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Internship Enrollment Steps
- Identify a career objective - In order for an internship to be effective, the internship should be designed with the career goals of the student in mind. The burden of identifying a career path necessarily rests with the student. Students who are unsure of career opportunities in biology should browse resources available at the library (The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published annually), UCO Career Services, and the biology department (Environmental Career Opportunities, Earthworks, The Job Seeker).
- Identify an Intern Mentor - An intern mentor is a full-time member of the biology faculty who shares common interests with the student. The intern mentor will help the student locate a site for an internship, assist in developing the objectives and duties for the internship, prerequisite course work (if necessary), and assign the final grade for the internship. Since an internship can take considerable time to establish and prerequisite course work may be necessary, it is recommended that the student identify a mentor early in this process. The intern mentor and student should check that the student meets the eligibility requirements.
- Identify potential internship sites - The student should make a list of potential internship sites that will meet the objectives of the internship. Sites might include government agencies or private companies. Students may consult either a list of potential internship sites compiled by the biology department or the facilities at the UCO Career Center. The intern mentor should forward the Sponsor Questionnaire to new internship sites discovered during this process.
- The Intern Mentor makes initial contact with the internship site - In accordance with the objectives of the internship, the intern mentor makes initial contact with possible internship sites, assesses the potential for the internship site to meet the objectives, and arranges for an onsite supervisor. A suitable internship site is one that allows the student to meet his/her academic objectives through hands-on experience and training with a minimum of menial tasks. This often is a win-win situation, with the internship site gaining skilled labor and students advancing their knowledge and skills in their career area.
- The student contacts the on-site supervisor to arrange a schedule for on-site duties - The student and on-site supervisor set terms of and a schedule for the internship, subject to approval by the intern mentor. Student involvement in this phase of the internship is important because it may be the first opportunity a student has to build communication skills in the field of their choice. The on-site supervisor must provide a letter of support to accompany materials to be submitted for approval.
- Student obtains approval from the Internship Advisory Committee - The student, under the guidance of the intern mentor, submits an application to the biology internship program for approval by the IAC. The application should include the names of the student, intern mentor and on-site supervisor, the student's GPA, a transcript showing all university course work, the number of credit hours, and a written statement of the objectives, duties, and benefits of the internship. The student completes the Application to the Biology Intern Program or submits a letter quality document in the format of this form. The student may not proceed to the next phase without approval from the IAC.
- The student enrolls in the course for the semester of the internship - The intern enrolls in the course BIO 495_ Internship, and is responsible for paying for all university fees, even if the internship will require that the student be away for the semester. As a guide for assigning credit, one credit hour would be equivalent to 48 hours of on-site work, not including preparation that takes place outside of the internship site. Though any number of credits may be assigned for an internship, the student should be aware that only two credits will count toward the degree. It is also important that interns understand that "credits" on a transcript are of little consequence in this context, it is really the experience that is important.
- Procedures for Enrollment
After your internship is approved by the IAC, obtain an irregular enrollment form from you Intern Mentor
a. Agree on the number of credit hours;
b. Indicate the course as BIO 495_ (last digit is the number of credit hours);
c. Indicate a title for the internship consistent with the on-site duties. This may be a maximum of 20 characters including spaces, in order for it to be placed on the transcript;
d. Proceed to the department chairperson, college dean, and academic vice president (in that order), for signatures; and
e. Pay your tuition and fees.
- The student completes on-site objectives and academic requirements - The student completes the training and performs the duties agreed upon by the on-site supervisor, student and intern mentor. During this period the intern mentor will monitor the student's progress through phone interviews with the intern and the on-site supervisor, and/or impromptu on-site visits. As part of the daily routine, the intern must fulfill the requirements for completion below.
- Requirements for Completion
a. The Intern is to keep a daily journal while on-site. The journal is to include:
ii. Documentation of protocols, procedures, and techniques learned on that date; and
iii. Documentation of data collected on that date.
b. The intern prepares a dossier (kept in a three-ring binder). The dossier is to include:
i. An organized presentation of the protocols, procedures, and techniques learned;
ii. An organized presentation of the data collected;
iii. The written daily journal that was prepared on-site; and
iv. A thorough Final Report of the internship experience including:
benefits of the experience;
deficiencies of the experience; and
how the experience can be improved.
v. Confidential evaluation of the on-site supervisor.
- The on-site supervisor submits an evaluation of the intern - A written evaluation of the intern is prepared by the on-site supervisor, by filling out the Student Evaluation Form.
- The Intern Mentor assigns the final grade - The Intern Mentor completes the Evaluation of Intern form and assigns a final grade. The Intern Mentor may advise that the student share the experience of the internship with the biology department through a brief presentation to a student organization such as the Tri-Beta or Pre-med/Allied Health Clubs.