Internship: Overview and Materials

Overview and Materials

The internship course (HE 6900, Higher Education Internship/Field Study) is offered to provide students in ASU's Higher Education Program a "real-life" experience in a cooperating college or agency. The internship is designed to support students in intentionally and thoughtfully applying, in a comprehensive manner, what they have learned in the program so far. Typically, the internship is taken in the latter part of the student's program in order for students to have learned the relevant theories, research, and literature applicable to the work of the internship.

Experience has shown that the Internship is a very significant learning experience for students in the Higher Education Program, particularly when it meets the following criteria:

  • It is in a setting where the student has the opportunity to do challenging, professional-level work;
  • The Internship Site Supervisor is willing and able to serve as a resource person and guide;
  • The Internship Proposal is substantive and clear and reflects graduate-level thinking and writing; and
  • The papers submitted in the course demonstrate a high capacity for reflection and the ability to think critically about the internship experience.

If the intern is already employed in a college or agency, the internship experience should occur in a different institution or campus division, both 1) to increase the range of the student's experiences in and with higher education and thus deepen expertise and 2) to enhance future employment opportunities. If it is not practical for a student to do the internship at another site, the student may consult with the internship instructor about the possibility of completing an internship in the regular work setting.

Generally, no stipend is provided for the internship. The decision concerning a stipend, however, rests with the college or agency where the internship takes place. The internship fee announced in the University's Graduate Bulletin will automatically be added to the student's tuition bill.

Three credit hours are awarded for the course, which entails 120 contact hours and is graded as Pass/Fail. A contact hour is defined as time spent in the actual work situation, making preparations for it, writing papers, and fulfilling other responsibilities agreed upon by the advisor. All the required contact hours should be completed between the official start and end dates of the semester in which the internship is taken.

Planning for the Internship

The student assumes a great deal of personal initiative and professional responsibility in planning and carrying out the Internship. (Please see the Internship Checklist.) He or she initiates the internship request by consulting with and receiving the approval of her or his academic advisor to enroll in the internship. The student then identifies the site, with the assistance of the instructor as needed. The student will also need to identify a person at the college or agency who will serve as the Internship Site Supervisor. Appalachian State University is not able to pay the Site Supervisor.

The student is also responsible for submitting the following:

  • Internship Information Form (to be submitted to the internship instructor prior to the end of the semester preceding the one in which the internship will occur)
  • Internship Proposal (to be submitted and approved before the internship may officially begin)

The process of identifying the internship site and supervisor, completing the Internship Information Form, obtaining the multiple approvals, submitting a comprehensive proposal, signing the contract, and, ultimately, getting registered for the course can take a long time. Anyone interested in the internship should start this process at least 6 weeks prior to the end of the semester that precedes the semester in which they would like to take the internship course.

Internship Materials

To submit your internship information, fill out the Internship Information Form and a contract will be sent to you that will need to be signed by both you and your site supervisor and returned to the department. Your registration will then be processed by the graduate school, so you will not need to register yourself.