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Internship Guidelines

I. Outcomes/Objectives for English Department Internships

The overall objective of an English Department internship is for students to recognize the professional nature of writing and communication work. Specific objectives include the following:
• Develop project management, time management, and decision-making skills
• Demonstrate effective critical thinking skills as appropriate for the internship projects
• Create and design texts for public consumption
• Demonstrate higher-order thinking that publishing a text requires
• Adapt writing for different audiences in an effective manner
• Demonstrate accuracy and correctness in use of Standard English; hone proofreading skills
• Develop and demonstrate an aesthetic sensibility

II. Requirements for English Department Internships

• Students will perform the required hours of work per credit hour sought.
• Students must take initiative, both in locating an internship and in performing at that internship.
• Students must meet deadlines for the employer, the internship supervisor, and for the university.
• Students need to be aware that as interns they are representatives of the English Department; their actions or inactions will reflect back on the department and university.
• Students need to be aware that there are consequences for poor or non-performance; students can be removed from internships and/or not receive credit for internships.

III. Responsibilities of the Student Intern, Internship Supervisor (SMSU faculty member), and Site Evaluator (employer)

Student Responsibilities
Students seeking credit through the English Department for an internship are responsible for finding an internship. Faculty and staff in Career Resources can aid students in their search but do not guarantee or pursue internships for students.

Once a possible internship is found, students must inform the employer about the department and program objectives for an internship. Students are also responsible for the following:
• contacting the program director and discuss the suitability of the internship with the program director;
• performing the required hours of work per credit sought;
• agreeing to report to the internship supervisor as outlined in the assessment section below and as further agreed upon by the student and internship supervisor;
• carrying liability insurance as described in the university internship policy.

Internship Supervisor Responsibilities
The internship supervisor must make certain that all internship requests have been through the appropriate approval process as outlined by the department and/or program. The internship supervisor will provide feedback about the appropriateness of the internship projects to the student and the site evaluator. The internship supervisor will keep in regular contact with the student in a manner agreed upon by the student and supervisor and in keeping with the assessment methods described below. The internship supervisor will evaluate all assessments, enter in the appropriate grade for the student at the end of the internship and file the final internship evaluation with the program.

Site Evaluator Responsibilities
The site evaluator will provide internship projects that are in keeping with the overall objectives of the department and program and which require the student to take some initiative. The site evaluator will provide constructive feedback to the student throughout the internship as needed. The site evaluator will fill out and return to the internship supervisor an overall evaluation of the student's performance at the end of the internship.

IV. Department Procedures for Approving Internships
The English Department chair or program directors within the department approve internships. If a professor is approached by a student to oversee an internship, the professor must receive program approval.

V. Means of Reporting and Methods of Assessment
Internship supervisors, in consultation with the student, determine whether the student should take the internship for a letter grade or for credit/no credit. The internship supervisor shall discuss this with the student before the student registers for the internship, so that the student registers appropriately.

All internship students must successfully complete the following in order to receive credit for the internship:
• proposal for the internship demonstrating how it will help the student fulfill the department and program goals for an internship; students might also tailor objectives of their own
• progress reports as determined by the internship supervisor (for example, face-to-face meetings weekly, phone calls biweekly, weekly email reports)
• a final self-evaluation which reflects on how the objectives outlined in the original proposal have been met (specific requirements will be outlined by the internship supervisor)
• evaluation from the site supervisor as appropriate given the internship responsibilities

VI. Designated Departmental Supervisor
In the English Department, any professor can be an internship supervisor if he or she chooses to do so. English Department faculty and students should know that internships are currently like independent studies, in that there is no reassigned time or compensation for faculty who agree to supervise internships. It is solely at the faculty member’s discretion whether or not to supervise an internship.

Drafted by Lori Baker, Teresa Henning, Neil Smith, Marianne Zarzana
September 2007

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