A Checklist for Faculty Charged with Supervision of Students in Internships or Practica
Development of Internship/Practicum Program (Before …)
- 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.).
- 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.
- 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)
- 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 …)
- Make sure that the student has begun the internship successfully (is integrating into professional environment);
- Keep communication lines open with site supervisors by phoning, emailing, or making appointment for site visit;
- Make appointment with student to address promptly any problems identified by host institution.
Evaluation of Internship/Practicum Program (After …)
- Provide site supervisor with specific guidelines for evaluating student performance, including competency frameworks where appropriate;
- 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);
- Incorporate feedback into internship system to improve all phases of the process (before, during, and after).