UPDATES ON COVID-19

CACREP Statement

We are aware that:
– institutions are enacting action plans to keep their students, faculty and staff safe;
– programs are considering instituting alternate methods for program delivery; and
– practicum and internship placement sites are also taking steps to keep their staff and clients safe.

Programs have to follow their institution’s directives and make decisions that are best for them. It is the prerogative of programs to provide accommodations for their students in extenuating circumstances. As these accommodations are made, a gentle reminder is to be mindful of potential consequences for students in terms of finances, degree completion, accreditation, licensure and/or certification, and future employment.

Please communicate directly with your designated CACREP Staff liaison or call the main office to voice any concerns you may have or to share with us contingencies that are being put in place at your institution. This will allow CACREP to monitor any potential impact to the Counseling program and/or challenges to the program’s ability to be in full compliance with the CACREP standards. This information will be invaluable to any steps CACREP may need to take to support programs during this health crisis.

We encourage you to access the most current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/Coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  and the following resources we have identified below.

 

Credentialing Resources

Certification and licensing entities are responding to the growing concerns regarding impact on credentialing for future practice. Here are links to entities that have information available:

State Departments of Education

For programs who want to contact their states, these links are up to date:
https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/careers-roles/state-school-counseling-programs-web-sites

South Carolina
https://ed.sc.gov/newsroom/covid-19-coronavirus-and-south-carolina-schools/

State Counseling Licensing or Professional Educator Standards Boards

American Association of State Counseling Boards
http://www.aascb.org/aws/AASCB/pt/sp/news

California Board of Behavioral Sciences
https://www.bbs.ca.gov/

Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board
https://cswmft.ohio.gov/Whats-New

Mississippi Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors
https://www.lpc.ms.gov/wplpc/

South Carolina Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Addiction Counselors and Psycho-Educational Specialists
https://llr.sc.gov/cou/#<https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fllr.sc.gov%2Fcou%2F%23&data=02%7C01%7CHeather.Trepal%40utsa.edu%7Cb73e02c7e1294ee5e60a08d7cac23f45%7C3a228dfbc64744cb88357b20617fc906%7C0%7C0%7C637200807954272847&sdata=Bv0w9PCouex9BdmM3yWQhGNGw%2BTI2vlTRdv9JrulqTc%3D&reserved=0>

Virginia Board of Counseling
https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/counseling/leg/CounselingInternshipWaiver03272020.pdf

Washington
https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAOSPI/bulletins/27f9475

National Counselor Certification Boards

Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification https://www.crccertification.com/covid-19
National Board for Certified Counselors https://nbcc.org/temppages/coronavirus

Professional Practice Standards Advisory

CACREP programs have been responsive to CACREP’s call to them last week to submit accommodations and modifications being put in place for their respective programs during the Covid-19 health crisis.

We reiterate our respect for the autonomy and prerogative of programs to provide accommodations for their students in extenuating circumstances. We recognize that every situation is unique and institutions have access to varying resources and have different capacities for specific types of accommodation. CACREP trusts that programs will do, professionally and ethically, what is best for them and their students. We are also mindful of the potential consequences for students in the long-term including credentialing, portability, and future employment.

It is an expectation that programs will continue to meet the CACREP standards, including the Professional Practice section of the Standards. Programs will have to be innovative, within reason, in how the Standards are met and CACREP will be flexible where it can.

If you have not already, please be sure to send to your designated CACREP staff liaison or to the CACREP e-mailbox cacrep@cacrep.org the most current accommodations and modifications that are being put in place for your program as a matter of record.

It is important that the solutions developed are consistent with the CACREP Standards and Policies below.

CACREP STANDARDS:

3.G Practicum students complete at least 40 clock hours of direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills.

3.K  Internship students complete at least 240 clock hours of direct service.

Flexibility:    CACREP does not have any prohibitions against telemental health or distance supervision.
Programs using either one of these as alternative methods to meet curricular needs must ensure that students and site supervisors are trained to use this modality and that this modality is accepted by the respective state licensing board.
The use of role plays are not an appropriate substitute for direct hours.

3.J   After successful completion of the practicum, students complete 600 clock hours of supervised counseling internship in roles and settings with clients relevant to their specialty area.

Flexibility:    Students who are unable to complete practicum requirements at this time, upon return to normal practice may enroll in Internship in the same term. However, the student must successfully complete all practicum requirements prior to commencing with Internship.

CACREP POLICY:

1.h    Duration of Practicum. The duration of a student’s supervised practicum experience is to extend across a full academic term to allow for the development of basic counseling skills and the integration of knowledge. Practicum is completed prior to internship. Therefore, CACREP standards do not allow for extra hours obtained during the practicum to be counted toward the 600 clock hour internship requirements.

Flexibility:     See accommodations provided for Standard 3.J. In addition any documented extra direct hours, beyond the requisite 40 hours, completed during Practicum may be counted towards Internship.

1.q    Programs Offered by Multiple Delivery Methods. … When an institution chooses to offer 50% or more of a counseling specialization’s curriculum to students through multiple delivery methods, CACREP will consider it to be a single degree program offered through multiple delivery methods …

Flexibility:    It is acceptable to move to fully online teaching on a temporary basis during this health crisis. Programs are advised to attend to the following two guidelines from the U.S. Education Department:
  • … This flexibility applies only with respect to students who were in attendance when the interruption occurred, and the flexibility is not available for clock-hour courses that lead to licensure if the relevant body will not accept distance education for purposes of licensure requirements.
  • … Institutions are not required to use “sophisticated learning management systems or online platforms” for Title IV purposes. Nevertheless, to meet ED’s distance-education definition, the institution must communicate with students through certain technologies and instructors must initiate substantive communications with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis. …
Programs will not be required to submit a Substantive Change report.

The accepted flexibility in meeting the above CACREP Standards and Policies will remain in effect until June 30th 2021 for student currently enrolled in Practicum and Internship.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCOMMODATIONS:

The common practices being adopted by institutions, as reported by CACREP programs, include:

  • Extending the length of the term to complete program requirements at no additional cost to the student,
  • Allowing students to walk at graduation and having students subsequently complete all program requirements prior to receipt of diploma,

CACREP recognizes that the length of academic term and the academic calendar may need to be modified to accommodate the disruptions to the established timelines.

CREDENTIALING ACCOMODATIONS:

CACREP Policy 1.k  When CACREP Standards Conflict with State/Local Laws. If CACREP Standards, policies, or procedures conflict with any local or state laws governing an institution, it is the responsibility of the applicant program to notify CACREP of the conflict and suggest one or more alternative resolutions that demonstrate the program’s willingness to meet the intent of the Standards, policies, or procedures in question. Upon receipt of the information, the CACREP Board will review the suggested resolutions and notify the institution’s and program’s leadership, in writing, if acceptable. If the suggested resolutions are not acceptable, the Board may suggest other possible resolutions to the program or inform the program that the proposed resolution is unacceptable.

CACREP is not waiving the minimum requirement of direct and indirect service hours for Practicum and Internship.

Long-term Impact Accommodations

 The decisions made by CACREP are responsive to the short-term needs while being mindful of the potential consequences for students in the long-term including credentialing, portability, and future employment and for programs sustainability.

In thinking about the long-term impact of the current health crisis on programs fiscally and on the accreditation review process, the CACREP Board is implementing the following:

Policies:

In addition to the accommodations made to Policies 1.h and 1.q under the Professional Practice Standards Advisory is:

Policy 2.g  Extension of Accreditation Status. An institution is permitted no more than eight (8) years of accreditation per cycle. The Board may choose, however, to grant a one-time extension of accredited status in situations involving unpredictable difficulties despite due diligence. Upon favorable completion of the next accreditation review process, the institution’s period of accreditation would include the extension time – for a total of no more than eight (8) additional years of accreditation.

Flexibility: To waive the stipulation “ … Upon favorable completion of the next accreditation review process, the institution’s period of accreditation would include the extension time …” and grant a one year extension without penalty to all programs identified for site visits during March – December 2020. This one-year extension will not be considered part of the next accreditation cycle.

CACREP staff will officially notify programs to which this accommodation applies.

Recognizing that the financial impact to programs will extend into the next academic year, the following adjustment is being made to the Annual Dues:

In April every year CACREP sends out Annual Dues invoices with a payment deadline of September 15th. The annual maintenance fee for July 1st 2020-June 30th 2021 is now set at $3800, which is about a 5% discount of the posted rate.

FAQs by Programs

* New* How does the flexibility around practicum and internship hours apply for students who start practicum by June 30, 2021, but don’t start internship until after that date?
In March 2020, CACREP offered flexibility for students around requirements for practicum and internship. Students can apply toward internship any direct and indirect hours earned in their practicum that are in excess of their required practicum hours. This flexibility is in effect until June 30th 2021, so any student enrolled in practicum between March 2020 and June 30, 2021 may apply excess hours towards internship.

* New* Can students still be enrolled in Practicum and Internship in the same term?
In March 2020, CACREP offered flexibility of permitting students to be enrolled in Practicum and Internship in the same term on condition that the student must successfully complete all practicum requirements prior to commencing with Internship. This flexibility is in effect until June 30th 2021, so students may be enrolled in Practicum and Internship simultaneously anytime during March 2020 until June 30, 2021.

A moratorium has been placed on the procedural ability for a program to override not being recommended during the desk review to proceed to site visit planning. What does this mean for a currently accredited program?

The accreditation status of the program will expire at the end of the current cycle. Students, per CACREP policy 5.b, will be recognized as graduates of a CACREP-accredited specialty area through the end of the term in which the cycle end date falls. The Board reviewers’ determination on whether to proceed to site visit planning or not is final. Upon a determination not to proceed to site visit planning, the current review process will end. This decision is not appealable.

Programs are eligible at this time to submit a new application and self-study without a waiting period. The sooner an application is submitted, the shorter the potential gap in accredited status will be.  Upon successful securing of accreditation at a later date, the record will show a gap in accredited status.

Programs need to carefully attend to the self-study reports that are submitted for reaccreditation. Sometimes programs are not recommended to site visit planning due to major resource or planning issues, such as not having the requisite number of qualified core faculty or not having a program evaluation plan developed and implemented. In other instances, the reports that are submitted are incomplete and don’t clearly explain and document how all components of the CACREP standards are met.

Can the Practicum course be completed in less than an academic term?

No, the requirement of the standard 3.F must be met, which states “Students complete supervised counseling practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 clock hours over a full academic term that is a minimum of 10 weeks.” The 10-week duration of practicum provides for student acquisition and consistent demonstration of appropriate clinical skills and professional performance over a sustained period.

In March 2020, CACREP offered these flexibilities (https://www.cacrep.org/for-programs/updates-on-covid-19/#march63):

CACREP Standard:

3.J  After successful completion of the practicum, students complete 600 clock hours of supervised counseling internship in roles and settings with clients relevant to their specialty area.

Flexibility: Students who are unable to complete practicum requirements at this time, upon return to normal practice may enroll in Internship in the same term. However, the student must successfully complete all practicum requirements prior to commencing with Internship.

CACREP POLICY:

1.h  Duration of Practicum. The duration of a student’s supervised practicum experience is to extend across a full academic term to allow for the development of basic counseling skills and the integration of knowledge. Practicum is completed prior to internship. Therefore, CACREP standards do not allow for extra hours obtained during the practicum to be counted toward the 600 clock hour internship requirements.

Flexibility:     See accommodations provided for Standard 3.J. In addition any documented extra direct hours, beyond the requisite 40 hours, completed during Practicum may be counted towards Internship.

CACREP is allowing students to apply toward Internship any hours earned in their practicum that are in excess of those hours required for the practicum. This flexibility is in effect until June 30th 2021.

Students are supposed to graduate in May and their internship sites are closed. How can they complete their requirements?

Flexibility has been provided for meeting internship requirements:

  • Policy 1.h has been temporarily waived to allow students to count any practicum hours in excess of the 100 hour requirement toward their internship hour totals. Direct service practicum hours can be applied to direct service internship hours, and the same with indirect hours.
  • You may allow student use of alternate methods of service delivery such as telemental health, if it follows the standard professional and ethical guidelines and if your program and state regulatory board allow it.
  • Program faculty and site coordinators have flexibility to:
    • identify what activities are acceptable as direct service especially in a crisis response scenario. Please note that role play between students is not considered an acceptable alternative for direct service.
    • determine alternate modalities of service delivery.
    • consider alternate placement sites which you may have not considered before.
  • This crisis has expanded needs for mental health service, while reducing traditional service delivery options. The mental health toll is significant and will be for a long time, what can be done proactively that can safely include students? Counselor educators need to think creatively about meeting these needs. What are the needs in the local community that student can safely engage in? This is a unique opportunity for skills acquisition related to the knowledge gained about crisis response and intervention.

For students currently enrolled in a practicum and their clinical sites are closed, how will this affect the rest of their program?

Policy 1.h and Standards 3.G and 3.K address the issues of delineating hours between practicum and internship. If a student cannot complete practicum requirements in this academic term, CACREP has adjusted requirements so that programs can allow students to enroll simultaneously in both practicum and internship for the next academic term.  Should this occur, students must successfully complete practicum requirements before they can begin completing hours toward internship.  To allow a full academic year to resolve these issues, this flexibility will remain in place through June 30, 2021.

Can the program use simulations for practicum and internship student for direct service hours?

CACREP Standards 3.G states “direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills”, and Standard 3.K indicates direct service. The Glossary defines direct service as” … These activities must involve interaction with others and may include: (1) assessment, (2) counseling, (3) psycho-educational activities, and (4) consultation…”.

If the instructional experience is an emulation of an actual situation (in real world or virtually (AI)) then it may be appropriate. Role plays between students do not meet this requirement.

I am a faculty member who is in a state that has mandated shelter in place.  How should we proceed with our program and students?

You will need to follow the procedures and plans implemented by your institution as per the state mandate. Your institution would be the one to determine its contingencies for the continuation of programs across the institution and for accommodations for student to continue their programs of study. CACREP can only respond to accreditation-related program issues.

The governor in my state has just announced that professional clinical hour requirements have been relaxed due to coronavirus.  What does this mean since CACREP has not waived clock hour requirements?

While the Governor may suspend laws or relax requirements, it is still the state credentialing entity (department of education or licensing board) that makes the final determination of what it will accept/allow for credentialing purposes. This accommodation or suspension varies by state.

The CACREP standards have not changed, therefore, CACREP is maintaining the 100/600 clock hour requirements for practicum/internship respectively. Programs have the ability to define what activities are considered direct service and what placement sites are appropriate.

Each state is proposing a different solution that meets its respective needs, as such there is no blanket accommodation that will be applicable to every state. CACREP is mindful of the potential impact, on the cohort of graduates during this time, with regard to their future mobility to states that have not changed credentialing requirements. To assist CACREP in tracking if your State’s regulations have been temporarily suspended, please send the information to CACREP. The CACREP Board will take these under advisement and may be able to respond on a state-by-state basis as appropriate. The CACREP standards have not changed. Policy 1.k When CACREP Standards Conflict with State/Local Laws, is the mechanism for identifying alternatives for resolving the conflict.

If you have not already, please be sure to submit to your designated CACREP staff liaison or to the CACREP e-mailbox cacrep@cacrep.org the most current accommodations and modifications that are being put in place for your program as a matter of record.

Our state Department of Education has allowed for flexibility and reduction of the number of weeks/hours for clinical experiences. What does this mean since CACREP has not waived clock hour requirements?

The CACREP standards have not changed. Policy 1.k When CACREP Standards Conflict with State/Local Laws, is the mechanism for identifying alternatives for resolving the conflict. If your State’s regulations have been temporarily suspended, please send the information to CACREP. The CACREP Board will take these under advisement and will be able to respond on a state-by-state basis as appropriate.

Our institution has asked programs to implement pass-fail grading, pending input from accreditors in professional programs. What’s CACREP’s position on this?

CACREP’s Standards and Policies do not speak to program’s grading processes. While programs have discretion in this area, CACREP recommends that programs be mindful of: future considerations for students related to licensure and portability; best practices with regard to education, gatekeeping, retention, remediation, and dismissal; and considerations related to individual student assessment and program evaluation practices within the program.

What is CACREP doing with the accommodations and modifications that my program has submitted?

Every program has been requested to send to CACREP the current accommodations and modifications that are being put in place for your program as a matter of record. CACREP is not making any evaluative assessment of what is being done by programs. This plan will be kept on record for future reference especially if any questions arise when graduates seek certification or licensure or issues arise at the time of reaccreditation for the program.

Our program is supposed to have a site visit in the next 6 months.  Are we still going to be able to have a review?

For purposes of safety and travel restrictions, all in-person site visits have been cancelled through May 2020. CACREP is in touch with programs scheduled for Spring visits to determine what workable alternatives are available to the program.

CACREP has been in touch with affected programs to explore interest, infrastructure capabilities, and viability of conducting a virtual visit as a temporary measure. Given that this is a new option for CACREP, we are now in the planning phase of determining feasibility, eligibility requirements, infrastructure needs for both CACREP and the institution hosting the site visit, requisite policies and procedures, and training of site team members to conduct a virtual visit. The option for a virtual site visit will be offered to a program at CACREP’s discretion. Programs will need to consider the possibility of hosting a virtual site visit in the Summer if the option is offered to them. CACREP’s Site Visit Coordinator is working directly with the program liaison of every affected program.

In addition, an administrative accreditation extension of one year, with no penalty to the program, is being granted to affected programs so the delay in conducting a site visit will not jeopardize the programs accredited status as a result of the current health crisis. The one-year extensions will be given to programs which had site visits scheduled for the Spring and to the programs approved for site visits in the Fall.

Has CACREP adjusted upcoming reporting deadlines?

CACREP operations are continuing, in a telework environment, with the same procedures and timelines in place in order to maintain normalcy of workflow and on-going support to programs. CACREP staff is in direct contact with program liaisons to address program-specific issues and concerns. Upcoming deadlines:

  • Programs with Interim Reports due April 1 have been notified by CACREP staff of an extension through May 15th 2020
  • Reaccreditation Self-Studies due July 2020. Please contact your designated CACREP staff member if you have any concerns about meeting your timelines. While there are no firm due dates, the timelines staff have outlined for expected submissions are designed to allow adequate time to move through the review process prior to accreditation expiration.

How can I submit my self-study now that all of my colleagues and campus administration are working from home?

To facilitate submission CACREP is providing the option to use electronic signatures and submit self-studies via our online Submissions Portal. The most current Application is available on the Programs page of the CACREP website. And you can find a document with guidelines for submitting your self-study electronically on the Submissions Portal page. If you have questions, please contact your designated CACREP staff member.

FAQs by Students

* New* How does the flexibility around practicum and internship hours apply for students who start practicum by June 30, 2021, but don’t start internship until after that date?
In March 2020, CACREP offered flexibility for students around requirements for practicum and internship. You can apply toward internship any direct and indirect hours earned in your practicum that are in excess of your required practicum hours. This flexibility is in effect until June 30th 2021, so any student enrolled in practicum between March 2020 and June 30, 2021 may apply excess hours towards internship.

* New* Can I still be enrolled in Practicum and Internship in the same term?
In March 2020, CACREP offered flexibility of permitting students to be enrolled in Practicum and Internship in the same term on condition that you must successfully complete all practicum requirements prior to commencing with Internship. This flexibility is in effect until June 30th 2021, so if you may be enrolled in Practicum and Internship simultaneously anytime during March 2020 until June 30, 2021.

A moratorium has been placed on the procedural ability for a program to override not being recommended during the desk review to proceed to site visit planning. What does this mean for students in the program?

The accreditation status of the program will expire at the end of the current cycle. Students, per CACREP policy 5.b, will be recognized as graduates of a CACREP-accredited specialty area through the end of the term in which the cycle end date falls.

Programs are eligible at this time to submit a new application and self-study without a waiting period. If the program submits a new application and is successful in securing accredited status, CACREP Policy 5a will be applied: Program Graduate Qualification for Initial Accreditation. Students in a program seeking accreditation shall be considered graduates of a CACREP program if they receive their degree within eighteen (18) months prior to when accreditation is conferred, and if the program can verify that the student completed the CACREP program requirements.

I am supposed to graduate in May and my internship site is closed. How can I complete my requirements?

Flexibility has been provided for meeting Internship requirements:

  • Policy 1.h has been temporarily waived to allow you to count any Practicum hours in excess of the 100 hour requirement toward your Internship hour totals. Direct service practicum hours can be applied to direct service internship hours, and the same with indirect hours.
  • You may use alternate methods of service delivery such as telemental health, if it follows the standard professional and ethical guidelines and if your program and state regulatory board allow it.
  • Program faculty and site coordinators have flexibility to identify what activities are acceptable as direct service especially in a crisis response scenario.

I am a student, but I am not graduating in May.  My clinical site is closed, and I wonder how it will affect the rest of my program.

Policy 1.h and Standards 3.G and 3.K address the issues of delineating hours between practicum and internship. If you cannot complete practicum requirements in this academic term, CACREP will allow you to enroll simultaneously in both practicum and internship for the next academic term.  However, the condition is that you must successfully complete practicum requirements before you can begin completing hours toward internship.  To allow a full academic year to resolve these issues, this flexibility will remain in place through June 30, 2021.

I am a school counseling intern and the suggestion to work with students in ways relating to the pandemic has been prohibited by my school.  My school will not allow us to be directly involved with students.  Are there other ideas of how student counseling interns can accomplish direct hours?

You would need to work with your program to come up with some options of activities that might be acceptable to the program as direct service, through what modality, and at what site. While many public schools are closed, the schooling still continues and the school counselor is still working. Consider what direct service could be provided that does not involve working with students. Are there options for consultations? What are the schools needs in times of crisis? How do school counselors respond and intervene in times of crises? Each school has unique needs and is responding to the health crisis, what role is the school counselor playing that may allow for the intern to be included? Since this is all new, it’s an opportunity to be creative.

My university has cancelled all practicum and internship courses and made us leave our sites. What do I do?

You will need to follow the directives of the university and work with your program faculty to determine what next steps they will take.

The governor in my state has just announced that professional clinical hour requirements have been relaxed due to coronavirus.  What does this mean since CACREP has not waived clock hour requirements?

While the Governor may suspend laws or relax requirements, it is still the state credentialing entity (department of education or licensing board) that makes the final determination of what it will accept/allow for credentialing purposes. This accommodation or suspension varies by state.

The CACREP standards have not changed, therefore, CACREP is maintaining the 100/600 clock hour requirements for practicum/internship respectively. Programs have the ability to define what activities are considered direct service and what placement sites are appropriate.

Each state is proposing a different solution that meets its respective needs. As such there is no blanket accommodation that will be applicable to every state. CACREP is mindful of the potential impact, on the cohort of graduates during this time, with regard to their future mobility to states that have not changed credentialing requirements.

My program is supposed to have a site visit in the next 6 months.  Are we still going to be able to have a review?

For purposes of safety and travel restrictions, all in-person site visits have been cancelled through May 2020. CACREP is in touch with programs scheduled for Spring visits to determine what workable alternative are available to the program. CACREP and your program are working together to ensure that your current or future (for new programs) accreditation is not jeopardized as a result of the current health crisis.

Is CACREP going to revise its decisions?

This is an unprecedented event in accreditation and in counselor education, and we cannot predict the future. The CACREP Standards will not change. CACREP is making the best decision it can with the information it has at each given point, we are also very aware that circumstances are changing rapidly.  Any updates will be published on our website and announcements will be distributed through our social media and email channels.

FAQs about Covid-19 Internship Accommodations Report

What has changed about Internship requirements?

CACREP believes that to whatever extent possible, programs should seek to uphold the hour requirements that have been specified and sustained as the entry level training requirements for the profession. The CACREP Standards for required hours during Internship have not changed. However, programs may now provide a special Internship Accommodations Report outlining temporary non-compliance with those standards if the governor or credentialing body in their institution’s home state has temporarily suspended or relaxed regulations on the preparation of pre-licensed counselors in any specialty area.

Which programs must submit this report?

Programs whose home institution is in a state where the governor or credentialing body has temporarily suspended or relaxed regulations on the preparation of counselors (in any specialty area) must submit the report if they want to graduate students with fewer than the required 240 direct service and/or fewer than 600 total hours of Internship. The temporary suspension of laws regulating licensees is not applicable and does not meet criteria for applying for this internship amnesty.

Can we submit this report in response to stay-at-home orders from our Governor, which have limited students’ ability to complete internship?

No. This special Internship Accommodations Report is provided specifically for cases where state laws and/or regulations on the preparation of pre-licensed counselors have been temporarily relaxed or suspended by the governor or credentialing body in your institution’s home state. Because stay-at-home orders do not address those regulations, they do not provide a basis for using this Report or implementing accommodations that create temporary non-compliance with CACREP Standards.

CACREP has provided other flexibility around Standards and Policies which may allow programs to make accommodations for students in response to stay-at-home orders and other disruptions caused by COVID-19

Can we submit this report if our program has higher internship requirements than that of the state credentialing bodies?

No. Because this special reporting pathway is provided specifically for cases where state laws and/or regulations on the preparation of pre-licensed counselors have been temporarily relaxed or suspended, it’s not applicable in cases where state requirements were already below the CACREP Standards but have not changed. CACREP has provided other flexibility around Standards and Policies to help programs make appropriate accommodations for students.

What will CACREP do with these reports?

CACREP will maintain records of Internship Accommodations Report in programs’ files for future reference. The Internship Accommodations Report will be a significant point of reference when programs submit Interim, Mid-Cycle or Self-Study reports.

Upon submission, CACREP will not evaluate the content of the reports related to the nature of the accommodations made by the program. CACREP will, however, check to make sure that the criteria for using this report are met – is there a relevant and appropriate state government action, temporarily relaxing or suspending laws and/or regulations on the preparation of pre-licensed counselors? Has the program provided documentation of that state action? Has the program provided documentation of notice to students regarding the program’s internship accommodations, including a statement about implications for credentialing and portability (student informed consent)? Does the report specify the extent of non-compliance and the program’s plans for returning to compliance?

If a submission is found to be missing required elements or not to meet the criteria for submitting this kind of report, the program will be informed.

What does student informed consent mean?

Programs choosing to graduate students with fewer Internship hours must notify students in writing of the change and include information about implications for future licensure, employability, and portability. Students’ acceptance of the conditions of graduation and implications for the future is a statement of informed consent.

Can students who want to complete the degree with the full requirements still do so?

Programs will have to determine if students have an option of continuing their Internship at a later date in order to complete the requisite 240 direct service and 600 total hours of Internship. If the option is available, programs will need to provide to the students the conditions for continuation.

What if the term is not completed when the Internship Accommodation ends on July 15th 2020?

Students who are already enrolled in Internship and completing requirements on the end date may graduate under the accommodations in place when they began Internship.

Our program has students enrolled in multiple states – how does this apply to us?

The option to file a report under the new guidance depends on a change in laws/regulations in your institution’s home state. So, while you may have students enrolled in many states, any accommodations should be based on those changes in the institution’s home state and should apply (with informed consent) to all students in a given program of study.