The Communication Department thanks supervisors who provide our students with solid work experiences. We also remind supervisors that students are paying for the privilege of gaining professional experience; thus we take seriously our obligation to supervise the progress of students and to ensure that their internship is a professional extension of their campus experience.
The professional supervisor at the internship site directs the intern’s work and provides feedback and evaluation of the intern’s work performance.
The supervisor contributes about 60 percent of the assessment of the intern’s final grade. The internship coordinator contributes the remaining 40 percent.
The Communication department can place students in professional areas such as radio and television production, broadcast and print journalism, broadcast sales and management, public relations, advertising, internal communication, web editing, and related areas.
- A written job description outlining professional expectations for interns
- Supervision by a professional with experience in the relevant field.
Prospective interns should meet with the faculty contact for the professional area in which they seek an internship. An attempt is made to match student interests to job descriptions from the organizations. Students select two or three organizations for follow-up and interviews. After the interview, the student is chosen for, or selects, the internship location.
Interns earn one-to-three hours of academic credit for 150 hours of internship. This is approximately 10 hours per week in a 15-week semester. Some students may choose to do an extra 50 hours for additional credit, but they must register for the additional one-credit-hour internship in advance. In the summer, hours for the work week may be scheduled as agreed upon by the student and supervisor.
The student arranges hours of internship with the organization's professional supervisor. This arrangement should be incorporated in the letter of agreement. (If a student needs to ask for a special day or week off, s/he should make this request when initial arrangements are settled.)
Interns may be paid by the hour, for parking and lunches only, or not at all. The department encourages businesses and organizations seeking interns to understand that interns are students paying college tuition and often both working part-time jobs and taking student loans.
Letter of Agreement
The student and the professional supervisor must complete and sign a letter of agreement that defines the internship responsibilities and expectations. The form is then given to the academic supervisor for his/her signature. The student and the professional supervisor should arrange for formal reviews at the completion of 75 hours and 140 hours. The mid-term review conference should focus on the progress report.
Academic supervisors and interns meet weekly in a scheduled class session during the fall and spring semesters. For summer internships, a meeting is scheduled before the end of the spring semester to coordinate paperwork and prepare for the internship.
Work reports are completed by the student each week (every 20 hours in summer), signed by the professional supervisor, and submitted to the academic supervisor at weekly meetings, for documentation and monitoring of the internship. (There is a grade penalty for waiting to turn in all paperwork until the end of the internship.) Both supervisors should have periodic contact to assure a successful internship, especially if there are problems.
Approximately 75 hours into the internship, the professional supervisor should meet with the intern for a formal progress review. A report of this meeting is sent to the department.
After the student has completed approximately 140 hours of the internship, the academic supervisor sends final evaluation recommendation forms to all professional supervisors. Students also complete an evaluation form to evaluate the internship.