If you are interested in hosting a Rural Mental Health Preparation/Practice Pathway counseling intern in your community, please review all the following information to determine if it will be a right fit for you. 

Our Counseling Interns 

Counseling interns who are eligible to join your community and participate in the grant have completed their first year of their master's in counseling program.  All the candidates have completed their skills and practicum under the close supervision of university supervisors and have demonstrated the abilities to effectively provide counseling services. Interns are seeking community placements to complete their internship requirements before graduation. 

The goal of RMHP3 is to prepare and support counseling students to sustainably provide mental health services in rural Montana communities. 

The School Counselor Identity

School counselors focus on enhancing and supporting student achievement and accomplishment. According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), School counselors are certified/licensed educators who improve student success for ALL students by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program. Their duties are aimed at helping students increase academic achievement, increase emotional regulation and interpersonal skills, and plan for the future by providing various services on a systemic and individual level. 

The Counselor Identity 

Professional counselors focus on promoting mental health for many different individuals and relational systems. According to the American Counseling Association (ACA) professional counselors are graduate level (either master’s or doctoral degree) mental health service providers, trained to work with individuals, families, and groups in treating mental, behavioral, and emotional problems and disorders. Counselors work towards promoting well-being and growth for the clients and communities they serve. 

What do counseling candidates provide for your site? 

School Counseling Interns Can Provide: 

  • Classroom presentations and activities with children that enhance their ability to function well in the school setting and with their peers
  • Individual and group counseling with students
  • Consultation and education with parents
  • Consultation with teachers and other school personnel
  • Administration and/or interpretation of assessment and testing experiences

Clinical Counseling Interns Can Provide: 

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Psychoeducation with students, family members, teachers/staff, and community members
  • Case management
  • Consultation with parents and school personnel
  • Public or professional education through student presentation of lectures, workshops, and trainings 

Counseling Interns Can: 

  • Provide direct or indirect counseling services within their counseling identity and training
  • Attend site meetings and trainings
  • Provide advocacy and case management services 
  • Engage in and support community/school events

Limitations of Counseling Interns: 

  • Disregard their own education and classes to be at internship sites
  • Work more than 19 hours per week without prior permission from their university faculty supervisor.
  • Complete tasks beyond the scope of practice or in accordance with their training and internship requirements. 

Further questions about scope of practice and Counseling Intern role can be discussed with interns and University faculty supervisors.

Qualified Communities/Schools 

Qualified Sites: 

  • Must be located within rural Montana.
    • A map of qualified sites is available at the RMHP3 Eligible Locations webpage
    • If you have questions regarding your community's eligibility, please contact one of our principal investigators listed below. 
  • Provide interns with the opportunity to engage students and community members with the previously mentioned services. 
  • Provide opportunity for interns to get a total of 600 hours for internship with at least 240 of the total hours being in direct service with clients/students.
  • Provide an opportunity, space, and setting for the student to begin to do supervised professional work. 
  • Orient the intern to the school/agency, its components, policies and procedures, and inform interns of expectations of them.
  • Have a qualified site supervisor.

Qualified Site Supervisors Will; 

  • Be licensed in their respective field (License School Counselor or License Professional Counselor)
  • Commit to participate and engage in the supervisor-supervisee relationship.
  • Meet the guidelines as supervisors as laid out by Montana state law
  • Have formal training in supervision
    • Both Montana State University and the University of Montana will provide formal supervision training if needed. Please contact principal investigators for more details. 
  • Adhere to and model ethical standards and applicable professional codes of conduct laid out by their profession, such as; Montana Code of Ethics,  the ASCA Code of Ethics, and the ACA Codes of Ethics. 
  • Have adequate professional liability insurance  riders that covers supervisory responsibilities. 

Supervisor Responsibilities:

  • Offer and provide an average of one hour of supervision per week to the candidate totaling approximately 30 supervision sessions. 
    • RMHP3 will provide financial compensation of $3,000 (approximately $100 per supervision session) to be paid in two installments ($1,500/semester) at the end of each semester term. 
  • Maintain notes regarding your supervision sessions for your own records.
  • Refer the student to appropriate resources for learning how to meet specific client needs. 
  • Frequently review all or part of the student’s recorded sessions of work.
  • Provide formative and summative feedback related to counselor development.
  • Verify the student’s clock hours of activity by reviewing and signing off on the student’s log at least once each month.
  • Conduct a formal evaluation of the student’s performance to the student and to the faculty supervisor at the end of the practicum experience. 

  • Contact the university supervisor to discuss the intern's progress when necessary.

  • Assist the intern in navigating client needs. 

Steps for Hosting an Intern  

Step One: 

  • Read through all of the information on this page.
  • Determine if you are an eligible site:  RMHP3 Eligible Locations 
  • Determine if you can provide a qualified site supervisor.

Step Two: 

  • Contact one of our Principal Investigators (listed below) and express interest.
  • Request additional information or ask questions as needed.
  • Principal Investigators will put you on a wait list.

Step Three: 

  • Sites are selected at the end of the Spring Semester/Beginning of Summer Semester.
  • Principal Investigators will contact sites to determine best fit.
    • Sites are selected based on goodness of fit between the community/school and the individual intern.

Step Four

  • Site supervisors will receive a supervisor agreement. 
  • Interns and site supervisors will be encouraged to make contact and engage in activities/trainings aimed at orienting the intern to the site. 

Step Five

  • Supervise and collaborate with your counseling intern at your site. 

To Get Started, Contact

105x130

Anna Elliott

Assistant Professor
Montana State University

     Herrick Hall 210E, Bozeman, MT 59717-3540
   (406)994-3245
   [email protected]
105x130

Kirsten Murray

Professor
University of Montana

    ED 337, 32 Campus Dr MS 6356, Missoula MT, 59812
   (406)243-2650
   [email protected]