Academic Internships Office

Who's Responsible?

The integrity of the Academic Internship Program rests on the commitment all parties make to fulfilling their responsibilities.

Jump to: Academic Internship Office | Students | Academic Advisers | Faculty Sponsors | Employers

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Academic Internship Office Responsibilities

The Academic Internship Office is the crossroads of the PLU internship program. Many employers post their positions with us and work with us to recruit their candidates. The Academic Internship Office is a resource to help students in securing and succeeding in their internship experiences. We can help students with their job searches, resumes, letters of application, interview preparations, Learning Agreement forms, transitions to their professional positions, and other related tasks.

Our mission is to:

  • assist students in finding appropriate employers and positions that will help meet their career goals.
  • assist employers in attracting qualified candidates for their positions.
  • sponsor employer campus visits for information sessions and interview schedules.
  • support faculty in monitoring the success of their students while on their Academic Internship and Co-op experiences and help address any problems that arise.

The Academic Internship Office is responsible for maintaining high standards in the program campus wide. This means we review the positions we post for internship experiences to ensure that they will provide a valuable learning experience.

Students' completed Learning Agreement is turned in to us. We maintain a database of all internship placements and will enter the data from students' Learning Agreement into that database. As semi-confidential information, only the office staff, the sponsoring faculty and the employer obtain copies of a student's Learning Agreement.

Also, if problems arise that the employer cannot resolve and that will impact students' ability to fulfill their responsibilities as outlined in the Learning Agreement, we can work with their faculty sponsors, the students themselves, and their supervisors to help students address those concerns.

We can provide students and faculty with:

  • Employer contact information and internship descriptions for organizations who host interns regularly.
  • Application forms or other requirements that employers may have for students to apply or to inquire further about a specific position.
  • Lists of employers who have ahown an interest in PLU's internship program in the past and who may be an appropriate match for a student’s interests
  • Assistance in the search for new employers who might be possible internship sites. We very well may be able to provide suggestions, contacts, and may even be willing to make the initial call.

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Student Responsibilities

Students have the overall responsibility to see that all requirements specified by the university and the academic department are met. This check list serves as a summary of the steps they should take to ensure a successful experience both on campus and at the worksite. Students should...

  1. Meet with their faculty advisor to discuss their expectations, the department requirements, the type of internship that best fits the student's program (department internship or Academic Internship Office course) and the approval process.
  2. Seek positions with appropriate employers and use the resources available through the Academic Internship Office and suggestions from the respective department faculty.
  3. Follow through on all positions with quality application material. The Academic Internship Office can help you with application forms, resumes, letters, and other application requirements.
  4. Be prepared for the job interview. Again, the Academic Internship Office can assist with these preparations.
  5. Be prepared for any preliminary requirements the employer may have such as background check, drug testing, physical exams, etc.
  6. Complete an Academic Internship Learning Agreement, including required signatures, when they have secured their internship position.
  7. Take or send the completed Learning Agreement to the Academic Internship Office (Ramstad 112) and complete the required registration card (available from the students' faculty sponsors, the Academic Internship Office, the Registrar's Office or Student Services counter) and submit it to the Registrar's Office or Student Services.
  8. Begin their internship and monitor their progress as outlined on the Learning Agreement.
  9. Fulfill their academic requirements as outlined on the Learning Agreement; complete and return the Internship Evaluation Form.
  10. Send Thank You notes to their employers and any appropriate co-workers.

The Academic Internship Office and the faculty sponsor support a student through the entire experience, but the quality of a student's internship is in his/her own hands.

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Academic Adviser Responsibilities

The academic adviser plans a student's academic program to be sure the student gets the right courses in the right order. The academic adviser is the one who should know how many, if any, internship credits would benefit the student and if those credits should be registered in the major or as electives. The academic adviser may or may not be a faculty sponsor.

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Faculty Sponsor Responsibilities

Professional: Faculty have professional connections with employers and people who work in their field. A faculty member in a major related to the field a student is seeking might be able to guide the student to someone who can develop a challenging experience for him/her.

Departmental: Students can also expect their sponsoring faculty to provide guidance and information on the requirements the department may have for internship experiences. It is important that students follow the faculty's advice to be sure their internship experience applies to their academic program as planned.

Academic: Students' faculty can review their internship position for adequate academic and professional challenge to warrant university credit and to guide students in the development of a quality Learning Agreement. Faculty will discuss with students how they should document their learning that will justify the university credits for which they will be registered. Students will submit all documentation to their sponsoring faculty who is responsible to review it and enter the course grade.

It is beneficial if a student's faculty sponsor could visit the student at his/her workplace. Often, this is not possible because of the faculty's teaching load and other university responsibilities. If a visit is desired, the faculty sponsor may designate another faculty or the Director of the Academic Internship Office to make a site visit.

The faculty sponsor should be considered the first point of contact for a student once the internship has begun. If the student encounters any difficulties or problems that he/she would like to talk over, or has questions that can help him/her be successful in the execution of his/her work assignments, the student should contact the faculty sponsor first. If the student is unable to reach the faculty sponsor, he/she can call the Academic Internship Office. We will help in any way we can.

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Employer Responsibilities

Employers must engage in fair and legal recruiting and hiring practices. They must review the student's Learning Agreement to verify the information he/she has entered and must sign it indicating acceptance. They then have the responsibility to do their part to fulfill that learning contract through an employment experience that will benefit their organization and provide the student with a professional employment experience. The employer supervisor is to be a mentor to facilitate the student's learning and the student's success.

At the close of the internship, the employer is asked to return to us an evaluation of the internship experience and the student's performance. They have the option to share their evaluation with the student or they may ask that the faculty sponsor review it with the student.

The employer is also asked to contact us should any difficulties arise where the university may be helpful in coming to an expedient resolution.

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