CLAS Committee on Curricula & Courses: Policy on Internships
(Amended and Adopted February 9, 1999)
- Preamble: Many departments and programs in the College offer experiential learning in the form of internships (also called “field study” and “practicum”). Some of the courses have been offered for twenty years. The specific nature and educational objectives of those courses vary: some are intended as preprofessional learning experiences; others offer opportunities for applied research; still others provide practical application of principles learned in the classroom.The College recognizes the important role that internships may play in a research university like the University of Connecticut. At the same time, the College recognizes the critical importance of defining and enforcing strict standards for internships so that student interns in fact receive the intended benefits.
- No Retroactive Credit: To receive credit for an internship, a student must enroll in an internship course prior to undertaking the work. No credit may be given, retroactively, for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in advance.
- Credit Restrictions:
- A student may count no more than fifteen (15) internship credits towards a bachelor’s degree in CLAS.
- Each credit for internship work must entail at least forty-two (42) hours of work per semester or term.
- The required number of hours of work must be stated clearly in the contract for the internship (see 3.a below).
- Evaluation of Internship Performance
- Internship Contract. All internship courses must include as an integral part a learning contract, or work plan that is signed by both the instructor of record and the internship supervisor (see 3.b and 3.c, respectively, below).
- Instructor of Record. The instructor of record for all internship work must be a University of Connecticut faculty member or a person approved, in writing, to serve in that capacity by the Head or Director of the Department or Program offering the internship. The instructor of record is responsible for assigning the grades.
- Internship Supervisor: Each student must have an assigned internship supervisor at the work site. The internship supervisor must agree (by signing the contract) to supervise the work and to participate in the evaluation of the student’s performance at the end of the internship. Interns may not be supervised by undergraduate students.
- Student Eligibility: The Committee recommends that students on academic probation not be allowed to register for more than six credits of internship course work.
- Grading: Internships in CLAS may be offered under two different headings. Departments may require concurrent enrollment under both titles (field study and research seminar).
- “Internship: Field Study”, involving the line or staff operation of a business or agency. Grading in a course titled “Internship Field Study” must be on a S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) basis.
- “Internship: Research/Seminar.” Letter grades may be assigned in courses titled “Internship: Research/Seminar.”
- Other Restrictions
- Payment: The College does not forbid monetary payment for internship work, provided that such payment is incidental to the experiential learning to be gained from the work.
- Lobbying: Some internships allow students to participate in organizations and advocacy groups that perform or disseminate research, or engage in legislative lobbying, in order to affect the content of legislation or budgetary decisions. The Committee recommends that internship supervisors not assign student interns to activities on behalf of legislation or budget decisions directly affecting the University of Connecticut. It is especially in the best interests of the University that none of its interns be engaged in face-to-face legislative lobbying for the University.