Internships : Contracts
Learning contracts are agreements between the employer and intern regarding an internship. Contracts include employer/student goals, strategies, duties and responsibilities, timeline, methods of evaluation, and closing activities. Evaluate progress throughout the internship.
Designing specific guidelines sets up clear expectations for both the employer and the intern. It is recommended that students and employers should sign and retain a copy of the contract. If the internship is offered for academic credit an additional University representative signature/copy may be required.
The terms and obligations of the internship are best designed as a collaborative effort by both the internship supervisor and the intern. The Contract should include statements of the intern's duties and responsibilities, learning goals, as well as supervisor's responsibilities, expectations and evaluation methods.
- Learning Goals: What are the student's learning goals for the internship? How does the student intend to apply academic theory in the workplace? Does the student propose to improve communication or observational skills? Does the student intend to learn about the organizational culture? Does the student intend to learn to build relationships that will enhance their personal and professional success? Does the student anticipate clarification of their career goals? Does the student intend to gain skills and develop a professional identity?
- Job Responsibilities: Will the intern be required (or given the opportunity) to attend staff meetings, accompany the supervisor on field visits, work on group projects, make presentations, or will the intern be required to read current trade publications or attend conferences? If applicable, the completion of any academic assignments required by the CSUN academic department sponsoring the student through the internship may be documented in this section. However, it is the responsibility of the student to complete such assignments.
- Supervisor's Responsibilities: Open communication is highly encouraged between supervisors and interns. Supervisors are expected to meet regularly with the intern during the internship to discuss acceptable work and progress.
- Evaluation Methods: Share with the intern any methods of evaluation you plan to use. Complete any evaluation forms given to you by the intern from his or her academic department.
- Closing Activities: The intern may be required to produce a final project or activity to receive academic credit. The supervisor may offer guidance for data organization, presentation preparation and summary of the experience. Finally, close with a debriefing session.