Contents, Related Policies, Applicability ▾
An internship is an academic, curriculum-based practical work experience in a particular field of study that enhances student learning, and for which a student is enrolled. Internships may include externships, clerkships, student teaching, or similar work experience. While a qualified on-site supervisor in the workplace directs the larger part of learning, the student is also supervised by a discipline-specific faculty advisor or department administrator who monitors the student's progress and resolves any concerns of the student or the internship provider under department or school internship oversight.
The course numbers designated by the University Curriculum Council for internships are 199R, 299R, 399R, 496R, 599R and 688R. All students engaged in internships must be enrolled during the time they are participating in the internship in one of the designated course numbers (0.5-12 credits), and those numbers should not be used for any other purpose. The minimum number of internship hours for each hour of credit earned is 42 hours, but academic departments or schools determine the actual number of experience hours required for each earned credit hour. Credit for internship experience is not given retroactively; neither can credit be given in advance of the internship. All internship experience for which a student is enrolled must be preceded by the establishment of academic requirements, completion of contractual agreements, and pre-internship orientation of the student.
The department or school's faculty advisor or administrator must determine the suitability of internship experiences using guidelines established by the department or school's faculty oversight committee. Experiences should have material relevancy to the academic discipline. Students should be expected to use a variety of skills and knowledge and have an assigned on-site supervisor who is an experienced professional in the industry. Students may not receive grades or internship credit under the supervision of any immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, first cousin, corresponding in-law, or "step" relation). In addition, students may not fulfill internships for organizations owned or managed by any immediate family members. Additionally, students may not intern as a self-on-site supervisor or intern for another student. They should be given quality experiences involving increasing responsibilities and learning opportunities to develop their skills as independent thinkers and to actively prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
The same principles expressed above regarding domestic internships also apply to international internships. In addition, the department or school that sponsors the international internship programs should discuss the international internship location and experience providers with International Study Programs (ISP) Office of the Kennedy Center for International Studies. The ISP Office will advise the academic units on the safety of the proposed internship location, on the professional quality of the internship provider, and on the legal documentation and requirements for doing internships in that location. ISP will also work with the sponsoring department or school to manage student payments and the program application process. The sponsoring department or school is responsible to ensure that the internship provider will give an experience that meets the department's internship learning outcomes.
The sponsoring department or school is also responsible for selection of students for international internships, preparation within their discipline, and making arrangements with ISP Office personnel in the Kennedy Center who will prepare students to cope with cultural, health, security, political, and social issues within the geographical area of their internships.
A department or school must establish an internship oversight committee, which shall be responsible for departmental policy and practice. The oversight committee will establish appropriate prerequisites and ensure proper student preparation. The department or school must also assign adequate supervision for the internship, including a faculty advisor or department administrator to help the student set learning objectives for the experience and to mentor, monitor student progress, resolve concerns, and provide feedback to the student on a regular basis. The department is also required to obtain an Internship Master Agreement or IMOU with each internship provider. Internship Master Agreements must be signed and filed with the Internship Office prior to the start of a student's internship unless granted prior approval for an exception by the Internship Office in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel and Risk Management.
The internship provider must agree to the learning objectives and to monitor student progress, making regular reports to the faculty advisor or department administrator. Progress reports should include attendance as well as qualitative assessments of student learning. The internship provider must agree to the Internship Master Agreement or IMOU.
Each course designating internship enrollment (0.5-12 credits) should provide a syllabus with the following instructions:
- Purpose or learning outcomes of the course
- Course outline
- Assignments and expectations
- Test, evaluation, and grading instructions
The assignments must include combinations or elements of the following:
- Projects or research
- Demonstrations or presentations
During a pre-internship orientation, each student is to receive instructions regarding:
- Internship Registration & Management System (IRAMS) procedures
- Assignments and expectations
- Grading procedures
- Standards of personal conduct, including professional behavior in the workplace
- The nature and amount of supervisory contact between the faculty advisor or department administrator and the student
- Internship Master Agreement or IMOU that outlines the obligations of the student, the university, and the internship provider
- Procedures for unanticipated termination
The department or school must make available to the student and the internship provider copies of program documents and contracts describing the purpose and principles of the internship, including the activities and work involved.
The department or school must provide scheduled contact with the internship provider for feedback and assessment of the student's performance. The department or school must also provide routine assessment of internship providers to ensure quality learning experiences. If the internship provider does not continue to meet the requirements of the department or school's written guidelines, then the department or school will make immediate efforts to correct the deficiencies or terminate the internship and the Internship Master Agreement or IMOU with the provider.