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Communication Studies
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  • Student internships

    CST 450 Internship in Communication Studies (1-6 Credits)


    Course description: An academically relevant work experience focusing on career development through professional contexts. Students pursue practical applications of course work in government, public or social service, public relations, business, industry, or related areas. A written report assessing the internship experience in relation to the student's academic preparation is required. Credit depends on the demands and complexity and the duration of the work that the student performs. Each student must work with an appropriate faculty supervisor in his/her selected emphasis area. Evaluation is a joint effort of the cooperating firm or group, the faculty supervisor, and the cooperative education internship liaison. Prerequisite: senior CST major, at least 24 completed credits in CST, prior consent of an appropriate faculty supervisor, and prior departmental approval of the internship. Students and faculty supervisors are responsible for submitting internship proposals for departmental approval prior to registration. Contact the department for information about the approval and registration process. Pass/Fail grading. Repeatable for credit - maximum 6.

    INTERNSHIP INSTRUCTIONS

    The Communication Studies Department encourages students to include an internship as part of their academic experience. Many employers consider an internship to be one of the most important parts of a student’s pre-employment preparation. Students typically complete internships near the end of their academic career to draw on the widest possible range of coursework in completing the internship. It is never too early, however, to begin thinking about and planning for an internship.

    For more CST information information, contact CST Internship Director Dan Modaff, 4221 Centennial Hall, 785-6716, dmodaff@uwlax.edu

    To apply for and complete a CST internship you will need:

    1) An internship site approved by Career Services

    2) A CST faculty member who agrees to be your internship supervisor

    3) CST departmental approval

    Career Services Approval

    ALL INTERNSHIPS MUST BE FILED WITH Career Services. Identify an internship site at which you are interested in working. You have two choices on finding an appropriate internship site. First, Career Services provides lists of internship opportunities that are approved for academic credit, OR, second, you may work with a business or organization to develop a new internship (in these cases, the internship needs to be approved for academic credit). In either case, a person who works with the business or organization must agree to be your on-site internship supervisor.

    Career Services provides detailed descriptions of job responsibilities for established internships. These may be used as they are, or you may work with the on-site internship supervisor to modify the job descriptions to suit your available time and desired credit load. Some internships are very competitive and you will need to apply in the same way that you would apply for a job, by submitting a resume and going through a selection process with an interview

    If you develop a new internship, you will work with your on-site internship supervisor to create a detailed description of the job responsibilities for this internship and complete the Position Description Form (provided by 
    Career Services).

    Faculty Supervisor

    Identify an appropriate faculty supervisor who will agree to be the instructor of record for the internship. Your faculty supervisor should be a member of the faculty who is familiar with the type of work you are doing in your internship.

    Faculty members have limited time and cannot supervise large numbers of internships. They may be unwilling or unable to supervise you if they have prior commitments. Therefore, you need to discuss your plans to set up an internship with the faculty supervisor early in this process. Many faculty members are not available during the summer so make summer plans early!

    CST Department Approval

    When you have filed your internship with Career Services and identified an appropriate faculty sponsor submit the following materials to the CST Internship Director for review and approval:

    1) A brief business letter (use a professional business letter format) addressed to your faculty supervisor and the CST Internship Director asking for approval of your internship. This letter should identify the internship site, the on-site supervisor, the faculty supervisor, the number of credits you wish to earn, the number of hours per week that you plan to work, and the dates on which you will start and end the internship. If you have not met any of the CST department prerequisites for an internship explain the reasons why they should be waived (discuss this with your faculty supervisor and/or the CST Internship Director before writing your letter). Any unusual circumstances concerning the internship should be explained in this letter as well.

    2) A current copy of your unofficial transcript (found on your wings account—warning, do NOT print your full advising report).

    3) A 1-2 page essay in which you explain why you believe your proposed internship deserves academic credit. Explain in the essay how the work you will be doing in your internship fits into your academic program of study.

    4) A detailed description of the responsibilities of your position (this can be the position description filed with Career Services).

    5) The 
    Career Services Internship Approval Form, filled out with requested information, with needed signatures from you, your on-site internship supervisor, and your faculty supervisor.

    Internships are typically given credit on a 40 hours of work per credit basis. Thus, 120 hours of internship work (about 8-10 hours per week throughout the semester) is required for 3 internship credits—240 hours is required for 6 internship credits.

    When your internship has been approved, the CST department Internship Director will sign your 
    Career Services Internship Approval Form. Return Internship Approval Form to the Career Services office (they will provide an override form) and you will be registered into the course.

    There are no departmental deadlines for internship approval. Be aware, however, that many organizations select their interns well before the beginning of the academic semester of the internship. All internship candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their internship proposal on or before the last week of the semester before the internship. Visit 
    Career Services early to begin your internship search.

    Begin your internship search at least one semester before the semester in which you plan to do the internship!