Managing Internship Courses

More than 40 UW-Seattle undergraduate departments offer academic credit for the demonstrated learning occurring in internships.  This page is geared towards the advisers and faculty who manage departmental internship credit mechanisms. 

Connect with Other Internship Course Managers

The Career & Internship Center offers resources to help internship course managers connect and learn from each other.

  • Internship Course Manager email list – Email Dan Herb if you manage an internship course and would like to receive periodic updates about internship resources and invitations to related events.
  • Internship Course Manager Learning Community Meet-ups – A group of about 10-15 internship course managers gathers every 6 to 8 weeks to toss around questions, ideas, and resources all under the umbrella of enhancing student learning in internships and internship courses. Invitations are sent to the Internship Course Manager email list.  All are welcome!
  • Internship Course Manager Google Drive – The Learning Community maintains a shared space for sample syllabi and risk management forms, informational articles, etc. Email Dan Herb if you would like access to it.

View Sample Internship Course Materials

Click here to view materials for the Gen St 350 Distance Learning Internship Course that launched in Winter 2018.  The packet includes the syllabus, assignment descriptions, canvas discussion prompts, learning agreement, employer check-in form, and performance evaluation.

Reduce the Risks of Off-Campus Internships & Service Learning

This section aims to help departments create structures and processes that minimize the inherent risks associated with experiential learning.

Tips for Minimizing Risk

  • Clearly describe departmental internship program objectives, policies, and procedures somewhere easily accessible to students.
  • Let students select their own internship sites, rather than placing individual students with specific sites.
  • Use an appropriate written agreement or acknowledgment of risk to ensure all parties are on the same page (see below)
  • For required internships or long term placements, faculty or staff supervising the student internship should be familiar with the site and be able to describe risks to students.
  • When an internship requirement exists, have alternative options available.

Acknowledging Risk

  • Departments offering internship-related credit are highly encouraged to require students to sign an Acknowledgment of Risk.  A sample form can be found here.

Special Considerations

  • Departments whose students participate in the following types of experiences may have additional duties to warn, report, create affiliation agreements, or require student background checks:
  • Clinical / healthcare and human services settings. Check with the business office in your school or college regarding existing agreements and templates.
  • Working with youth. The department may have to arrange and pay for a background check, depending on the agreement with the site.  UW faculty, staff and interns have an enhanced duty to report suspected child abuse and neglect.  See Youth at UW for details.
  • Potentially high-danger settings such as law enforcement, correctional facilities, manufacturing, and exposure to hazardous chemicals or infectious agents increase the department’s responsibility for knowing and communicating the specific risks to the student.

A Note About Insurance

  • Liability – matriculated, enrolled students have UW liability coverage for approved internships that are part of their academic program. Click here for details.   Students in paid internships (e.g., temporary employees of the site) are covered by the site.
  • Worker’s Comp – students can be covered by their internship site if the employer elects to cover them and pays the premium. There is no UW workers compensation coverage for interns.
  • Health – students are responsible for providing their own health insurance.
  • Transportation – students are responsible for damage and liability incurred while using their personal vehicles; use of public transportation is encouraged.

Promote Integrated Learning

The primary difference between internships and jobs is the degree of focus placed on learning. Internships should have a significant and intentional focus on student learning.  The resources below can help facilitate the learning process.