Adult and Higher Education

HRD 687: Internship

The Adult Education faculty believes that a supervised internship is one of the most important components of the graduate program in Adult Education. For the purpose of this internship, 3 credit hours will be equal to 300 internship site clock hours.

Support Seminar. All students taking HRD 698-Directed Study, HRD 699-Independent Study, HRD 687-Internship, or HRD 685-CAS Completion Project in Adult Learning participate in an online support seminar that meets during the semester for the purpose of providing a regular group context within which to discuss progress, problems, and related issues associated with learning in these field-based and self-directed learning courses.

Each member of the support seminar will be asked to provide regular updates of her/his work. Occasionally, didactic sessions may be offered on areas of common interest to members and common readings will frame some discussions.

Dates for the support seminar are set in advance, typically five sessions are held each semester, although more may be appropriate depending on the nature of the group. One-on-one meetings between the participants and faculty supervisor are also strongly encouraged.

Description: The internship provides on-the-job experience under the supervision of a member of the department faculty and a qualified professional at the designated placement site. As a culmination of the graduate program, it provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained over the entire program.

As you begin to assess your own needs for working out an internship within the program, we hope that you will find the following information useful.

The internship course has been designed for you to balance didactic, seminar and experiential curricula. Since this is such an important experience, first we want you to work closely with your advisor and the faculty supervisor to get a clear focus on your career goals, and then to select a field setting which best matches them.

The basic expectation for internship is that students expand the skills they presently have whether those skills have been acquired as part of their coursework or as a result of work and/or life experiences. It is the department's policy not to allow students to do their internship within their current site. While this might be convenient, the acquisition of new knowledge and the chance for varied experiences would be minimized. Occasionally, there are exceptions made to this policy. They are:

  • when a student is able to be transferred to another department where the experience and the supervisor are new;
  • when a student has recently (3 months) transferred to a new position and where there is ample justification that the goal of supervision and variety of experiences can be met

Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Adult Education faculty.


A. Purpose of the Internship

The internship will enable students to:

  • expand upon skills developed during other courses;
  • broaden their understanding of work settings where adult education and human resource development skills may be used;
  • develop a background of experience for professional work in the field of adult education and human resource development;
  • understand the relationship between their specialty and the many other services available in the field;
  • develop confidence in using a wide range of skills such as training, counseling, consulting, coordination, administration and program development; and
  • learn to work effectively with other professionals.

B. Program Requirements, Guidelines and Procedures

  • Consult with your advisor about available and recommended sites; consult with other students and/or faculty who have had previous experiences at certain sites. Begin to narrow your focus to three or four potential sites which appear to meet your expectations and qualifications as an appropriate setting with respect to population served, training offered, issues confronted, services performed, geographic location, etc.
  • Develop a resume prior to contacting any site.
  • Site Selection: Call the site and arrange an interview with the director or supervisor. Develop your own ideas and questions as to how a particular setting might prove mutually rewarding to both the setting and yourself as a learner. This is a two way interview. You need to evaluate the site and your potential supervisor as well as to expect to be evaluated yourself.
  • When the internship negotiations have been completed between you and the site supervisor, notify the faculty supervisor. Written approval from your advisor is required. Click here for the proposal guidelines and a copy of the approval form (pdf).
  • This process should be completed one to two months prior to the beginning of the semester in which you intend to take the internship course.
  • Remember to register for the course during the semester that you plan to begin your internship.