Skip to main content.

Training Program

Thank you for your interest in the UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center Advanced Practicum Training Program! The UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center has been training emerging psychotherapists for over 25 years. The program provides the opportunity for students to enhance their clinical skills and develop their professional identity in the context of a university counseling center environment.

About the Advanced Practicum Training Program

Our advanced practicum program offers a minimum 3 day/week advanced training experience. Trainees participate in all of the activities in which senior staff are involved, including intakes, brief and long-term individual therapy, group therapy, crisis assessment and management, referral/case management, consultation, and outreach to the university community.  In addition, trainees attend the weekly all-staff meeting and weekly didactic training seminar, with topics that include clinical modalities, multicultural concerns, theory, and research.  Trainees receive 1 hour/week of clinical supervision with their primary clinical supervisor, 1 hour/week of clinical supervision with their secondary supervisor, 1 hour/week of peer supervision with the training director, 30 minutes/week of supervision with their group co-leader, and regular individual professional development supervision with the training director.

All training hours are completed during the Counseling Center’s hours of operation, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm; no evening or weekend hours are available at this time. Trainees carry a caseload of 12-14 individual clients and are expected to co-lead at least one group per semester. Trainees will also complete at least 5 outreach presentations per year, including one original outreach project. Please note, due to the schedule of the all-staff meeting and the didactic training seminar, Tuesdays are a required day for all practicum students. 

The training program follows a developmental model, with a focus on cultural humility and building competence in ethical, effective clinical practice. Our staff are all extremely invested in and involved in the training program.  We are interested in trainees as “whole people,” and our goal is to help them to grow in their professional identities and expertise during their time at our site. 



UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center is a vibrant, highly utilized center, and trainees are expected to participate fully in the activities of the center, albeit in a developmentally appropriate manner. As such, students wishing to complete a practicum at the UMass Dartmouth Counseling Center must:

  • Hold advanced standing in their graduate program (e.g., entering 3rd or 4th year of a doctoral program or entering 3rd year in a master’s program);
  • Have some prior real-life individual counseling experience;
  • Have 2-3 positive letters of recommendation.  Only 2 letters of recommendation are required, but a third may be submitted at the applicant's discretion if they feel that a third may provide a unique perspective.  At least 1 letter must be from a prior clinical supervisor.

Other desirable characteristics include:

  • Some prior experience with crisis assessment and/or safety planning;
  • Committed to cultural humility;
  • Open and growth-oriented;
  • Flexible, team-oriented, and organized;
  • Willing to put up with wonderfully bad puns and the occasional knock-knock joke.


Selection Process

Students interested in applying to the program should submit a cover letter, CV, two to three letters of reference, and an unofficial transcript to the training coordinator, Dr. Nicholas Olendzki via email, at  

The deadline for applying to a 2024-2025 training position is Monday, 1/8/2024.

Selected candidates will be invited to meet with the staff for a structured interview. Candidates will also be given the opportunity to speak with our current trainees during their visit to ask any additional questions.  Applicants will be notified regarding the match decision on Monday, February 12th.

Please direct questions about the program or the application process to the training coordinator, Dr. Nicholas Olendzki at



Back to top of screen