Graduate Internships

Guidelines for LAS 681: Latin American and Latino Studies Graduate Internships

Guidelines for LAS 681

Description and Rationale:

The Latin American Studies Graduate Internships are designed to give students who are enrolled in the LAS Graduate Certificate Program the opportunity to enhance their understanding of Latin America’s diverse societies and improve their Spanish or Portuguese linguistic skills by working as a volunteer for an organization that serves members of an Hispanic community, either in the Louisville area or elsewhere. Students must volunteer 80 hours of documented work as volunteer interns and submit a work diary that indicates the date of service, number of hours, and activity carried out on a particular day. Additional materials, such as brochures, video tapes, promotional materials, lesson plans, translations, etc, may be submitted in a final portfolio. The LAS Graduate  Internship requires an application form, project proposal,  progress reports, a final paper, a signed letter of evaluation, and the signed Project Evaluation Form. For a complete list of organizations that have served as local and foreign internship sites, visit the LAS webpage.        

To date, students have conducted internships at the following sites: Adelante Hispanic Achievers, the Americana Center, Amigos en Louisville, Arcadia Community Center, Casa Latina, La Casita Center, CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Hope Clinic, Hispanic Latino Coalition, Just Solutions: Mediation Services of the Council on Peacemaking, the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, the Klein Family Learning Center and the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Louisville Free Public Library, Sister Cities of Louisville, among others. Students have also conducted internships abroad in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Panama. For a complete list of organizations that have served as internship sites, visit the LALS webpage.       

Instructions for the Completion of the LAS Graduate Internship:

1. Initial Consultation:

Before enrolling in the internship, the student should consult with Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies, who will help to select an appropriate venue for the internship, and provide application forms and guidelines.

Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies;

Department of Classical and Modern Languages; Bingham Humanities 329C;

852-0502/852-2034;LALS Webpage:

2. Registration Procedure: The student should complete the LAS 681 Application Form and return the signed form with all signatures to Dr. Buchanan. After all signatures have been secured, the student may register on-line for the internship under LAS 681 Latin American Studies Graduate Internship.

3. Proposal: After the initial consultations with the LALS Director, the student should contact the organization to arrange a meeting with the site supervisor and prepare a proposal that includes objectives and benefits to the student and the organization. The student should submit a two- page proposal (typed and double-spaced) to Dr. Buchanan and the site supervisor. Dr. Buchanan will serve as the faculty advisor for the internship, and as a liaison with the site organization. She will also evaluate the student’s performance at the end of the internship, and assign a grade.


4. Progress Reports: Once the student has begun the internship, he or she should keep in touch with Dr. Buchanan by email about the progress of the internship every 7-10 days. Should any problem arise, students should inform Dr. Buchanan immediately. Students should keep a work diary in which they record date and the hours spent at the organization and the work completed during each visit. As the internship progresses, entries should be saved as a document. When the internship is completed, that series of progress reports should be printed out as the work diary.

5. Final Evaluation Procedures: The internship hours should be completed no later than the last day of the semester. The LAS Graduate Internship requires a research paper of 15 to 20 pages based on the student’s work at the internship site. The student should include personal observations about the Hispanic community that he or she served and also address the objectives that were outlined in the initial proposal and specify how these were met. In addition, the student should conduct research on the selected topic related to the internship and provide documentation of all sources (written documentation, oral interviews, etc.). The student should allow enough time to write the final paper so that it may be submitted to Dr. Buchanan for evaluation by the last day of classes. The student should request that the supervisor write a letter of evaluation on company letterhead and send it a sealed and signed envelope, along with the signed Project Evaluation Form to: Dr. Rhonda Buchanan/Director of Latin American and Latino Studies/Department of Classical and Modern Languages/University of Louisville/Louisville, KY 40292. Students should turn in the final paper, the work diary, the signed Project Evaluation Form, and any other portfolio materials to Dr. Buchanan, who will then post the final grade.

6. Evaluation Criteria:

A student’s performance will be evaluated by Dr. Buchanan with imput from the site supervisor. The evaluation will be based on the following:

1.         10%     Application Form and the Project Proposal.

2.         10%     Weekly progress reports

3.         20%     Work diary that serves as a record of the number of hours completed.

4.         10%     Portfolio containing evidence of work completed during the internship, such as promotional materials, videos, brochures, lesson plans, translations, etc.

5.         30%     Final research paper that brings current academic research to bear on the project.

6.         20%     Letter of evaluation written by the site supervisor and the signed Project Evaluation Form.

7. Grade Scale:


B          81-90%>

C         71-80%<

D         61-70%<

F          0-60%

Final Instructions:
The student should make two copies of the work diary, portfolio materials, the final research paper, and the signed Project Evaluation Form. One copy of all materials should be submitted to the faculty advisor, and a second copy to the Director of LAS no later than the last day of classes. If the student registers for the internship during the summer, all materials should be submitted by August 15th. At least one week before completing the internship, students should request that the site supervisor write a letter of evaluation on company letterhead and send it to the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor should then make certain that the Director of LAS has a complete set of all evaluation materials, including a copy of the site supervisor’s letter. Faculty advisors should keep copies of all these records and submit the grade on-line by the end of the semester.

Contact Information:
Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies and Professor of Spanish
Department of Classical and Modern Languages; Bingham Humanities 329C;
LALS Webpage: