Academic Internships, Policy on

Month/Year Posted: 
February, 2012
Policy Number: 
VPAA 10-07*

SUPERSEDES VPAA 10-07: HSU Internship Policy

I. Purpose

This policy establishes guidelines and procedures for HSU student internship and delegates responsibility for implementation to the provost or vice president of academic affairs or designee.

II. Delegation of Authority

The president or designee has the responsibility for the development, implementation and maintenance of the campus student internship policy, and for ensuring that there is a means for future review of the policy that is updated and communicated to faculty and staff at appropriate intervals.

III. Terms and Definitions

An internship formally integrates the student’s academic study with practical experience in a cooperating organization. It is an off-campus activity designed to serve educational purposes by offering experience in a business, non-profit, or government setting. For the purpose of this policy “internship” does not include teacher preparation placements, social work placements, or clinical placements such as for nursing, counseling, physical therapy or occupational therapy. Any activity that does not involve academic credit is not an academic internship.

An internship site is the organization at which the internship takes place.

IV. Campus Student Internship Policy

Internship Planning
  • Individual to be responsible for oversight of the policy;

The provost or vice president for academic affairs is responsible for oversight of this policy.

  • Academic policies for establishing and internship;

The student schedules an individual meeting with the faculty member who will oversee the internship. Prior to the start of the internship the faculty member must give the student approval that the agency with which they wish to intern has an approved Learning Site Agreement.

  • Awarding of Academic Credit

The student and faculty member shall determine a specific number of hours per unit of academic credit granted that is comparable to other academic courses, with a minimum of 45hrs/SCU.

  • Accommodation plan for students with special needs;

The supervising faculty member will provide students with special needs an individualized education plan that provides reasonable accommodations to allow the student to participate.

  • Emergency response plan;

eview emergency preparedness processes and the crisis response plan with the student and agency supervisor. Make information available with the names and telephone numbers of who to contact in case of emergency.

Students will be advised to immediately report any injury to the onsite supervisor and the instructor.

  • Student compensation, if applicable; and

Student compensation should be determined before the beginning of the internship and documented.

  • Minimum requirements for agreements between the internship site and university.

Students are required to provide evidence of completing, at a minimum, the following eligibility requirement prior to the start of the internship. Students who do not meet the eligibility requirement will NOT be permitted to intern:

     a. GPA = 2.0 (overall & Major; higher standards may be established)
     b. Students may present a petition which must be approved by the faculty member and dean if they are unable to meet the above            eligibility requirement.
     c. International students must obtain the necessary approvals from Office of International Programs in advance of internship
Placement Assessment

Prior to placing students, an assessment of the appropriateness of the internship site as a placement for HSU students shall be conducted.  A written assessment summary of the internship site shall be completed and retained by the office of the provost or vice president of academic affairs or his/her designee and be available for review. That summary shall respond, at minimum, to the following considerations:

  • The potential for the internship site to provide an educationally appropriate experience;
  • Identification of the potential risks of the internship site;
  • Identification of an appropriate individual from the host organization to supervise the student at the internship site;
  • Evaluation of the educational environment;
  • Evaluation of the potential for student academic experience and its relationship to the student’s academic study;
  • Selection criteria and basic skills required of the student; and
  • Agreement of internship site to meet campus expectations, including a signed Learning Site Agreement between the internship site and HSU that addresses both the internship site's and the campus's role in the internship, as well as the student’s responsibilities.
Internship Site Visits

A site visit shall be performed and an On-Site Assessment form completed. The site visit may be bypassed if the campus can demonstrate and document sufficient knowledge of the internship site. This could be accomplished through online review, published materials, direct contact with the site or completion of a Learning Site Self-Assessment form by the site.


Placement and Orientation

Before the student begins the internship, the following steps shall be completed:

  • Student orientation that includes conduct expectations, health and safety instructions, and emergency contacts;
  • If the internship placement is not required as part of the student’s academic program, the student must complete the Release of Liability form (see Executive Order 1051);
  • Internship Learning Plan form signed by the student, internship site supervisor and university representative. The form addresses the work to be provided by the student, the learning outcomes, and the placement logistics (including hours and pay); and
  • Student Participation Guidelines form signed by student.



Annual Review

The provost or vice president of academic affairs or his/her designee is responsible for annual review of the internships, both for educational purposes and for safety to the students. This review should take into account information gathered from on-site supervisors, faculty, university staff, and student experience.


V. Document Retention

Documentation of the above items shall be retained for three years by the office of the provost or vice president of academic affairs or his/her designee. It is recommended that the instructional agenda, name and contact information for the internship site, student information, and executed liability waiver be retained together after the conclusion of the semester during which the internship took place. Electronic copies of the documents are permissible.



  • On-Site Assessment
  • Learning Site Self-Assessment
  • Learning Site Agreement
  • Internship Learning Plan
  • Student Participation Guidelines
  • Release of Liability


Academic Policies Committee, 14 February 2012

University Senate: Passed Unanimously, 03/27/2012 (Senate Resolution #22-11/12-APC)

President Richmond:  Approved, 04/27/2012