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Internship Information

Employer Internship Information

What is an internship?

Internships give employers the opportunity to:

  • Share knowledge with talented, energetic students who are motivated to excel.
  • Complete special projects during peak seasons without hiring additional personnel.
  • Look at entry-level professional personnel without making a long term commitment, as well as, reduce turnover and training time for entry-level employees by hiring former interns.
  • Become involved in the learning process of a future practitioner.
  • Allow junior level managers an opportunity to gain supervisory experience.

Internships give students the opportunity to:

  • Acquire professional work experience related to academic major or career interest.
  • Apply theories learned in the classroom to the workplace.
  • Acquire better understanding of the professional demands and requirements of a particular career field.
  • Gain confidence in making the transition from the academic atmosphere to the world of work.
  • Students may also choose to earn academic credit while working in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

As with any new employee, an employer will want to:

  • Review the job description and internship responsibilities with the intern.
  • Expect to have an initial training period as the intern learns his or her responsibilities.
  • Introduce the intern to the organization and co-workers.
  • Develop guidelines and expectations for supervision.
  • Periodically provide feedback to let the student know how well they are doing.

If a student is receiving academic credit for an Internship position, an employer must also:

  • Participate in establishing goals and objectives for the internship. Students are required to have two goals for each hour of credit earned (most students earn three credits, requiring six goals).
  • Sign the Student’s Internship Contract verifying the terms and goals of the internship.
  • Complete a Mid-term and Final Evaluation of the student’s work and go over it with the student before returning it to the student. These take about 15 minutes each to complete.
  • Employers are not responsible for assigning grades. Faculty sponsors assign grades after reviewing student materials and employer evaluations.

Legal Issues:

  • If Students are paid through the organization’s payroll, that organization’s Workers insurance may apply.
  • If additional coverage is needed, employers are encouraged to contact Career Services for further information and possible assistance.
  • Consider what policies and procedures the intern will be covered by. What policies and procedures must the intern abide by?

Have the intern read or otherwise be made aware of these policies.

  • Student interns are required to follow the Clarke University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies stated in the Clarke University Student Handbook.
  • Student interns should be informed of the employer’s sexual harassment policy.

What are the student’s responsibilities?

As with any new employee, an intern will need to:

  • Become familiar with the organization and co-workers.
  • Review internship responsibilities and expectations with employer supervisor, then carry them out.

If a student is receiving academic credit for an Internship position, an intern must also:

  • Establish goals and objectives for the internship. This should be done with the employer supervisor or faculty sponsor (or both). Students are required to have two goals for each hour of credit earned (most students earn three credits, requiring six goals).
  • Request that the employer supervisor and faculty sponsor sign the Student’s Internship Contract verifying the terms and goals of the internship; turn completed contract in to the Registrar with a copy going to Career Services.
  • Keep a weekly journal to track their progress as well as assist them in writing their Final Reflection Paper.
  • Submit log of hours worked to the faculty sponsor.
  • Complete a Mid-term Report and a Final Reflection Paper, plus any additional academic requirements established by the faculty sponsor.

Are internships paid?

Internships can be either paid or unpaid* depending on the organization, career field, and scope of responsibilities. However, students are naturally drawn to positions that offer compensation for their service. We do realize, however, that many agencies (non-profit and others) operate on a tight budget where added expense is not possible. Therefore, pay is not required; however, many students need to find part-time work in addition to the internship in this situation. Keep in mind that all internships, paid or unpaid, must provide training and experience related to the students’ major and career goals.

Reasonable compensation may be:

  • An hourly wage, possibly minimum wage depending on the career field.
  • A fair percentage of an entry-level salary based on hours worked.
  • A stipend awarded at the end of an internship placement to offset College costs. This is a good way for employers to pay the intern, yet avoid adding a short term employee to their payroll.
  • For other ideas or the “going rate” for particular Internship positions, check with Clarke Career Services.

* The U.S. Department of Labor has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
  3. The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
  4. The employer provides the training and derives not immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
  5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

While not all six factors have to be present for an individual to be considered a trainee, the experience should ultimately look more like a training/learning experience than a job.

What is the length and hourly commitment of an internship?

  • Internships vs. part-time employment: An internship for academic credit must be related to the student’s major with responsibilities worthy of College credit.
  • One academic credit for an internship position commonly requires a student to work 4 hours per week during a 15-week semester for each credit hour earned (60 hours worked for each credit).
  • Usually full-time students work 4-12 hours each week, earning 1-3 internship credits in a 15-week semester.
  • A student may earn credit for multiple internships with the same organization; however, each internship must represent new learning opportunities as reflected in the Learning Objectives, established by the student, worksite advisor, faculty advisor, and Career Services. This is often accomplished by the student accepting a new project or position.


Faculty Internship Information

Clarke University Career Services staff encourages students from all disciplines to participate in some form of experiential learning. An internship gives employers the opportunity to share their knowledge with a talented, energetic student who is motivated to excel while preparing for the professional world. The workplace is an excellent environment for a student to apply classroom learning while developing a more real perspective of the field.

Internship vs. Internship for Credit:

A student may choose to earn academic credit while working in a private or public sector. In this case, the placement is called an Internship for Credit (formerly known as a Cooperative Education placement). The student is required to have a faculty sponsor in order to receive academic credit. Career Services facilitates the process while the academic faculty sponsor evaluates the work. If a student chooses not to earn academic credit, the placement is simply called an internship. In this case the student does not need a faculty sponsor nor does the student need to complete extra paperwork.

Internship for Credit: Employer Expectations

Requirements on behalf of the supervisor include general supervision required for completing the position description in addition to a mid-term and final evaluation of the student’s work. The student, prior to beginning the position, is required to develop goals and objectives for the position. This can be done with the supervisor or faculty sponsor. The student is required to complete a weekly journal, two progress reports, and a final reflection paper. The grade, usually pass/fail, is determined by a faculty sponsor who reviews the student’s completion of goals and the supervisor’s evaluations before assigning the grade.

Internship for Credit: Faculty Expectations

The following information may be used as a guide when sponsoring a student an Internship for Credit. Developing a written contract with the student is helpful for both the faculty sponsor and the student because it:

  • Makes clearer what is expected.
  • Provides a means to use the student’s experience in an appropriate class.
  • Gives a first hand opportunity to examine academic preparation applied to a field experience.
  • Helps maintain/improve the quality of Clarke’s Internship for Credit Program.

These guidelines are not meant to totally define or set limits upon the experience. They are intended to be a means for enhancing and generally evaluating the student’s work experience.

  1. Establishing Learning Objectives: The faculty sponsor will meet with the student prior to the placement to develop written objectives. These objectives should clearly state what the student expects to learn from the work experience. In addition, they should be written so that the student can demonstrate that they have met the objectives. Any assignment or stipulations should be agreed upon.
  2. Meeting Objectives: It should be clearly established with the student how he/she can demonstrate meeting the learning objectives.
  3. Reporting Progress: Most students complete progress reports twice during a placement. Reports are forwarded to the faculty sponsors from the Career Services Office as soon as they are received. Work-site visits can be arranged through the Career Services Office, usually during the second half of the semester and for those students who are participating for the first time.
  4. Journal: The weekly journal is required so students are accurately and consciously tracking their progress throughout the placement. The journals are turned in at the end of the placement.
  5. Student Reflection Paper: The student’s final paper is due the last day of semester classes. Students might find it useful to refer to their journal to assist them in writing their final reports.