Internships are intended to provide students with experiential learning opportunities not available in conventional courses. Applicable fields for English department internships include, but are not limited to:

  • journalism
  • editing and publishing
  • professional writing
  • public relations
  • marketing
  • advertising
  • work in television
  • work in radio
  • work in film
  • work in new media

Students may intern with on-campus organizations (such as the Division of Communications or the Office of Admissions) or with individuals or organizations, including nonprofits, located off campus. Students do not need to major or minor in English to take English 272 or 273, but if demand for internships is high, priority will be given to English majors and minors.

Course Credit

Beginning with the summer between sophomore and junior year, all students in good standing are eligible to register for one for-credit internship course. Students with at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA may petition to register for a second internship.

English 272 and 273 cannot be counted toward a major or minor in English. In this case, both the English department internship coordinator and the student’s English department adviser must approve the internship for major credit.

Application Procedure

To obtain credit, each student must get approval from the department’s internship coordinator and formally preregister for English 272 (fall, interim, and summer internships) or English 273 (spring internships) before beginning the internship. Note: It is College policy that no student will receive credit for any internship begun without prior approval from the relevant department.

General Guidelines, Procedures, and Expectations

1. The student is responsible for finding the internship. The English department internship coordinator has a list of on-campus and local off-campus internships. The Gateway Career Center also can direct students to potential placements. Normally, off-campus internships during the fall and spring semesters are in the local area within a 30-minute drive. Students wishing to go further afield during the fall or spring semesters must get prior approval from the internship coordinator. Summer and interim internships can take place in almost any location, as can spring 2021 internships if students are living away from campus during the pandemic.

2. The sponsoring organization is responsible for providing meaningful learning experiences. Normally, the intern will be assigned to a supervisor who will introduce him/her to the specific detail and larger mission of the undertaking, provide regular work assignments, and evaluate that work. Most off-campus organizations will ask that the student provide a letter from the English department internship coordinator, confirming that the student will be receiving course credit for the experience and specifying the required number of hours.

3. The student should contact the internship coordinator immediately if problems arise. Problems might include excessive hours, unusually heavy work load, tasks the student deems inappropriate (e.g., running personal errands), or assignments that do not provide an occasion for learning (e.g, exclusively clerical or data-entry work).

4. Whether the internship is taken during the regular semester, during interim session, or over the summer, the student must work approximately 120 hours at a minimum. During the regular semester, students generally put in 10-12 hours per week; during the interim, students must put in about 40 hours a week. A student doing a summer internship has more flexibility in terms of schedule. In practice, those doing summer internships tend to put in many more than 120 hours, though this is not required.

5. Students are permitted to accept pay from the organization sponsoring a for-credit internship.

6. At the beginning of the internship, it is the student’s responsibility to provide the internship coordinator with the on-site supervisor’s name, title, email address, and phone number. Toward the end of the internship period, the coordinator will ask the on-site supervisor to evaluate the student’s work. Students may not receive credit if their performance is deemed unsatisfactory.

7. This course is graded either “credit” or “no credit.” The grade will be determined by the internship coordinator on the basis of the student’s journal entries, final paper, and a letter of evaluation by the on-site supervisor.

Responsibilities of the Student

1. The conscientious completion of work assigned by the on-site supervisor.

2. A weekly reflective journal

  • At the beginning of the internship, the student should write 1 to 3 pages, describing the tasks he/she expects to perform and articulating educational goals and possible learning outcomes.
  • At least once a week (more regularly for interim and intensive summer internships), the student should write about four typed, double-spaced pages about the internship experience. Each journal entry should describe assigned tasks and day-to-day experiences and, more importantly, present the student’s reflections on the educational value of these activities. At the end of each journal entry, the student should note the total number of hours worked thus far.
  • These journal entries must be submitted to the internship coordinator by the specified due dates to insure course credit for the internship (generally once every 3-4 weeks for regular semester internships and more frequently for interim and summer internships). The journal entries also must be in the form, either electronic or hard copy, that the internship coordinator has requested.

3. Final essay: At the end of the internship period, the student will write a formal five to six page essay in which she or he analyzes the entire internship experience, noting ways in which expectations were fulfilled, thwarted, or exceeded; drawing attention to important challenges and accomplishments; and, foregrounding the most valuable aspects of this venture in experiential learning.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of Eng. 272/273, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the organization in which he/she has interned, e.g., its structure and mission, as well as articulate ways in which the organization views and approaches issues of writing, research, audience, literacy, and communication in a specific institutional context.
  • Develop a set of evolving internship goals that reflect the intern’s thoughtful development and modification of his/her aims for intellectual and personal growth.
  • Communicate (through means such as reflective journals, meetings with the faculty supervisor, samples of internship work, and a final paper) tasks performed and knowledge and skills utilized, enhanced, or learned.
  • Thoughtfully reflect on the educational value of internship activities in increasing his/her understanding of and ability to effectively address a variety of reading, writing, and communication-related challenges.

10 September 2012