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Handbook

The Hood College Internship Program

Definition

An internship is a unique opportunity for a student to complement his/her academic studies with experiential learning in a professional setting. There is no set standard structure or defined outcome.  Every internship is different.

Syllabus

Unlike a traditional class, an internship does not have a syllabus outlining its structure and what needs to be accomplished. Instead, the student works with a Hood faculty internship adviser and an on-site supervisor to create a “learning agreement” that defines the internship’s learning objectives and strategies to be used achieving these goals.

Grades

All internships are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Whether a student satisfactorily completes an internship is to be determined by the faculty internship adviser. The criteria for what constitutes a passing grade should be clearly defined in the learning agreement. In cases of a grade dispute, the learning agreement will serve as the authoritative document.

Time commitment

Internships are also different from a traditional class in the time commitment required of a student. A student must work 40 hours at a site for each credit earned. Travel time and working on papers or projects assigned by your faculty internship adviser are not part of time worked. As an intern you cannot accrue time for holidays, sickness or vacation. All absences from the internship site must be approved by the on-site supervisor. 

Credits

3

6

9

12

15

Hours to be worked throughout
the semester

120

240

360

480

600

Travel

It is the responsibility of the student to arrange and pay for transportation to and from internship site. The student should carefully consider transportation cost and travel time before committing to a particular internship site.

Supplemental expenses

In fulfilling the expectations of the internships, the intern may incur expenses in addition to Hood's tuition and fees. These expenses are the exclusive responsibility of the student.

Academic credit

Tuition and fees

Students doing an internship must pay the requisite tuition and fees just like any other course taken for academic credit.

Duration/schedule

Students may perform an internship during any of Hood’s academic terms. Fall and spring internships must be performed between the first day of classes and the last day of finals.  

January term internships may start the day after the last day of fall classes and must conclude before the first day of classes of the spring semester.  

Summer internships may start the day after the last day of the spring classes and must end before the start of fall classes. If a site requests that a student work a schedule that does not fit these constraints, the faculty internship adviser must approve the variation.

Retroactive internships

Academic credit for internships may never be earned retroactively.  In order to earn credit, students must obtain approval from the College prior to beginning an internship. 

Number of credits

Hood internships are offered in three-credit increments from three to 15 credits. The number of credits that a student can earn is limited by the field of study, the semester and the number of self-directed study credits already earned.

Internship discipline limitations  

Academic departments vary in the number of credits that they will allow a student to earn at one time. The table below lists the credit options for each internship discipline.

Internship discipline

Internship credit options

African-American Studies

3

6

-

-

-

Art

3

6

9

12

15

Biology

-

6

9

12

-

Chemistry

3

6

9

12

-

Communication Arts

3

6

9

12

15

Computer Science / Mathematics

3

6

9

12

15

Economics

3

6

9

12

15

Education

3

6

-

-

-

English

3

6

9

12

15

Environmental Science & Policy

3

6

9

12

15

French

3

6

9

-

-

German

3

6

9

-

-

Global Studies

3

6

-

-

-

History

3

6

9

12

15

Integrated Marketing Communication

3

-

-

-

-

Law and Society

3

6

9

12

15

Management

3

-

-

-

-

Middle Eastern Studies

3

6

9

-

-

Music

3

6

9

12

-

Philosophy

3

6

-

-

-

Political Science

3

6

9

12

15

Psychology

4

8

12

-

-

Religion

3

6

-

-

-

Sociology

3

6

9

12

15

Spanish

3

6

9

-

-

Women's Studies

3

6

-

-

-

  Semester limitations  

  • During January, internships may be taken for a maximum of three credits.
  • During the summer, internships may be taken for a maximum of 12 credits.

Self-directed study limitations

Students may not take more than 27 self-directed study credits throughout their academic career; self-directed study credits in the major may not exceed 18.

Total program
Internships: maximum of 15 credits.
Independent study: maximum of 12 credits.

Major program
Internships: maximum of 15 credits.
Independent study: maximum of 12 credits, or 1/4 of the major field, whichever is less.

Application paperwork, process and policies

To register for an internship, students must complete three forms. All of these materials may be picked up in the career center. All three forms must be completed and returned to the career center before the last day of the add/drop period.

Internship paperwork

Application for internship

This form records that a student is academically qualified to perform an internship. See Section III-C regarding Hood qualifications.

Learning agreement  

This form details the responsibilities of all the parties involved in the internship: the on-site supervisor, the faculty internship adviser and, of course, the student. It reflects the student's goals for the internship, the outcomes expected and the requirements set by the faculty internship adviser. It is to the benefit of all parties that the agreement be as explicit in detail as possible. All three parties must sign the completed agreement.

Indemnity waiver

This is a legal requirement of the College for all students wishing to do an internship.

Internship process and policies

Multiple/successive internships

Students are permitted to do more than one internship in a given semester provided the self-study limitation is not exceeded. One complete set of internship paperwork must be completed for each internship site.

Successive internships

Students who wish to enroll for an internship across successive semesters may do so provided the self-study credit limitation is not exceeded. One complete set of internship paperwork must be completed for each semester.   

Signatures

The application for internship and student learning agreement each require the written approval of many different people. Students are advised to consider the amount of time it will take to garner the appropriate signatures and reminded that all paperwork must be received by the career center by no later than the last day of the add/drop period. To facilitate the application process, the career center will accept faxed forms with signatures.

College-wide standards

To be eligible to complete an internship, the following College-wide requirements must be met:

      • Enrollment as a degree candidate at Hood College
      • 2.0 cumulative grade point average
      • 2.5 grade point average in the field in which the student wishes to intern
      • Completion of 9 credits or three courses at the 200-level or above at Hood in the field in which the student wishes to intern
      • If a student is applying for a 3- to 9-credit internship, 45 college-level credits must be completed prior to the start of the internship.
      • If a student is applying for a 12- or 15-credit internship, 75 college-level credits must be earned before an internship can start.

Departmental approval

Academic departments may have different requirements for doing an internship. Review the latest Hood College course catalog for details regarding internships in each field and speak to a faculty internship adviser for clarification.

International students

All international students who wish to do an internship must meet with the director of multicultural affairs to discuss and, if warranted, begin the INS mandated forms necessary for doing an internship.

Nondegree international students

The committee on academic standards and policies has approved internship enrollment to include nondegree international students studying through an exchange program at Hood. This is the only exception to the policy (of otherwise excluding nondegree students from qualifying for internships) and would not include nondegree students from any other category. Such being the case, qualifying nondegree international students would not need to meet the GPA or total credits requirements (listed on the internship application) in order to enroll for an internship.

Appeals

If a student does not meet the qualifications listed in section III-C, he or she may petition the committee on academic standards and policies for an exemption. Petition forms may be obtained in the registrar’s office. The student should include as much detail as possible and describe any special circumstances that would warrant an exemption. It is also advisable for the student to have his or her academic adviser or another member of the faculty who is familiar with the student's circumstances to write a letter of support to the committee on his or her behalf. The committee on academic standards and policies meets regularly to review appeals. The student will be notified of the committee's decision by the registrar's office.

Other options

If a student is not able to complete an internship for academic credit, he or she may choose to do a field experience for up to 3 credits as an independent study. The student will still need a faculty member to act as an independent study adviser, but there are no GPA requirements or deadlines and no application is required. More information about independent study can be obtained from the catalog, the registrar's office or a faculty member from the department in which the credits will be completed. In addition, an internship can be done just for the experience without receiving academic credit for it. Such internships are very useful for career exploration and preparation. An application is not required to do a noncredit field experience. The career center has information on many internship opportunities that might be elected on a noncredit basis.

Internship sites

Hood students are not placed in an internship. Instead, students must research internship options and find a suitable internship site on their own. The career center staff will do everything it can to assist the student, but ultimately it is the student who is responsible for locating and securing a site. 

Questions to consider before starting your research

  • What do I want to get out of my internship?
  • Which organization will allow me to meet my internship goals?
  • How will I get to and from my internship? Are my internship options limited by transportation?
  • Do I have the time in my schedule to commit to doing an xx-credit internship?

Research

The career center has organized a number of resources to assist students in their search.

Opportunities network (OpNet)

  • Lists all internship postings sent to the career center. Students can search through these listings by major and location.
  • Hosts the mentoring network. It contains a listing of alumni and friends of Hood who are willing to consider hosting a Hood student intern.

Internet resources  

There is a lot of information about internships on the Internet. The career center has organized a number of sites by major on its website.

Internship library  

The Career Center has several books with information on national and international internship opportunities. These materials may be loaned out to students for one week.

Faculty

Faculty is a valuable source of information regarding internship opportunities. Professors often have contact with colleagues or organizations in need of an intern.

Networking  

Family and friends are another great resource for internships. Where a relative or friend works or volunteers might be the perfect place to intern.

When to apply

Most competitive internships (e.g., The White House) have a very early application deadline. As soon as students have determined that they want to do an internship, they should begin the research and application process.

Applying to the prospective site

Each and every organization has a different application procedure, but most require a résumé and an interview. In reality, there is often very little difference between applying for an internship and applying for a job. The more polished and professional the applicant, the better the chance that he or she will be chosen. If students need assistance with preparing for any part of the application process, they should contact the career center.

Doing an internship in the Baltimore area

If students do an internship in this area, the Career Center may be able to assist them with some of the expenses. The Career Center was recently been awarded a grant from the Constellation Energy Foundation for students doing internships in the Baltimore area. Stop by the career center for more info and an application.

Student responsibilities

Completion of all internship paperwork and registration

The student bears sole responsibility for insuring that all paperwork has been received by the career center and that he or she is properly registered for the internship credits.

Commitment

In accepting an internship at an organization, a student is expected to commit to staying at the site for the period of time designated on the learning agreement. Students should not switch internship sites midway through their internship.

Problems

If a student encounters a problem during the course of an internship, the student’s first step should be to discuss the problems with his or her faculty internship adviser and/or the on-site supervisor.

Student success at an internship

Professionalism

Interns not only represent themselves, but also Hood College. Students are expected to display mature, professional behavior at all times. Students should be punctual, dress appropriately for the site and abide by all of the organization’s policies.

Communication

Student interns are required to communicate on a prescribed schedule with their faculty internship adviser. Students should also maintain a constant line of communication with their on-site supervisor. 

Journal

An internship journal is an excellent way of recording the internship experience. Students should talk to their faculty internship adviser about journal expectations.

On-site supervisor responsibilities

  • Confer regularly with the student and his or her faculty internship adviser.
  • Submit a written midterm and final appraisal of the student’s work to the career center.
  • Make necessary equipment, supplies and space available for the intern.
  • Arrange a weekly work schedule that can accommodate the student’s academic responsibilities.
  • Make available any materials that have been produced for the organization for review by the faculty internship adviser as an additional basis for grading the student’s performance.
  • Carry worker’s compensation Insurance affording coverage to the intern in the event of on-the-job injury should it be established that an employer/employee relationship exists between the organization and the student.
  • Any other responsibilities itemized on the learning agreement.

Faculty internship adviser responsibilities

  • Establish the criteria for evaluating the internship by meeting with the intern and completing the learning agreement.
  • Communicate regularly with the student intern and his/her on-site supervisor.
  • The faculty internship adviser cannot serve as the on-site supervisor. The faculty internship adviser meets either by email, in person or via phone with the intern at the beginning and end of the semester and in between, in accordance with the following guidelines:

Credit internship

Meetings per semester

3

3

6

4

9

5

12

6

15

7

Terminating an internship

Under unusual circumstances, any party involved in the internship may terminate the agreement. Because the internship is essentially a professional commitment, Hood strongly encourages students to fulfill their obligations to complete the full term of service at the site. Unfortunately, on rare occasions, the intern or the faculty internship adviser may determine that the internship site is not an appropriate learning experience, or the internship site may determine that the intern is not a good fit for their internship. In either case, any of the parties may decide to terminate the internship. If this occurs, notify the career center immediately. Please note: If an internship is terminated for any reason, the student is responsible for following all procedures regarding adding/dropping credits and is responsible for all tuition, fees and penalties associated with credit coursework.

Student termination of an internship

The student may terminate the internship before the last date to withdraw from classes for the semester in which the internship is being performed. The student should have already notified his or her faculty internship adviser verbally of the problem, and steps should have been taken by both to rectify the situation. These steps could include:

  • A meeting between the student and the on-site supervisor, with or without the faculty internship adviser present, to discuss the issues;
  • A plan written together by the intern, the on-site supervisor and the faculty internship adviser to outline the issues and propose workable solutions; or
  • A discussion between the on-site supervisor and the faculty internship adviser about how to better meet the objectives of the internship.
  • If all remedies have been exhausted and the student wishes to withdraw from the internship, he or she must notify his or her faculty internship adviser, the on-site supervisor and the career center in writing of this decision, as well as complete all necessary paperwork with the registrar to withdraw from the internship. Please remember that terminating the internship before its completion is a very serious matter.
  • If an organization feels they have had a negative experience with one Hood intern, they may not consider other Hood students. Further, if a student withdraws from an internship, another suitable internship may not be available, it may be too late to work the required number of hours, a class that might be taken in lieu of the internship could be closed or it may be too late to enroll in an alternative class.

Faculty termination of an internship

The faculty internship adviser may terminate the internship if the intern's performance is clearly substandard or if the placement obviously does not serve the intern's interests. The faculty internship adviser should terminate an internship only after efforts to improve the situation prove futile (see above). The faculty internship adviser must inform the career center, the student and the on-site supervisor in writing of the termination. If a faculty internship adviser chooses to terminate an internship without student consent, she or he must provide written documentation of the student's substandard performance or the unsuitability of the internship site. In the case of an unsuitable internship site, the faculty internship adviser should also provide suggestions for how the student can still earn the credits originally intended for the internship.

On-site supervisor termination of an internship

The on-site supervisor may request the termination of an internship if he or she finds the intern's performance unacceptable and all efforts to improve the situation fail. The on-site supervisor must notify the faculty internship adviser in writing of the reasons prompting the request. The faculty internship adviser is responsible for taking any administrative action required to terminate an internship, and for informing the career center of the termination. If either the intern or the faculty internship adviser has found the site unacceptable, please notify the career center.