Internship Director: Donald Dow
These days, both graduate schools and companies expect a higher degree of skills from applicants. The internship course enables students to acquire practical experience in a variety of professional settings that draw on the skills in reading and writing that Business and Technical Writing and English courses develop. It also enables students to test the practical range of some of the ideas presented in their coursework and to experience first-hand some of the career possibilities available to writers.
The Writing Internship is a three credit course. It may be used toward a Technical or Professional Writing Certificate or elective college credit toward graduation. Students majoring in English should consult with the English Department about the possibility of applying internship credit toward the completion of their major requirements.
All placements must be approved by the Internship Director, and approval will depend both on the general suitability of the career field in question or the specific tasks and projects that the placement will entail. All internships must require some work with writing or with the close observation of or assistance with writing in the workplace. Students who sign up for the internship must have successfully completed 355:101 (Expository Writing) or the equivalent. You do not need to be an English major to register for the Writing Internship.
Frequently, students enrolling in the internship course choose to continue their studies through the Writing Program's Business & Technical Writing Minor.
Setting up an Internship:
Locating a potential internship position is ultimately the responsibility of the student.
Students need to contact the appropriate Internship Director in order to have their work placements approved and to receive a special permission number for registration.
Once registered, students must fill out the Internship Contract with their supervisor so that they will have no misunderstandings about mutual expectations. Supervisors may contact the Internship Director by phone or e-mail to verify internship placement. Timesheets will be discussed at the initial meeting with the Internship Director.
There are two components to the internship course: the work component and the academic component.
1) The Work Component
In order to achieve a passing grade, all interns should work 120 or more hours throughout the term of the internship. The intern should keep track of hours worked using the Internship Time Sheet and have the supervisor certify the sheet with his or her signature.
The organizational supervisor (i.e., the person to whom you report at your internship and who is responsible for assigning you tasks) will help you fill out the Internship Contract and will certify your Internship Time Sheet on a monthly basis. The supervisor may also asked to submit a Midterm Evaluation and a Final Evaluation in order to assess the quality of your work.
Your work duties:
Your most important duties are to follow your supervisor's instructions, to practice good work habits, and to keep good track of your hours while working (using the Internship Time Sheets, which you must submit to the Internship Director, signed by your supervisor).
It is your responsibility to report problems with your work assignment to the Internship Director as soon as possible. It is especially imperative that you inform the Internship Director if you are not being given any writing-related assignments.
2)The Academic Component
As part of the academic component, all interns will:
- meet the Internship Director at scheduled times throughout the semester
- turn in a final portfolio of any relevant workplace writing that they have either observed or worked upon (these documents will be kept confidential to protect company information)
- turn in both rough and final drafts of their final paper as scheduled
The final paper (8-12 pages) must:
- describe the intern's responsibilities
- reflect upon and evaluate the intern's experiences
- situate the internship in the larger context of writing in the workplace.
- include 4-5 scholarly sources
The course grade is determined by the quality of the final paper; the work component must be fulfilled in order to pass. Effective fall 2015, this course is be graded PA/NC.