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Internships for Credit

We are 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. Service-Learning 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... It promotes an understanding of course content, civic responsibility, self-awareness and a commitment to the community... Students do not receive financial compensation and the service-learning placement is a critical component of the course material but does not embody the entirety of the course... Service learning is not an internship.” Learn more about Service Learning.

With service-learning internships, "students may receive financial compensation and the vast majority of the course time is focused on the community placement and resulting projects."

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 Career Center staff 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 educational environment, the potential for the internship site to provide an educationally appropriate experience, the potential for students' academic experience and its relationship to students' 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 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 Career Center staff will coordinate. 

Steps for Course Orientation Role
Liability waivers and relevant campus training. 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

The 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. In addition, an offer letter can 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. 

Faculty Approves an Employer Request Partnership

Employers regularly approach the Career Center to establish an internship for academic credit. We will send the internship description and site self-assessment to the relevant faculty for review. If approved, faculty should submit the Internship for Credit Request form, attach the approved internship description(s), indicate the courses that align with the internship experience and specify which semester terms the internship course may be offered.

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  

Questions? Contact us at 323-343-3293 or [email protected].