Frequently Asked Questions:
- What are the policies for moderating an internship?
- Where can I find information about best practices for academic internships?
- What is expected of a faculty moderator?
- What's covered in and when are the Legal and Professional Issues session?
- What is the Learning Contract?
- Under what circumstances should you ask for a revised Learning Contract?
- What reports will I receive from my intern through the Internship Program?
- How much time is an intern required to work when taking an internship for-credit?
- What are the best ways for me to maintain contact with my intern?
- What is the role of the CSB/SJU internship staff during the internship?
- How is an internship opportunity publicized on campus?
- When does an internship for-credit begin and end?
- Can student interns be directly supervised by parents or family members?
- What is a virtual internship and are there additional considerations if my student intern is engaged in this way?
What are the policies for moderating an internship? Full policies regarding the internship moderator role are outlined in the Moderator Policy Document, while the revised institutional definitions around academic internships, as approved by the ACC, are detailed in the Internship Definition Document.
Where can I find information about best practices for academic internships? XPD - Experience and Professional Development utilizes best practices from both the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), as well as the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE). NSEE provides "Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities," which highlight the importance of things like preparedness and planning (built in at CSB/SJU through tools like the Learning Contract), as well as the critical nature of reflection (incorporated at CSB/SJU through the "Required Internship Reports"). NACE offers "Criteria for an Experience to be Defined as an Internship," more information on the Fair Labor Standards Act as it relates to unpaid internships, as well as other general guidelines agreed upon by colleges and employers nationally. If you have questions or want to learn more about either professional association and their standards, please contact Laura Hammond.
- Make certain the internship is a valuable learning experience for the student. Faculty can do this by helping the student plan what goes into the internship Learning Contract.
- Make sure the student understands your expectations prior to the start of the internship when writing up the Learning Contract.
- After the internship has started, make sure the intern completes any revisions to the contract to refelct changes he/she encounters, as well as completes the required, reflection-focused reports facilitated by XPD.
What should a faculty moderator expect of the intern? In addition to the reports the student submits to the Internship Program and the site supervisor's evaluations, the faculty moderator should also require the student to do interpretive thinking and critical analysis in a number of ways outlined in the "means of evaluation" section of the Learning Contract. This may include regular journals, a portfolio, a final paper, several small papers or a final presentation. Faculty may also provide a book list and require book reports or an annotated bibliography. In April of 2016, the Academic Curriculum Committee approved guidelines for minimum academic work related to credit-bearing internships that are outlined here.
When should students begin searching for an internship? As early as possible! Meetings with your advisees are an opportunity to discuss their interests and to help students plan ahead. Active planning for an internship for academic credit should begin no later than the student's junior year, but ideally students are exploring their interests and options as early as their Sophomore year.
What's covered in and when are the required Legal and Professional Issues Session? These interactive sesssions are offered in-person at the end of each semester (an online, recorded version is available for students who're abroad and/or those who miss the scheduled sessions). The content covered informs students about the professional expectations of internship site supervisors, registration procedures, legal issues in the workplace and other program requirements. This session is REQUIRED for all interns before they can register to earn internship credits.
What is the Learning Contract? The learning contract for academic internships is similar to the syllabus used for classroom-based learning -- it is the student and faculty member's guide for the experience and a contract for the student's experience. This online form must be completed by the student in order to register for internship credits. Before the internship begins, the student should discuss their academic, professional and personal goals in the context of potential projects and responsibilities available at the internship site. Then, they should meet with their faculty moderator to create learning goals, and outline evaluation requirements that will appear on the Learning Contract. Goals, Tasks and Means of Evaluation are outlined in a final form that you'll approve via the online Learning Contract, with a final version also emailed to all parties involved. A blank copy, for review purposes can be found here.
Under what circumstances should the faculty moderator ask for a revised Learning Contract? In circumstances where goals and objectives are not firm at the time of registration, faculty may require a revised Learning Contract from the student. Examples: the student is unable to get a clear assignment of responsibilities from the supervisor prior to the start of the internship or the faculty moderator determines the student’s goals and objectives are inadequate but registration cannot be delayed.
It is also possible for a student to initiate a change in the goals and objectives in the first week or two after the internship begins. When work content or goals change or evolve after the start of the internship, the student, in consultation with the faculty moderator and the site supervisor, may revise the goals and objectives outlined on the registration form. The student, faculty moderator and site supervisor will re-approve using the online Learning Contract form and an updated version will be provided to the Registrar's Office for the student's academic file.
What reports will I receive from my intern through the Internship Program? The Internship Program requires all interns to complete two online reports within the first two months of their internship. Specific deadlines for semester reports can be found on the Internship Report and Due Dates page. After the Internship Program receives these reports, we will forward copies electronically to you via email. Any required academic assignments should be submitted directly to you.
|Number of Credits
||Minimum Required Hour On-Site||Minimum Duration (Weeks)||Minimum Academic Requirements (Means of Evaluation)|
|1||40||4||Weekly journal or final, reflective paper.|
|4||160||4||Weekly journals, academic paper (6-10 pages, citing peer-reviewed sources) and final reflective paper (or discipline appropriate assignment)|
|8||320||8||Weekly journals, academic paper (6-10 pages, citing peer-reviewed sources), final reflective paper (or discipline appropriate assignment, and a second, larger project (e.g., another academic paper, presentation or portfolio)|
*Please Note: Academic internships over eight credits are rare and the workload for such an internship would require correspondingly more hours of on-site and academic work. The terms of an 8+ credit internship will have to be negotiated with the sponsoring academic department and the Office of Experience and Professional Development(XPD).
What are the best ways for me to maintain contact with my intern? Students expect to remain in contact with you and appreciate your feedback. You should expect your intern to call or email you periodically, for example every two or three weeks. You may also want to contact your intern. Phone numbers for contacting your intern are listed on the Learning Contract. You may also call or email the Internship Program for help in contacting an intern.
What is the role of the CSB/SJU Internship Program staff during the internship? Both Student Coordinators and professional staff involved in the program serve as a liaison between the student intern, college faculty, and the organization providing the internship. Our goal is to ensure that all parties experience mutually beneficial outcomes related to the internship. Support for faculty includes monitoring the intern's learning contract, ensuring that it meets best practices in the field of experiential learning and also institutional guidelines. XPD also assists faculty by monitoring the intern's progress through required reflection/reports, providing information for all parties of the internship, and receiving feedback from the organizations where interns are placed. Contact and support can be provided at any time before, during, or after the internship, including but not limited to: consultation around framing well-crafted learning goals, involvement with the student's required conference call or site visit with the intern, and/or processing any concerns or issues the student is facing throughout the internship experience. Please email Laura Hammond at any time.
How are internship opportunities publicized on campus? Organizations interested in offering an internship are directed from our website to Handshake, an online internship, volunteer and job databased sponsored by XPD. XPD also sends bi-monthly updates on Handshake postings via our electronic newsletter, XPDInspire.
When do internships for credit begin and end? Fall and spring semester internships generally begin on the first day of classes and end on the last day of classes. During the summer, start and end dates may vary, but summer internships are typically 12 weeks in length, beginning shortly after the end of the spring semester and ending shortly before the start of fall semester. Shortened internship experiences can occur, with minimum academic internships as short as just four weeks. Please consult the table above for exact requirements.
Can student interns be directly supervised by parents or family members? As stated in the Site Supervisor Handbook, it is neither recommended nor typical that a parent or family member serves as direct supervisor for student interns. Students must obtain prior approval from the academic department, either the faculty moderator or department chair, to deviate from this guideline.
What is a virtual internship and are there additional considerations I should incorporate if my student intern is engaged in this way? A virtual internship is a work experience where the intern gains experience while working from a remote setting and is not physically present at the internship location. This is also referred to as telecommuting. Because virtual experiences could offer less opportunity for feedback and wouldn't provide the same exposure to professional settings that interns receive if they work on-site, they are not considered ideal. However, in some cases, they may be the only option and/or could be a fit for the right student to work and learn successfully. Guidelines and best practices around structuring academic, virtual experiences are outlined here.