PLS 490 or IR 490
Political Science: Dr. Donald Zinman
Phone: (616) 331-8714; Email: email@example.com
International Relations: Dr. Polly Diven
Phone: (616) 331-3282; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Internship Program in Political Science (PLS) or International Relations (IR) at Grand Valley State University is an opportunity for students to learn through practical experience. While the internship experience is invaluable as a means of professional networking and career advancement, our program is also designed to help students make connections between their regular classroom work and their possible profession. The Internship Program places students in a variety of national, state, and local executive and legislative offices, government agencies, political campaigns, party and interest group organizations, think tanks, judicial agencies, and law firms. IR students may also consider internships in international business or non-government organizations (NGOs).
This syllabus addresses the most frequently asked questions about the program. Please read it carefully before meeting with the Internship Director to discuss the program.
HOW MANY INTERNSHIP CREDITS CAN STUDENTS EARN?
GVSU awards academic credit in proportion to the hours of work a student-intern completes. For each credit, the student is expected to work fifty hours (e.g. the student must work a total of 150 hours to receive three credits and 300 hours to receive six credits). A typical schedule during the fall or winter semesters is 10 hours a week for 15 weeks to obtain three credits and 20 hours a week for 15 weeks to obtain six credits (though students may choose 2, 4 or 5 credits as well). Up to six internship credits can be applied toward the credits needed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science or international relations. The official course number for registration is PLS 490 (political science) or IR 490 (international relations).
HOW DO STUDENTS FIND AN INTERNSHIP?
Generally one of the key steps in finding an internship is to meet with the Internship Director to discuss placement opportunities. Prior to the meeting, students should also consult at least three campus resources:
Please note: While the Internship Director will help prospective interns find a suitable organization, students themselves are ultimately responsible for identifying and contacting a sponsoring organization.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE INTERNSHIP PROVIDER?
The internship provider is expected to provide the intern with meaningful tasks – ideally a project or series of projects – and regular supervision in the accomplishment of those tasks. Internship providers should specify a supervisor for the intern. Before the student accepts an internship with the sponsoring organization, the student and his/her supervisor will fill out and sign the relevant portions of the Internship Plan (see attached), which includes space for a brief written description of the expected tasks. In addition, the internship supervisor’s responsibilities are to be in regular, direct contact with the intern, provide direction to the intern’s job activity, and complete a final evaluation of the intern.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF INTERNS?
The intern is to perform as if he or she were a regular employee of the office, which includes expectations of neatness, punctuality, productivity, and openness to supervision. Although the primary job responsibility is to work on projects assigned to them, the intern may also be expected to do routine tasks and clerical work. Because the internship is taken for academic credit, the intern must carefully observe, analyze, and reflect upon the organization’s operation and context. See below for evaluation expectations.
HOW IS THE STUDENT’S INTERNSHIP EVALUATED?
At the beginning of the internship, students should complete the following:
(1) Internship Plan and Registration Permit: Prospective interns and their internship supervisors will fill out and sign the Internship Plan form, which is appended to this document. Unless the Internship Director makes an exception for unusual circumstances, the completed form should be submitted to the Internship Director at the time of registration. Upon submission of the Internship Plan, the Internship Director will issue a permit that allows students to register.
(2) Learning Objectives: Within two weeks of the commencement of the internship, students will submit to the Internship Director a brief summary (no more than two pages, double spaced) of their learning objectives. Be sure to keep a copy of the objectives for reference at the end of the semester. Interns should focus on objectives in the following areas:
By the end of the semester (i.e., by the due date on the Internship Plan), students will complete the following:
(1) Supervisor Evaluation: At least two weeks before the end of the internship (the ending date is indicated on the Internship Plan), the intern will request that his or her supervisor forward a performance evaluation directly to the Director. The evaluation should indicate whether the student-intern has performed satisfactorily for the appropriate number of hours. A brief letter or email is usually sufficient.
(2) Internship Portfolio: Each intern is required to turn in an Internship Portfolio at the end of the semester. The Portfolio should be submitted via email. It will comprise the following:
Rev. Sept. 2009
Internship Plan: Political Science 490 and International Relations 490
Intern Name_____________________________ Email Address __________________
Major __________________ Semester ___________ G # _________________________
Financial Compensation (circle one)
HOURLY WAGE (Amount: _______________)
TUITION REIMBURSEMENT (Amount:_____________________)
Internship Supervisor:_____________________________________ Title:_________________________ Organization __________________________________ Email: _______________
Postal Address _____________________________ City/State/Zip________________________________
Phone _____________________________ Ext._________
Internship Start Date _________Internship End Date _________ Hours per week _______
Total # of Hours (50 hrs./ credit) ____________ Internship credits ________
Responsibilities of Intern (to be listed by the Internship Supervisor)
Intern Supervisor Signature _________________________ Date_________________
I understand that the intern will request an evaluation letter no later than two weeks prior to the internship end date, and that the letter is due to the Internship Director by the end date.
Student Signature _________________________________ Date _________________
I understand that I must complete the necessary work for internship credit (as described in the program description, available from the Internship Director) by the internship end date.
Approved by Internship Program Director ________________ Date _________________
For more information, go to Internships at http://www.gvsu.edu/polisci