Guidelines for Internship Credit
I. GENERAL INTERNSHIP CREDIT CRITERIA
A. Internships undertaken for academic credit require a strong academic center, a set of organizing principles that will foster a particular discipline of mind. The central question is the value of the internship experience to higher education in a liberal arts and science context. Internships that are primarily clerical or mechanical will not qualify for academic credit.
B. Internships must run for an entire term of study. In addition to assigned coursework, internship must meet minimal contact hours requirements according to the following scale:
- 1 semester hour of credit: no fewer than 45 contact hours and no fewer than 5 weeks duration (IN100, EX299 and EX399 ONLY)
- 2 semester hours of credit: no fewer than 90 contact hours and no fewer than 5 weeks duration (IN100, EX299 and EX399 ONLY)
- 3 semester hours of credit: no fewer than 135 contact hours and no fewer than 5 weeks duration
- 6 semester hours of credit: no fewer than 270 contact hours and no fewer than 10 weeks duration
- 9 semester hours of credit: no fewer than 405 contact hours and no fewer than 10-14 weeks duration
"Contact hours" are defined as hours actually spent on site performing the activities of an intern.
C. The amount of additional academic work assigned by the faculty sponsor should be commensurate with the number of credit hours for the internship.
D. The student's background preparation (formal course work, reading, research, co-curricular experience, and jobs or other internships) is especially important for 299 and 399 Professional Internships and plays a less important role in IN100 Exploration Internships.
E. Students proposing an internship must be in good academic standing, which is defined for this purpose as a 2.00 or better total GPA and not on academic probation.
F. Students proposing internships for credit must submit thorough, accurate, and lucid proposals to Starbuck 201 by the established deadlines. The deadline for submitting all internship credit proposals is the third day of classes. No late applications will be accepted. For late requests to add internship credit, we will only consider unusual circumstances and only if cleared with the Associate Dean in advance. As with any course, a late drop or withdrawal will require approval from the faculty sponsor and the Committee on Academic Standing. Skidmore will not retroactively approve credit for experiences that were undertaken without the formal sponsorship and guidance of a Skidmore faculty member and without a completed internship application submitted before the commencement of the internship. The student is responsible as well for providing copies of the internship agreement to the faculty sponsor and to the on-site supervisor.
G. FEES: As a reminder, because this is a credit-bearing course, students will be charged the regular application and tuition fees during the academic year as well as during the summer session at Skidmore. Consult the Office of Special Programs for information on summer term fees and guidelines.
H. Internships should, whenever possible, involve the student in some expository writing beyond the keeping of a journal and will often include a research paper. Other material submitted to the faculty sponsor at the conclusion of the internship might include a portfolio or project of an appropriate nature.
I. A maximum of twelve semester hours of internship credit may be counted toward the student's degree program. All 399 internships count toward the Skidmore "maturity" requirement, and 299 and 399 internships (but not IN100) may count for "liberal arts" credit only as indicated in the Catalog under each departmental description of internships. Internship credit may count toward an academic major or minor if it is so indicated in the Catalog under each departmental and program description. Internship credits are offered on a graded (A-F) or Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis as determined by the sponsoring department or program and indicated in the Catalog.
J. Internships may not be supervised by a member of the student's immediate family. One person may not serve as both the faculty sponsor and the on-site supervisor.
K. Internships outside of the United States: For internship credit while studying abroad, consult with the Office of Off-Campus Study and Exchanges (OCSE). Any proposal to earn internship credit at a location outside of the United States must go through a program in the country in which the student is completing the internship. The student can request to transfer the credit back to Skidmore. Students should have a faculty sponsor or academic institution in the country where they are completing the internship.
L. Incoming First-Year Students: Incoming First-Year Students are not eligible to apply for internship credit in the summer before completing at least one semester in residence at the College.
II. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND GUIDELINES
A. Responsibilities Prior to the Internship:
1) Explore resources in the Career Services Office as well as the internet.
2) Discuss plans with a faculty member who might sponsor an internship. The faculty sponsor for an Exploration Internship (IN100) may be in any department or program, but the sponsor for a Professional Internship (299, 399) must be a member of the department or program in which the internship course is offered.
3) Contact a prospective on-site supervisor and, with the help of the faculty sponsor and the on-site supervisor, design a proposal (must be typed) that will promote direct involvement in the occupational, creative, or research field of the internship.
The student should do the following in designing the proposal:
- Define exactly what he or she will be doing as an intern.
- Specify goals and objectives and how background and responsibilities will help fulfill these objectives.
- Specify how much and by what means communication will occur with the faculty sponsor during the internship (remember that a mid-point written communication between the sponsor and the student is required).
- Indicate how the internship will be integrated with a liberal arts education and how it will contribute to intellectual and personal growth.
- Describe the exhibit, project, term paper, or other materials that will be presented to the faculty sponsor for evaluation of the completed internship. This material will usually include some expository writing. The amount of the assigned coursework should be commensurate with the number of credit hours for the internship.
4) Submit the proposal, with all approval signatures and supporting documents, to Pat Choukeir, located in Starbuck Center 201, no later than the established deadline.
5) The student must make and retain a copy of the proposal and provide a copy to the faculty sponsor and on-site supervisor.
B. Responsibilities During the Internship:
1) The student should conscientiously fulfill all the responsibilities defined in the internship proposal and expected of a motivated intern and serious college student. Significant lapses in meeting these responsibilities may result in termination of the internship and/or academic failure.
2) The student should keep a detailed record of goals, responsibilities, and accomplishments during the internship.
3) On a regular basis, the student should discuss his or her progress and performance with the on-site supervisor.
4) The student should maintain contact with the faculty sponsor by phone, letter, or in person. This contact with the sponsor must include the student's written mid-point assessment of the internship.
C. Responsibilities After the Internship:
1) Present the term paper, project, exhibit, or other materials to the faculty sponsor for discussion and evaluation of the internship. The student must meet the pre-established deadlines for submitting all required materials.
2) The student must remind the on-site supervisor to write an evaluation of the intern at the conclusion of the internship and submit to the faculty sponsor. The on-site supervisor’s evaluation of the intern is an important component of the faculty member’s evaluation of the project for academic credit.
III. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FACULTY SPONSOR
A. The faculty sponsor should be qualified by current or previous professional or job experience, or by department or program affiliation, to guide and evaluate the internship activity.
B. The faculty sponsor should be prepared to fulfill the following responsibilities:
- To judge the proposed internship for its learning objectives, methods, and evaluation criteria for higher education credit in a liberal arts context.
- To consult with the prospective on-site supervisor concerning their mutual interests in the supervising and guiding of the student. Phone calls, e-mails, or letters exchanged during the placement period are encouraged to achieve effective contact between the on-site supervisor and the faculty sponsor.
- To assist the student in drawing up a reading list of materials pertinent to the proposed internship.
- To supervise and approve the formal internship proposal, which the student then submits either to the Department Chairperson or Program Director (for 299 or 399 internships) or to the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy and Advising (for an IN 100 Exploration Internship).
- To communicate with the on-site supervisor and the student intern during the course of the internship.
- To evaluate and grade the student's internship experience, taking into consideration the on-site supervisor's evaluation (the form is given to the on-site supervisor by the student intern), the student's written and oral evaluation of the experience, and the student's paper or project. Sponsors must submit an S/U or letter grade (according to individual department or program policy) to the Office of the Registrar by the established deadlines for the appropriate term of study.
- To provide the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy & Advising, upon request, with a brief written assessment of the success and educational value of the internship (the Associate Dean is responsible for the overall quality of the program and, in partnership with the Office of Career Services, for cultivating internship resources). The Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy & Advising will report periodically to the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning on issues related to the academic quality of internships.
C. Since the faculty sponsor's responsibility for the overall quality and evaluation of the internship experience is a time-consuming commitment, no faculty member engaged in full-time teaching may sponsor more than five internships in a single academic term. Departures from this maximum workload must be approved by the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy & Advising. During a summer term, and in the absence of other teaching responsibilities, a faculty member may sponsor as many as fifteen internships.
IV. GUIDELINES FOR THE ON-SITE SUPERVISOR
A. The on-site supervisor must clearly be qualified by professional experience and affiliations, job status, professional credentials, etc., to guide and evaluate the internship activity. The student's parent(s) or an immediate family member may not serve as the on-site supervisor.
B. The on-site supervisor is asked to meet the following expectations:
- To consult with the student applicant and the faculty sponsor concerning their expectations and plans.
- To review the description of internship content on the student’s proposal form, and submit a letter detailing the student’s duties, in time for the student to meet proposal deadlines. Note that the letter from the on-site supervisor must be attached to the internship proposal, or faxed to 518-580-5749.
- To provide appropriate professional guidance and instruction to the student during the internship.
- To ensure that the internship closely matches the agreed upon activities and learning experiences. Major departures from the approved plan must be reviewed by the faculty sponsor (and, in the case of IN-100 Exploration Internships, by the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Academic Policy & Advising).
- To write an evaluation of the intern at the conclusion of the internship and submit this appraisal to the faculty sponsor. The on-site supervisor's evaluation of the intern is an important component of the faculty member's evaluation of the project for academic credit.
C. The on-site supervisor is not responsible for providing housing for or remuneration to the student intern. The student intern remains responsible for his or her general well-being, health, and living expenses. An internship may, however, become a paid position if the supervisor so desires.
Endorsed by the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning, Spring 2007