Explore the information below to learn about academic internships at HCC.
An academic internship is three-way partnership between a student, a faculty sponsor, and a community partner, which links classroom learning with real-world experience in a professional setting.
The main priority of an academic internship is to provide students with a learning experience during which they gain new knowledge by performing tasks, working on projects, completing other on-the-job learning experiences, and through mentoring. They are usually the length of a semester, part-time, and can be paid or unpaid.
Combining productive work with academic learning is a proven method for promoting the academic, personal, and career development of students!
The role of faculty sponsors is to oversee the academic integrity of the internship and to provide the student intern with continuous direction and support.
- Assessing student readiness, serving as a resource in identifying possible internship opportunities, and providing guidance in cooperation with ExL coordinator
- Confirming that the experience will count for academic credit
- Assisting the student with writing learning objectives that describe desired internship outcomes using the Learning Agreement, and discussing expectations of performance
- Creating reflective assignments, and reviewing meeting schedules and methods of grading
- Communicating with internship site supervisor
- Assisting students and/or site supervisor with resolving issues that may arise, and reporting to ExL coordinator
- Providing the final grade
Learn more about sponsoring an HCC student intern.
The Learning Agreement is a contract that defines the terms of the internship and outlines the academic responsibilities and obligations of the intern, faculty sponsor, and site supervisor.
Completing the learning agreement is a coordinated three-step process:
- The student obtains an internship job description from the site supervisor
- The faculty sponsor assists the student in craft learning objectives
- The student shares the learning objectives with the site supervisor ensuring they are obtainable
The six learning outcomes serve as guidelines for the academic credibility and transferability of the internship. These outcomes are in accordance with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and the NSEE Eight Principles for Good Practice that encompass career, professional, personal, technical, theoretical, and analytical skills relevant for student internship experiences in all academic disciplines.
- Develop technical skills and professional communications in a work setting
- Utilize industry and organizational structures, culture, and ethics
- Apply and reflect on the connections to academic theory and practice
- Apply critical thinking, research, and problem-solving skills
- Develop awareness of self, others, and social responsibility in a work, career, and global context
- Establish a network of professional contacts, mentors, and references
By working with the ExL program, you won't just reduce the time and effort required to coordinate academic internships, you will utilize a structured program based on national best practices.
The success of our program relies on the collaborative efforts of four partners:
- The student intern
- The faculty sponsor
- The community partner
- The ExL coordinator
The ExL coordinator organizes these efforts by:
- Following up, assessing, and coordinating internship opportunities, ensuring they offer true learning experiences and abide by FLSA guidelines
- Assisting community partners with creating or enhancing internship programs
- Providing resources and guidance to students throughout the internship search and application processes
- Addressing and troubleshooting issues that may arise at the internship site
- Coordinating student and community partner academic internship documents
Academic internships assume a certain amount of work and time spent at the internship site. The credits earned are not tied solely to hours "on the job," but to the amount and type of academic work assigned by the faculty sponsor. Assignments must also align with the number of credits earned. Academic internships carry one, two, or three credits.
|# of credits earned||# of hours with student (per semester)|
|1 credit||3.5 hours|
|2 credits||6.5 hours|
|3 credits||10 hours|
The academic work of the internship is defined by the faculty sponsor and could include:
- Reflective journaling
- Compiling portfolios
- Writing integrative papers
- ExL Carreer Readiness Modules
- Periodic discussions (in-person and/or online) of student intern's progress at the internship site and on their academic assignments
As academic internships are a form of experiential learning, they are based on activity that is reflected upon. Learning that is considered "experiential" contains all of the following elements:
- Reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis
- Opportunities for students to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for the results
- Opportunities for students to engage intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially,and/or physically
- A designed learning experience that includes the possibility to learn from naturalconsequences, mistakes, and successes
Full-time and/or adjunct faculty will receive compensation for each individual internship, with a limit of 10 per term.
|# of credits||# of hours with student||Rate||Compensation|
|1 credit||3.5 hours||$143||1 student = $143 (up to 10 students = $1,430)|
|2 credits||6.5 hours||$286||1 student = $286 (up to 10 students = $2,860)|
|3 credits||10 hours||$430||1 student = $430 (up to 10 students = $4,300)|
Who can be a faculty sponsor?
- Full-time HCC faculty
- Adjunct faculty with experience at HCC
Learn more about becoming a faculty sponsor.
Note: Faculty sponsors should have expertise in the student intern's area of interest.