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The Preceptor

WHAT: Preceptors are mentors chosen by the students for support throughout their graduate studies.  While each preceptor/student relationship is unique, preceptors generally play six vital roles:

  1. Helping their student plan and carry out tasks;
  2. Providing a balanced perspective;
  3. Providing encouragement
  4. Providing academic feedback;
  5. Evaluating their student's field projects;
  6. Serving as an advocate.

WHO: Preceptors must have a master’s or terminal degree in human services or a related field.  It is preferable, although not mandatory, that the preceptor work in the same agency as the student and can thus be in a position to observe the student’s performance at work.  They may not be a family relation of the student.  MHS alumni are welcomed to serve as preceptors, but they must have received their MHS degree at least three years prior to becoming a preceptor.

WHERE: Preceptors will interact most closely with the students’ field instructor.  They will be invited to an orientation at the beginning of each semester and are welcome to attend additional field seminars or to sit in on Saturday classes if they are interested in doing so.

WHEN: Preceptors must be identified as part of the application process.  Once the student is in the program, preceptors are recommended to give, on the average, an hour a week to their student.

WHY: Preceptors provide academic guidance, professional expertise, and moral support to the students for whom they mentor.  They help to interpret communicate requirements to agency administrators and run interference as needed, provide students with insights and new perspectives on issues, give individualized attention and support as needed, and in general enrich the MHS Program with their presence.

HOW: Students will identify their own preceptors; they are not assigned by the MHS Program.  Prospective preceptors must complete the form available in the student’s admissions packet.  Applicants will submit that form along with the preceptor’s an up-to-date resume as part of the overall application.  Qualifications will be reviewed to make sure that they meet program requirements.

For more information, see the Preceptor Manual.


The Lincoln University
Center for Graduate and Continuing Education Programs
3020 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104
(215) 387-2405