Penn State Abington regards properly coordinated and supervised internships as an important part of a student’s education, deserving of academic credit. Students earn a variable number of credits depending on the academic major.
Objectives of Field Internships
- Provide students the opportunity to apply classroom learning and gain experience
- Encourage the development of a professional identity and appropriate set of skills
- Help students identify or clarify career interests
- Afford organizations an opportunity to observe and evaluate potential staff
The internship placement can not consist solely of clerical or other activities that are not relevant to a professional career in the field. Rather, we ask that you provide a realistic exposure to the actual tasks performed by your professional staff. Interns are prohibited from participating in those tasks that are off limits to them due to safety, legal, or personnel concerns.
The following is requested from the Internship Site:
- Confer with the student prior to the start of the internship to describe the expectations of your organization, assign specific responsibilities, agree on a work schedule, and designate an on-site supervisor.
- Provide a letter to the Career Development Center outlining the duration of the internship, number of hours, and responsibilities. The letter should be signed by the site supervisor. This acceptance letter is used to gain academic approval and credit for the internship. A sample letter is available upon request and should be used as a guide when composing the acceptance letter.
- The on-site supervisor should monitor the intern’s performance and progress during the internship and hold periodic review sessions to review performance and provide feedback.
- The supervisor will be asked to formally evaluate the quality of the intern’s job performance mid semester and again at the end of the semester. Evaluation forms will be provided to the on-site supervisor at the appropriate times, and must be completed by the specified due date. (Evaluations are used by the faculty supervisor to determine grades and count as a large portion of the grading process. Late evaluations could negatively affect the student’s grade).
Student interns are assigned a faculty advisor who oversees the academic element of the internship. The student must complete academic assignments based upon the requirements outlined by the faculty advisor on the specific course syllabus.
During the field placement students are required to maintain a daily journal based on their observations and experiences. Other assignments might include compiling a portfolio, submitting weekly journals, writing a paper, and completing a project.
The student is also required to evaluate his/her own performance as well as the value of the internship as a learning opportunity.
Supervisors should call the designated Career Development Center internship coordinator or the faculty advisor with any questions or concerns during the internship term. Please provide an opportunity for a site visit with either the Career Development Center internship coordinator or the faculty supervisor.