Internship Agreements by gyg16588


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									   Mentoring the Mentors:
A Mentor Counselor’s Guide to
Supervising Counselor Interns
         in the Field

     Sheila R. Hoover, M.A., CRC
   RSA 5th National SCD Training Forum
 Baltimore, Maryland      August 24,2010
Or perhaps, a better title:
                Goals today
• Why internship?
• A brief history of Oregon VR’s internship
• Factors that influenced the creation of the
  Mentor’s Guide
• The process used to develop the Guide
• How it’s used
• Future directions
 Why should VR host internships?
• Essential in the VR “Food Chain”
  – CORE accreditation requirements
  – RSA & RCE/RCD program requirements
  – Hiring agencies’ experience requirements
• Essential in the development of the VR field
  – New applicants for vacancies
  – Practical experience for students
  – Reduces recruit/hire/train/terminate/recruit cycle
 Why should VR host internships?
• Essential to VR staff development
  – Challenges staff to stay current with practices
  – Can increase diversity in offices
  – Gives line staff an opportunity to try supervision
• Beneficial to VR consumers
  – Served with fresh perspective on disability issues
  – Can assist in outreach to disability groups
  – Brings cutting edge information to share in service
• Prior to 2003
  – Hit or miss, no formal outreach or networking
  – No consistency from site to site
  – Data collection and analysis not possible
• 2003-2007
  – New position created in OVRS Administration’s
    Field Services Unit
  – “Hey, it’d be great if you would do some outreach
    with the graduate programs…”
OVRS woke up one day and…
Developing an internship program
• Survey of former interns on staff
• Begin formal outreach to local RCE programs
  – Western Oregon University (General & RCD)
  – Portland State University (General)
  – Western Washington University (General)
• Work closely with faculty to review CORE
  standards for practicum and internship
• Begin collecting a library of RCE programs’
  internship manuals
               Seeking structure
• Centralized coordination
• “Sharing the wealth”
• Tools and processes
   – Internship application
   – Internship webpage
   – Administrator’s Stipend
• CRC credit for
  credentialed staff
• Avoiding staff burnout
           Creating best practices
Old system                     New system
• One mentor VRC               • Multiple mentors
• Branch Manager is initial    • Internship Coordinator is
  contact                        initial contact
• Support staff role ignored   • Support staff role important
• No evaluation                • Intern and Mentors do eval
• Hit or miss experience       • More consistent experience
• No credit provided for       • CRC credits awarded for
  supervision                    supervision
• Less career investment by    • Interns more invested in VR
  interns                        as a potential employer
        But there was still something missing…
              Figuring it out
• Manuals all addressed
• Internship agreements
  addressed academic
• VR field staff were
  unclear on agency’s
               Filling the need
• A guide FOR               • Suggested
  VR                          activities and
  professionals               milestones for
  written BY VR
  professionals               students

• Practical, easy           • Clear explanation
  to use
  references and              of role for
  forms                       practicum versus
              Filling the need
• Review data
  – Internship program establishment research
  – Interviews of current and recent interns
  – Interviews of current and recent mentor
  – Input of management team and Exec staff
• Pay attention to “wish I knew that” and “wish
  I would have…” statements to foster guide
Creating a new perspective
             • Guide approach rather
               than manual
               – Suggestions
               – Flexibility
             • Debunk some strongly
               held myths
               – Interns are file clerks
               – Support staff have no
                 role in internships
               – Observation is key
Promote active learning
               Guide contents
•   Mentor’s role
•   Practicum v. Internship
•   Becoming a mentor (step by step process)
•   Being an effective mentor
•   Connecting students and consumers
•   Month by month suggestions for activities and
    assignments throughout the internship period
 A companion to university guides
• Supplements information for students found
  in university guides
• Assists faculty (especially new faculty) to
  understand the VR setting
• Gives a more consistent internship experience
  to the students
• Includes reference materials for both VR staff
  and interns to use during supervision
     Kicking off internship season
• Meet in small or large
   – OVRS Internship
   – Intern
   – Mentor Counselor(s)
   – Branch Manager
   – Faculty Supervisor
       (if available)
Kicking off internship season
               • Review the Guide
                 –   Roles
                 –   Myths
                 –   Expectations
                 –   Timelines
               • Teambuilding and
                 problem solving
                 – Small groups by site
                 – “What if…” scenarios
        After the internship
• Intern evaluation
• Mentor evaluation
• Review of data at Administrative
• Program/process improvement
• CRC credit to mentors if requested
Looking ahead
          Possible improvements
Administrative changes           Scope of program
• Create electronic evaluation   • Increased outreach to
• Maximize use of social           RCE/D programs outside
  media for internship             Oregon
  recruitment                    • Broader spread of
• Increase access to career        placements statewide
  ladder throughout
  organization                   • Outreach to undergraduate
• More effective recruitment       programs in human services
  of potential staff members     • Mentor guide focused on
  at all levels                    support staff internships
         Recent interns’ feedback
• Supervision was a team approach that allowed me to
  learn from various seasoned counselors in a supportive
  yet challenging setting--eventually allowing me to build
  my own caseload--then seamlessly transition into a VR
  counselor position after graduation.

• The internship experience helped me to shape the
  philosophy I use as I work with clients. I was able to
  observe all of the counselors in the office and I learned
  that there is no "one way" to do VR work.
        Recent interns’ feedback
• The senior counselors provided good guidance
  and patient training to allow me to "see the
  bigger picture" of VR work. Their support was
  instrumental in allowing me to integrate "book
  learning" into practices that will serve the clients
  for years to come.

• I would say that OVRS provides one of the better
  internship experiences available to graduate
  students in Oregon.
   Thank you for participating!
Sheila R. Hoover, M.A., CRC
State Coordinator for Deaf/HOH Services
State of Oregon Office of VR Services
500 Summer Street NE, E-87
Salem, OR 97360
                            (503) 945-6255 Voice
                           (503) 470-6740 Video

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