Internship Policy

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The Undergraduate Educational Policy Committee approved the following policy statement October 20, 1997: "All internships offered by departments in the College of ACES must be well-managed at the department level, and students should be registered for internships in such a way as to minimize any need to use EX grades." This policy supersedes all previous policy statements relating to internships in the College.

Program Description

The NRES Internship Program assists students with securing internship positions in natural resources and environmental sciences by individually counseling students and maintaining our Internship Program Website, a central system for disseminating information.  The NRES Student Services Coordinator also pursues and facilitates internship opportunities with agencies and organizations.

A. Internship Eligibility

  1. NRES has no specific requirements or restrictions on the eligibility of an individual student to participate in an internship.

B. Course Prerequisites

  1. Prerequisites for NRES 293 Professional Internship include consent of the academic advisor and the NRES Student Services Coordinator. 

C. Academic Credits

  1. It is the responsibility of the student to discuss internship objectives and duties with an academic advisor first and, after completing the Memorandum of Agreement in consultation with your advisor and on-site supervisor, then with the NRES Student Services Coordinator PRIOR to participating in the internship.
  2. The academic advisor or the NRES Student Services Coordinator along with the student will determine if the internship experience will qualify to earn course credit.  This determination is based on factors such as amount of time worked, performance of meaningful and professional work and the opportunity for a learning experience that complements the student's academic program. 
  3. There are two different numbers that students my use to earn internship credit. Students doing an internship with a UIUC faculty member should enroll in NRES 294. Those participating in an internship with an institution or organization other than UIUC enroll in NRES 293. In either case, students may earn 1-4 hours of internship credit.  The amount of credit is negotiated as part of the Memorandum of Agreement.  If the student works at least 40 hours per week for three months, the typical award is 3 credit hours.  Credit is pro-rated for internships requiring less or more commitment by the student.  The academic advisor or the Student Services Coordinator provides a call number for NRES 293. 
  4. In addition to the internship duties, the student is also required to complete a paper and video or PowerPoint during the semester of enrollment. The academic credit is earned for the academic products, rather than the work experience, itself. The academic expectations are: 
    1. Written report of at least 2 pages per credit hour (choose one):
      1. Final report that is reflective and evaluative in nature-The report should be more than a diary of activities, exploring questions such as:
        • What have I learned in NRES and other college courses that was useful in this experience?
        • What did I discover that I need to learn much more about? What course(s) or other experiences can I pursue to learn it?
        • Is this an industry/organization/career path in which I would like to work full time? Why or why not?
        • What did I learn about the characteristics that are important to me in a job?
        • What professional skills do I need to work to develop?
        • Given the knowledge gained in the internship, what campus resources and opportunities should I utilize to move me toward my career goals? Set up a task list with deadlines.

        Please note:These questions are designed to guide you in thinking more deeply about your experience and are not required. Feel free to explore different questions.

      2. Specific written project required by the employment/internship.
    2. Video or PowerPoint illustrating the internship (to be posted on the NRES web site) The objectives are to:
      1. Portray the value of the internship to the student
      2. Illustrate some of the learning that occurred
      3. Be visually interesting
      4. Communicate clearly 
    3. Periodic progress reports to the NRES Student Services Coordinator
      Unless a student is participating in a formal internship program structured by the employer, he or she should include periodic progress reports in the Memorandum of Agreement in order to facilitate reflection throughout the experience.
  5. Credit should be awarded during the semester that the internship is completed. In most instances, that will be the semester following the on-site experience portion of the internship, when assignments are completed and an evaluation is submitted.  Credit must be arranged the semester prior to the internship.   
  6. Internship credit is not granted for internships completed during high school or the summer prior to freshman year. 
  7. Students may repeat NRES 293 with a second internship but may not earn more than 4 total hours of credit for NRES 293.  Credit beyond this may be granted through a Special Problems course. 

D. Grading

  1. Determined by the academic advisor or the Student Services Coordinator, the student will earn either S/U.  The Student Services Coordinator or the advisor will consider the job evaluation submitted by the on-site supervisor and the quality of the campus project.

E.  Student Responsibilities

  1. Initiate Participation - Students should discuss their intention with their advisor or the NRES Student Services Coordinator the semester prior to the desired semester of participation in the internship.
  2. Determination of Specific Objectives - Students will assume primary responsibility to determine specific objectives of the internship in consultation with the faculty supervisor and cooperating employer, and will also identify activities that will relate to these objectives.
  3. Students will register and pay tuition and fees in the semester in which the internship is being completed. Students who participate in internships that take them away from campus for fall or spring semester (or both) should notify the Academic Programs office of the College prior to the internship to avoid being dropped from the University and having to apply for readmission.

F. Faculty Advisor or NRES Student Services Coordinator Responsibilities

  1. Identification of Objectives and Activities - Assists the student in identifying internship objectives that are consistent with the intention of the program and the student's interests and capabilities. Identifies activities that are consistent with the objectives and are feasible at the selected work site. Indicates support of objectives and activities with signature on Memorandum of Agreement.
  2. Supervision of Internship - Provides indirect supervision by reviewing progress reports that are submitted by the intern. Serves as contact person when cooperating employer finds it desirable to discuss aspects of intern program. On-site visit by the faculty supervisor is desirable whenever practical. May serve as project supervisor if student elects to take Special Topics course in addition to internship.
  3. Provides call number for NRES  293 /294, evaluates the required campus project and assigns course grade.

G. Cooperating Employer Responsibility

  1. Approval of Objectives and Activities - Signature on Memorandum of Agreement signifies that stated objectives can be achieved and stated activities are feasible at the proposed work site.
  2. Provides the opportunity for a student to receive a professional and educational experience.
  3. Cooperating employer will complete an intern evaluation for the student.
Memorandum of Agreement Form Intern Evaluation Form