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For-Credit Internship Guidelines
Internships taken for credit at Lake Forest College are off-campus learning experiences integrated into the academic program. Although the specific nature of internship experiences will vary, internships are intended to clarify the relationship between traditional liberal arts study and work in non-academic settings.
These guidelines are intended as minimum criteria that allow individuals significant latitude. Within these guidelines, departments may establish requirements that are appropriate for the discipline of the specific internship. Any internship agreement that transfers or assigns liability exposure to the College must first be reviewed with the Vice President for Business Affairs and by the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist, the Associate Vice President for Career and Professional Development/Director of Internships.
- Internships must apply or expand skills or knowledge learned at Lake Forest College.
- The bulk of the internship work is to be at the site of the internship, where the intern is gaining experience with organizations, industry and people, and where the intern is under the supervision of one person.
- Internships are open to juniors or seniors. In special circumstances, to be determined by the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist and the Associate Vice President for Career and Professional Development/Director of Internships, sophomores may be allowed to receive credit for internships.
- To prevent any potential conflicts of interest, students must disclose any familial relationships with employees of the organization where they wish to intern. No student may intern for a company owned or managed, fully or in part, by a family member. The on-site supervisor may not be a member of the intern’s family or anyone working under the supervision of a family member.
- Continuation of part-time or summer jobs may not serve as internships.
A student will not normally receive more than three internship credits toward the total number of credits necessary for graduation (not including foreign internship credit). A maximum of two credits will be awarded for each internship. Any student seeking more than two internship credits must show that not more than two credits will be for internship experiences that are similar in terms of skills or knowledge learned or applied. Students in the “In the Loop” Program can earn up to four internship credits, with the fourth credit being taken during the In The Loop Program.
For each credit, approximately 150 hours of on-the-job experience will be required. The number of hours may be reduced if the internship involves significantly more written or creative work, as required by the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist.
- Internships will be graded Pass-Fail.
- Internship proposals must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist, and the Associate Vice President for Career and Professional Development/Director of Internships.
- Commission-based internships will not be approved for academic credit.
For an internship for credit, a student will be required to do the following:
- Meet with their Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist during the semester prior to the internship.
- Read these Guidelines for Internships and complete the Phase One Request for Internship Approval following the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist’s advising session and before registration.
- Complete Phase Two of the internship registration process after the internship is secured and before the end of the drop/add deadline. Materials from the on-site supervisor must also be submitted to the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist and Career Advancement Center by the end of the drop/add period.
- Write a list of goals and objectives for the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist’s approval.
- Complete a reflective paper on the internship. This assignment must be submitted to the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist by noon on the first day of finals for that semester. After evaluating this assignment, the Supervisor/Specialist will send it to the Director of Internships by the end of the finals period. Students who fail to turn in the reflective assignment may fail the internship. Assignments should include a description of the duties performed, the relevance of the student’s previous academic training to the internship, and the role the internship played in the student’s academic program.
- Complete a substantial paper, a project, or a study on issues related to the internship, as assigned by the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist. Work performed for the employer such as research projects, computer programs, or newspaper articles may form the basis of this requirement.
On-Site Supervisor Responsibilities
- There will be one person designated to serve as the on-site supervisor.
- The on-site supervisor must understand that interns are earning academic credit and consequently must perform duties that apply or expand skills or knowledge learned at Lake Forest College.
- The on-site supervisor must submit to the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist/Career Advancement Center a letter or other approved documentation that offers the student an internship and includes a written job description. Letters must be on company letterhead and must be signed by the on-site supervisor.
- The on-site supervisor must meet regularly with the intern to evaluate the intern’s progress and to assess the appropriateness of the intern’s duties, reporting this information to the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist at least monthly.
- At the end of the internship, the on-site supervisor must submit to the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist a written evaluation of the student’s performance. The evaluation must include a description of the duties performed by the intern as well as the intern’s level of performance and progress during the internship.
Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist Responsibilities
- The Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialist must maintain regular contact with the intern and the intern’s on-site supervisor, either in-person, by telephone, or e-mail.
- The Director of Internships will maintain a master list of the Internship Supervisor/Internship Specialists, the on-site supervisors, and the students assigned to them.
At the end of each semester, all students who have completed internships for credit will be required to evaluate the experience. Students will be contacted by the Director of Internships two weeks before the end of classes, and advised of the procedure for completing the evaluation form. The evaluation must be completed by the student through the Career Advancement Center no later than noon on the first day of finals for that semester. Students are required to submit an evaluation. A coded label will be used to identify the student. Only the Dean of Faculty Office and the Associate Vice President for Career & Professional Development/Director of Internships will have access to the identity of the evaluator. The evaluations will be kept in the Dean of Faculty Office or in the office of the Director of Internships. Internship Supervisors and chairpersons of the department in which the credit is being awarded may see the evaluations only after the grades have been submitted to the Registrar’s office.
(Approved by the Faculty, April 11, 1984, amended May 8, 1992, March 3, 1993, April 4, 2001, June 25, 2004, and September 14, 2007)
Notice to Students who are not United States Citizens
If a qualified non-citizen wishes to receive payment for an internship, he/she must receive employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). A qualified non-immigrant applying for permission to accept or continue employment must see Ashley Sinclair, Director of Off-Campus Programs, (x5231 or firstname.lastname@example.org) who will file the appropriate forms with the USCIS.