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