What is the purpose of the Internship Program?
Internships provide students with hands-on experiences in their chosen field of study. They are guided by a professional in the field and provide experiences that are difficult to duplicate in the classroom.
Do all communication students qualify for internships?
No. Interns are a reflection on the Communication Program. We don't want unqualified students representing our program in the field.
How do I qualify for an internship?
There are three basic criteria:
- You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your major*
- You must have completed your core Communication supporting coursework (usually 12 credits)*
- You must have approval of Communications Department faculty member *in special cases, a faculty member may adjust these criteria.
What types of activities qualify for an internship?
There are three tests we apply to any proposed internship:
- Will the student learn something consistent with the Communication program mission and goals? (e.g. enhancing oral, written, or visual competencies).
- Will a qualified professional supervise the student?
- Will the field supervisor provide useful feedback to the student?
What types of activities do not qualify for an internship?
We don't want students to be merely unpaid clerical assistants in charge of copying or collating. If you are currently working on a job, this may count as internship if you can meet the three tests discussed above. Usually this means accepting a new project or job responsibility. Internship experiences should provide you with a meaningful learning opportunity you could not have in the classroom.
How do I find out about internships?
Typically there are three places to locate internships:
- Career Counseling & Placement Office - This office (SS 1916) keeps a file of available internships.
- Your Advisor - Your advisor or major professor often receives calls from the local community about internships. He or she may be able to help you locate one.
- Your Network - In the past, students have used their own network of contacts to either create or inquire about internship possibilities.
Do I get paid for an internship?
That depends on the organization.
How many credits can I get for an internship?
Typically we offer 3 credit hours for an internship. This typically translates into a semester long commitment of 10 hours/week to the internship. In some cases we offer more credit hours, but only 3 hours will be credited to your Communication degree. We don't want to create a situation where internship credits are used to meet the majority of your degree requirements. We believe this does a disservice to you and the community.
What procedures are used to set-up the internship?
- Step 1: Go to the registrar and get the independent study/internship form.
- Step 2: Talk to your faculty internship sponsor about your idea for an internship.
- Step 3: Discuss your internship idea with a potential field supervisor(s).
- Step 4: Ask your faculty internship sponsor to complete the form from the registrar.
- Step 5: Ask your field supervisor to read the attached set of responsibilities and sign the form from the registrar.
- Step 6: Return the form to the registrar and get to work!
How will my internship be evaluated?
Interns receive grades just like students in the classroom. At the end of your internship you should ask your supervisor to complete the attached form and send it back to your faculty sponsor. In addition, most faculty sponsors require that you create a portfolio of your experiences and discuss your experience with them.
What is the mission of the Communication program?
There are three core communication competencies for our interdisciplinary unit: oral, written, and visual. All students should have a basic competency in each of these areas in order to enhance their effectiveness in their chosen communication context. Typically our students will select one of the following tracks for their specialty: Electronic Media, Journalism, Organizational Communication, Photography, or Public Relations. Students in each of these tracks should have a conceptual grasp of the major communication theories and the impact of technology on the Communication.
Who is considered a "qualified professional supervisor"?
A person who understands
- the intern's job duties
- the mission/goals of the Communication Department
- the responsibilities of an intern supervisor
What are the responsibilities of the intern supervisor?
There are three basic criteria:
- Coach, teach, and mentor the intern.
- Provide necessary technical and office support (e.g., access to equipment, supplies, personnel etc…)
- Provide timely performance feedback (performance appraisal) to the intern and faculty sponsor (e.g., complete the evaluation and return it to the student's faculty sponsor)
Are students usually paid for their work as interns?
Who do I contact about any further questions?
Either the student's faculty sponsor or the Chair of the Communication Department.