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Internship Information


Internships give employers the opportunity to: 

  • Complete special projects during peak seasons without hiring additional personnel. 
  • Create a pipeline for entry-level positions. 
  • Allow junior level managers an opportunity to gain supervisory experience. 
  • Share knowledge with talented, energetic students who are motivated to excel. 

As with any new employee, an employer will want to: 

  • Review the job description and internship responsibilities with the intern. 
  • Expect to have an initial training period as the intern learns his or her responsibilities. This would include any policies or procedures that would apply to a new hire. 
  • Introduce the intern to the organization and co-workers. 
  • Develop guidelines and expectations for supervision. 
  • Periodically provide feedback to the student.  

If a student is receiving academic credit for an Internship position, an employer must also: 

  • Participate in establishing goals and objectives for the internship. Students are required to have two goals for each hour of credit earned (most students earn three credits, requiring six goals). 
  • Sign the Student’s Internship Contract verifying the terms and goals of the internship. 
  • One academic credit for an internship position commonly requires a student to work 4 hours per week during a 15-week semester for each credit hour earned (60 hours worked for each credit). 
  • Usually full-time students work 4-12 hours each week, earning 1-3 internship credits in a 15-week semester. 
  • Complete a Mid-term and Final Evaluation of the student’s work and review it with them. 
  • Employers are not responsible for assigning grades. Faculty sponsors assign grades after reviewing student materials and employer evaluations. 

Paid and Unpaid Opportunities 

Internships can be either paid or unpaid* depending on the organization, career field, and scope of responsibilities. Keep in mind that all internships, paid or unpaid, must provide training and experience related to the students’ major and career goals. 

* The U.S. Department of Labor has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid: 

  • The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school. 
  • The training is for the benefit of the student. 
  • The student does not displace regular employees but works under the close observation of a regular employee. 
  • The employer provides the training and does not derive immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training. 
  • The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period. 
  • The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training. 

While not all six factors have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, the experience should ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job. 


Clarke University Career Services staff encourage 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 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. 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.  

Internship for Credit: Faculty Expectations 

When sponsoring a student for an Internship for Credit, you are developing a written contract with the student. These guidelines are not meant to totally define or set limits upon the experience. They are instead intended to be a means of enhancing and 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.