Academic Internships Office

The Student Learning Agreement

The Learning Agreement serves two purposes:

  • It acts as an official agreement between student, employer/supervisor, and university regarding expectations of the experience.
  • It confirms that the experience is worthy of University credit, and outlines the conditions for those credits.

    The links below will help you complete a quality Learning Agreement. Please read these segments to be sure your Learning Agreement will gain the approval of your faculty sponsor and your employer supervisor.

    » Download the Student Learning Agreement form

    *Students from the School of Business should download this edition of the Student Learning Agreement.

    Jump to: Data Sheet | Learning Plan | Objectives | Resources and Methods | Documentation of Learning | Authorizing Signatures

    Learning Agreement Data Sheet

    Student Information Section

    The first section provides information on how you can be contacted and related academic information, major(s) and class standing. This is important since many students live off-campus during their internship.

    Employer Information Section

    This section provides information on your employer, your supervisor, how we may contact them, and a bit about your relationship with them (i.e. compensation, hours of work per week, start and end dates). The employer data is important to be able to contact you at your workplace and to check with your supervisor on your progress. Be sure you complete all parts of this section, including: non-profit, compensation, e-mail, web address, start/end dates and hours per week.

    Faculty Section

    This portion notes who your faculty sponsor is, their contact information, your internship title, and the academic data: course, credits, type of grade, etc. It also asks for a brief description of your employer and your job.

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    Learning Plan

    This section is the "syllabus" for your internship course.

    Your faculty sponsor may be able to talk with you about the value of this experience beyond the prescribed job description provided by the employer.

    The Learning Plan becomes critical if your experience doesn't seem to be providing the quality opportunities you expected. With a well-written Learning Plan, we can leverage the employer to provide what they have agreed to in signing the Learning Agreement. The extra efforts and time taken to draw up a quality Learning Plan will pay off in the quality of your experience resulting in a more purposeful and meaningful outcome.

    Your faculty sponsor has the final authority to approve your internship. However, it is a good idea to prepare a Learning Plan as a proposal for your faculty sponsor to review.


    A Learning Objective is a goal that you set for yourself to be accomplished during your internship experience. Learning Objectives clearly describe what you want to learn and accomplish during your work term.

    When developing your learning objectives, remember that they need to be measurable, understandable, and attainable. They should be stated in terms of the results you want to achieve. Learning Objectives contain two main types of information: 1) A statement of what you expect to achieve or learn through your work experience, and 2) An indication of the level of achievement you expect to obtain.

    You may find it helpful to consider these questions as you draft your Learning Objectives:

    1. What are my career goals at this time?
    2. What details in this job description will lead to accomplishing my career goals?
    3. How does this internship relate to my major or academic program?
    4. What new knowledge or information can I get from this?
    5. What new competencies and skills can I develop?

    Resources and Methods

    This is where you outline what you will do at your worksite to achieve the objectives. What resources are available to you that will help you learn what you set out to learn? This can include personnel manuals, professional publications, training guides, equipment, access to information resources, computer systems, etc. What specific parts of your job and responsibilities will be an avenue to learning these things? Identify those specific responsibilities that clearly will take you through the learning experience toward achieving your objectives. What persons/positions will be important teachers for you?

    Be sure to also include regular visits with your supervisor throughout your internship as a method of learning.

    Documentation of Learning

    This portion of the Learning Plan is where you summarize what you will do to document your academic learning and the achievement of your objectives.

    This is the evaluation and assessment portion that of the Learning Objectives. It incorporates the Resources and Methods outlined.

    You probably know better than anyone how to document what you expect to learn. Your documentation should be done in a scholarly manner, that means vocabulary and writing skills should be at their academic best.

    Some typical methods of documenting your learning are journals, progress reports, readings, portfolios, presentations, research reports, and final reflective reports. Your faculty may have other methods, too. Your faculty sponsor has the final word on what will be required of you for academic purposes. It is up to you to propose to them what you believe is appropriate for your experience and your field. Keep in mind the number of credits for which you are being registered will impact the rigor of your course.

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    Authorizing Signatures

    The last portion of the Learning Agreement is the Authorizing Signatures. The Learning Agreement is not valid until all signatures are obtained. This needs to be done prior to registration or by permission if that is not possible. If your employer is out of the area, a faxed copy of the signed agreement is acceptable. The Internship Office can fax the document for you if you request it. If you are uncertain who any of the parties are, contact the Academic Internship Office or your faculty sponsor.

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    PLU is committed to providing equal opportunity in employment and in education for all members of the University community without regard to an individual's race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law.