The Drury University Internship Program is coordinated by Career Planning & Development and the academic departments and allows students to receive academic credit for supervised work experience. Career Planning & Development is responsible for operations and program support. The departments are responsible for supervision and evaluation of student learning.
Definition of an Internship:
The National Society for Experiential Education defines an internship as "a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he or she is learning throughout the experience." The key phrases in this definition are "carefully monitored," "intentional learning goals," and "reflects actively."
Benefits of Internships to:
· Forge relationships with employers leading to professional jobs and cooperative education opportunities
· Enhance classroom discussions with real-world examples
· Provide opportunity for academia to stay abreast of recent developments in business/industry
· Support educational mission to integrate theory and practice
· Provide an opportunity to "test-drive" a career
· Develop specific skills and knowledge related to a career
· Develop a professional network
· Enhance marketability-for graduate school or jobs after Drury
· Increase relevance and enhance understanding of coursework
Credit hours forInternship:
· Students may receive up to six hours of credit for internship toward the degree. They receive three (3) hours of credit for each 135 hour on-site internship completed.
· Students may receive credit for two internships at the same site; however, the learning objectives for each three hour internship should be clearly differentiated. (Rationale: One can't get credit for the same class twice; internship should be viewed as a type of class.)
· Credit for internship will not be granted retroactively. Failure to complete forms or procure faculty supervision prior to completing the work experience results in forfeiture of academic credit.
· To receive credit, students must arrange for faculty sponsorship and register with Career Planning & Development before beginning the on-site hours. Students who fail to register in advance of their internships may not receive credit.
· To receive credit in a given department, students must have faculty sponsorship from that department. If an intern wishes to be sponsored by someone outside of the department in which credit is being applied (i.e., a political science student wishes to be sponsored by a marketing professor during a internship in which he or she works on a political campaign), permission must be received by the department chair.
· The faculty sponsor and the site supervisor should generally not be the same person. Exceptions must be approved by the chair of the department.
Internships are graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory by the faculty sponsor and based on both the formal evaluation from the site supervisor and assignments made by the faculty sponsor. Occasionally, an internship will extend beyond the deadline for submitting grades due to workplace demands. In this case, faculty sponsors may issue an "incomplete" grade until the site evaluation is received.
Who is eligible to receive credit?
Current policy requires students have at least 60 college credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 to receive course credit; however, faculty occasionally make exceptions for students otherwise demonstrating a readiness to intern.
What is the application process for a student intern?
· Clarify learning objectives and internship goals.
· Meet with faculty sponsor and Career Center to generate a list of potential internship sites.
· Prepare a resume and cover letter to send to the sites. Follow-up. Interview. Accept position.
· Complete Learning Contract and Permission to Register for Special Coursework. Obtain ALL necessary signatures. Turn in to Career Planning & Development for processing.
· Establish regular contacts with Faculty Sponsor.
Faculty member responsibilities:
· Encourage students to participate in internships. Internships enhance learning by allowing students to integrate theory and practice. Students completing internships often develop clearer career and academic goals. Courses become more relevant.
· Refer students to Career Planning & Development. Career Planning & Development helps students to prepare for internship by clarifying objectives, preparing marketing tools and locating appropriate sites. After a student has located a potential internship site, he or she may ask you to be the faculty sponsor. If you agree to be sponsor, review and sign the student's paperwork (Learning Contract and Permission to Register for Special Coursework Form). Once the internship is confirmed, you will receive a copy of the Learning Contract from Career Planning & Development. All administrative paperwork will be organized through Career Planning & Development such as evaluations and thank-yous.
· Assist the student in establishing learning objectives. Objectives should be specific, measurable outcomes of internship. Many students need help in converting "Become a better communicator" to "Enhance communication skills by developing working knowledge of Excel, Word and Access."
· Evaluate learning objectives and intern duties on the learning contract. Will the duties allow the intern to achieve his/her objectives? Does mastery of the learning objectives warrant the awarding of three credit hours? Does the site provide an environment conducive to learning? When considering sites, ask these questions: 1) Who is the site supervisor? 2) Is the work assignment relevant? 3) Does this experience comprise a new set of challenges (or is it simply a job the student did last summer)?
· Determine the modes of evaluation you will require in addition to the site supervisor evaluation. Be specific. Do you want a journal that highlights critical incidents and reflection on those vs. a log of daily activities? What will you expect in the portfolio?
· Establish regular meeting times with the student at least twice a month. Advocate for the student if problems arise. Call Career Planning & Development and ask to set up a site visit. Be ready to give advice and assist the intern with the sometimes difficult role of balancing professional with college life. Ask questions to ensure the objectives are being met.
· Evaluate the learning that has occurred during the internship. Cover the site supervisor's evaluation with the intern, giving him/her a chance to offer feedback. Relate experiences in the internship to theories studied in the classroom. Suggest strategies for future improvement.
· Assign a grade. The Registrar's Office will send you a grade roster for your intern(s). After receiving the site evaluations and all required assignments from the intern, issue a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
What does Career Planning & Development do during the internship?
· Serves as the contact point for all partners of internship. Sends confirmation letters to student, faculty sponsor, and site supervisor at the beginning of the internship. Coordinates site visits during the semester, inviting faculty sponsors. Sends and collects evaluation forms.
· Acts as an educational resource for all parties involved in internship. Holds internship information sessions. Assists students in developing a resume and cover letter and identifying appropriate sites. Meets with students and site supervisors to ensure full knowledge of internship roles and responsibilities.
· Maintains a listing of internships for students and faculty. Assists students in developing new internships based on specific learning objectives. Assists faculty in developing relationships with specific companies to meet student needs.
· Assesses program and develops better means of administration based on comments from students, faculty and site supervisors.
In addition, please be attuned to the following warning signs that an intern could be experiencing problems:
· Conflict between site supervisor and intern suggested in meetings/journal reflections
· Intern expresses dissatisfaction with work assignment, appears to be a "go-fer"
· Intern is missing work, classes, etc.
· Intern loses enthusiasm, experiences burnout, tries to juggle too many responsibilities
If you notice any of these warning signs, please address them with your intern and the site supervisor and notify Career Planning & Development. A bad internship experience for a student or site can do tremendous damage-to Drury's and the site's reputations, the student's self esteem and a faculty member's estimation of an internship's value. The goal with early identification is intervention with ultimately positive results.
Additional Resources available in Career Planning & Development
The Internship as Partnership: A Handbook for Campus-Based Coordinators & Advisors
Sample Learning plans/contracts