The New Horizons Family Counseling Center typically serves more than two hundred families each year. The provision of clinical services to those families requires handling all of the administrative duties associated with the operation of any moderately sized mental health center. At New Horizons, student counselors receive instruction and invaluable hands-on practice in case management duties including (but not limited to): referral management, intake assessment, session scheduling, and clinical record keeping. Through the supervised management of case records they also gain proficiency in the appropriate development of treatment plans, session “case notes”, progress summaries, termination summaries, and follow-up reports. As a partnership with the public schools, student counselors at New Horizons, by necessity, gain essential experience in interprofessional communication and collaboration.
Students who desire can also assume management roles within New Horizons in addition to clinical ones. Student directors oversee the day-to-day operations of the Center and in doing so develop proficiencies in personnel and program administration that prepare them well for future leadership roles in the mental health field. However, because New Horizons services are at no cost to clients, student counselors and administrators are freed from the considerable administrative headaches associated with billing for services and, thus, are able to direct the majority of their time and energy to client service and clinical skill development.