Students

Field Experience

Field Experience Documents

Application
Checklist
Handbook

The Multidisciplinary Behavioral Healthcare Program views supervised Field Experience as the most effective method for students to experience the application of knowledge obtained in the academic setting and the development of practical skills fundamental to human services and care giving.

Please read this page carefully as it contains important information you need to plan and prepare for your participation in the Field Experience course. Planning your field placement in the community begins far in advance of the semester you take the course.

Prerequisites and Application Process

Students who will be taking the Field Experience course as a part of their required course work in Behavioral Healthcare will take this course sometime during their junior or senior year after completing the following pre-requisite & co-requisite Behavioral Healthcare core courses:


Pre-requisites Courses

Co-Requisite Course (can be taken before or concurrent with Field Experience)

Students are required to complete the field placement application 6-8 months prior to the semester in which they will be taking their Field Placement Course. It is important to note that students will likely be submitting applications before they have completed their pre-requisites, which is acceptable. We do, however, advise that students meet with the Academic Advisor and have a plan in place to insure that they will have completed those courses before the semester of their Field Experience course. If courses are not successfully completed by the registration time, students may be delayed in taking the Field Experience course. Submitting a Field Experience Application any later than the dates below may also jeopardize a student's opportunity to register for the course for the anticipated semester.

Application Deadlines

Field Experience Semester Application Deadline Field Experience Semester Application Deadline
Spring 2018 May 26, 2017 Spring 2019 May 25, 2018
Summer 2018 September 8, 2017 Summer 2019 September 7, 2018
Fall 2018 January 5, 2018 Fall 2019 January 7, 2019

Steps to complete application

Liability Insurance Requirement

Students are required to obtain liability insurance prior to beginning the Field Experience Course. The due date for students to submit a copy of their liability verification will vary by semester. The Field Placement Coordinator will send an email to students informing them of the due date for the semester. Students are required to purchase liability insurance prior to enrollment in the course. Each insurance policy covers 12 months, and should be purchased at the time of the student's field planning meeting. Liability insurance costs between $35-40.

Purchasing Instructions

  1. Go to the HPSO website at www.hpso.com
  2. Click "Quick Quote"
  3. Select "Individual seeking a quote for a new professional liability insurance policy" (I do not have employees or I am not incorporated).
  4. Click on "next" at the bottom of the page
  5. Answer questions as follows:
    • State of residence: "Florida" (even if you live out of state, you will do your internship in Florida)
    • Select your profession or area of study "Mental Health Counselor"
    • Are you a member of a professional association? No
    • Select your status as a healthcare professional. "Student"
    • Graduation Date: Enter expected graduation date
  6. Click "continue"
    • You will then see some information regarding the coverage and cost of your liability insurance. Proceed to the online application button and click.
  7. Complete the online application and submit.
  8. You will receive two emails from HPSO;
    • First email will thank you for your application for the insurance. This generally takes 1-2 business days from the day you submit the application.
    • Second email will be your approval. It will welcome you and provide a link to your certificate of insurance. This generally arrives in 3-5 business days after receiving the first email.
  9. Click on the link to your certificate and a pdf file will open. This is your certificate. You can email the PDF copy or print a hard copy to turn into the field placement coordinator at the time of your field planning meeting.

Field Planning & Site Selection

Once an application has been submitted, the Field Placement Coordinator will contact the students to schedule the appointments to plan the field placements 5-7 months prior to beginning the field experience course.

During the field planning meeting, the Field Placement Coordinator and Student will work together to identify potential site options based on each student's stated interest. The objectives of the placement are primarily that of exposure and observation. Therefore, the selected agency will provide a general opportunity to see how programs operate and services are rendered. The Field Placement Coordinator will provide the initial linkage between the site and the student, and students are required to follow-up with the selected site to schedule interviews and complete any tasks required by the agency (i.e. background checks, finger printing, completion of agency application, etc.). The placement of the student will be through mutual agreement after the student visits the agency and is interviewed by the site supervisor.

Permits

In order to register for the Field Experience course students are required to obtain a permit. The field placement coordinator will issue permits after field planning meetings for the semester are complete. Students will be issued a permit for the course contingent upon them completing the field planning meeting and submitting their certificate of liability insurance.

*Students who have MHS 4425 as a required part of their course work are given priority for registering into the course. Students who do not have MHS 4425 as a required part of their coursework may be placed on a waiting list and provided a seat on a "space available" basis – this applies to the Behavioral Healthcare ABA & Research Concentrations as well.

Field Placement Requirements

Notification about Screenings for Agency Placement

Positions in the Behavioral Healthcare Field routinely require criminal background screenings, drug screenings, and other types of screenings prior to internship placements and/or employment. Students with legal infractions often find that they are unable to secure positions in the field. It is your responsibility to be aware of the ways in which your personal background may prevent your placement with agencies for the Field Experience Course as well as for your future employment. Please be advised that USF has no influence to circumvent screenings at any agency.

It is important that you disclose any background information that may prevent your placement early on in your degree pursuit. If you have areas of concern, you should arrange to meet with the USF Program Coordinator, Academic Advisor, or Field Placement Coordinator to determine potential alternatives that will assist with your successful completion of the degree.

Field Placement Coordinator Contact Information

Amy Gierhahn, MA
Field Placement Coordinator
Mental Health Law & Policy MHC 2528
College of Behavioral & Community Sciences
University of South Florida
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612-3817
Office: 813-974-9007
Fax: 813-974-9327
Submit applications to: CBCSMHLPBHfieldexp@usf.edu
Submit questions to: agierhah@usf.edu