Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

Fall 2020 Plan: Internships & Field Placements

Internships and field-based learning experiences (for example, field training, practicum, and pre-practicum) are an important part of many Lesley University programs.

At Lesley, we are committed to our students’ academic progression, and to protecting the health and safety of the Lesley community. Due to the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic, many of our sites are offering remote or in-person/hybrid experiences.

We are not requiring that you participate in an in-person or hybrid internship during Fall 2020. We have worked to provide options for internships that recognize the changing needs across different programs.

This page contains guidelines for internships in various program areas. The term “internship” throughout this web page refers to all field-based experiences.

Licensure Programs

Find internship and field experience guidance for licensure programs in Education, Mental Health Counseling, and Social Work.

Contact cert_off@lesley.edu if you have questions about licensure.

  • Education

    Education program (undergraduate and graduate) internships (including practicum and pre-practicum) will follow the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines as they continue to be updated.

    Currently, plans and protocols for in-person, hybrid, and remote learning are being determined at the school and district levels. Work with your supervising practitioner, the Field Experience Office, and your program supervisor to be sure you understand and are comfortable with, the protocols for your planned placement. 

    Questions? Contact:

    • Education, Undergraduate
      Cheryl Haberman, Director of Field Placement

    • Education, Graduate
      Christina Jache, Assistant Director of Field Placement

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor

    This includes graduate Expressive Therapies and Counseling and Psychology programs. 

    Internships for mental health programs resulting in licensure may occur in remote, hybrid, or some in-person settings. Telehealth and alternate clinical assignments are being made available.

    Students engaging in remote or hybrid placements are required to participate in training and orientations provided by the site. Students will also determine with their site supervisor a protocol for emergency engagement of the supervisor (depending on individual site needs).

    Questions? Contact:

  • Social Work

    Social Work students may postpone fieldwork to spring or summer 2021. Students who begin fieldwork in September are to collaborate with the social work field director and the field site to devise a clear plan for individualized field placement experiences. 

    This plan will include experiential learning through simulations, virtual, in-person, or hybrid client contact and projects, as well as steps to promote personal and client safety. Students will complete a Telehealth Best Practices Module in addition to agency-based training and orientations. 

    Questions? Contact:

  • All Licensure Programs

    Internships associated with Massachusetts licensure programs in Education, Licensed Mental Health Counseling, or Social Work may have additional requirements, which field training offices will communicate to students in those programs.

    Students seeking licensure outside of Massachusetts should review this Lesley University Licensure and Credentialing web page and the respective PDFs on that page for your program. Contact the licensing board for the state in which you are located (links provided in the program documents), or interested in practicing in, to determine if the program meets the educational requirements for licensure and for additional state-specific guidance about licensure during COVID-19.

    If you have any questions about licensure, please contact cert_off@lesley.edu

Non-Licensure Programs

Find guidance for non-licensure undergraduate programs and the Threshold program.

For all programs, field seminar courses and faculty supervision will take place remotely in the Fall 2020 semester. 

At Lesley, we are committed to the success of our students. Our field training staff will work with you individually to answer questions and address concerns for an enriching and engaging internship experience. 

  • Undergraduate (Non-Licensure)

    This includes programs in our College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and our College of Art & Design.

    We recommend that undergraduates in non-licensure programs defer internships to the Spring 2021 semester when possible.

    If you wish to enroll in an internship in the Fall 2020 semester, we recommend an internship that offers a fully remote option. 

    Questions? Contact:

  • Threshold

    Threshold Program students will participate in remote online experiences instead of in-person internships. 

    Questions? Contact:

    Krista DiGregorio
    Director of Alumni and Employment Services


Considerations for Students

As you consider your participation in an internship for Fall 2020, please be aware of the following: 

  • Student Options
    • The decision to participate in an in-person or hybrid internship is voluntary and is your decision. Lesley will not require you to participate in an in-person or hybrid experience in Fall 2020. 
    • If online or remote options are not available at your site, alternate assignments may be available. Discuss possible alternate assignments with your field training director.   
    • All students may wish to consider deferring internships to future semesters. This may impact expected program completion dates. 
    • You continue to have a choice regarding your placement if circumstances change. The deadline for add/drop for Fall 2020 is Tuesday, September 15, 2020, and the last day to withdraw from a course is Wednesday, December 2, 2020. First discuss with your site and program supervisors any changes in your internship/placement. Registration changes may impact enrollment, financial aid, and program completion timelines. You should contact your field training office for appropriate protocols. 
  • Health Risks
    • Risk during an in-person or hybrid internship/field placement can arise from exposure to infectious diseases, including COVID-19. COVID-19 is a contagious, and at times fatal, disease which presents unique health risks, especially to those with underlying conditions, and there may be other risks not known or reasonably foreseeable. For information on the risks associated with COVID-19, and other COVID-19 information, including safety precautions, you can visit the COVID-19 web page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can also visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 web page.
    • There is a risk of COVID-19 exposure or transmission at any internship site and Lesley makes no representations or warranties about the risks of contracting COVID-19 at internship/field sites. Internship site operators are responsible for health and safety conditions and protocols at the internship/field site. Contracting COVID-19 is possible even if you follow all safety precautions recommended by the internship site, the CDC or local, state, and federal public health authorities. If you choose to participate in an in-person or hybrid experience, you are assuming the risks associated with possible exposure to or transmission of COVID-19 at the site.
    • You are encouraged to seek and obtain information and advice that you feel is necessary or appropriate from your health care providers if you are considering an in-person or hybrid internship/field experience.   
    • You should not go to your internship site if you are not feeling well, have any COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19, or have recently been in a high-risk state. For information about symptoms or high-risk states, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ websites we've mentioned. Please check with your internship site about the site’s protocols.   
  • Site Protocols
    • You must follow the protocols at your site, including requirements on social distancing, wearing masks or face coverings, using personal protective equipment, hand washing, virus testing, providing information about recent travel, daily symptom attestation, staying home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms, and other requirements. Please request and review these protocols, and discuss questions relating to site protocols with a supervisor at your site.
    • Internship/field sites may have their own required agreements before allowing students to proceed with in-person, hybrid, or remote internships; if these requirements cannot be agreed to, an alternate site may need to be identified. 
    • Your internship/field site may require you to receive COVID-19 testing to participate and you may have to arrange for testing. Lesley may be able to offer testing for students at our Cambridge campus in mid-September. If you require testing before mid-September, we encourage you to visit a testing site in your area. 
  • Changes During the Internship/Field Placement

    In-person or hybrid internships/field placements may be impacted by COVID-19 in unpredictable ways, such as cancellation, suspension, or delay of all or part of the internship, transition of all or part of the internship to an online format, transfer of all or part of the internship to another site, or other measures.

    Lesley’s field training offices will support you if changes occur during the internship. While Lesley cannot guarantee new internship placements in case of a change to an original placement, our field training offices will assist you to understand any potential impact to your program completion.  

  • Questions and Concerns

    If you encounter anything which concerns you during an internship, or if you are uncertain as to a safe way to undertake an internship activity, we encourage you to ask questions, seek instructions, and contact a supervisor at the internship site and the respective field training offices at Lesley: 

    Undergraduate Non-Licensure

    Counseling & Psychology


    Expressive Therapies

    Social Work

    Threshold Program

    You may also contact Jennifer Serowick, Lesley’s Associate Provost, Coordinated Student Success, at serowick@lesley.edu