To receive a grade and academic credit for an internship experience, you must build an Internship Portfolio, elements of which you will need to submit to your faculty adviser at various points throughout the semester. The portfolio will be instrumental in evaluating your progress and it will be used by your faculty adviser to determine your final grade.
The portfolio is comprised of the following five elements:
This document is a detailed statement of the goals and activities you will be evaluated on all along the semester. You will be asked to articulate four (4) learning goals (academic, workplace, professional development, technical skills) and articulate your strategies for accomplishing them.
Academic Goals (i.e.: academic area(s) of interest, an issue or theory you wish to examine in relation to the internship work or internship organization)
Workplace Goals (i.e.: 2-4 assignments/deliverables/projects to accomplish)
Professional Development Goals (i.e.: working in a team, Organizational skills, communication skills and public speaking)
The Learning Contract is the product of a negotiation held among you, your supervisor, and your adviser. It will be used to remind everyone of the goals you outlined at the start of the internship, the expectations that your supervisor and adviser have for you, as well as your own expectations. Your Learning Contract should be submitted no later than two weeks into the semester. You cannot receive a Passing grade for your internship if the program does not receive your Learning Contract. The information contained in the Contract will be the basis for your mid-term progress report and end-of-year evaluation.
2. The Progress Report
During the middle of the semester, you will need to reflect on the progress you have made toward the learning goals stated in your Learning Contract. This Report will provide you with the opportunity to discuss–and, if necessary, readjust your academic and work goals with your faculty adviser and supervisor. Your internship supervisor is also asked to complete a midterm report that evaluates the progress you have made. At this stage, discussions with your adviser and supervisor about your observations and reflections, as well as your plans for the final project are crucial for the success of your internship.
3. Your Journal Reflections
Throughout the semester, you will be required to submit 3-5 formal reflections on your internship experience to your faculty adviser. The number of reflections will depend on the number of credit hours for which you have applied. These reflections can take written form or can be realized as short, discrete multimedia projects (such as a photo essay, a video presentation with analytical commentary, or a series of voice recordings). Whatever form they take, they should be based on your weekly journal writings that document your experiences and reflections.
Topics may include:
Critical observations about problems faced in the workplace
Historical or ethnographic research about your industry
Description and analysis of the structure of the organization for which you’re working
Work samples with accompanying analytical explanations of the work
4. Your Final Project
A month prior to the close of the semester, you should consult with your faculty adviser about potential topics for your final project. The length and function of this assignment will vary according to the number of credit hours assigned to your internship. Your final project can be either a research project or a creative work connected to issues you encountered or observations and experiences you made at your placement site. This work should also be connected to your academic goals and interests. At the end of the semester, this assignment will be submitted to your adviser and will count toward your final grade.
5. Your Supervisor’s Performance Evaluation
Your supervisor will submit a form to your faculty adviser at the end of your internship, evaluating the progress you have made toward your work goals, the skills you attained, and any opportunities for improvement. You should make sure to discuss your performance evaluation with both your supervisor and faculty adviser.