CJ Internship/Practicum Process

CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNSHIP - CJ 450/PRACTICUM-CJ 690

New process-effective April 1, 2022

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The Department of Criminal Justice offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to supplement traditional classroom education with a more practical and applied learning experience. Internships for graduate students are called practicums and follow the same application process but differ in eligibility requirements (see Eligibility section below) and have a greater expectation in fulfilling course requirements. Students have found internship opportunities within the full range of criminal justice agencies on the local, state, and federal level, as well as organizations (i.e., advocacy groups, etc.) that function to support the efforts of our justice system. Internships are a CJ program elective. Students are encouraged to participate as a means of exploring various career options, acquire valuable career skills and experience, and develop a network within agencies that will benefit them in their future career plans.

 

GOAL AND OBJECTIVES:

The program goal is for students to reflect on their internship experience and its effects on enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and the personal and professional benefits the experience had on their career choice.

The program objectives are for students to:

1. Critically reflect on the personal expectations they had on entering their internship
2. Critically reflect on the knowledge gained from their internship experience
3. Critically reflect on the interpersonal and professional skills required in the agency's work
4. Critically reflect on the life changing experience of their internship

 

REQUIREMENTS:

Student Eligibility:

Eligibility for an undergraduate internship requires:

  • Senior status-90 hours earned by the start of the internship, for BSCJ students at least 15 hours of the CJ core completed. CJ minors should have at least 12 hours of the CJ core completed.
  • A minimum 2.5 GPA, however many internships require a minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  • For 3 credit hours of CJ elective credit, you must complete a minimum of 120 hours with the host agency for the semester. For 6 credit hours of CJ elective credit, you must complete a minimum of 240 hours.

 

Eligibility for a graduate internship (practicum) requires:

  • A minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Completion of the MSCJ core courses.
  • For 3 credit hours of CJ elective credit, you must complete a minimum of 120 hours with the host agency for the semester. For 6 credit hours of CJ elective credit, you must complete a minimum of 240 hours.

Students interested in an internship or practicum are strongly encouraged to participate in the annual CJ Career and Internship Fair, as well as the University Career Center’s Career and Internship fair each semester. These events will provide students with an opportunity to identify agencies with internship or practicum opportunities

 

Internship or Practicum Eligibility:

The internship site (the organization hosting the intern) should be related to the field of criminal justice or organizations (i.e., advocacy groups, etc.) that function to support the efforts of our justice system. Internships are a CJ program elective. 

 

Internship or Practicum at Current Place of Employment:

 As a general rule, positions offered at your current place of employment WILL NOT count toward college credit unless the internship or practicum exceeds in hours and differs in responsibilities from your current position.

 

Internships with Federal Agencies:

Internships with the federal agencies (i.e., Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the US Marshal Service, etc.) are separate application and acceptance processes. Announcements will be made through the Criminal Justice Department when these opportunities become available. If you secure one of these internships contact the CJ internship coordinator to participate in the CJ internship course for credit. 

 

DEADLINES:

If you meet the requirements and are considering an internship or practicum, you must plan. Application for the academic course must be completed one semester before the beginning of your planned internship or practicum. The due dates for submission of your experience and materials in the University Career Center’s Handshake platform are:

Spring internship: October 15th

Summer/Fall internship: March 15th

 

PROCESS:

To begin the internship or practicum process you must complete the following steps:


Step #1:
 Complete the Internship Application Form

Step #2:  Search, Apply, and Accept an Internship or Practicum

It is your primary responsibility to find an internship or practicum. 

 

Where to Find Internship or Practicum Positions

  • Handshake provides listings of jobs and internships, specifically for UL students. If you have not already used Handshake, please note that you use your UofL alphanumeric email and ULink password to sign on. https://louisville.joinhandshake.com/
  • Check other job search websites, such as LinkedInIndeed, and USA Jobs.
  • Attend the University Career Center and Criminal Justice department-sponsored career fairs and related programs.
  • Prospect an internship or practicum by identifying companies or organizations that have positions in which you are interested and contact them directly to see if they have an internship or practicum programs or are willing to hire for these type of positions.
  • Utilize your network including friends, family and on campus involvement to learn how you may be connected to professionals in industries that interest you.
  • Be creative with the positions you search or the keywords you use. There are many different career paths in Criminal Justice (e.g., social service, advocacy, investigation, legal, security, law, fraud). Use tools such as O*NetOccupational Outlook Handbook, and CareerOneStop to search careers and titles that prefer or require an educational background in Criminal Justice.

Need assistance finding an internship or practicum? Make an appointment with your Criminal Justice advisor and/or with your Career Coach at the University Career Center through Handshake.

 

Tips for Applying

  • Make sure you have a tailored and accomplishment-based résumé that will make you stand out as a candidate. 
  • Include a cover letter to expand upon your skills and enthusiasm for the position. A cover letter should be specific to the position and employer.
  • Utilize the University Career Center resources to for assistance in creating, improving, and updating your documents. https://louisville.edu/career/resources/students

Step #3:Submit Experience in Handshake

You will need the following information before submitting your experience in Handshake:

  • Semester in which you will be completing your internship or practicum
  • Employer (company or agency)
  • Full physical address of the location where you will be completing your internship or practicum
  • Your direct supervisor’s name, title, phone number, and email address
  • Department in which you will be working, if applicable
  • Internship or practicum position title (e.g., Advocacy Intern, Special Investigations Intern)
  • Starting and ending dates of internship or practicum
  • If it is a paid internship/practicum-Salary or hourly wage and Offer date

When you have all of the required information:

  • Log into your Handshake account at https://louisville.joinhandshake.com/login.
  • Select Career Center in the top, right corner.
  • Select Experiences in the What can we help you find? section.
  • Click Request an Experience and complete the form.
  • Click Request Experience at the bottom when finished.

Once your experience is submitted, you will see the request under Experiences with the status to the right side.


Step #4: Complete Educational Agreement Form

Once an internship position has been identified as meeting the course requirement you must initiate the Educational Agreement Form. It must be signed in the order of, 1) you, the student, 2) the agency site supervisor, and 3) the Criminal Justice Internship/Practicum Coordinator.  This form is available in Handshake in the details of the experience submitted. When all parties have signed, it will be reviewed by Dr. Joe Grant, Criminal Justice internship/Practicum Coordinator, to approve you for registration into the course. 

To access and submit the form:

  • Log into Handshake and navigate to the Experiences section.
  • Click View Details for the internship experience you submitted.
  • Open the Educational Agreement Form (PDF form in attachments section).
  • Complete the student intern portion of the form.
  • Send the form to your direct supervisor to complete the internship or practicum site supervisor portion of the form.
  • Save as [Last Name] [First Name]_Educational Agreement Form (e.g., Cook Donovan_Educational Agreement Form, Peetz Isabel_Educational Agreement Form).
  • Navigate to the experience in Handshake and upload the form by clicking New Attachment.

When you and the internship or practicum are fully approved, the status in Handshake will change to Approved. If any other status appears (e.g., Pending, Being Approved) you have not yet been approved for registration in the course.

Step #5:  Preparing & Completing Your Internship or Practicum

Prior to the start of the internship or practicum, you will be required to attend an orientation covering the academic requirements for the successful completion of the course; the responsibilities and standards expected of you during your internship or practicum; and the code of conduct you are expected to follow while working with the internship or practicum employer.  Your internship or practicum site supervisor may provide information or training regarding any rules and regulations you must follow while at the organization or agency. 


Interns as Ambassadors:
 As an intern or practicum, you are an ambassador for both the Criminal Justice Department and the University of Louisville. While fulfilling your responsibilities as an intern or practicum, it is mandatory that you conduct yourself with the highest degree of professionalism. Failure to do so could result in your inability to successfully complete this course.


Step #6: Evaluation

An evaluation by the student of the internship or practicum experience and an evaluation by the site supervisor of the student are required. You and your site supervisor will receive these via email from Handshake seven (7) days prior to the end of the semester in which you are completing your internship or practicum. Your employer may require an additional evaluation or exit interview at the end of your experience. You may be required to provide reflections or other evaluation of your experience in the INTERNSHIP-CJ 450 or PRACTICUM-CJ 690 course.