Clinical Practicum Positions

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Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)' Clinical Training Program is a nine-month training program that generally begins in the second or third week of August and ends in late May. The major goal of the SJSU CAPS' doctoral-level practicum program is to provide high quality learning experiences to graduate students in counseling and clinical psychology in preparation for a career in mental health. Unfortunately we do not have positions available for MFT, social work, or other disciplines. To help attain the goal, our staff has a strong commitment to supervise, teach, and mentor our practicum counselors. Additionally, our specific goals for practicum counselors are to assist them in:

  1. increasing their levels of effectiveness and confidence;
  2. understanding and integrating theoretical learning with clinical experiences;
  3. finding their individual therapeutic style;
  4. developing professional relationships and assuming a professional identity; and
  5. learning about agency norms and decision-making processes.

These goals are addressed and facilitated by supervision, modeling, didactic training, experiential learning, peer group consultation, and mentoring. Our supervision staff currently is composed of approximately ten licensed psychologists and one licensed social worker.

Agency Description:

San José State University CAPS is a department within the Division of Student Affairs at San José State University.  CAPS offers services designed to help San José State's diverse student body of 32,000 identify and accomplish their academic and career goals, enhance personal development, meet life's challenges, and improve interpersonal relationships. CAPS is established as a comprehensive counseling center offering core clinical services, developmental and life skills interventions, consultations, and outreach to our diverse student population. Short-term counseling and psychotherapy are the primary means of direct service delivery.

Agency Objective:

CAPS provides quality services to students so they can achieve their goals of becoming successful graduates of San José State University, both academically and socially. To fulfill this objective, we look at the whole student and provide guidance and tools to become productive and well-rounded. To do that, professionally trained psychologists, social workers, and counselors are available for students on an individual or group basis for counseling on a myriad of psychological and academic issues. In addition, we provide services such as outreach presentations for students, student groups, staff/faculty, and staff consultations on issues of student mental health and campus climate; and professional training, teaching, and supervision for future mental health personnel, consistent with the educational mission of the university.

Population Served:

CAPS provides services for all enrolled students of San José State University. The student population of SJSU is a highly diverse group. For example, there is no one clear majority group (more than 50%) in terms of ethnicity on the campus and ages range from late teens to many students in their fifties. In addition, there is diversity around ability/disability, religion, culture, sexual orientation, value systems and lifestyles.

Theoretical Orientation:

CAPS' staff utilize a variety of theoretical positions including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, feminist, gestalt, humanistic, and systems perspectives. Generally, an integrated approach to counseling and psychotherapy is shared by the staff.

Cross-Cultural Training:

Training in cross-cultural therapy and counseling is integrated into all training activities. As noted, SJSU CAPS serves a highly diverse population. Practicum counselors also have opportunities to participate in the following: Diversity Process Group, Social Justice and Outreach Seminar, and outreach/consultation with student groups. Lastly, practicum counselors are included when our agency hosts an annual Multicultural Training Day conference. Trainees and staff at bay area university counseling centers are invited to our university for a day of training related to multiculturalism/diversity.


Responsibilities for practicum counselors vary and depend greatly upon the maturity and experience level of the trainee. In general, practicum counselors do individual, group and couple counseling, receive supervision, attend a weekly trainee seminar, participate in weekly staff meetings, perform intakes, do weekly paperwork such as writing intakes and case notes, and participate in consultation and outreach activities for student groups. Practicum counselors are also provided additional training through the "Grand Rounds" Series of trainings (for all staff and trainees) the annual Northern California Training Directors Conference (a one-day training conference focusing on topics related to college mental health), and a SJSU conference called Multicultural Training Day. 

Training Program Manual

Our Training Manual provides detailed descriptions of training seminars (e.g., Didactic Training Seminar, Social Justice and Outreach Seminar, Group on Groups, Diversity Process Group) provided to practicum counselors. Our website offers examples of groups and workshops that are routinely offered to SJSU students. Practicum counselors may have opportunities to participate in the facilitation of these groups and outreach workshops. Please look through our current Training Program Manual (pdf) prior to applying. Distribution of this material without the written permission from San José State University Counseling and Psychological Services; One Washington Square, ADM 201; San Jose CA 95192-0035, is strictly prohibited.

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Application Procedures, Hours, & Additional Information:

Our training program for practicum counselors is nine months. Practicum counselors are expected to be at CAPS 3 days/24 hours per week (additional hours are negotiable). Trainees must be available all day (8:00-5:00) on Thursdays and Fridays to attend weekly clinical consultation meetings, and training seminar. The third day is negotiable. The training generally begins around the second or third week of August and ends in late May. We generally have program accommodations for 2 advanced practicum trainees each year. Students who are a strong fit for our program have experience or interest in working with diverse clients, are enrolled in the third or fourth year of their doctoral program, and will have completed 2-3 practicum placements prior to starting at our agency. We regret there is no financial stipend for practicum counselors. Practicum counselors do receive paid parking. 

Applicants for our Clinical Practicum Training Program need to submit:

  1. SJSU Counseling Services Practicum Application (doc)
  2. A letter of interest (Please be sure to date and sign the letter. Electronic signatures are not accepted by HR.)
  3. Transcripts from graduate program (Copies are acceptable. Originals will be needed if a position offer is made.)
  4. Three recent (less than 3 years old) original recommendation letters (Please ask writers to date and sign the letter. Electronic signatures are not accepted by HR.)
  5. A curriculum vita indicating the number of face-to-face and group therapy hours provided from previous sites

Candidates may obtain the SJSU CAPS Practicum Application by clicking on the link above.

We apologize that emailed or faxed application materials cannot be accepted. Please mail application materials to:

San José State University
Counseling and Psychological Services
Attention: Colleen Johnson, Ph.D.
One Washington Square, ADM 201
San José, CA 95192-0035

 Applications must be postmarked by 2/20/15.

Again, we apologize that we cannot accept emailed or faxed applications. Interview offers will be made to select candidates. It is our hope to make interview offers by mid-March. Interviews will occur in mid March and early April and will occur on the SJSU campus. Each candidate will be interviewed by 1-3 members of the Training Committee. We will participate in the Practicum Uniform Notification Day, on April 8, 2015 as regulated by the Bay Area Practicum Information Collaborative (BAPIC) guidelines. Please see for more information. We understand the selection process can be stressful. We wish you the best in your application process and are happy to answer any questions that might make the process more positive.