Thursday, January 3, 2013

Internships and Transformational Learning

Internships can provide powerful transformational learning experiences during college.  They allow students to gain hands-on experience in actual work settings, improve and explore career prospects, enhance students' resumes, and help develop professional references for graduate schools and jobs.  Because they are much lengthier than other forms of service-learning (they typically range between 100 and 250 hours in duration), internships permit greater immersion into these settings and allow students to make more sustained contributions to the community.

At Roosevelt, students can complete internship classes within particular disciplines.  Some of these opportunities are required because they are viewed as integral to professional development.  For instance, all students within teacher training programs offered by the College of Education will gain extensive field experiences through student teaching placements and seminars.  However, in most fields, it is an option that undergraduates may choose to pursue for varying amounts of credit in courses such as these:

ACCT 398: Accounting Internship
ART 390: Fine Art Internship
BADM 398: Professional Business Administration Internship
BIOL 391: Medical Internship
CJL 395: Criminal Justice Internship
ECON 360: Internship in Economics
FIN 398: Finance Internship
HIST 384: Internship in History
HOSM 385: Internship in Hospitality Management
HRM 398: Human Resource Management Internship
IMC 399: Internship in Integrated Marketing Communications
INFS 398: Information Systems Internship
JOUR 399: Internship in Journalism
LAWA L30: Paralegal Internship
MGMT 398: Professional Internship in Management
MKTG 398: Internship in Marketing
PADM 398: Field Internship in Public Administration
POS 338: Field Internship in Politics and Law
PSYC 393: Internship in Psychology
SENT 398: Social Entrepreneurship  Internship
SOCJ 360: Social Justice Internship
WGS 399: Internship in the Community

Students often aren't aware that they may pursue an internship and need encouragement and appropriate advising.  The educational benefits for well-designed placements are clearly established, as internships have been designated as a high impact practice by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Moreover, internships can be tailored to address social justice themes consistent with each discipline to connect with Roosevelt's mission.

In addition to assistance provided by departments, students can find possible internship placements by contacting the staff in the Career Development Office.  They can help them identify ideal opportunities, utilize their online resources, write a resume, and support students through the internship process.  Start with their site online at  You can find instructions about how to search their internship databases by clicking here.

For departments that want to create or expand internship programs at Roosevelt, it can be helpful to refer to those that provide online materials, such as the Heller College of Business, Economics/Social Justice, and Psychology.  The Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation can provide assistance as well.

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