Site Supervisor Internship Handbook

Procedure Summary

Site Supervisor: If a student you have hired is seeking college credit for an internship, they will need to be assigned a site supervisor at your organization. The site supervisor is not necessarily the hiring manager but is the person who will oversee the intern’s work on a daily basis offering training, guidance and assessment of their performance.

Paperwork: Initially, the site supervisor will be asked to sign off on the student’s Internship Commitment Form which outlines the internship dates, job descriptions and learning objectives for the student.  This document ensures that the student, faculty sponsor, and site supervisor are all in agreement of what is expected of the student and what is to be accomplished during the internship. Your signature on this form is needed before the student can register for course credit by the deadline.

Evaluations: You will be asked to complete an online final performance evaluation at the end of the semester to be used by the faculty sponsor to help determine the student’s grade.  We strongly encourage site supervisors use this evaluation to initiate a conversation with the student about their work performance as well as providing feedback to the intern throughout the semester. 

Site hours: Finally, you will need to provide a minimum of 135 hours of meaningful work and training for your intern to complete over the course of the 16 week (spring or fall) or 8 week (summer) semester for each three credit hours the student registered for. 

Wages: For information on wage compensation, you can refer to the US Department of Labor guidelines online.  Though non-profit organizations can offer unpaid internships, note that whether or not the internship is paid may affect the number of applicants you attract. Students can be paid for internship while also receiving college credit; in fact the wages can offset the cost of the credit hours to the student.

What is an internship?
An internship is a semester-long work experience related to a student's major area of career interest. It is directed jointly by a faculty member and an on-site supervisor and incorporates intentional learning goals and active reflection on the connection between the internship and the student's academic major. 

What are the benefits of an internship? 
The student gains hands-on experience, an exposure to working conditions in a real world setting and the chance to observe and work with professional men and women. The organization gains a well-educated, motivated and talented student who can undertake selected responsibilities. It can also be a good opportunity to observe young people on the job and to evaluate them for possible future employment.

What eligibility requirements must students meet to do an internship? 
Students must be juniors or seniors with a minimum grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in order to register for an internship.

How many hours a week will an intern work?
This is dependent upon how many hours of credit students take--in addition to the student's major.

Typically, for a three credit hour internship a minimum of 9 hours per week (Fall and Spring semesters) should be worked to complete the 135 hour requirement (for a 6 hour internship 270 hours must be completed in the semester). The summer semester is half as long so students will need to work at least 18 hours per week to meet the minimum site hour requirement for three credit hours. Students usually complete more than the minimum number of hours on site. 

How you and the intern wish to log their hours is up to you. We do not ask for an official record of hours but the site supervisor will be asked to include the number of hours the intern worked in the final evaluation we will send you. Students often work much more than 135 hours depending on the employer's needs and the student's availability. 

How are internships graded? 
Students receive a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade for the internship. Grades are assigned by the faculty sponsors and based on the work assigned by the professor, work done on-site and an evaluation from the site supervisor. Site Supervisors should complete the intern evaluation prior to the deadline given so faculty sponsors may use the feedback in determining students' grades. Students are usually asked to keep a journal of work related activities and to write a final paper or report. Sometimes a project completed for the employer can act as a final paper.

Are interns paid? 
Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the site. Refer to the Department of Labor Fact Sheet 71 for more information on the compensation of interns.

Does Drury have a co-op program?
No. Typically Drury internships are parallel; that is, the student takes classes concurrently with an internship. The exception is summer internships that can be taken independently of other classes and worked a full-time schedule.

Where are Drury students currently working? 
The sites are numerous and varied, as are the majors of the students involved. Communication majors are interning in media, advertising, and public relations in various sites. Business majors work in marketing, human resources, retail, accounting, banking, and in small business settings. Pre-professional students serve doctors, architects, lawyers, teachers, and others. Art students work in graphic design and museums; political science majors serve in government; English majors write and do research for businesses and nonprofit organizations.

How to develop an internship that benefits the employer and the student.
To develop an internship that provides benefits to you and offers a learning experience for the student, keep in mind that students working in an internship have two major motivations:

1.) They are looking for a career-related experience

2.) They want to get an overview of the industry (i.e., "What's a TV station like?" or "What's an ad agency like?")

Tips to help ensure that both you and the student benefit from the internship:

  • Meet with the student the semester prior to the internship to confirm a work schedule (Fall/Spring: typically 9-12 hours per week; Summer: Typically 18-20+ hours per week) and to settle issues like dress code, start and end dates (usually coincides with the school semester), and the student's obligations during the semester.
  • Develop a job description ahead of time. This might simply be a list of duties and activities to be completed during the semester.
  • Plan a variety of activities ahead of time. Make sure there are some projects that the students can work on even if you're tied up or away from the office. There will probably need to be flexibility for important projects.
  • Try to take time to explain how these tasks "fit into the big picture." Also give information about your industry. This doesn't have to take a tremendous amount of time, but offers valuable insights to the student. When possible, try to be a teacher as well as a supervisor.
  • Give constructive feedback. Students like and need to know how they are doing. For many, this is their first professional experience and some of the training might include clarifying the expectations in the work place versus at school.
  • Make clear the evaluation process and evaluate the intern as you would a regular employee. Cover the evaluation with the intern, providing information regarding strengths as well as areas needing improvement.

Assistance from Drury University Career Planning and Development? 

Career Planning & Development is available to help internship site supervisors before, during, and after internships. Before an internship, the Internship Coordinator can help employers determine whether the internship is likely to be a good fit for Drury students (e.g., whether students are likely to have the training and interest necessary to be successful in your organization). We can also publicize the internship in many ways, including use of the internet, e-mail to targeted majors, posters, and other advertising. Employers can take advantage of our on-campus recruiting services, including interviewing on campus. In the rare instance that there is a problem during an internship, we can help to mediate any conflict. 

Who do I contact?

For information on the internship program, contact Lisa Tessier, Assistant Director, Career Planning & Development (417-873-7284).  You can post your internship positions online on our free online job board.