Internship Policy and Procedure

HDFS 491 internship procedure and policies

Soon after the student selects a major in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the student will become familiar with the breadth and scope of potential internships through discussions with the practicum coordinator and with other HDFS faculty.

Student responsibilities

  • The student is required to initiate contact with the practicum coordinator one (1) semester before the actual internship experience.
  • The student will be responsible for completing, signing and submitting the HDFS 491 Internship Learning Agreement to the practicum coordinator no later than the first week of the internship. The completed agreement will include complete contact information for both the student and the site supervisor
  • The student will prepare goals defining expectations of accomplishment during the internship based on the student’s interpretation of the proposed internship in the given setting. The goals will be as specific as possible and prepared in the accepted format. An example is available from the practicum coordinator.
  • The goals will be discussed with the internship site supervisor before the start of the internship. The goals will be submitted to the university practicum coordinator after discussion with the internship site supervisor, no later than the first day of the semester in which the internship starts.
  • The student will provide the internship site and the practicum coordinator with a 1-2 page resume of educational background and previous work experience.
  • The student will have an agreement with the internship site concerning a specific work schedule (e.g., number of hours per week). Only under unusual circumstances, will the student expect and ask for time off. The student must complete 320 hours (8 credits) or 360 hours (9 credits) of work during the internship.
  • The internship site will spend a considerable amount of time in training and supervising the student’s activities, therefore, the student will be expected to conduct themselves professionally at all times.
  • The student is representing the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the College of Human Sciences, and Iowa State University at all times. Maximum effort is expected.
  • If the student fails to meet the reasonable expectations of the department and/or the internship site, the internship will be terminated immediately. Credit will not be given for time spent at the internship. The student will take the responsibility for making arrangements to find another internship by working with the practicum coordinator and exploring other available options.
  • The student will participate in on-line discussion group activities. Written assignments are critical to the internship experience. The requirements for all the written assignments will be discussed in HDFS 418B. The assignments will be due to the practicum coordinator every week during the internship experience and are expected to reflect careful consideration by the student.

Internship site eligibility requirements

To enusre appropriate internship placement, the agency must meet the following requirements:

  • Be approved by HDFS Practicum Coordinator
  • Be professionally recognized and competent in the delivery of programs and/or services within child, adult and family services.
  • Be a new work setting and/or experience with substantially different job responsibilities than previous and/or current employment.
  • Reflect the program option as indicated on the degree audit
  • Provide a qualified (e.g., education, experience, and/or certification) Intern supervisor.
  • Provide supervision and mentorship contributing to professional development.
  • Provide opportunities to observe and participate in all aspects of program/service delivery.
  • Participate in the Intern evaluation process.
  • Provide internship duties and responsibilities that include delivery of services to clients.
  • Provide resources necessary to support intern in the satisfactory completion of his or her goals and objectives, and the completion of assigned duties/tasks (e.g., equipment, materials, work space).

Internship site responsibilities

Prior to the internship experience:

  • Internship site personnel will meet with the student to evaluate the feasibility of an internship placement for the student. Specific indications of the involvement expected of the student will be provided by the personnel from the site. The internship site personnel will develop an agenda and a time line with the student’s input. The internship site personnel prior to the start of the practicum will cooperatively evaluate the student’s written goals. The HDFS 491 Internship Learning Agreement will be completed by the site supervisor and student together.

During the internship experience:

  • Internship site personnel will provide daily supervision of the student’s activities to evaluate progress. Internship site personnel will have free and open access to the department practicum coordinator whenever desired.
  • Internship site personnel will provide working space for the student.
  • Internship site personnel will discuss with the student the resources available to the student, including limitations of the resources (e.g., use of phones, office supplies, administrative assistance).

At the end of the internship experience:

  • Internship site personnel will provide a written evaluation of the student’s performance upon completion of the internship experience.

Department practicum coordinator responsibilities

  • The practicum coordinator will assist the student in finding an internship placement as necessary.
  • During the internship-planning phase and the experience itself, the practicum coordinator will work with the student to achieve a beneficial and rewarding internship experience.
  • The practicum coordinator will communicate in writing with the internship site personnel during the student’s internship experience.
  • The practicum coordinator will evaluate the student’s written assignments and maintain communication with the student as needed.
  • The practicum coordinator will establish and maintain a continuing record of the student’s work experience during the internship. A separate record of the internship site (excluding personal data from specific students) will be maintained to establish a file for future internships.