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Internships for Credit

The Experiential Learning Office is here to help you establish internships for academic courses that are non-clinical or non-teaching. We coordinate the student internship procedures outlined in Admin 103: Internship Policy and EO 1064.

Purpose

Along with important career-related and life skills gained in an internship, students learn the importance of evaluating the quality of an internship experience, receiving training, and why safety protocols matter. The procedures outlined below help to build collaborative and safe partnerships with internship sites and help students to make informed decisions about their internship experience.

Definitions

Internships

“An academic 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 service learning, business, non-profit, or government setting. This does not include teacher preparation placements or clinical placements such as for nursing, counseling, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.” Learn more about Internships.

Service Learning vs. Internships

“Service learning (also referred to as community-based learning) is a teaching method in which meaningful service is a critical component of course curriculum and assessment of student learning. It is characterized by critical reflection and a collaborative partnership among the instructor, students, and community, with a focus on both student learning and community impact.” Learn more about Service Learning.

Cal State LA recognizes the benefits of off-campus academic activities as well as the need to maximize the educational experience. This process applies to off-campus academic internships that are related to the academic programs of the University, not including teacher and clinical placements. Learn more about Admin 103: Internship Policy.

Process

Cal State LA recognizes the benefits of off-campus academic activities as well as the need to maximize the educational experience. This process applies to off-campus academic internships that are related to the academic programs of the University, not including teacher and clinical placements. Learn more about Admin 103: Internship Policy.

Step One: University-Site Partnership

Prior to placing students in an internship for academic credit, an assessment of the appropriateness of the internship site must be conducted and a written assessment summary must be retained by the Career Center. The following considerations must be addressed by the relevant parties, which the Career Center will coordinate.  

Students may not enroll in an internship course until the partnership is established.

Steps for Consideration Role
Identification of the appropriate individual from the internship site to supervise the student and the selection criteria and basic skills required of the student.

Internship Site

Evaluation of the eduactional environment, the potential for the internship site to provide an educationally appropriate experience and the potenial for the student academic experience and its relationship to the student's academic study. Faculty
Identification of the potential risks of the internship site. Cal State LA Risk Management and Environmental Health & Safety
Agreement of internship site to meet campus expectations, the internship site's and campus's role in the internship and the students' responsibilities. Cal State LA Procurement Contracts and Support Services

Step Two: Course Documents

Before the student begins the internship, the following steps must be completed, which the Career Center will coordinate. 

Steps for Course Orientation Role
Liability waivers and relevant campus trainings. Student
Student orientation and checklist that includes conduct expectations, health and safety instructions, and emergency contacts. Internship Site & Student
Student emergency contacts, participation guidelines, and learning agreement addressing the work to be provided by the student, the learning outcomes, and the placement logistics (including hours and pay). Internship Site, Faculty & Student 

Getting Started

As faculty, your initiation of the academic internship process involves the Internship for Credit Request form, which is distributed with DocuSign in the following situations: 

Student Requests Internship

Student identifies the faculty who will teach the course. The student and faculty complete the Internship for Credit Request form. The student will be the “Requestor” and should enter the faculty name and email under “Faculty.” An official copy of the internship description must be attached to the request form. An offer letter can also be attached.  

Faculty Requests Partnership

If you identify an internship site, submit the Internship for Credit Request form. You will be the “Requestor” and the “Faculty.” An official copy of the internship description must be attached to the request form. 

Employer Requests Partnership

Employers regularly approach the Career Center to establish an internship for academic-credit. A completed Partnership Request form, including the internship description, will be sent to relevant faculty for review. If approved, you should submit the Internship for Credit Request form and attach the approved internship descriptions.

Internship for Credit Request

Student Resources

Four students wearing business attire stand in front of a wall with an NBC Universal sign.

Our staff provide a range of services to help students successfully identify, apply for and obtain an internship, including: 

  • Academic Internship Road Map
  • Internship postings on Cal State LA Handshake 
  • How to Evaluate Opportunities 
  • How to Prepare Application Materials