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Student Professional Development Center

Elon University Experiential Education Program
Guide to Internships and Co-ops
 

How students register their internships for credit

The Experiential Education Program, designed to augment classroom theory, offers students opportunities to participate in carefully monitored, field-based learning experiences in agency, business, education, and government settings. The internship experience allows students to apply their liberal education and prepare for fulfilling careers. It also satisfies the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR).

ELR Mission Statement

The Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) prepares students for lives of meaningful work and service.  By engaging students in opportunities that integrate knowledge and experience, the ELR fosters an understanding and life-long appreciation for learning.  Students engage in a process that includes preparation, action, and reflection to develop the habits of mind required to learn effectively from experience and the commitment to put knowledge into action as socially responsible global citizens.  The Experiential Learning requirement can be met through internships/co-ops, study abroad, undergraduate research, service-learning, leadership, individualized learning, or other courses with ELR designation.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Junior or Senior standing (Sophomore in co-ops with special permission)
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Completion of departmental prerequisites
  • Approval of Faculty Sponsor/Experiential Education Director/Faculty Advisor

Criteria

  • The internship responsibilities should be related to academic and/or career interests of the student.
  • The student should be assigned meaningful tasks, with ample opportunity to perform in a variety of capacities and with a variety of employees.  It is possible that the student will be assigned some mundane tasks, but the majority of tasks should demand a professional responsibility, integrating the accomplishment of a task with conscious educational growth.
  • The site supervisor should be a professional who understands the objectives of an academic internship program.

The Internship Registration Process for Arts & Sciences Students

Academic Credit

  • Academic credit is awarded by participating departments.  The total amount of credit varies based upon the nature of the work, the academic projects, and the amount of time spent on the job.  A minimum of 40 hours work for each credit earned is required. Exception: The School of Communications requires a minimum of 80 hours work for each credit earned.
  • A maximum of 16 credit hours obtained through internships/co-ops may be applied toward degree     requirements.
  • Letter grades are given. The grade awarded is the prerogative of the Faculty Sponsor, who should consider evaluation of the academic assignments, conferences with the student, and input from the work-site supervisor.
  • Departments designate whether credit is given toward major, minor, or electives.
  • Credit is not given for working per se but for attaining educational goals in an out-of-classroom environment. Experiential credit combines classroom study with related experience, and is based on the principle that learning does not confine itself to academic achievement but is equally dependent upon practical experience.

Experiential Education Director Role

  • Provide opportunities for students to learn job hunting skills.
  • Develop internship/co-op job contacts.
  • Monitor Experiential Education program, provide statistical data.
  • Develop program materials.
  • Serve as program resource for faculty.
  • Provide information and training sessions for faculty.
  • Serve as faculty sponsor for co-op students.
  • Monitor and disperse travel funds for on-site visits.

Faculty Sponsor Role

  • Help student develop learning  plan and set learning objectives.
  • Consult with student to complete Experiential Education Registration form.
  • Supplement student on-site responsibilities with academic assignments suitable to enrich learning opportunities and enhance reflection.  Discuss basis of grading and relationship between performance and reflection.
  • Consult periodically with the student throughout the internship to provide continuous feedback.  A minimum of 5 contacts is suggested, including the orientation and the final evaluation.
  • Consult periodically with the work-site supervisor.  A minimum of 3 contacts per semester is     suggested, including one on-site visit if possible.  Contact early in the term is vital.
  • Complete mid-term & final evaluations, assign final grade.

Work-Site Supervisor Role

  • Consult with student in development of learning objectives.
  • Provide on-the-job training for student.
  • Offer frequent feedback about student performance.
  • Provide written evaluation on student performance.
  • Consult with faculty sponsor regarding student progress.

Evaluation

Student evaluate their work experience by examining structure, value, meaning, relation to coursework, impact on career goals through departmental forms and via an on line survey.  Faculty Sponsors evaluate and grade student experiential learning through academic assignments.  Sample academic assignments include:
 

Guided Journals Bibliography of Readings
Projects/Work Samples Book and Article Reviews
Integrative Papers Exploratory Interviews
Work Supervisor's Evaluation Seminar Attendance
Presentations to Classes Orientation/Debriefing Sessions
Portfolios