The communication internship is designed to provide students with advanced instruction and professional experience. Students must register for Field Internship I (SP 474/475) or Field Internship II (SP 574/575). Students must meet the eligibility requirements for Field Internship I and Field Internship II.
Field Internship I may be taken for one, two, or three credit hours with a letter grade option (SP 474) or a pass/no credit option (SP 475).
Similarly, Field Internship II may be taken for one, two, or three credit hours with a letter grade option (SP 574) or a pass/no credit option (SP 575). Field Internships I and II both provide students with opportunities to explore and clarify interests, aptitudes and abilities through career-related experiences.
The Communication Department's internships offer maximum flexibility for a student to select an appropriate internship placement, to choose a faculty advisor to guide the experiences, and to structure a learning agreement that meets his/her internship objectives. The responsibilities of the student intern, the faculty advisor and the site supervisor follow.
The student has primary responsibility for deciding what he/she wants to learn during the internship and where the internship is based. Specifically, the student is responsible for:
1. Completing and filing an internship application.
2. Selecting a faculty advisor—Any fulltime Communication Department faculty member, at his/her discretion, may offer internship credit.
3. Identifying and interviewing for an internship position—A wide range of internship placements provide a suitable learning environment for Communication Department students. Interns may be placed at public relations agencies, at corporate communication departments, or in public information functions of government or other nonprofit organizations.
4. Preparing a learning agreement—The student, in conjunction with the faculty advisor and with input from the site supervisor, must prepare a learning agreement that includes learning objectives, work requirements, and evaluation procedures.
5. Registering for credit—The student must register for one, two, or three hours credit in SP 474/475 or SP 574/575 as appropriate.
6. Completing all evaluation requirements—The student intern must meet all evaluation requirements listed in the learning agreement, including the assessment of learning objectives and any work performance reviews. (See Evaluation ).
The ESU faculty advisor that offers internship credit is specifically responsible for:
1. Assisting the student with the selection of a site placement.
2. Assisting in the development of and approving the intern's learning agreement—The student submits a learning agreement developed in consultation with the faculty advisor and site supervisor. The faculty member, student, and site supervisor each approve the agreement to ensure that the field work is an acceptable learning experience and appropriate to the particular environment; that the credit hours are appropriate; that the learning objectives are suitable and measurable; that the work expectations and reporting relationships are clear; and that the criteria for evaluation have been defined.
3. Monitoring the student's progress by keeping in regular contact in order to determine whether or not the student is meeting his/her learning objectives and to provide guidance to the student regarding his/her learning. The faculty advisor also may contact the site supervisor by e-mail, phone, mail, or in person. The faculty advisor will provide individual attention to each intern under his/her supervision
4. Reviewing all evaluation requirements and assigning the final grade at the end of the term.
Although the student is ultimately responsible for his/her own learning, the site supervisor has the major responsibility for ensuring that a professional work experience is provided for the student. The worksite replaces the classroom as a laboratory and the supervisor acts as the coordinator of learning.
The specific responsibilities of the site supervisor include:
1. Assisting in the development of and approving the learning agreement.
2. Orientating the intern—The site supervisor should introduce the intern to the general functions of the worksite, the rules and guidelines the student should follow, the method the student should follow in asking questions, and any other information a new person should know.
3. Setting the student's schedule—The supervisor should provide the intern with a regular schedule in order to provide the intern with a “real world” appreciation of time management. The work schedule needs to accommodate the student's classes.
4. Providing assignments—The supervisor is responsible for assigning projects or tasks for the intern consistent with the intern's capabilities. Demanding tasks within the realm of an intern's expertise will provide the intern with a feeling of being important to the work site and will usually stimulate a desire to do more.
5. Providing guidance and interpretation—The supervisor should have regular conferences with the intern to assess progress and to provide help in understanding the work site and his/her role in it.