Host Institution Relations

A Checklist for Faculty Charged with Supervision of Students in Internships or Practica

Development of Internship/Practicum Program (Before …)

  1. Develop a useful, searchable directory of potential sites, indexed by:
    • Name of institution;
    • Name(s) of supervisor(s);
    • Geographic area;
    • Type of work (cataloging, processing, preservation, exhibit design, etc.).
  2. Create a system to track internship prospects from current sites and potential new sites, including:
    • Logging and following up on communication received (calls, emails, letters);
    • Developing and distributing selection criteria to new sites (e.g., program requirements such as need for qualified supervision, number of contact hours, project or papers to be completed by students);
    • Creating in-person or virtual open-house opportunities for students and prospective internship supervisors to meet and discuss possible placements;
    • Updating the directory regularly, including information on when institution last hosted an intern and whether they are currently looking for a student.
  3. Create set of documents or handbook to be used for tracking student progress, including:
    • Listing of all requirements to complete internship (including any prerequisites that must be met prior to the start of the internship)
    • Forms to be used by students when applying for an internship and during the internship itself (to track milestones)
  4. Create tracking document for maintaining communication with site supervisor, indicating the achievement of the following milestones:
    • Letter sent to supervisor acknowledging that s/he will host student for upcoming term, accompanied by document summarizing internship requirements that must be met by the student; competency checklists should be included where appropriate to ensure that student meets any external or internal requirements for internships.
    • Contract (signed by faculty advisor and supervisor) agreeing to internship;
    • Communication regarding internship (phone call, email, etc. to inquire about student’s progress);
    • Site visit date (where practical);
    • Letter sent after conclusion of internship to thank supervisor for serving as a host for the student.

Maintenance of Internship/Practicum Program (During …)

  1. Make sure that the student has begun the internship successfully (is integrating into professional environment);
  2. Keep communication lines open with site supervisors by phoning, emailing, or making appointment for site visit;
  3. Make appointment with student to address promptly any problems identified by host institution.

Evaluation of Internship/Practicum Program (After …)

  1. Provide site supervisor with specific guidelines for evaluating student performance, including competency frameworks where appropriate;
  2. Send thank-you letter and schedule post-internship interview with supervisor if warranted (either to pursue additional opportunities or to further analyze any problems encountered with student placement);
  3. Incorporate feedback into internship system to improve all phases of the process (before, during, and after).