1. This policy applies to internships taken for academic credit including those taken as independent studies.
An internship is defined as university-sanctioned academic or career-related work experience. Internships are processes of education which formally integrate the students’ academic study with practical experience in cooperating organizations. Through this interaction of study and practical experience, students enhance their academic knowledge, their personal development, and their professional preparation. The teaching faculty and the on-site supervisors share in the educational process of internship. In order to qualify as an internship, the experience must meet the above definition and all of the following criteria:
A. Carry an intellectual, supervised component that includes specific learning objectives connected to the discipline;
B. Guarantee a specific number of hours per unit of academic credit granted that is comparable to other academic courses with a minimum of 45hrs/SCU;
C. Be based on an Internship Agreement between the faculty member overseeing the internship, the grantor of the internship, and the student.
3. Objectives of the Internship
The aim of the internship program is to provide the student with a comprehensive practical experience in a setting where learning is the primary objective of the experience. To this end, the purposes of the internship are:
A. For the student: to complete his/her internship in a controlled and supervised field experience.
B. For the University: to sponsor and guide the student in interpreting the experience while the student applies theoretical knowledge to practice.
C. For the Agency: to provide a proper setting for the experience as well as professional guidance including supervision, mentoring, and an opportunity to observe and participate in multiple aspects of the program/service.
4. Description of the Internship Placement Process
The student schedules an individual meeting with the faculty member who will oversee the internship. The faculty member must give the student formal approval indicating that the agency is an approved site.
The faculty member ensures that the student is provided with health and safety information. The student must sign the CSU Waiver of Liability Form and the Medical Authorization Form.
When the student and faculty member have made the final agency selection, an Internship Agreement is prepared and signed by the student, the agency representative, and the faculty member.
5. Student Eligibility Requirements
The faculty member will verify that students meet or exceed a minimum GPA of 2.0 at the time of the internship. Students who do not meet this eligibility requirement will NOT be permitted to intern.
- Students may present a petition which must be approved by the faculty member and dean if they are unable to meet the above eligibility requirement.
- International students must obtain appropriate work visa from Office of International Programs in advance of internship
- International students must consult their Designated School Official (DSO) in the International Programs’ office to determine if the placement is covered by the student visa.
a. Students completing an internship on a volunteer basis without compensation are typically covered by their visa.
b. Given the technical nature of visa requirements international students must consult the DSO even if the internship is unpaid.
6. Agency Eligibility Requirements
To ensure appropriate internship placement, the agency must meet the following requirements:
A. Be approved by student’s Faculty Member overseeing the internship
B. Have a site visit performed by Faculty Member or on-site supervisor overseeing the internship who completes and submits to the department a Site Visit Checklist.
C. Be judged by the Faculty Member as competent in the delivery of programs and/or services
D. Be a new work setting and/or experience with substantially different job responsibilities than previous and/or current employment
E. Provide an Intern supervisor who the Faculty Member determines is qualified
F. Be willing to participate in the Intern evaluation process, which includes completing and submitting the Student Time Log endorsed by the on-site supervisor.
G. Provide resources necessary to support intern in the satisfactory completion of his or her goals and objectives, and the completion of assigned duties/tasks (e.g., equipment, materials, work space)
Agencies are required to provide Workers Compensation and liability insurance as would be provided for any other staff member or volunteer. The Faculty member must work with the Office of Contracts, Procurement, and Risk Management to ensure sufficient coverage.
8. Required Documentation Retention
Departments are required to keep for three years the following documents for all internships:
A. Internship Agreement
B. Site Visit Checklist
C. Release of Liability Form
D. Medical Authorization Form [Student emergency information]
E. Student Time Log
9. Program-Specific Policy
An academic department may implement a program-specific internship policy. The policy must include, at a minimum, the above guidance, and it must be published in the Catalog.
Additional areas addressed in program-specific internship policies may include:
A. Whether and in what way internships are required for a degree in a given major;
B. Limits on the repetition of internships;
C. Guidelines for transfer of internship units earned elsewhere and the way in which they satisfy major unit and course requirements;
D. The requirements necessary to satisfy more than one internship under the same course number;
E. The number of internship units permitted in a major;
F. The permissibility or impermissibility of remuneration for internships;
G. Grading options applicable to internships;
H. Special requirements for internships.
PASSED – Senate – 10/05/10
APPROVED – President Richmond –10/08/10