Getting Started in an Internship/
Practicum at SVC

Introduction

Internships and Practica provide the student with the opportunity to earn academic credits through a planned work experience - most typically, to learn more about a career area. The practical experience a student gains at the work site complements the theoretical knowledge he or she gains in a college classroom. The student benefits by learning from and contributing to this employment opportunity. These experiences may lead to permanent employment with the sponsoring organization after graduation, or a letter of recommendation and insights on other organizations that may have openings.

Practica allow students to integrate an advanced seminar with professional experience and are designed to give students academic guidance and support in a professional area. Although students may be working in different environments, they come together with a faculty member on a weekly basis to share common concerns, discuss common readings and evaluate their experiences. In most cases, students keep journals or logs and write and/or present a project report about their experience. Students are expected to work 10-12 hours per week and attend the weekly class. Based on performance at the work site and completion of the academic component practicum, interns receive letter grades. Each practicum is usually worth 3 credit hours.

Internships provide students the opportunity to experience “real world” professional work while in an academic setting. Students may take up to 6 credit hours for any one internship (no more than 12 credits overall) and are expected to work 50 hours for every credit hour they take. For example: to earn 3 credit hours, a student should complete 150 (3 X 50) hours of internship work. Based on performance at the work site and satisfactory completion of the academic component, interns receive grades of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (S/U)

Students may take an Internship and Practicum (thoughout this package either is referred to as an Internship) may be undertaken during a college semester or during the summer. Students may develop their own internship sites or choose from an increasing number offered through the SVC program. All internships have an on-site supervisor and are overseen by members of the SVC faculty.

The Internship Program at Southern Vermont College is funded in part by a Next Generation Grant from the Vermont Department of Labor.

Why take an Internship or Practicum?

They help you stand out. . .
Concrete Work Experience:
  • Provide skills & abilities employers value
  • Build resume for full-time positions
  • Build a network of contacts and obtain a professional reference
  • Gain a competitive edge in the job market 

    Academic:

  • Strengthen skills & abilities
  • Gain exposure to a particular career field
  • Better understand your chosen field
  • Better position you for grad school applications 

    Personal:

  • Develop self-awareness
  • Learn your own likes, dislikes, interests and values 

    To read about some exciting internship experiences, click: 

  • Business Administration/Sports Management
  • Business Administration/Management

    Why offer an Internship to SVC students? 

    Internships provide the skills and relevant experience that employers need to complete projects for which they lack resources or skills. Employers prefer to hire liberal arts grads - they come better equipped with the communication and critical-thinking skills required for today’s workplace. 

    Projects an intern might help with contribute to filling a business need, such as:

    • Research
    • Developing brochures/flyers
    • Designing or updating Web site/Web page
    • Developing or revising a business plan
    • Building a marketing plan
    • Analyzing business operations and identifying process improvements 

      Internships are a proven hiring tool:

  • Try out potential employee before job offer
  • Evaluate intern based on their performance - rather than on responses to interview questions 

    Community Investment:

  • Contribute to student’s growth as well as preserve vibrant local community and ensure VT’s future workforce

    Student’s Responsibilities

    to SVC:

    Meet basic requirements:

    • GPA of 2.0 or better and 30 credit hours or more
    • Appropriate course background completed for chosen internship/practicum
    Maintain a journal
    Complete an approved resume
    Complete Application & Learning Agreement with faculty sponsor 

    to Sponsor:

    • Interview with site supervisor & determine job duties
    • Provide copy of learning objectives to site supervisor and obtain completed evaluation forms from site supervisor
    • Adhere to appropriate site policies, such as confidentiality policy
    • Follow sponsor’s work calendar & hours during the course of the internship 

    Site Supervisor’s Responsibilities 

    • Provide SVC with detailed job duties/responsibilities or develop job description with student
    • Interview prospective intern
    • Introduce intern to staff and explain duties, organization & policies and note intern’s learning objectives

    Discuss:

    • level of confidentiality the intern must maintain about the nature of the work
    • degree of independence the intern will have on the job and the amount of assistance he or she will be given

    Coach and mentor intern through placement period and offer feedback as appropriate

    Inform faculty sponsor and/or internship coordinator of intern’s progress through completion of Interim, Mid-term and Final evaluations 

    Faculty Sponsor’s Responsibilities 

    • Approve Application & Approval Form and Cooperative Learning Contract
    • Discuss academic benefits of various sites
    • Make contact with Site Supervisor
    • Hold student accountable for completing Learning Objectives as well as how they will attain them and how they will be evaluated
    • Coach & counsel student (in seminar for practicum or as necessary for internship)
    • Review student work associated with Cooperative Learning Contract
    • Determine grade (alpha or S/U) and submit grade to Registrar and forms to Internships Coordinator

    Forms you’ll need:

    All forms are available at www.SVC.edu

    Step-by-Step Process 

    1.          At least 2 months BEFORE registration for the new semester, Faculty Sponsors (FS) and Internship Coordinator (IC) hold an open meeting to inform students of Internship/Practicum requirements, expectations and process.
    2.          Students complete resume and gain approval from IC or Director, Career Development.
    3.          FS approves internship Application & Approval Form so student can register.
    4.          Student registers for course (Internship or Practicum).
    5.          (a) Student identifies potential sponsors through review of information in Internship Office, on SVC Web site, or through own research; (b) Student meets with FS to identify broad learning goals and potential experiences.
    6.          Student works with IC and/or FS to make sponsor contacts.
    7.          Student interviews with sponsoring organization, gains job offer and is assigned a Site Supervisor.
    8.          Student and FS complete Cooperative Learning Contract.
    9.          Student completes Confidentiality Statement as determined by Faculty Sponsor and/or Site Supervisor.
    10.      Student works at sponsoring organization and, if taking a practicum, attends weekly class.
    11.      Site Supervisor completes evaluations - see Internship and Practicum Evaluation Schedule and Site Supervisor's Interim Evaluation (Interim, Mid-term, Interim, and Final).
    12.      Faculty Sponsor reviews Site Supervisor’s evaluations, evaluates all other internship/practicum requirements, determines and submits grade to Registrar.
    13.      Student completes Intern’s Site Evaluation.
    14.      Internships Coordinator ensures all forms are complete.  

    Evaluations are your responsibility

    All students taking an internship or practicum are responsible for ensuring that their Site Supervisor completes 4 evaluations (3 in the summer) of their work, according to the schedule below.

    Note that the dates provided are guidelines and students should always confirm exact due dates with their Faculty Sponsor. 

    Form to use:

    Interim Evaluation

    (1 page)

    Mid-term Evaluation

    (2-sided)

    Interim Evaluation

    (1 page)

    Final Evaluation

    (2-sided)

     Due dates for

        Full Semester:

              Internship:

              Practicum:

     After:

    4th week of classes

    30 hrs of work

    40 hrs of work

     After:

    7th week of classes

    60 hrs of work

    80 hrs of work

     After:

    11th week of classes

    90 hrs of work

    110 hrs of work

     After:

    15th week of classes

    120 hrs of work

    150 hrs of work

           SUMMER '09

    June 8-12

    June 29-Jul 3

    NA

    Aug 7

                   FALL'09

    Sept 21-25

    Oct 13-16

    Nov 9-13

    Dec 11

             SPRING '10

    Feb 8-12

    Mar 1-5

    April 5-9

    April 29

    All evaluation forms use the following rating scale:

                    5= far exceeds expectations        4= exceeds expectations        3= meets expectations

                    2= needs improvement                1= unacceptable                     0= not applicable 

    Getting Started . . . 

    Students

    Attend Internship/Practicum (I/P) information meeting early in the semester BEFORE you plan to take an Internship or Practicum

    Obtain resumé template and complete first draft of your resume to bring to discussion with Career Development

    Complete I/P Application & Approval Form prior to registration for new semester

    Obtain all Internship & Practicum forms from http://www.svc.edu

    Contact Internship Office with your questions

    Sponsors

    Contact Internships Office to discuss your needs and your questions

  • Call 447-4631
  • E-mail: bdunham@svc.edu

    Obtain and complete Intern Job Description form from http://www.svc.edu and submit to SVC’s Office of Internships and Practica