Intern at Vanguard Prep

A counseling practicum or internship at Vanguard Prep School offers students a valuable and unique learning experience. Vanguard is an educational institution designed to support students with social, emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges. Opportunities for counseling practicum and intern students in our setting are diverse and rewarding.

Potential opportunities include:

Individual and Group Counseling: Students will gain experience in providing individual counseling to students aged 5 to 21 dealing with various emotional and behavioral issues. They can also lead or co-facilitate group therapy sessions, helping students develop essential therapeutic skills.

Assessment and Treatment Planning: Interns may have the opportunity to assist in the development of treatment plans (called Success Plans) for students. This includes conducting intake interviews, administering standardized assessments or screeners, and collaborating with other professionals.

Crisis Intervention: In our therapeutic school setting, there is frequently a need for crisis intervention. Students will learn how to effectively manage and respond to crisis situations, ensuring the safety and well-being of the students and staff.

Collaboration with Multidisciplinary Teams: Interns will work closely with a multidisciplinary team, which includes teachers, principals, counselors, families, speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, and mental health professionals. This provides an opportunity to learn how to collaborate effectively and share insights on student progress.

Family Involvement: Vanguard often involves families in the therapeutic process. Interns will engage with families, providing support, education, and resources to help them better understand and support their child's needs.

Educational Support: Depending on the student’s interest, students may have the opportunity to provide educational support for Vanguard students with learning challenges. This includes helping students with academic planning and collaborating with teachers to tailor education to individual needs.

Documentation and Case Management: Learning to maintain proper documentation and case management is an important part of any counseling practicum or internship. Students will have the opportunity to become proficient in keeping records, writing reports, and managing caseloads.

Professional Development: Vanguard offers opportunities for students to attend training sessions, workshops, and seminars related to counseling, therapy, and education that are offered during their placement. This contributes to their professional development and enhances their skill set.

Cultural and Anti-Bias Competence: Working with a diverse student population can help students develop cultural competence, sensitivity, and an understanding of how cultural factors impact mental health and well-being. Students will have the opportunity to learn and understand Vanguard’s approach by accessing Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Derman-Sparks, Olsen Edwards, and Goins.

Ethical and Legal Considerations: Students will gain insight into the ethical and legal aspects of counseling in an educational setting, including issues related to confidentiality, informed consent, and mandatory reporting.

Supervision and Feedback: Regular supervision and feedback from experienced professionals will help students refine their counseling skills and improve their overall effectiveness as therapists. Vanguard has a dedicated counselor or social worker for each of the school levels (lower, middle, and high), a BCBA, and a Principal and Head of School who are LPCs with years of experience. Eight of our 35 staff members are clinical and dedicated to serving the 110 students on our campus.

Partnerships: Vanguard engages with the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center in research studies. Intern students will have the opportunity to attend meetings and help facilitate the research process. Currently, the relationship between heart rate variability and dysregulation is being studied. Additionally, Vanguard partners with the Momentous Institute and its camp in East Texas to provide social, emotional, behavioral, and academic learning in nature. High school, middle school, and 4/5 grade students as well as families are offered camping opportunities. Intern students have the option to attend camps and help facilitate growth/learning opportunities that occur in the outdoor setting.

In summary, a counseling practicum or internship at Vanguard Prep School provides students with a wide range of opportunities to gain practical experience, enhance their counseling skills, and make a positive impact on the lives of students facing emotional and behavioral challenges. It's an excellent environment for aspiring counselors to learn, grow, and prepare for their future careers in the field of mental health. For more information about Vanguard please visit our website at If you have questions or are ready to take the next steps in the application process, please contact Becky Hodnett, MS, LPC-S at [email protected].