Once you have discovered that you have a need and desire to work with a college to find an intern, consider the school requirements for the position. If the student is earning credit for the position, there are often specific procedures that the internship must follow. In this article, we look at three things that you should know about working with college internship programs.
Align with the Academic Calendar
If the position is earning credit, the internship often includes standard courses that the student will enroll in while they embark in their experiential learning. In order to do this, the internship experience must align with the academic calendar for the term in which the student is enrolled. Please consider this when designing your start and end date for the position you wish to post.
Typically, the student will register for two courses, a practicum course, which is graded on the work experience itself, and a seminar course that includes the academic components of related assignments and projects. Each discipline has its own curriculum and some majors refer to these courses and internships, apprenticeships, clinicals, or work experiences.
Know the Hour Requirement
Once you have determined the term in which you would like to host the student, you should inquire as to the time requirement the school may have. For practicum courses, the requirement standard is seven (7) hours working for every one (1) credit hour. Most of the practicum courses at Columbus State are three credit hours which translates to 21 hours per week (7 hours x 3 credits = 21 hrs/week). Over a 10 week quarter, this would equal a 210 hour requirement. For semesters, the requirement increases to 315 hours (15 weeks x 21 hrs = 315 total hrs). The student may work more than this requirement, but should meet this goal by the end of the term.
We do recognize that this requirement can often be cumbersome to some students that are working around their school or work schedule. Schools offer flexibility by allowing the student to begin the internship early to “bank” hours or by allowing the student to perform part of the work from home in hybrid experiences. The key to these hybrid experiences is insuring that there is a constant feedback and guidance system where the intern maintains contact with the mentor.
Correspond to Specific Majors
Now that the logistics of the internship are detailed, the position should consider the specific discipline that corresponds to the duties and skills set required for the position. Many positions that are posted can accomodate students from multiple majors, but the hosting company will likely need to customize the final description to the selected candidates abilities and major requirements. For a list of majors that Columbus State offers internships for, please see the website at http://www.cscc.edu/imt/intern.
For instance, many event marketing internships may post the position to both Business Management (BMGT) and Marketing (MKTG) majors. If the BMGT student is selected, the position description submitted for approval should focus on the organization, supervision, and management responsibilities that will be performed. If the MKTG student is the preferred candidate, the duties submitted should reflect on the marketing, advertising, and promotion aspects.
Consider these three factors before you finalize your position and it will lead to a faster processing time in getting the experience posted and finding intern candidates.
By Shane S. Kirby, MBA
Internship Program Coordinator
Business Programs, Integrated Media & Technology
Columbus State Community College