An internship is an opportunity for you to apply the theories and principles from the coursework you have taken in your concentration to a professional work setting in an approved supervised site.
It varies depending on the concentration. Agency internships are available for the family studies concentration in programs serving families and for the adolescent and youth concentration in programs serving youth and adolescents. For the early childhood development concentration, students complete internships in classrooms of NAEYC accredited preschool programs or in agencies serving children. Child Life students intern in hospitals.
As long as you are not taking any other on campus classes and have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher, you may intern anywhere if the site meets the necessary requirements to support an internship in your concentration. Child Life internships are secured through a competitive interview process. Students have interned throughout the state, the country, and even internationally.
The internship is the culminating experience of your undergraduate program and is completed during the last semester that you are enrolled at the university.
Schedule a meeting two semesters before you plan to intern. The summer semester is not counted since the coordinator does not meet with students about internship placements in the summer. In addition, the internship placement must be confirmed by the advising/registration period of the semester before interning.
Example: Students interning in the summer would meet with the internship coordinator the fall semester before and have their placement confirmed by spring advising/registration before the summer internship.
You should allow at least one month from the time you first meet with the internship coordinator for the process to be completed. You will need to meet with your academic advisor before meeting with the internship coordinator, so schedule that first. Keep in mind that it may take up to two weeks or more to get an appointment with the internship coordinator. Child Life students need to apply to certain hospitals two semesters before their internship.
Since your internship is a requirement of your concentration, it must be an experience that is related to and supports your concentration.
An internship may be 6 or 12 credit hours, although most are 6 credit hours. The concentrations offering 12 credit hour internships are Child Life and Early Childhood Development. A student must complete 250 clock hours for 6 hours of credit and 500 for 12 hours of credit. Child Life students, however, are required to complete 560 clock hours for 12 credit hours.
Students concentrating in Early Childhood Development may choose to select either a 6 credit hour internship in an agency or NAEYC accredited preschool program or a 12 credit hour internship in one of The Children’s Program classrooms of the Child Development Research Center.
You must complete a separate internship for each concentration.
May I take courses with my internship? You may take up to 6 credit hours with a 6 credit hour internship. Keep in mind that your major courses must be completed before your internship. Child Life and Early Childhood Development students enrolled in twelve credit hour internships must complete all of their coursework prior to their internship.
You should meet with the HDFS internship coordinator before independently contacting or making appointments to discuss internships with potential internship sites. The HDFS internship coordinator has information that students must have before proceeding regarding contact protocol and availability of internship opportunities at various sites.
First of all, you can meet with your academic advisor to determine which semester you will be academically ready to begin your internship. Next, consider what your professional goals are so that you may be prepared to explore internship opportunities that support your career interests with the internship coordinator. What kind of work would be most fulfilling to you? Will you need to pursue graduate school or will you be able to enter the work force upon graduation? Your academic advisor can help you think through these questions and other pertinent career issues.
Contact the HDFS internship coordinator by email or phone (email is preferred). Make sure you have scheduled a meeting with your academic advisor before you make an appointment with the internship coordinator. When you meet with your academic advisor have him/her sign the HDFS Internship Application Form (access from HDFS website) and bring it with you to the meeting with the internship coordinator.