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Internship Course Information
Student Learning Goals:

1. Apply academic knowledge in a professional setting: The primary goal of the internship is to provide the student with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a human services or criminal justice setting.

 

2. Gain exposure to a human services or criminal justice field and begin to understand a professional organizational culture:  The student is able to learn from observing the professional behavior of the site supervisor and other employees at the site, as well as through interaction with clients. The student begins to understand the dynamics of an organization’s culture through observing and reflecting on how decisions are made, how work is structured, how power is shared, how colleagues interact, and how an organization’s mission/vision are implemented.

 

3. Evaluate performance based on specific developed goals: The student with the supervisor and instructor sets goals for what he or she would like to learn and will measure progress towards those goals. The intern should be able to assess to what degree he or she was able to meet the expressed goals and identify new areas for growth.

 

4. Compare and contrast one’s self-perception to the professional perception of the site supervisor: The internship provides an opportunity for the student to receive professional feedback through ongoing individual meetings with the supervisor and an evaluation at the end of the internship experience. These opportunities provide objective feedback to help the student examine him or herself from another vantage point. The student is then able to reflect critically on the comparisons and differences in perception of the intern’s work.

 

5. Gain clarity in academic and career direction. The intern will develop a better understanding of their career path. This will be accomplished through their experience on site as an intern as well as through classroom discussion and analysis of their career path.

 

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the class, students should be able to:

  1. Explain connection between theory and its relationship to an experience at a human services or criminal justice agency.
  2. Describe a professional organization, its culture and how this affects an experience at a human services or criminal justice agency.
  3. Plan and complete professionally related goal oriented behavior.
  4. Discuss the possible next steps in their chosen career path.
  5. Critically reflect on performance as an intern at a human services or criminal justice agency.
Learning Activities:

As this in an internship most of the student time will be spent at their site. While on site the student will be working on most of the student learning outcomes through interaction with the site supervisor and clients at the agency. This will be supplemented with several classroom meetings to coordinate activities with the student and allow for a sharing of experiences.

 

Professors may use all or some of these assignments, activities, and evaluations to measure and assess progress towards student learning outcomes. Find out from your professor which ones will be required for you.

 

1. A Journal

Students will keep a journal of their hours spent at their internship setting in order to enable them to reflect critically on what they see, hear and experience at their setting and in connection with the readings and class discussion as well develop an appreciation for a variety of perspectives relating to the policies and practices of community, school, institutionally based human services or criminal justice agencies. There will be entries for each contact at the site and in addition there will be specific assignments as well including:

  1.  Discussion related to site entry and rapport building
  2.  Development of Goals – Students will work with their supervisor to develop 8 goals they would like to reach during the internship.
  3.  Discussion of the Culture of the Placement
  4.  Evaluation of the Experience
  5.  Structural-functional analysis of agency and internship experience

 

2. Evaluation of Student Performance –  Agency/Site Supervisors will be asked to complete a Performance Evaluation describing student performance and workforce readiness.  In addition, students may: 1) review their evaluation with supervisor, 2) objectively discuss their review of their performance with this data in mind as part of their “Evaluation of the Experience” in their journal.

 

3. Personal Career Path Analysis– Student may conduct a career path analysis that will include the following broad areas:

  1. Objective review of present skills, experiences, strengths, weaknesses
  2. Career action Plan
  3. How did the internship relate to your plan?
  4. What are the next steps of the plan?

 

4. A Policy Memo

This assignment is to write a memo to the agency or program director regarding a recommendation for policy/program improvement. It should be written such that if YOU were the Director of this program, what kinds of changes would you make to IMPROVE the program. This paper should include: (1) a clearly stated rationale/reason for your suggestion, (2) a complete description of the present situation, and (3) a detailed explanation of the proposed changes you world make at the placement in order to be more effective with its clients, patients, residents, or staff.

 

5. Active Participation

It is important to understand that this seminar requires active participation by students. Each student is expected to contribute to class discussions. Readings will be assigned and discussion will be based both on these readings and what you are experiencing at the work-site. Because students will represent very different work placements and majors, discussion can be enlightening. The discussions and contributions of other students give you a more appropriate view of the range of human service or criminal justice careers and issues than you would get from observations at your own volunteer site. Most of the issues under discussion will have no "right" or "wrong" answers, and the expectation from the seminars is that you will appreciate the complexity of the issues raised. Your instructor may choose to bring in guest lecturers who will add still another perspective.