which they are not currently employed.

Guidance and Support

Peabody Online’s dedicated placement specialists will assist each student in finding internship placement sites in or near their community. Students will then work with an experienced, licensed supervisor during each placement. This knowledgeable professional will provide guidance throughout the internship experience.

Time Commitment

Each internship requires an average of 14–22 hours per week during the 14-week term. These hours will be completed within a typical school day and in accordance with the placement school’s calendar. Because they require a significant time commitment and must take place during regular school hours, students will not be able to hold full-time jobs while completing their internships.

Internship Placement 1

A student’s first internship will serve as a foundational placement experience that aims to transition the student into the school counselor role. This first placement requires 200 hours total, 80 of which are spent in direct service working with children at the school site. Students spend approximately 14 hours per week at this internship throughout the 14-week term.

Most internships require a student to work during typical school hours to align with school activities (e.g., between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday), but a student’s official schedule is determined with their school site supervisor.

Internship Placements 2 and 3

A student’s second and third internships build on the initial internship but are more time-intensive, requiring the student to complete 600 hours total, with 240 hours in direct service with children. In each 14-week term, this amounts to 300 hours total and 120 hours in direct service. Students spend approximately 22 hours per week in schools, over 14 weeks, for both the second and third internship.

These internships include dedicated time for observation in school counseling settings. Students observe children in classes, the daily routines of other school counselors, and/or counseling sessions. After a few weeks of observation, students are expected to assume these counseling responsibilities themselves, and assume an individual counseling caseload.

Once students move into the individual counseling portion of their internship near the middle of the semester, they are expected to perform the following tasks:

  • Work with and assess two to five students at the school
  • Co-facilitate and independently lead group counseling sessions
  • Conduct guidance lessons
  • Administer career and transition preparation and college counseling
  • Attend meetings with school faculty to discuss student progress

Additional Internship Requirements

Supervisor Credentials

The supervisor at each internship placement must be a state-licensed school, mental health, or social work counselor who has a master’s degree in school counseling, mental health counseling, or social work. Supervisors must have at least two years of experience in the field, preferably in the position at the school where they are currently working.

Private and Public Schools

Students may pursue internship placements in either independent schools or public schools, as long as the school meets program requirements. Public schools typically require their school counselors to be licensed, while independent schools may not. Students may pursue placements at independent schools, but the supervisor must be state licensed.

Placement Site Selection

Students are not able to complete their placement hours at their current place of employment. Peabody Online’s placement team will make every reasonable attempt to place a student close to their preferred placement address. However, if sites are not available in the preferred area, the student will need to travel at their expense to complete required placements.

Placement Support

Peabody Online provides students with dedicated placement support throughout their internships. Each student works with a placement specialist who helps the student locate and secure internships in or near their community.

Placement specialists ensure that the schools and internship supervisors meet the requirements of the M.Ed. program. They also work to arrange placement in schools that are as close as possible to a student’s homes and, if possible, cater to student interests. With connections across the country, Peabody Online placement specialists work to find each student a placement site near their home.

Learn More About the M.Ed. Online Program and School Counseling Internships Today

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