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Apply for an Internship

Internships in Sociology, Anthropology, and RMSC

The internship provides an opportunity for practical application of theoretical and research issues in approved work situations with faculty supervision, guidance, and evaluation.

You will have at least two roles as an intern. First, you are working for an agency or organization that expects you to carry out certain responsibilities. Second, you are a student who is expected to complete various assignments throughout the semester.

Application Process

  1. Students who wish to enroll in SCSS 198: Internship in Sociology must meet the following criteria:
    1. be a sociology major
    2. have completed 60 hours of college credit
    3. have completed 9 semester hours of sociology courses
    4. have an overall G.P.A. of 2.75+
  2. Before enrolling in SCSS 198, students must do the following:
    1. Secure the consent of the faculty member in the department for the study of culture and society who will supervise the internship
    2. Locate and secure an internship site. Though students are responsible for finding their own internships, they should consult with their advisor and/or supervising professor for suggestions and guidance in selecting an internship
    3. In collaboration with your supervising professor, develop learning goals and complete the internship application and learning agreement form
    4. Complete the Application and Learning Agreement Form and submit it to the culture and society curriculum committee requesting permission for the internship. Approval from the department must take place prior to registration. As part of this process, the student must identify Apply for an Internship.
    5. If the internship is approved by the culture and society department, complete the Internship Registration Form from the College of Arts & Sciences.
  3. Students are allowed to enroll for one 3 credit internship, which counts towards the sociology major.
  4. SCSS 198 is graded based on the requirements set out in the agreement form.

Learning Goals

Part of the application process for an internship is developing learning goals that will guide your critical analysis of your experiential learning experience.

The learning goals should identify what questions or issues you want to explore related to the organization or agency in which you will be working. Students should engage in an active exchange between theory and experience during their internship.

In general, students should be able to apply knowledge and concepts from readings and prior coursework to an analysis of their internship experience. Furthermore, students should be able to use the internship experience to gain a new understanding of their previous course material. Having more specific learning goals at the beginning of your internship will help guide your critical reflection, additional literature research, and your inquiry into what the organization or agency does, why they do it, and what implications it has on people and society.

Examples of learning goals:

  • Identify the official mission and philosophy that guides the organization or agency for which you are an intern. Analyze whether or not the organization or agency follows that mission and philosophy. Explain why or why not?
  • Identify what types of people are granted services and who is not allowed services.
  • Investigate how social and cultural backgrounds of the clients compare to the workers at the agency. Analyze what impact these differences and/or similarities have on the overall mission and work.
  • Analyze how this organization or agency connects to other parts of society. For example, who is providing funding and/or administrative oversight? How does this impact the organization?

Academic Requirements

The internship is to be an academically rigorous experience that requires the student to reflect critically upon the experiential learning process. Thus, it is expected that the student will complete several assignments that help with this process. The academic requirements should be developed by the student in consultation with the supervising professor such that the activities fit the student goals, maximize the potential to gain from the internship, and require critical examination of the experience. The SCSS 198 Learning Agreement Form requires a detailed description of the academic requirements, along with other information such as student learning goals and intern duties. All internship Learning Agreements must be approved by the Department Curriculum Committee.

Following is a standard model of requirements for SCSS 198: Internship that may be used to fulfill the academic component of the internship. Modifications to these assignments or a different series of assignments may be developed. However, alternative assignments must maintain rigorous and critical academic standards and be approved by the Department Curriculum Committee.

Learning Journal

The purpose of your journal is to provide an opportunity to reflect on your experiences and observations at the site and to document your learning process.

Listed are some suggested issues to write about:

  • experiences that I enjoyed or valued
  • experiences that I questioned or disliked
  • how I am beginning to think differently
  • what I hope to do differently
  • what I want to explore further
  • progress on learning goals
  • extra comments: surprises, concerns, questions

Your journal should include 10-15 entries over the semester. Each entry should be typed. For your own and others' protection, do not use real names in your journal. Consult with your supervising professor for how often and when you will turn in the journal entries.

Annotated bibliography

Students should learn more about their internship by reading related research. To document this reading, you should create an annotated bibliography describing at least five articles/book chapters that relate to your learning goals. The readings should inform some aspect related to your internship site. Aim to develop a one page description of each article/chapter in your own words. These readings may be from past courses or from additional sources. This assignment should also help prepare you for your final paper. Consult with your supervising professor about details of this assignment and the due date.

Ethics Assignment

Students should become aware of the ethics (or lack of ethics) that are embedded in an organization's formal and informal structure. Some particular issues might include confidentiality, appropriate and inappropriate interpersonal relationships, corruption, and misconduct.

In 3-5 pages, address the following:

  1. Describe the ethical standards which have been explicitly established by the agency or organization to guide the behavior of its workers
  2. Discuss whether or not you think there is enough attention given to ethics and how well you think the workers abide by the ethical guidelines
  3. Give examples of specific ethical issues you have confronted during your internship

In addition to this assignment, you should give serious consideration to these ethical issues throughout the internship placement, and record observations or problems in your weekly journal.

Final Project

Students are required to turn in a final project that illustrates a critical reflection of the internship experience, an application of theoretical and research issues, and a report on your learning goals. Most likely the final project will be in the form of a paper, though other formats are possible. Consult with your supervising professor to work out the details. The final project is due during finals week of the semester you are registered for the internship.

Evaluation Forms

There are two sets of evaluation forms as part of the internship:

  1. Student interns will be expected to complete an internship placement evaluation form
  2. The site supervisor will be expected to complete an evaluation form assessing the student intern's work
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