An internship is a structured learning situation where a student applies concepts learned in the classroom to the realities of an on-the-job experience. The primary purpose of an internship is to provide an educationally sound platform for the development of the student's human, social, and management skills through a field-based activity. Interns receive practical training and experience in a variety of settings through cooperatively arranged placements. Interns are placed in preprofessional, not menial, positions and work side-by-side with other employees or as "management trainees."
Credit Versus Non-Credit Internships
Credit for internships is not given for work per se. Students apply theoretical concepts to the workplace and reassess ideas. Hence, academic credit is given for placing the preprofessional work experience in a conceptual and comparative context. The primary distinction between credit and non-credit internships is the degree to which students are required to reflect on their experiences. This distinction is exhibited in the differences in the academic requirements, the degree of college supervision, the investment of college resources, and the student's payment for and receipt of credit.
With both credit and non-credit internships, placement is a coordinated responsibility of the internship staff, faculty members, and the students. In credit internships, the Academic Department is expected to lead the placement effort, while in non-credit internship, the internship staff takes the lead.
In the case of credit internships students may be compensated for internship work as long as the department and/or faculty sponsor believes that the college can maintain enough control of the internship experience to ensure its academic validity. Interns working in non-credit situations normally are compensated.
A student pursuing a credit internship must have a 2.00 cumulative average, junior or senior status, and be in good academic standing. Individual departments may set additional requirements, such as higher GPA requirements.
In order to apply for a credit internship, students obtain applications from the Career Services Office, recruit a faculty sponsor, and secure a placement position. Then the students present an internship "Learning Agreement Plan" to appropriate faculty members (their faculty sponsor, both advisors, and the department chair) for review. Upon approval, students next submit the plan to the Director of Career Services and the Registrar for final acceptance. Agency contracts are developed as needed.
Course Designation and Evaluation
Students must register for an internship and an internship seminar. In both cases the faculty sponsor determines the amount of credit to be awarded, which in turn determines the intensity of the experience. A semester internship carries a minimum of 4 credit hours (2 internship hours + 2 seminar hours) and a maximum of 15 credit hours (normally 9 + 6, except in cases where an outside accrediting agency requires otherwise, such as Social Work and Education in which the division of credits is decided by the appropriate department). Students can earn no more than 15 internship credits during their 4 years at Juniata, including a maximum of 6 hours in summer internship credits (unless more summer credits are necessary for certification in a particular area).
The faculty sponsor awards standard grades (A-F) for the internship and the seminar.
The internship is designated as course 490 in the appropriate department ("Internship") and carries 2 to 9 credits. Credit is awarded in proportion to time spent on the job according to the following figures:
- 2 credits = 8 hours/week
- 3 credits = 12 hours/week
- 4 credits = 16 hours/week
- 5 credits = 20 hours/week
- 6 credits = 24 hours/week
- 7 credits = 28 hours/week
- 8 credits = 32 hours/week
- 9 credits = 36 hours/week
Grading is based on the following criteria: regular supervision by the on-site supervisor; regular contact with the faculty sponsor including at least one on-site visit as practical; a written learning contract where appropriate; at least one interim assessment conducted jointly by the student, the on-site supervisor, and the Juniata faculty sponsor; a final assessment conducted by all three individuals; a journal of activities; and, if appropriate, a portfolio of work completed.
The internship seminar is designated as course 495 in the same department ("Internship Seminar") for 2 to 6 credits. Credit for this course is awarded in proportion to time spent with the faculty sponsor as follows:
- 2 credits = 6 contact or study hours/week
- 3 credits = 9 contact or study hours/week
- 4 credits = 12 contact or study hours/week
- 5 credits = 15 contact or study hours/week
- 6 credits = 18 contact or study hours/week
Grading for the seminar is based on regular contact with the faculty sponsor; an organizational profile or systems analysis; an extensive written project, paper, or program as arranged with and periodically reviewed by the faculty sponsor.
Examples of past seminar requirements are:
- 2 credits
- journal of activities, outline of final paper, final paper, talk to student health group;
- journal of activities, portfolio, annotated bibliography, oral presentation;
- journal of activities, public presentation, short assignment, term paper;
- meet with faculty sponsor, submit copies of projects, descriptive analysis of operations at placement.
- 3 credits
- journal of activities, annotated bibliography, research project and report, self-evaluation of performance, weekly meeting with sponsor;
- read 3 books, journal of activities, 15-20 page research paper;
- journal of activities, abstracts, outline of final paper, final paper, talk to student health group.
- 4 credits
- journal of activities, 2 book reviews, outline of research paper, major research paper, weekly meetings with sponsor.
- 5 credits
- journal of activities, weekly sponsor meeting, book review, 2 research projects.
- 6 credits
- journal of activities, weekly meeting with sponsor, 3 major research projects.
The intern must fulfill any additional departmental requirements provided these requirements do not conflict with internship policies.
Individuals pursuing non-credit internships must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
For non-credit internships, students submit application materials to the Career Services Office until the file is complete. Agency or placement contracts are developed as needed.
Course Designation and Evaluation
Upon successful completion of all necessary requirements, a non-credit internship unit appears on the academic transcript as course number 001 ("Internship" followed by the title as approved by the Internship Committee) in the appropriate department. Students may complete more than one non-credit internship and receive transcript notation each time (course 002, 003, etc.).
The Internship Committee oversees and evaluates non-credit interns, awarding grades of satisfactory ("S") or unsatisfactory ("U"). Evaluation is based on the following elements: a learning contract; contact with the Director of Career Services; regular supervision and final evaluation by the on-site supervisor; final evaluation by the intern; and a presentation upon completion of the internship experience.
Interns must fulfill any additional departmental requirements provided these requirements do not conflict with internship policies.