Metropolitan State University's internship program is designed to assist students and sites in developing practical, challenging and flexible opportunities in experiential learning which meet personal and/or professional goals. The program allows students to complete internships related to their major and minor as well as any field of interest through electives. It is designed for maximum flexibility so that internships are meaningful for the student and of benefit to the participating businesses or organizations. The internship staff can answer questions and concerns at any point in the internship process.
What is an internship?
An Academic Internship is one of Metropolitan State's creative learning strategies available to students. It is a structured, credit-bearing field experience in which a student acquires and applies knowledge and skills, while working in a responsible role within a community, business or government setting.
Students choose internships for a variety of reasons including an interest in service-learning, citizenship and community; for developing careers, networking and obtaining job recommendations; and to bridge the gap between school and work. Internships also fulfill general education requirements and, in some cases, elective credits.
Types of internships
- Student-designed internships are opportunities that students develop with community or government organizations, any business or corporation that allows the student an experiential learning opportunity, or their current place of employment (when new learning occurs).
- Metropolitan State offers opportunities by agencies or businesses that have been provisionally approved by faculty as having academic merit.
Group internships have been developed by faculty and offer students experience and community or professional involvement while providing faculty-led seminars for discussion and reflection.
Several departments within the university require field experiences specific to the major or minor.
Finding an internship
- Information sessions: Metropolitan State internship staff lead several information sessions during the academic year.
- Internship resource: Metropolitan State provisionally approved internship opportunities are posted on Handshake.
- Class schedule: All group internships are included in the current Class Schedule under the appropriate academic heading for the specific internship. For more detailed information on these internships, call ICES.
- Web sites: Internship opportunities can be accessed through the Internship Resources site.
Scheduling and duration
Metropolitan State encourages flexibility in internships. The internship site and student negotiate the internship schedule. Internships may begin or end at any time and can run for 180 days. However, it is the student's responsibility to be aware of any financial aid, graduation, registration or other deadlines and plan accordingly. The student must intern a minimum of 40 hours for each semester credit earned.
Student compensation and reimbursements
Wages, stipends or reimbursements to the intern are negotiated between the sponsoring site and the intern. Although it is not required, sites are encouraged to develop some type of financial remuneration.
The colleges, and some departments within colleges, have developed college and department internship guidelines to determine the number of credits students will be awarded and the number of hours they will be required to intern. Review the guidelines provided for the discipline base of the specific internship to determine academic credit. The learning outcomes and credits are negotiated between the student and Metropolitan State. Internship learning is measured in areas of learning in which a student can demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge.
"In order to register for an academic internship, participants must be Metropolitan State University alumni or current students with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and be in good academic standing as defined in university Policy 2050 and procedure 205." Metropolitan State University Academic Internship Policy #2040
Tuition for internships is the same as for other learning strategies and courses. See the current Registration Resources for tuition rate.
The role of internship program staff
Metropolitan State's Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship staff and faculty serve as resources to onsite supervisors and students. Staff responsibilities include:
- facilitating internship information sessions;
- offering assistance and explanation of Metropolitan State's philosophy, standards and procedures to students and sites;
- serving as liaisons between Metropolitan State and the internship site to ensure a sound learning environment with high academic standards and mutually beneficial arrangements;
- providing students and sites with all necessary forms and instructions for completion of an academic internship;
- assisting students in defining the learning objectives and developing the competence statement; and
- promoting internship opportunities