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Career Services - Students

Internship Guidelines/Overview

The following GUIDELINES are designed to assist students/departments in the development and operation of  internships. These GUIDELINES are not POLICY. Departments/students will use, modify and adopt these or similar guidelines to help foster meaningful internship experiences.

Definitions:

Cooperating Employer - University, industry or government, agency, business or organization that has agreed to participate in the internship program and whose participation has been agreed to by the department.

Faculty Supervisor - faculty member who supervises the student’s internship experience. Such person should be knowledgeable in the area of work in which the student is gaining experience, and may or may not be the student’s advisor or departmental coordinator.

Departmental Coordinator - department head or person designated by same, who coordinates activities of all internships in that academic department.

General Information:

A. Eligibility - Each department determines and publishes eligibility for internship credit. Criteria may include grade point average, number of hours completed or class rank.

B. Course Prerequisites - Departments may establish prerequisites which are appropriate to the experience. Such prerequisites may vary within departments depending on the type of experience. Sometimes “permission of instructor” and “consent of department” are indicated.

Academic Credits:

  1. Departments may establish maximum limits for internship credit.  Each department establishes a formula to determine the number of credits awarded for a given experience. The credit should be commensurate with the student’s accomplishments and not merely length of time spent. Restrictions must be in line with Campus and College credit restrictions.
  2. Repeating the internship course for academic credit is possible only with different objectives, and within the established maximum hours for graduation credit.
  3. Credit earned in internships may be used for major, elective or open elective credit.
  4. Credit beyond any set maximum may be granted through a Special Topics course, assuming that an additional project, beyond the internship agreement, is undertaken and such project is consistent with criteria established by the department for such projects.
  5. Credit should be awarded during the semester that the internship is completed.
  6. Credit for internships should be awarded in the department most clearly aligned with the technical content of the experience.

Grading:

Each department will determine the grading system be used, which can be either P/F or letter grades.

Student Responsibility:

A. Initiate Participation - Students should discuss their intention with their advisor at least one semester prior to the desired semester of participation in internship programs.

B. Consideration of Employment Opportunities - Students should obtain information concerning potential opportunities in specific areas of interest from the departmental coordinator, department or Career Services Office, and/or faculty members. Internship opportunities identified by students are also considered.

C. Preparation of Resume - Students should prepare a resume and/or personal data sheet to use in seeking an internship. Assistance in preparing such materials may be obtained from the Career Center offices within the GUC, Room 133.

D. Determination of Specific Objectives - Students will assume primary responsibility to determine specific objectives of the internship in consultation with the faculty supervisor and cooperating employer, and will also identify activities that will relate to these objectives.

E. Procedures - Students will submit an application for internship participation to the faculty supervisor or Departmental Coordinator. Students will register and pay tuition and fees in the semester in which the internship is being completed. Students who participate in internships that take them away from campus for fall or spring semester (or both) should notify the Academic Programs office prior to the internship to avoid being dropped from the University and having to apply for readmission.

F. Typical/Suggested Assignments -

  1. The student are typically instructed to submit periodic progress reports to the faculty supervisor, with the number and frequency to be determined by the department. Students are encouraged to meet with the faculty supervisor to discuss assignments before they are due.
  2. The student often submits a final report which is evaluative in nature and which makes recommendations for future internships. The report should be more than a diary of activities and should provide a thoughtful critique of the experience.
  3. Additional assignments and/or specific on-site projects if such are consistent with the student’s program of study and philosophy of the major department.
  4. The student often are asked to participate in a post-internship seminar designed for exchange of ideas and experiences between fellow interns and faculty members

As a student you will:

  • Experience the affirmation of being selected into a professional experience you have sought out.
  • Discover how your talents, personality and approach to work will play an important role in your professional development.
  • Step outside of the traditional role and perception of yourself as a “student” in a class - in a school- with peers; and replace it with the perception of yourself as a “one-day-soon-to-be-graduate” in a business- in a community – on your own.
  • Through professional interactions, observations and performance develop a sense of respect for the business community and the professionals you work with.
  • Discover first hand that a career is a reward that is earned - based solely on the merits you have presented and the effort you have put forth.
  • Possibly develop the opportunity for permanent employment at the internship organization.
  • Experience professional consequences that procrastination, lack of professional demeanor, lack of focus or diminished performance can have on career opportunities.

Departmental Coordinator Responsibility:

A. Implementation of departmental policies - Assumes primary responsibility for implementing those standards established by the departmental faculty (course prerequisites, minimum grade point average, credit-awarding formula, etc.)

B. Selection of students - Discusses internship concepts with prospective participants and works with academic advisors in selection of students for participation. Collects applications from students seeking internship experience and checks that appropriate prerequisites have been completed.

C. Maintenance of Memorandum of Agreement - Distributes necessary forms and maintains signed agreements for all participants. Signature of departmental coordinator assumes that departmental and college-wide standards are being met. Assures that copies of signed agreements are distributed to faculty supervisor and cooperating employer for each intern.

D. Program adjustments - Works closely with faculty supervisor and cooperating employer in evaluating and making necessary adjustments in the program as problems arise.

Faculty Supervisor Responsibility:

A. Identification of Objectives and Activities - Assists the student in identifying internship objectives that are consistent with the intention of the program and the student’s interests and capabilities. Identifies activities that are consistent with the objectives and are feasible at the selected work site. Indicates support of objectives and activities with signature on Memorandum of Agreement, which is sometimes used.

B. Supervision of Internship - Provides indirect supervision by reviewing progress reports that are submitted by the intern. Serves as contact person when cooperating employer finds it desirable to discuss aspects of interns program. On- site visit by the faculty supervisor is desirable whenever practical.

Cooperating Employer Responsibility:

A. Approval of Objectives and Activities - Signature on Memorandum  of Agreement (sometimes used) signifies that stated objectives can be achieved and stated activities are feasible at the proposed work site.

B. Provide professional educational experience - Provide the opportunity for a student to receive a professional educational experience.

C. Evaluation - May assist the Faculty Supervisor in the final evaluation of the student’s performance. Takes under advisement suggestions made by intern in final evaluative report as to how future internships at the site could be improved.

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