More than 400 businesses, schools or organizations host Westfield State University students for approximately 8 to 40 hours per week, in paid or unpaid positions that relate directly to their individual academic program and career interests.
CREATING AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
If you have never hosted an intern before and would like some guidance on how to effectively do this, we have created a guide to help you in the process. If you are hoping to develop a virtual internship program, we have outlined some key factors for consideration in our Designing a Virtual Internship Program guide. Please don't hesitate to call us (413-572-5206) with any questions or to set up a meeting to discuss this further.
INTERNSHIP CREDIT POLICY
Students can earn up to 15 college credits for their internship experiences. Students must complete 120 hours for every three credits that they receive. Most students will complete a 3 or 6 credit internship (8 hrs./week or 16 hrs./week) with many seeking paid, full-time opportunities during the summer. If a student is interested in receiving academic credit, the student will be responsible for providing the employer with the necessary paperwork.
As an Internship Site Supervisor, you will be asked to provide the student an orientation for the student to your organization's goals and the responsibilities of the position, to integrate the student's learning objectives with the job specifications, and accommodate an on-site visit by a representative from the University. Supervisors will also be asked to assess the student's performance through standard evaluation forms, which are an integral part of the student's grade. Westfield State University complies with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding unpaid internships.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers has identified the following criteria that internship postings must meet:
1. 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.
2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of experience.
6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.