University-Wide Internship

U UNI 290 (1-4 credits) and U UNI 390 (1-15 credits)

Through proposals for the University-Wide Internship, students have obtained approval for internships in a very wide variety of areas. For these pursuits, it is assumed that the student will secure the opportunity on his or her own, find appropriate faculty sponsorship, and then apply to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for approval of the desired credit. University-Wide Internships are usually taken for 1-4 credits in the case of U UNI 290, and 1-9 credits in the case of  U UNI 390. Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may petition the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for up to a maximum of 15 credits for U UNI 390.

U UNI 290 Internships are open to those University at Albany matriculated students who will have sophomore standing or higher (have completed at least 24 graduation credits) prior to the beginning of the internship and who have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.00.

U UNI 390 Internships are open to those University at Albany matriculated students who will have junior standing or higher (have completed at least 56 graduation credits) prior to the beginning of the internship and who have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.00.

Purpose

Internships are intended to give advanced students an opportunity to learn how to effectively apply their university studies to work in relevant professional settings. Internships thus differ from independent study projects in that the major component of an internship involves the student actively taking part in the work of an off-campus agency or organization.

Requirements
The following are requirements that a proposed internship must satisfy to be eligible for academic credit:

  1. Relevance
    The internship should represent a bridge between the student's academic work and the student's intended profession. The particular internship should be seen as a coherent part of the student's academic program, not an isolated episode.
  2. Specific Responsibilities
    The student and the host agency or organization must arrange for specific responsibilities or projects to which the student will be assigned as an intern. These responsibilities must draw in some way on knowledge and skills the student acquired in university studies. This requirement is designed to protect the student from being assigned to just menial tasks from which little learning can result, and to ensure that the academic purpose of internships, as stated above, is achieved.
  3. Supervision
    The student's on-site work must be supervised and evaluated by a knowledgeable professional. It is not productive for an intern to be in a situation where nobody in the host agency or organization is sufficiently knowledgeable to evaluate the student's performance and provide constructive feedback. This supervisor will be required to make a formal evaluation of the student's performance, in writing, to be delivered to the faculty sponsor.
  4. Faculty Sponsorship
    The student's internship must be sponsored by a member of the full-time teaching faculty whose expertise applies to the work in which the student will engage as an intern. If the proposed academic sponsor is not a member of the full-time tenure track teaching faculty, a statement must be provided, detailing how this individual’s expertise applies to the work in which the student will engage as an intern. The Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies retains the final authority to approve internship projects and supervisors.
  5. Academic Component
    Because an internship is a learning experience in which certain knowledge and skills come to be applied in practical situations, the student is expected to demonstrate that he or she has reflected upon and learned those applications. Such learning can usually be fostered by readings in journals and books about the methods or goals of the host agency or organization, or can be demonstrated by written work, based on the readings on the student's experiences, aimed at analyzing specific projects in which the student engaged and/or organization and operations of the host agency or organization. The specific readings and written assignments in the academic component are to be worked out with the faculty sponsor, and supervised and evaluated by him or her.
  6. Credit
    45 hours of instruction and supplementary work are required for each academic credit awarded. Hence, a 3-credit internship must involve a total of at least 135 hours of on-site work and academic work, 6 credits at least 270 hours, and so forth. However, applicants should be aware that the number of credits involved does not automatically result from the number of hours spent at the host agency or organization. The committee will also consider the complexity and amount of repetitiveness in the tasks involved in the internship, and the specifics of the academic component, in deciding how many credits the proposed internship should receive upon its successful completion.
  7. Grading
    Internships are graded on an S/U basis only. The evaluation is made by the faculty sponsor on the basis of the student's on-site supervisor's report, and the student's work on the academic component.

WE ENCOURAGE STUDENTS APPLYING FOR U UNI 290/390 TO SPEAK WITH THE INTERNSHIP DIRECTOR AFTER READING THE APPLICATION/INFORMATION PACKET AVAILABLE IN THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PROVOST FOR UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION IN LECTURE CENTER 30.

Application Procedure

Students interested in academic credit for an internship are responsible for locating a position in an agency or organization, obtaining appropriate faculty sponsorship, and then applying to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee as follows:

  1. Students should complete the application packet including a transcript release form.
  2. Students should submit a proposal in which they explain in detail, how the internship satisfies each of the concerns above, specifically focusing on the relevance of the following:
    ◦Relevance
    ◦Responsibilities
    ◦Supervision
    ◦Faculty Sponsor
    ◦Academic component
    ◦Credits

    The committee's willingness to approve an internship, and its decisions about the amount of academic credit to be awarded, depend heavily on this proposal. It is therefore essential that the proposal be written carefully, thoughtfully, and completely.
  3. Students should provide a document from the host agency or organization, on letterhead stationery, specifying what the student's responsibilities will be, indicating the identity, title and telephone number of the supervisor and indicating that the student has obtained the internship.
  4. Students should provide a supporting letter from the faculty sponsor (who must be a member of the full-time teaching staff). This letter should clearly identify the nature of the academic component, including a description of required written work (daily journals, position papers, etc.) and reading assignments (texts, journal articles, etc.). The faculty sponsor should explicitly endorse the student's request for a given credit load.

Deadlines

FOR SPRING SEMESTER INTERNSHIPS - DECEMBER 1ST.
FOR SUMMER INTERNSHIPS - MAY 1ST.
FALL SEMESTER INTERNSHIPS - AUGUST 1ST.

COMPLETED APPLICATIONS CAN BE TURNED IN BEFOREHAND.

IF A STUDENT APPLIES BEFORE ADVANCED REGISTRATION, HE/SHE SHOULD REGISTER AS IF THE INTERNSHIP IS NOT APPROVED.

The completed application form, signed by the faculty sponsor, the proposal (with letters from sponsor and site supervisor) and the most recent copy of the student's transcript (official or unofficial) or the transcript release form, should be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Education for presentation to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, by the stated deadline.

Once a proposal has been approved, the student is notified by mail. He/she must register for the University-Wide Internship credits by picking up the appropriate information from the Office for Undergraduate Education. If the student has advanced registered it is the student's responsibility to drop the necessary courses and register for the University-Wide Internship credits.

APPLICATIONS FOR U UNI 290/390 ARE AVAILABLE IN UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION, LECTURE CENTER 30, BEGINNING ON THE FIRST DAY OF FALL SEMESTER CLASSES.

Should you have any questions after you have read the information packet included with the applications, you may call (518) 442-3950 or come to LC 30.

 

 

Application for U UNI 290

Application for U UNI 390