The Graduate Internship Program is an ideal form of experiential learning, a way to get to know a segment of the field, and an opportunity to enhance professional skills. It may become the most important avenue for you in career planning and placement.
The purpose of the internship program is to provide you with a career experience and to help you develop skills appropriate to work and the work environment. In some cases you will receive a basic introduction, and in others you will receive an in-depth understanding and/or working knowledge of a specific employment area in adult and higher education. In general, internships require 120 hours of field experience.
The primary focus of the internship is to provide you with a professional experience. To achieve this goal it is recommended that you engage in an internship situation that will provide you:
After preliminary discussions with your NIU internship coordinator and field supervisor, you should outline your learning objectives for the internship by completing the Learning Objectives and Activities Form . Be as specific as possible. The learning objectives will be reviewed by your field supervisor and the NIU coordinator. After negotiation and adjustments, if any, these learning objectives will guide your total internship experience.
It is the responsibility of your field supervisor to guide you in achieving these objectives, to provide a context for significant learning, and to act as professional mentor. It is your responsibility to arrange meetings, make regular journal entries, have forms completed, and request evaluations and letters of recommendation. Arranging a time frame within which the internship will be pursued will be a concern for you, your field supervisor and your internship coordinator alike.
Internships tend to be directed at six major types of organizations:
Internships often provide opportunities to further develop skills in:
So, whether it is research, teaching, program development, administration, or marketing, the internship program offers you a reality against which to test the knowledge you have gained in graduate study.
Selecting a site and developing appropriate learning objectives are tasks usually undertaken in consultation with your internship coordinator and field supervisor. Objectives should reflect a desire to:
Examples of professional activities undertaken by students in the Graduate Internship Program in Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University include:
This course is graded on an Unsatisfactory or Satisfactory grading scale. If all requirements are met then you will receive an S for the course. No letter grades are awarded for internship.
For further information on how you can get started contact:
Dept. of Counseling, Adult & Higher Education
Northern Illinois University
Gabel Hall 200
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2896
Phone: (815) 753-1448