Employer Guide to Internships

Internships

Thank you for your interest in hosting a Cedar Crest College student as your intern! Cedar Crest students are dedicated to growing as professionals and individuals, and being in the work environment truly will allow them to refine and develop their passions and skills.

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Getting Started

  • It is simple getting started. First, create a profile on one (or both) of these sites:
  • Once your profile has been created, you can then log in and post your opportunities. Students searching for an internship will visit these sites to see what is available.
  • Other helpful links:

Internship Policies for Work Supervisors

  • The student intern is expected to work 8 - 12 hours per week for a total of 120 - 150 hours per semester for a 3-credit internship. Most internships are taken on a pass-fail basis and provide three academic credits for the student. Internship supervisors will need to sign the student intern’s Contract and to complete a written evaluation at the end of the internship (evaluation forms should be provided by your intern or can be accessed on the Career Planning Center website). Additionally, employers may need to correspond with or accommodate visits from an intern’s faculty supervisor.  
  • The employer supervisor should provide access to appropriate work/learning experiences in safe environments, where there is adequate supervision and where equipment needed for the completion of internship tasks is available. The internship site should carry appropriate insurance, including policies mandated by federal, state, and local law. These include, but are not necessarily limited to general liability, professional liability, and worker’s compensation insurance. It is also important that interns are informed about appropriate workplace behaviors, the organization’s harassment policy, and complaint procedures.  
  • With regard to the question of whether or not pay interns, you will want to seek legal advice and refer to the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as the Department of Labor. If hiring international students as interns, it will also be helpful to consult an expert on immigration.
  • Visit our Internship F.A.Q. page for answers to frequently asked questions.

How to Make the Internship Go Smoothly

  • Initial contact: Prior to the beginning of the internship, we recommend that the student and the internship host arrange an interview and define the student's job responsibilities and related matters of interest (e.g., start and end dates, hours expected, company rules, etc.). Please provide your student intern with a formal offer letter or email, which he/she can submit to the Career Planning Center upon applying for our Internship Program.
  • Written Contract: Cedar Crest College requires the student to write a Learning Contract in cooperation with an Employer Supervisor and a Faculty Supervisor. This will allow the three individuals to reach agreement on the form and substance of the internship and the performance criteria. Be specific about what results you expect from the intern. Plan ahead for a mutually beneficial experience.
  • Communication: Open communication between you, the Faculty Supervisor and the student is critical to provide a positive experience. The student will meet with their Faculty Supervisor a minimum of four times during the semester. Likewise, the Faculty Supervisor should contact you for your feedback on how the internship is progressing. When you complete your intern’s final evaluations, be sure to discuss it with him/her.
  • High Expectations: The greatest benefit to the student is when you treat him/her as you do your professional employees.

Orientation to the Work Setting

Understanding the context in which work takes place can help the student learn from the internship experience and be more effective in carrying out assignments. The people, events, and issues in your organization often comprise an unlimited curriculum in social sciences, business management, and in the humanities. At the beginning of the internship, you might set aside time to discuss some of the following:

The Organization's Work Rules
What are your organization's formal and informal work rules? Are there clear implicit goals for your organization?

The Organizational Environment
People - Who are the key players in the larger organization? In your department? Who are the formal and informal leaders in your organization? What are their backgrounds?
Structure - What is the organizational structure at your site (formal and informal)? What are the formal and informal communication patterns?
Funding/Budget - Where does the funding come from to operate your organization? Share with the intern some of the operating budgets for your unit or the organization as a whole.
Supervision - If you are supervising others, how would you characterize your supervisory style? What are the challenges you meet as a supervisor? How has your style changed during your career?

What Do You Do If Things Go Wrong?

Suggestions for Students, Employer Supervisors and Faculty Supervisors

The following guidelines will assist faculty, students, and employer supervisors in working through concerns.
  1. Discuss the problem: Occasionally problems arise during an internship. We strongly encourage the individuals involved to discuss the situation, negotiate on their own, and work toward agreement. Early intervention can usually lead to a solution that is acceptable to all involved. If a problem arises, it is important to deal with it immediately.

    This, of course, is the ideal. If a solution cannot be found, move on. If the problem is with the student or the Employer Supervisor, consult the Faculty Supervisor or the Director of Career Planning. If the problem is with the Faculty Supervisor, consult with Jenelle Henry, Director of Career Planning, at 610-606-4648.
  2. Call: Employer Supervisors should call the Faculty Supervisor or Director of Career Planning when a problem arises which cannot be resolved through discussion. Such a problem might be absenteeism, failure to follow directions, poor attitude, and inappropriate dress.

    Likewise, students should call their Faculty Supervisor when problems occur, such as when guidelines are not being followed, when expectations are not being met, or when inappropriate advances are made.
  3. Intervene: If faculty intervention is warranted, the Faculty Supervisor should gather information from the Employer Supervisor and the student concerning the nature of the problem. A site visit and/or a meeting between the three individuals may be advisable, with the instructor as conveyer and mediator.
  4. Review the guidelines: All individuals should review the guidelines and Learning Contract. What expectations were outlined at the beginning of the internship? Clarification of the expectations may be in order.

    The Faculty Supervisor should make recommendations to the student and/or Employer Supervisor, and encourage the two individuals to discuss the issue and work out an acceptable solution.

Resources and Documents

  • Download forms.
  • NACE - National Association of Colleges and Employers
  • EACE - Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers
  • PennACE - Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers
  • NSEE - National Society for Experiential Education