Clarke University Compass and Career Services staff encourages students from all disciplines to participate in some form of experiential learning. An internship gives employers the opportunity to share their knowledge with a talented, energetic student who is motivated to excel while preparing for the professional world. The workplace is an excellent environment for a student to apply classroom learning while developing a more real perspective of the field.
Internship vs. Internship for Credit:
A student may choose to earn academic credit while working in a private or public sector. In this case, the placement is called an Internship for Credit (formerly known as a Cooperative Education placement). The student is required to have a faculty sponsor in order to receive academic credit. Career Services facilitates the process while the academic faculty sponsor evaluates the work. If a student chooses not to earn academic credit, the placement is simply called an internship. In this case the student does not need a faculty sponsor nor does the student need to complete extra paperwork.
Internship for Credit: Employer Expectations
Requirements on behalf of the supervisor include general supervision required for completing the position description in addition to a mid-term and final evaluation of the student’s work. The student, prior to beginning the position, is required to develop goals and objectives for the position. This can be done with the supervisor or faculty sponsor. The student is required to complete a weekly journal, two progress reports, and a final reflection paper. The grade, usually pass/fail, is determined by a faculty sponsor who reviews the student’s completion of goals and the supervisor’s evaluations before assigning the grade.
Internship for Credit: Faculty Expectations
The following information may be used as a guide when sponsoring a student an Internship for Credit. Developing a written contract with the student is helpful for both the faculty sponsor and the student because it:
- Makes clearer what is expected.
- Provides a means to use the student’s experience in an appropriate class.
- Gives a first hand opportunity to examine academic preparation applied to a field experience.
- Helps maintain/improve the quality of Clarke’s Internship for Credit Program.
These guidelines are not meant to totally define or set limits upon the experience. They are intended to be a means for enhancing and generally evaluating the student’s work experience.
- Establishing Learning Objectives: The faculty sponsor will meet with the student prior to the placement to develop written objectives. These objectives should clearly state what the student expects to learn from the work experience. In addition, they should be written so that the student can demonstrate that they have met the objectives. Any assignment or stipulations should be agreed upon.
- Meeting Objectives: It should be clearly established with the student how he/she can demonstrate meeting the learning objectives.
- Reporting Progress: Most students complete progress reports twice during a placement. Reports are forwarded to the faculty sponsors from the Career Services Office as soon as they are received. Work-site visits can be arranged through the Career Services Office, usually during the second half of the semester and for those students who are participating for the first time.
- Journal: The weekly journal is required so students are accurately and consciously tracking their progress throughout the placement. The journals are turned in at the end of the placement.
- Student Reflection Paper: The student’s final paper is due the last day of semester classes. Students might find it useful to refer to their journal to assist them in writing their final reports.