Returning to Placement Sites

Updated 3/1/2021: As some of the clinical sites in which you are placed have already begun the process of re-opening (per guidelines issued from the Governor’s Office), we know it is important for you to understand when and how you will return to on-site clinical work in your placement. Please read this information carefully as it contains important information regarding our process for approving you to return to clinical settings in the coming weeks. Please note, this process applies to your placements in sites outside of the LC Community Counseling Center and Problem Gambling Services, which remain physically closed at this time. Information on when and how those reopen will come separately.

For students currently seeking practicum (Art Therapy and PMHC/A secondary), internship and externship opportunities, we encourage you to find out if the site is offering in-person or remote services, as well as their policy regarding Covid-19 vaccination. We have developed a handout with some considerations that are intended to help you formulate questions to ask your site supervisors (link to this PDF at the bottom of this page and also available on the CTSP Clinical Placement Information Moodle page).

We understand that circumstances are rapidly changing, as Covid-19 vaccine availability becomes more readily accessible. If you have already received the vaccine (either through your employer, primary care provider, internship/externship site or other) and are providing onsite services, you must notify the Placement Office to inform us that you are onsite. Per the policy outlined below, we still require that sites and students placed within those sites complete electronic verifications indicating readiness to be onsite during the pandemic.

Procedure for Returning to Placement Sites

In developing this process for allowing students to return safely to clinical settings in this COVID-19 time, the college must operate within some external boundaries, which are important to note here. Our process must operate within the frameworks set forth by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), which operates under the Oregon Governor’s Office. The OHA also provides guidance to our clinical partners about how to establish and maintain safety protocols in response to COVID-19. While this guidance, both to us as a college and to our clinical partners, shifts as conditions change, at this time we have been able to build our process based on three operating principles:

  1. A clinical site must be approved by the placement office to welcome students back on site before you are allowed to return. The Placement Office will ask sites to verify that they are following all required safety protocols before we allow you to return.
  2. If your site is approved, the Placement Office will send you an electronic disclosure form asking you to follow safety protocols at your site. The Placement Office will let supervisors know that we are not requiring students to return to placements at this time..
  3. You must receive explicit permission from the Placement Office to return to your clinical site before you do so.

In summary, the next steps for you relative to returning to your site are as follows:

  1. If your clinical site has resumed in-person services or has plans to do so within the next month, please contact the Placement Office to inform us immediately. Your site may have already informed you that they want you to be onsite to provide services.
  2. If your clinical site has returned/will return to in-person services and expects interns to be onsite, the Placement Office will reach out to your site supervisor to request a Site Verification indicating their readiness to have you onsite. We will also alert you when we have reached out to your site supervisor.
  3. If your placement site verifies that they are ready for you to return, then you will receive a link in an email asking you to formally accept or decline to return at this time.
  4. If you accept the opportunity to return to your site, your program Clinical Coordinator (see below) and then the Placement Office will review these forms and let you know if you have been officially approved to return to your site. Remember, it is critical that you receive permission from the Placement Office to return to your site before you do so.

If you have pressing and immediate questions about this process, please contact Placement Coordinator Nori Valdez Gruber: cpsyplacement@lclark.edu

If you have other questions about your clinical placement, please contact your program Clinical Coordinator:

  • Art Therapy
    Ms. Kristine Bella, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS (kbella@lclark.edu)
  • Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy
    Dr. Jessica Thomas (jessicathomas@lclark.edu)
  • Professional Mental Health Counseling
    Dr. Stella Kerl-McClain (sbk@lclark.edu); Dr. Amy Rees
    (arees@lclark.edu)
  • Professional Mental Health Counseling - Addictions
    Dr. Cort Dorn-Medeiros (dorn-medeiros@lclark.edu);
    Dr. Alexia DeLeon (alexiadeleon@lclark.edu)

Next Steps

If you are already physically on-site at your internship (i.e., doing telemental health or onboarding/training):

  1. You need to inform the Placement Office. This will prompt the Placement Office to verify that your site is adhering to public health mandates. Then, the placement office will send you an electronic disclosure form asking you to follow safety protocols at your site.
  2. If your site is in Multnomah County or another county listed as “High Risk” by the Governor’s Office, please email Nori Valdez Gruber at cpsyplacement@lclark.edu as soon as possible.

If you ARE ready/want to be on-site at your internship (i.e., telehealth, onboarding/training, face-to-face):

  1. Please email Nori to let her know so that she can send your site a verification statement to confirm that they are ready to receive you. Then, the placement office will send you an electronic disclosure asking you to follow safety protocols at your site.

Please note: You must wait for an official approval email to be sent from the Placement Office before going to your site.

If you CANNOT or ARE NOT ready to return on-site at this time:

  • Is your site asking you to?
    • No. This is just fine. You will be back eventually. Keep calm and carry on!
    • Yes. Please schedule an appointment to discuss this with your clinical coordinator.

Program-Specific Contingency Plans

Resources