Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HLTH 4551: Directed Studies Practicum in Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders

Learners will develop further understanding of the relationships between theory and practice in the treatment and prevention of problematic substance use and mental health disorders during the practicum. Learners will expand their knowledge by having an opportunity to observe services and supports within prevention and treatment systems. Over the course of this class students will spend 12 days (usually 96 hours) in a practice setting while concurrently completing a series of directed online readings, assignments and experiential learning exercises. Where appropriate, learners will be provided the opportunity to demonstrate foundational competency in prevention and treatment practice.

Learning outcomes

By successfully working through the learning activities in this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop foundational and/or basic competency in applicable technical and behavioural skills as defined in the competency profile for Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce.
  • Develop practical understanding of a variety of interventions used in the prevention and treatment of substance use and mental health disorders in Canada.
  • Recognize codes and guidelines for ethical and professional practice by members of Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce.
  • Develop and apply skills in the synthesis and delivery of evidence-based knowledge to persons/families/colleagues and communities affected by substance use and mental health disorders.
  • Demonstrate effective time management and organizational skills in the practice environment.
  • Gain first-hand experience in the challenges, struggles, successes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of persons attempting a behaviour change.
  • Develop an appreciation of the challenges faced by persons attempting to overcome substance use and mental health disorders.
  • Appreciate the role of other health professions in the provision of care and the importance of interprofessional collaboration.

Course topics

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Practicum
  • Lesson 2: Orientation and Goal Setting
  • Lesson 3: Experiential Learning
  • Lesson 4: Midpoint Practicum Evaluation and Realignment of Goals
  • Lesson 5: Building Organizational Competency--Interprofessional Collaboration and Beyond
  • Lesson 6: Endings, Final Practicum Evaluation, and Capstone Project

Required text and materials

Drolet, J., Clark, N., & Allen, H. Shifting sites of practice: Field education in Canada. Toronto, ON: Pearson, (2012).
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-0-13-701341-8


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory final project.

Assignment 1: Early Practicum

Part A: Baseline Competency Assessment 8%
Part B: Orientation Meeting and Practicum Information Form 2%
Part C: Learning Contract 10%

Assignment 2: Mid-Practicum

Part A: Action Plan for Behaviour Change 6%
Part B: ITP Loop 6%
Part C: Midpoint Performance Evaluation 8%

Assignment 3: End of Practicum

Part A: Presentation 10%
Part B: Final Performance Evaluation 10%

Final Project


Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top