Purpose: The primary purpose of an internship in Computer Science is to provide a student with real-life work experiences related to the student's major. An internship is part of the student's total academic experience and is not a job per se; it is a learning opportunity having direct relationships to the student's program of study and career interests.
People Involved in the Internship
- The Student: CS internships are initiated by the student, who plans the work experience with his/her academic advisor, the CS internship coordinator and the field supervisor at the work site. The Chair of the department must approve all internships.
- The CS Internship Coordinator: The coordinator is a CS faculty member who approves the internship as a part of the student's degree program, works with the student to ensure a solid academic component to the internship, and assigns the grade.
- The Field Supervisor: The supervisor is the contact person at the internship site who is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the intern and who evaluates the student's performance prior to completion of the work experience. The field supervisor must be a full-time employee in the major field, i.e., public relations professional, journalist, broadcaster, etc.
- An internship is a supervised experience directly related to an academic discipline. It typically lasts for one semester and must be completed the semester in which the student has enrolled for internship credit. Internships can be completed in January and summer terms as well as regular terms.
- Three credit hours are awarded for each internship, which should add up to 150 hours worked.
- Nine credit hours is the maximum number of internship hours that may be applied toward graduation; only three of these will count towards the CS major/minor.
- The internship may or may not be a paid work experience. Students cannot receive internship credit for a part-time job they already have. Internships must be new learning experiences.
- A single work experience may not be used by a student to generate both internship credit and other forms of credit, i.e. independent study credit.
- CS interns must write an Internship Experience Report, which is the department academic component requirement.
- Only in rare circumstances will minors be approved for an internship. Approval must be made by the department chair.
- The student must agree to return after the internship to finish his degree.
Minimum Pre-requisites for Internship
In order for a student to be approved for an internship he/she must demonstrate the following:
- Effective personal and interpersonal skills that include taking initiative, problem solving and conflict management, self-control, respect for authority, Christian lifestyle and appropriate nonverbal and verbal behaviors.
- Effective skills in the appropriate field. These skills may include programming, end-user support, computer setup & repair, system & network administration, and database or web design. In particular, the student must have completed the following courses: CSC205, 220, 235 and one of 321, 360 or 365.
- Students should discuss any internship plans with the Internship Coordinator prior to contacting a potential field supervisor. This is to ensure integration of the proposed internship into the student's academic program, and it provides an opportunity for the student to receive more specific information and guidance regarding potential sites.
- It is the student's responsibility to obtain the internship position, though the Internship Coordinator, Academic Advisor, and/or Department Chair will assist the student in selecting appropriate work sites.
- When an organization agrees to accept the student as an intern, the student must schedule a meeting with the Field Supervisor. The student should take a resume and portfolio (when appropriate) to the meeting.
- The Field Supervisor must submit to the Internship coordinator a description of the work the intern will be expected to perform.
- The student then enrolls for the internship through the regular course registration process. The course schedule will show the internship by course number and four-digit call number.
- Based on information provided, the Internship Coordinator will send the field supervisor an intern evaluation form ¾ of the way into the semester. It must be returned to the Internship Coordinator by finals week so that credit can be given.
- Interns should meet at least twice during the semester with the CS Internship Coordinator to assess the learning experience.
- If the internship is local, the Internship Coordinator should visit the intern at work at least twice. For out-of-town internships regular email correspondence is expected.
- The Internship Experience Report must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator. Specifically, this is a narrative of about 1,000 words that is an evaluation of the learning experience and site. The report is not just a list of responsibilities and experiences; it is a critical analysis of those responsibilities and experiences. It may include a discussion of the extent to which theories learned in the classroom were applied to the workplace. It may also include a discussion that identifies specific ethical principles and standards used in the decision-making process of work supervisors.
The successful completion of an internship is validated by the CS Internship Coordinator's review of
- approval of the internship by The Internship Coordinator and Department Chair.
- submitted job description prior to the beginning of the internship.
- proper registration of internship credit.
- the completion of the intern evaluation form by the Field Supervisor, assessing the student's performance.
- the completion of an Internship Experience Report, which describes and analyzes the internship experience.
- The Student
- Be familiar with the Department's internship policies and procedures.
- Complete a resume and portfolio and review those with the Academic Advisor, Internship Coordinator, and/or Department Chair.
- Work with the Academic Advisor, Internship Coordinator, and/or Department Chair to find an appropriate internship opportunity.
- Become familiar with the general goals, functions and procedures of the agency, firm, or business.
- Comply with the work ethics and rules of the field.
- Meet periodically with the CS Internship Coordinator and Field Supervisor for evaluation.
- Before receiving credit for the internship, complete the internship and write the Internship Experience Report. An intern evaluation must be received from the Field Supervisor.
- Responsible for ensuring that the internship meets the CS Internship guidelines.
- Establish and maintain contact with Field Supervisors by phone calls, email, or personal visits as needed.
- Serve as an academic resource to the student.
- Evaluate the internship and assign the final grade.
- Develops a clear job description with the intern.
- Makes sure intern is reimbursed for any expenses, including mileage.
- Provides reasonable resources to the student intern, e.g., computer, desk, office space, supplies, resources available to other workers with similar responsibilities.
- Meets periodically with the intern to provide on-going supervision and comment.
- Helps intern develop portfolio materials when appropriate.
- Is available for discussions, when necessary, with the Internship Coordinator or faculty member.
- Completes and promptly returns an intern evaluation form prior to the end of the internship.
- [ ] Preliminary discussion with Coordinator and/or Advisor regarding internship interests and needs.
- [ ] Internship site search and preliminary contact.
- [ ] Completion of resume and portfolio if appropriate.
- [ ] Registration for appropriate internship credit.
- [ ] Intern evaluation form returned By Field Supervisor to Internship Coordinator.
- [ ] Internship Experience Report written by intern and delivered to CS office or Internship Coordinator by finals week.