PREX 405

Professional Readiness Internship Experience

One of the ways students can receive credit for an internship that is not associated with a required course is the Certified Internship Program (CIP). The CIP serves as intentionally-designed, experiential learning opportunities that deliver practical experience in an area directly correlating to a student’s professional goals and interests.

Internships are rooted in student learning and development, working in conjunction with students’ Liberal Arts education. In order for an experience to be considered an authentic and holistic internship, critical reflection, evaluation and feedback must be present throughout the pre-determined time frame. It is essential for internship supervision to be facilitated by an appropriately trained professional in the respective field, acting as a mentor who works with the student in the development of clearly defined internship learning outcomes.

A student’s role throughout the internship experience should complement rather than replace existing internship site employees as per The Fair Labor Standards Act (US Wage and Hour Division, 2010). Additionally, students are required to adhere to policies stated in the Gardner-Webb University Student Handbook specific to the student’s enrollment year.

What This PRE Looks For

To ensure that an experience—whether a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the outlined definition, all the following criteria must be met:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • Prior to the beginning of the internship there are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
  • At the end of the internship, there is an established process for reflection on the learning objectives established earlier.

Possible Internship Opportunities

  • Certified Internship Program, non-credit-bearing internship offered through the GWU Center for Personal and Professional Development
  • Approved internship opportunity offered through an external business, agency, or organization at a local, national or international location

What Students Will Learn

The Project Supervisor and student will develop student learning outcomes specific to the PRE, prior to the experience.

General learning areas to which this experience will contribute are:

  • Provide student with experiences that will enable them to develop sound human relations and spiritual development
  • Provide student opportunity to integrate theory and practice into professional education
  • Provide student opportunity to promote and broaden philosophy and understanding of the profession in which they are interested
  • Enable student to obtain information that can be used as a basis for making choices in relation to future jobs, areas of specialization, and/or further study in their field
  • Enable student to recognize personal strengths and weaknesses and intentionally address those moving forward in their academic, professional and personal goals and endeavors
  • provide student with opportunity to gain awareness and experience in general operations, leadership, problem-solving, and technical skills within their respective field

Process For Completing An Internship Independent of A Course

Step 1:

  • Complete the PRE Student Application and review next steps

Step 2:

  • Application completion and approval by Internship Coordinator
  • Pre-determined proposal submission date clearly indicated by Internship Coordinator upon acceptance into CIP
  • Signed agreement between student, internship site supervisor, internship coordinator
  • Completion of a minimum of 50 on-site hours
  • All necessary assignments, evaluations, contracts, and learning objectives have been signed/submitted to internship coordinator
  • Review of student’s fulfillment of CIP requirements by Internship Coordinator and advisory committee
  • Internship Coordinator will enter Pass / Fail rating for course into WebbConnect, indicating approval of student’s graduation requirement