Internship Policy and Procedure

HDFS 491 internship procedure

Soon after the student selects a curriculum major in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, it is expected that the student will become familiar with the breadth and scope of potential internships. This can be accomplished through discussions with the practicum coordinator and with other HDFS faculty.

HDFS 491 Internship Reservation Request

Student responsibilities

Prior to the internship experience

  • 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 student will be responsible for supplying the practicum coordinator with complete mailing information for both the student and the site supervisor no later than the first day of the internship.
  • The student will prepare goals and objectives defining expectations of accomplishment during the internship based on the student’s interpretation of the proposed internship in the given setting.
  • The goals and objectives will be as specific as possible and prepared in the accepted format. An example is available from the practicum coordinator.
  • The objectives will be discussed with the internship site supervisor before the start of the internship. The goals and objectives will be turned in to the university practicum coordinator after discussion with the site supervisor, no later than the first day of the semester in which the internship starts.
  • The student will provide the internship 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 (for example, 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.

During the internship experience

  • 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 be given for time spent at the internship, but the student will not receive full credit for the experience. The student will take the responsibility for making arrangements to fulfill the additional credits by working with the practicum coordinator and exploring options available to the student.
  • Written work is expected for the internship by the department. The student is expected to be committed primarily to the internship site. However, required written assignments are critical to the internship experience and are expected to reflect careful consideration by the student.
  • The student will participate in an on-line discussion group and also submit a journal documenting activities. The requirements for all the written assignments will be discussed in the internships information meeting. The assignments will be due to the practicum coordinator every week during the internship experience.

Internship site responsibilities

Prior to 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 internship will cooperatively evaluate the student’s statement of objectives.
  • 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 (for example, 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 practicum experience.

Department practicum coordinator responsibility

  • 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 for the purpose of establishing a file for future internships at the specific internship site.