An internship is a practical, professional work experience that encourages students to participate in daily operations of business, industry, government or nonprofit organizations. Internships have been designed to integrate liberal arts academic components with on-the-job experiences. Usually but not always, off-campus. Internships are recognized as one of the “high impact educational experiences” that benefit students’ learning, development and career prospects. Each department provides three levels of internships, each one reflecting the level of expertise and responsibility expected of the student.
Prior to registering for an internship, an Internship Learning Agreement form must be obtained from the Registrar’s Office or the Career Development Center, or online.
The learning goals and expectations for the internship must be rigorous enough to warrant credit for a full academic course. Once goals and expectations have been approved by the faculty member serving as the internship adviser, the agreement is to be signed by the student, the internship site supervisor, and the faculty internship adviser. The completed form, along with the syllabus, should be mailed, faxed, or scanned and e-mailed to the registrar. This is the responsibility of the student. Signed forms must be submitted prior to the student beginning the internship in order to earn credit for the internship.
Each department decides the total number of internships that may be counted toward major requirements; a total of two internships may be counted toward graduation. Internships cannot be used to fulfill general studies requirements. Some form of written reaction or assessment of the internship is considered essential. A standard internship requires 150 hours on site, but requirements may vary by department or project. All students not on academic probation are eligible to apply for internship participation, but acceptance is at the discretion of the sponsoring academic department. Students are limited to one course at any one level noted below.
Internships at this level are intended to allow a student to pursue specialized interests through a structure different from those of more traditional courses. Work at this level is exploratory in nature and need not be directly related to a major. No superior competence or experience on the part of the student is assumed.
Work at this level is designed to allow the student to gain experience and improve competency in a major. The activities associated with this type of internship require the student to have completed at least introductory major course work.
Internships at this level involve a great degree of responsibility and involvement. Enrollment requires the student to have completed extensive course work in a major.