Training Program

Mission Statement of Training

The Mission of the UCWC Training Program is to provide doctoral and master-level students with a supervised clinical experience in a broad range of activities in preparation for careers in a university counseling center or similar setting. Trainees have the opportunity to learn from a diverse and multidisciplinary team of professionals who practice a broad developmental and mentor-based training approach and use a combination of experiential, didactic, and practical training experiences to achieve training goals. As a result of this process, trainees develop skills, competencies, and professional identities as psychologists and counselors, respectively.

Our Training Philosophy

The UCWC Training Program utilizes a practitioner-scholar model in which research informs practice. This approach integrates hands-on work in a multidisciplinary setting with scholarly reading, critical thinking, and self-reflection. We believe that providing a supportive yet challenging environment, as well as ongoing and reciprocal feedback from staff and peers, creates the optimum space for trainees to feel comfortable making and learning from mistakes and to experience personal and professional growth. We also believe it is important for trainees to have the opportunity to tailor their training experience based on areas of interest, and to receive mentorship and guidance in developing a niche as a mental health professional. Training opportunities will be developmentally appropriate for each individual’s level of training and experience, and will be sequential, cumulative and graded in complexity across the training year.

The UCWC also utilizes a collaborative, systems approach to working with each other and within a larger campus environment. Therefore, we believe it is important for trainees to learn how to navigate administrative processes, provide referrals to on and off-campus agencies, develop case management skills, collaborate with other departments on campus, coordinate crisis response, and manage multiple roles within the University, such as consulting with staff, students, and parents while maintaining confidentiality.

The UCWC is committed to providing culturally sensitive services and believes it is important for trainees to be competent in working with clients, colleagues, and community members from various backgrounds. We foster this competence by providing training on identity and culture, encouraging trainees to consult and collaborate with multidisciplinary staff members inside and outside of UCWC, and by challenging trainees to reflect on their own personal and cultural experiences and how these affect their work with clients.


Students wishing to complete an externship at the University Counseling and Wellness Center must be advanced graduate students in either the USA Clinical & Counseling Psychology doctoral program or the USA Master’s in Mental Health Counseling program


Graduate students work 10-20 hours per week for the academic year and are expected to abide by the established policies and procedures of the University Counseling and Wellness Center and the ethical standards of the counseling and psychology profession. Externs also are expected to participate in a week-long orientation at the University Counseling and Wellness Center prior to the start of the start of the academic year.

Externs from the USA Clinical & Counseling Psychology doctoral program are paid a graduate assistant stipend for their service during the academic year.

Typical Direct Service Activities

  • Individual counseling
  • Intake assessment
  • Group counseling
  • Triage evaluation
  • Psychoeducational outreach programming
  • Consultation

Training Activities

The majority of training is the responsibility of the Associate Director at UCWC, including individual supervision of all trainees and conducting training seminar. Other staff are involved in the training program through consultation, leading group seminar at times, and co-leading therapy groups with trainees.

  • Individual supervision
  • Groups Supervision
  • Risk Assessment training
  • Training Seminars

Learning Objectives

Students completing an externship at the University Counseling and Wellness Center will acquire the following knowledge, skills and experiences. Externs will:

  • develop skill in operational/agency factors related to work in a university counseling center
  • enhance individual counseling skills and knowledge
  • develop skill in intake assessment
  • acquire group co-facilitation skills
  • gain knowledge and skill in crisis intervention
  • improve psychoeducational programming skills
  • demonstrate professional and ethical behavior
  • develop skill in engaging in the supervision process
  • enhance personal qualities relevant to effective counseling practice
  • Develop skill in triage evaluation for first appointments
  • Collaborate effectively with campus partners for treatment and programming

 Application process

  1. Applicants will work with their respective Program Directors/Faculty to determine interest.
  2. Applicants will submit application and resume to the University Counseling and Wellness Center.
  3. Selected candidates will be scheduled for interviews in late April/early May.
  4. Position offers will be made in mid to late May.