Field ExperienceField Experience Documents
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:
- MHS 3411 Multidisciplinary Behavioral Healthcare
- MHS 4002 Behavioral Health Systems Delivery
- MHS 4723 Pro-Seminar in Behavioral Healthcare OR MHS 4203 Practical Skills: Children's Behavioral Healthcare
Co-Requisite Course (can be taken before or concurrent with Field Experience)
- MHS 4408 Exemplary Practices in Behavioral Healthcare
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.
|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
- Open the application from the webpage
- Before entering any information into the form, download the application & save the PDF version of the blank application to your desktop
- Open the blank application from your desktop & fill in information completely.
- Save the completed document to your desktop
- You may want to close and re-open the document again before sending it to verify that the information you entered was saved.
- Attach the completed application in an email and send to CBCSMHLPBHfieldexp@usf.edu
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.
- Go to the HPSO website at www.hpso.com.
- Select "Apply Now"
- Select "Individuals"
- Answer questions as follows:
• State of residence: "Florida" (even if your primary address is out of state, you will do your internship in Florida)
• Type of Profession "Mental Health Counselor"
• Are you a member of a professional association? No
• Select your status as a healthcare professional. "Student"
• Graduation Date: Enter anticipated graduation date
- Click "Complete Your Online Application" (International students without Social Security
#s will need to choose "Complete Your Paper Application" and have it mailed to be
able to complete it).
• Fill out the information requested and submit.
- You will receive two emails from HPSO;
• First email you receive will be a proof of purchase. This generally takes 1-2 business days from the day you submit the application.
• Second email will be your approval. It will provide you with a link to your certificate of insurance. This generally arrives in 3-5 business days after receiving the first email.
- Click on the link to your certificate and a pdf file will open. This is your certificate. Save the PDF and email the attachment to the Field Placement Coordinator. (Please do not send photos of your certificate or JPG images, send the PDF version only.)
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.
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
- Attending weekly on-campus seminar
- 120 clock hours spent at the agency over the semester
- SPRING or FALL - approx. 8 hours per week for 15 weeks
- SUMMER C - approx. 12 hours per week for 10 weeks
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
Submit applications to: CBCSMHLPBHfieldexp@usf.edu
Submit questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org