GUIDELINES FOR INTERNSHIPS IN WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES (WGS 380, 381)

Purpose:

Internships taken through the Women’s and Gender Studies program provide students with opportunities, of a kind not usually available in conventional courses, to learn with and from those outside the academic community and to apply to real-life situations the knowledge about gender and social justice that they’ve gained in WGS courses. The course also can give students the chance to test the depth of their interest and the extent of their abilities in occupational fields they are considering. WGS internships can take place in a wide variety of settings and can focus on many different kinds of issues. Previous students have done for-credit internships at organizations such as the following: Planned Parenthood, Northampton Community College’s New Options/New Choices program for older returning students, The Express-Times, Third Street Alliance, Easton Area Neighborhood Center, March Elementary School, Northampton County Prison, Weed and Seed, Warren County Hospital Midwifery program, ProJeCt of Easton, Teens in the Community, and Turning Point. Students have tutored children, worked on domestic violence hotlines, done research and collected data for non-profit agencies, designed and given presentations on health or educational issues—to cite just a few examples.

Students may take two internships for graduation credit, normally in the junior and senior years. However, only one internship can be counted towards a minor or major in WGS. To qualify to take a second internship, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or above and must petition to get credit for the second internship. In order to take a summer internship, the student must have the internship supervisor sign a petition and must pay the Registrar’s Office a $250 fee before the beginning of the second summer session.

 

WGS 380/381 Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of WGS 380/381, student s should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the organization in which s/he has interned, e.g., its structure and mission, as well as articulate ways in which the organization views and approaches gender-related issues in a specific institutional context.
  • Develop a set of evolving internship goals that reflect the intern’s thoughtful development and modification of her/his aims for intellectual and personal growth.
  • Communicate (through medium such as journals, meetings with the faculty supervisor, samples of internship work, and/or a final paper) tasks performed and knowledge and skills utilized, enhanced, or learned.
  • Thoughtfully reflect on the educational value of internship activities in increasing their understanding of and ability to effectively address a variety of gender studies-related issues and concepts.

Application Procedure:

Before beginning the internship, the student must formally pre-register for the course by getting the signature and approval of the Chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies program. No credit will be granted for internships undertaken without pre-approval and registration.

Course Requirements and Expectations:

  1. The student is responsible for finding and defining the nature of the internship opportunity; however, the WGS Chair or other faculty teaching WGS courses often can provide useful advice and contacts. During the regular academic career, most internships are in or near Easton (or occasionally, on campus). Students may do internships further afield—in New York or Philadelphia, for example. This is often the case with internships done during the summer or interim session, but generally is not advisable fall and spring semesters.
  2. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization to provide the intern with meaningful exposure to various aspects of the organization’s work. Normally the intern will be assigned to a supervisor who will introduce him/her to the specific detail and larger mission of the undertaking, provide regular work assignments, and evaluate that work.
  3. For his or her part, the student is expected to work an average of 8-10 hours a week (approximately 120 hours) during a semester, and at least as many hours during a summer or interim internship.
  4. Except for reimbursement for travel and meal expenses, the student may not accept pay for the internship.
  5. While the supervising faculty member will maintain a liaison relationship with the interning organization, the student is expected to work independently, consulting periodically and being in touch immediately if problems arise such as excessive hours, unusually heavy work load, or trivial assignments.

Responsibilities of the Student:

  1. The conscientious and timely completion of all assigned work.
  2. At the beginning of the internship, the student should write a several pages describing the kinds of tasks s/he expects to perform and articulating the goals s/he hopes to meet.
  3. At least once a week, the student should write several pages about internship activities, describing tasks performed and skills utilized or learned—and, more importantly, reflecting on the educational value of these activities, especially relative to gender-related issues. Students also should keep a running total of hours devoted to internship work. Usually the supervising faculty member will ask students to submit journal entries electronically every two or three weeks.
  4. The completion of an analytical “summing up” essay (4-5 double-spaced pages) at the end of the semester.
  5. Other assignments, as deemed appropriate or necessary by the intern’s faculty supervisor.

Grading:

This course is graded either “credit” or “no credit.” The grade will be determined by the supervising faculty member on the basis of the student’s paper and journal and a letter of evaluation by the direct supervisor of the student’s work.