Academic credit internships require the supervision of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor, combining a substantive academic component with a significant career-related component in order to serve as a bridge between the liberal arts education received at Centre and workplace expectations.
What Is An Internship?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that empowers students to integrate knowledge and theory learned throughout the curriculum with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Thus, a meaningful internship is a partnership between Centre College and a host employer, collaboratively defined and guided by the student, a faculty internship mentor (if the student is receiving credit), and an on-site supervisor from the host employer. To ensure that an experience is educational and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship, all the following criteria must be met:
• The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained through the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the host employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
• The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
• The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
• There are clearly developed learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
• There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
• There is routine feedback by the experienced on-site supervisor.
• There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
If these criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship. (National Association of Colleges and Employers, December 19, 2011)
Academic credit and work hours
Students participating in academic-credit internships typically register for two or three credit hours.
It is highly recommended that students work on-site in blocks of at least four hours at a time. For a three-credit internship, a total of 120 work hours (10 hours per week) are required. For a two-credit internship (fall and spring only), a total of 80 work hours (6-7 hours per week) are required. Variable internship credit is awarded according to hours worked. One hour of credit is awarded for every 40 hours worked per semester, meaning that students working 120 total hours over the duration of the semester will receive three credit hours for that semester. All work must be sanctioned by and done on behalf of the internship supervisor and must be documented on a time card provided by the college.
CentreTerm internships require registration for three credits, and the student must work full-time for three to four weeks to complete 120 total work hours.
Acceptable performance for the academic component and on-site will allow a student to earn a credit designation for the appropriate number of academic credits. This “credit” designation does not count for or against the requirements for a major program or the pass/fail option. Students who do not perform at an acceptable level in either area will be assigned a no-credit designation. This will appear on the student’s transcript.
Non-attendance for the required pre-internship meeting, failure to complete the required internship hours, or failure to do the end-of-term presentation will result in a no-credit designation.
Acceptable types of internships
The internship must be a new experience for the student (i.e., it cannot be a continuation of volunteer work or summer or part-time job).
Internships are generally not carried over into the next term. If a student wishes to do a second internship at the same organization, the internship must be a substantially different experience with significantly different duties.
The student cannot designate a family member as an on-site supervisor.
The internship must be a semi-professional experience and not a typical summer or part-time job often performed by a college student (e.g., law firm runner, camp counselor, retail clerk).
During the CentreTerm, students who are working full-time for their internships may receive a board reimbursement or reduction. No reduction is available for room. The Business Office will handle all reimbursement requests. During the long term, reduction to a 10-meal plan may be possible. The student must discuss the particular situation with the Business office.
Students who must travel to an internship site away from Centre or for significant commuting expenses related to the internship are eligible for limited reimbursement (either mileage or plane ticket) up to $175. Those students receiving other Centre funding (Centre Internship Plus, Centre Education Fellowship, Brown Foundation funds, Parents Committee Internship Fund, etc.) are not eligible to receive travel reimbursement. To receive reimbursement, students must submit a log of miles driven and/or a copy of a plane ticket receipt. Students will be reimbursed after they have completed the internship successfully.
Required meetings and evaluations
A pre-internship class meeting is required. At this meeting, internship requirements will be reviewed and common work-place issues will be discussed.
The student and his/her on-site supervisor will be asked to provide a mid-term and final evaluation. Students will also be required to complete a time card verifying his/her work hours.
At the end of the term, interns will participate in the Internship Spotlight. Faculty, students, staff and supervisors will be invited to this fair. Students will be expected to talk about the internship experience with the Centre community and will need to provide a visual aid (poster, slide show, etc.). Interns should talk to their faculty mentors about what to include in the visual aid and what format that visual aid should be in.