The Nature of Practica and Internships
Practica provide students with an opportunity to observe experts in a given field, introducing them to the practical applications of subject matter encountered through course work. Designed as an initial experience for students, practica may carry from 1 to 3 credit hours. Some departments require hands-on experience as part of the practicum.
Internships offer students who have successfully completed significant coursework in their chosen majors with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field under the supervision of an on-site professional. The purpose of internships is to enable students to draw intellectual connections between what they have learned in coursework and what they learn on the internship site, which they make explicit through a final project incorporating both academic work and insights gained through the internship experience. Internships can be designed such that they carry from 3 to 9 credit hours.
All matriculated students in good academic standing (GPA of at least 2.0) may participate in:
Practica once they have completed 45 credits,
Internship once they have completed 60 credits.
To be eligible to participate in practicum or internship, you must have completed the online orientation seminar and any requirements of your major. You must be available for 8-10 per week (3 credit experience) and have transportation. The schedules of sites and industries vary. Most sites are only available to supervise interns during normal business hours.
Each credit hour of a practicum or internship requires that a student complete 40 hours of field experience in addition to other course requirements as determined by individual departments. Students who participate for credit typically earn 3 credits for 120 hours of supervised work during a semester, however, a student may be able to earn up to 12 credits for 480 hours. Each individual department will determine the number of credits a student is eligible to register for in a semester. Students will not be awarded additional credits at the end of a semester if they complete more than the required number of hours.
Securing a Site
Now it is time to look for a site. The Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor will assist you in finding a site to fulfill your practicum or internship requirement. Searching for a site to complete a practicum or internship is a partnership. You will be responsible for identifying sites you wish to target. You should try to make your own outreach to the sites you have targeted. If you are experiencing difficulty, provide the Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor with a detailed list of sites you want to contact. Working closely as a team with the Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor, completing all tasks assigned and meeting all required deadlines will benefit you in the search process. The Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor will make every reasonable effort to help you find a position.
Practicum or internship positions are competitive and the decision to accept an intern is made by the site. Therefore, positions are not guaranteed.
If you have secured a site or have a site in mind that is not pre-approved, please provide the Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor with background information on the site and a description of what the experience will entail.
Some sites offer paid internships while others do not. Albertus Magnus College does not require sites to pay interns since academic credit is being awarded. Students completing Psychology and Human Service practicum or internship cannot be paid. Early preparation and networking may increase your likelihood of securing a paid position.
If you would like to use your current place of employment as your practicum or internship site you MUST receive approval from your faculty sponsor. It is critical that you take on duties that are different from your usual job tasks. In other words, the key to practicum or internship is to learn a new skill set through your work experience. This can take the form of working within a different department or performing duties outside of your job description.
Important Note: If you have registered for a practicum or internship and are unable to secure a site by add/drop you may be encouraged to withdraw.
Important Dates to Remember
Day Students: Please apply for practicum or internship at least one semester prior to starting your experience.
Accelerated Degree Program Students: Please apply for practicum or internship at least one module prior to starting your experience.
Allowing this extra time ensures that the Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor will have ample time to assist you in successfully getting placed. Specifically, it allows time to discuss your interests and goals, to research available sites, to prepare a cover letter and resume with Career Services, to guide you through the interview process, to complete the online orientation seminar and to file the appropriate paperwork.
Students who contact the Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor too late run the risk of not finding placement.
Consideration for fall semester: Come to the Office of Career Services in March.
Consideration for spring semester: Come to the Office of Career Services in October.
*** Please note practicum or internship may be available for some majors during the summer term. Speak to your faculty sponsor and Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor by February. ***