The Independent Internship
The Department offers two independent courses, POLS430: Internship I and POLS511: Internship II, as an elective 3-credit hours course that encourages student involvement in internships pursued individually outside of the two programs offered. This experiential learning practicum provides students with an opportunity to explore career interests while applying knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. The primary purpose of the individual independent internship is to provide a hands-on experience designed to advance academic learning, civic learning, and community engagement through reciprocal collaboration for all partners. More importantly, it allows students a unique opportunity to utilize, assess and sharpen their personal qualities/skills, and build professional networks. Because independent interns are assigned to individual assignments/sites, the duties will vary from site to site, but should include research/projects, constituent work, and participation in meetings and other similar activities as deemed appropriate.
2) Students are expected to spend at least 8 hours per week at their respective site, including weekends as may be required for special events or activities. Time spent onsite should be documented as time in internship.
3) Students must complete at least 120 hours onsite for the duration of the internship. This does not include required class assignments to be uploaded in an online E-Portfolio.
4) The E-Portfolio is an online professional profile each student will create on Blackboard with a professional photograph, short class assignments—organizational paper, reflective essay, internship experience report, professional cover letter, resume, thank you letter and oral presentation—designed to hone professional skills, and other uploaded artifacts.
5) Students will be required to visit the University Career Center and work with career coaches to polish their cover letter, resume, thank you letter, and take a skills assessment.
The Independent Internship Application Process
1) STEP ONE: Complete the one-page application and send it with your:
a) cover letter, b) resume, and c) (unofficial) transcript directly to the Director of the Internship Program.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
2) STEP TWO: After materials are received and reviewed, the applicant will be contacted by Dr. Wallace for follow-up information.
3) STEP THREE: Upon acceptance, students will be allowed to register for the course, usually within a week.
4) STEP FOUR: Students are required to complete all required documents for their respective sites on their own and to forward a copy to Dr. Wallace. Instructions and materials will be provided during late summer before internship begins.
Additional questions? Please contact Dr. Sherri Wallace, the Director of the Internship Program.