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Internship Program

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    The Internship In Sociology

    click here for a list of recent internship placements

All majors are encouraged to enroll in an internship course. The purpose of the internship is to provide students with the opportunity to acquire specific skills working in an organization, clarify their career goals, integrate experiential learning with academic and theoretical knowledge, and learn about civic engagement and citizenship.

The discipline of sociology, through its methodology and substantive and theoretical knowledge, provides sociology faculty and students with the expertise to participate as consultants, researchers, and volunteers in a variety of community- and campus based-organizations.

THE INTERNSHIP COURSE SYLLABUS

Sociology 195/295: Internship

Coordinator, Professor Tom Kando. Amador 451C; phone: 278-6694 E-mail: kandotom@csus.edu

I. GOALS OF THE COURSE

To learn the "ropes," i.e., to acquire specific skills working in an organization.

To clarify your career goals, i.e., to find if you really want the career or occupation you have some interest in.

To integrate your experiential learning in the internship with your academic or theoretical learning in sociology and in the classroom. Thus besides "learning the ropes" as an intern, you will also hopefully be learning to look at the organization you are placed in more sociologically. You may also have the opportunity of learning to become a problem-solver.

To fulfill the above goals you will be expected to become a "packrat," collecting everything you can about your internship site. This may include, besides your own observations and field notes, interviews with others who work at the site, organizational documents such as organizational charts, brochures, policy manuals, committee minutes, etc. Anything that is public information. You should not collect confidential information, files, or material which is not publicly available. You should get permission from your supervisor before collecting documents.

Note: Internships can be paid or unpaid. However, the purpose of the internship is to provide you with an opportunity to learn something new that relates to the sociology major in some way. The purpose of the internship is not to provide you with academic credit for a job or occupation you have been doing for employment for several months or years. It is not "work experience credit."

II. REQUIRED INTERNSHIP SEMINAR MEETINGS

As part of the requirements for academic credit, you must also meet three times during the semester with other students taking internships to discuss your experience, share ideas and thoughts, and reflect on what you are learning and how it relates to sociology. These seminar meetings will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your internship experience and help you in the preparation of your internship paper.

The seminars are required. You will not be able to complete your internship unless you attend.

First Seminar Meeting: Orientation to the Internship Experience

You must attend one of the following times. You need only attend one of these First Seminar Meetings.

Monday, Feb 15 4:30-5:20 PM Room 261 Amador Hall
Tuesday Feb 16 4:00-4:50 PM Room 152 Amador Hall
Wednesday, Feb 17 7:00-7:50 PM Room 354 Amador Hall

Second Seminar Meeting: Initial Discussion of Your Internship with Other Students

You must attend one of the following times. You need only attend one of these Second Seminar Meetings.

Monday, April 5 4:30-5:20 PM Room 261 Amador Hall
Tuesday, April 6 4:00-4:50 PM Room 152 Amador Hall
Wednesday, April 7 7:00-7:50 PM Room 354 Amador Hall

Third Seminar Meeting: Final Discussion of Your Internship: Draft of Internship Final Report is Due

You must attend one of the following times. You need only attend one of these Third Seminar Meetings.

Monday, May 3 4:30-5:20 PM Room 261 Amador Hall
Tuesday, May 4 4:00-4:50 PM Room 152 Amador Hall
Wednesday, May 5 7:00-7:50 PM Room 354 Amador Hall

III. STEPS TO TAKE TO ENROLL IN A SOCIOLOGY INTERNSHIP--SOCIOLOGY 195 (UNDERGRADUATES) OR 295 (GRADUATES)

(1) LOCATE AN APPROPRIATE PLACEMENT FOR YOURSELF

A variety of agencies are looking for interns. Search for several that interest you in the two file folders or in the 1997 Community Services Directory which are available from Professor Kando. Agencies must accept you, and your available hours must coincide with the hours for which they need interns. Some agencies may require a training sessions before your internship begins. Note too that more and more agencies now need to do a background check on interns, which means fingerprinting, reference checking, and other searches. This will take time, often more than a month.

Once you decide on an agency, call the phone number listed. Indicate that you are a student in sociology, seeking an intern. Ask to speak with an appropriate person if they are offering internships.

If you are successful, it is best to visit on site before deciding to accept the placement. You want to be clear about what your assignment will be, what your duties and responsibilities will entail and most importantly, whether or not you will learn something of importance and something related to the field of sociology. Ask who your supervisor will be and what role they will play in your internship experience. Note your supervisor will need to certify that your work has been satisfactory and also the number of hours you worked in your placement. Your supervisor will be asked to fill out an internship evaluation form on you and send it to your faculty advisor.

(2) FILL OUT THE REQUIRED PAPER WORK

Before you can enroll for credit, you must see the internship coordinator in sociology (Professor Dean Kando, Amador 451C). He will assist you in filling out the required forms. Once the forms are complete, Professor Kando will enroll you in either sociology 195 or 295 (for graduate students only).

(3) BE ASSIGNED TO A SOCIOLOGY FACULTY MEMBER WHO WILL BE YOUR INTERNSHIP ADVISOR

Part of your internship experience will have an academic component. The Sociology Department will not give credit for "just having an experience in an agency." You will be asked to work with a faculty member in the department on this academic component. This will require meeting with the faculty several times during the semester, keeping field notes on various aspects of your experience, and writing up a final report. The faculty member to whom you are assigned will be responsible for "grading" your internship. INTERNSHIPS ARE GRADED CREDIT OR NO CREDIT ONLY.

As part of the requirement for academic credit, you must also meet three times during the semester with other students taking internships to discuss your experience, share ideas and thoughts, and reflect on what you are learning that relates to your major in sociology.

The internship coordinator, Professor Kando, will assign you to a specific faculty member in the department.

The number of hours required at the agency will vary with the number of academic units you are enrolled in. Below is the scale for a sixteen week semester:

1 unit of credit=40-45 hours or 3 hours per week over a 15 week semester
2 units of credit=80-90 hours or 6 hours per week over a 15 week semester
3 units of credit=120-130 hours or 6 hours per week over a 15 week semester

IV. REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION

In order to receive the grade of "credit" in your course from the faculty member you are assigned to, the following must be completed and satisfactory:

a) Meet at scheduled times throughout the semester with your faculty advisor

b) Attend all three of the internship seminars described above.

c) Complete your field notes and final paper satisfactorily.

d) Have your Agency Supervisor certify to your faculty advisor the number of hours you worked in the agency and that your work in the agency was satisfactory (evaluation form).

e) Put in the appropriate number of hours for the amount of academic credit you are seeking.

V. FIELD NOTES AND FINAL PAPER

Although internships differ greatly, the following will normally be required by the faculty member to whom you are assigned. Be certain you and your faculty advisor have agreed on what specifically you need to do for each visit you have with your advisor during the semester and what the final paper will "look like" and include.

After your initial meeting with your faculty advisory, which should occur within the first two weeks of the semester, you will be expected to meet with your advisor a minimum of three times during the semester. It is your responsibility to schedule these meetings. Some faculty will want to see you more than three times during the semester.

Field Notes

You should keep a journal, diary, or field notes of your internship experiences. It is best to keep a separate note book with your internship journal entries. Your faculty advisor will suggest entries and possible broad topics that you might address in your field notes. Some of these entries should relate to the final internship paper which is due at the end of the semester (see below). Along with your observations, you might include interviews with persons in the organization you are working in. If you keep a rich journal, your entries should greatly help you in writing the final internship report.

Along with your journal diary, you should collect any documents from your internship experience that may be helpful in writing your final paper. You need to become a "packrat" collecting everything you can about your internship site. This may include, besides your own observations and field notes, interviews with others who work at the site, organizational documents such as organizational charts, brochures, policy manuals, committee minutes, etc. Anything that is public information. You should not collect confidential information, files, or material which is not publicly available. You should get permission from your supervisor before collecting these documents. You should include these in an appendix to the final paper.

Final Paper: Your final paper should address the following topics.

Introduction: Briefly describe how and why you choose this internship.

Organizational Structure: Introduce the organization and explain its purpose. Discuss what the organization does, where it is located, the positions (roles) that exist in it, the responsibilities associated with these positions, and the levels of authority and hierarchy among them. Explain the organization’s goals and how they are carried out.

Your Duties: Describe the activities, tasks, and responsibilities of your position in the organization. When and for how long were you there? What have you been doing during your time as an intern? Did your duties change or remain the same?

Analysis of Your Interests: Reflect on your participation and experiences in the organization and on the site. What did you learn? Were there any problems associated with your internship experience? Was it different than you expected it to be?

Personal Evaluation: Critically evaluate your time as an intern in the organization or site. Did you learn something of importance? If so what? If not, why not? Would you like to work for this organization - why and/or why not? Would you organize the tasks you were assigned differently? What improvements, if any, would you suggest for the internship process at this organization? Would you recommend your internship to others?

Sociological Analysis: Select one central sociological concept of importance to you, such as role, status, norm, social conflict, self, social stratification, inequality, deviance, etc. Define the concept and show how it was useful to you in gaining further understanding of your internship experience and the organizational site you experienced.

 

California State University, Sacramento