UVM's Policy on Academic Internships
Academic units have the freedom to design specific curricula and guidelines for credit-bearing experiences, but those guidelines must conform to the minimum requirements in the Policy on Academic Internships. All credit-bearing internships must use UVM's Internship Memorandum of Understanding (PDF), a legal agreement between the University and the host organization.
The Career Center is available for consultation on internship procedures and best practices, and also maintains responsiblity for processing the MOUs.
MOU Purpose and Process
The MOU outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the UVM faculty member, the University, and the internship site. Departments can choose to incorporate additional criteria as an addendum, but the MOU identifies the minimum requirements. MOUs are valid for a period of five years and cover all UVM students who engage in a credit-bearing internship with that organization during that period. The Career Center maintains copies of all executed MOUs.
- Check the list of active internship MOUs to see if one is already on file for the organization. If so, no further action is needed.
- If there is no existing MOU, one must get completed at the beginning of the internship.
Additional Academic Unit Responsibilities
- Academic units identify the course numbers, supervising faculty, and internship programs available in the academic unit and make that information available to students.
- Curriculum committees should evaluate internship course proposals.
- Individual faculty members are responsible for developing a syllabus that aligns with the guidelines outlined for a successful academic internship.
- Identifying an internship's learning goals is central to the process and outlined in a Learning Contract (PDF), which is created by the student and faculty advisor. On-site internship supervisors should receive a copy of the student’s Learning Contract.
- Academic units may require students and supervisors to compete mid-semester and end-of-internship evaluation forms.
Procedures for Students
- Communicate with their advisor or appropriate members of their department to begin the process of enrolling for internship credits.
- Seek their own internship placements or seek assistance from faculty or the Career Center to identify areas of interest and seek an internship site.
- Work with faculty sponsors to complete the Internship Information Form and Internship MOU prior to beginning internship. Students must turn these forms in to the Internship Coordinator in the Career Center in order to provide tracking information about these placements.
- Collaborate with their faculty sponsor at the beginning of the to create a learning contract detailing information about their learning goals and objectives, planned activities and required assignments.