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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Internship and Practicum Experiences

Document Number: ACAD--149 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 09/27/2013
Primary Author: Director of Career Services and Internships Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 12/12/2011

General Description

Information about internship and practicum experiences relative to Academic Affairs policy.


Delineation of policy.


All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

Responsibility: Academic Affairs
VP for Academic Affairs
Career Services and Internships
VP for Academic Affairs

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
Standard company policies
Standards of good practice

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general

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Policy Provisions

Internship and Practicum Experiences

A goal of Cumberland University is to enable the student to apply the knowledge and theories learned in academic courses to professional work environments. Internship and practicum courses are designed to accomplish this goal. Cumberland students enrolled in an internship or practicum experience are supervised by a University faculty member and by a qualified and practicing professional in the work place.


The number of internship and practicum experiences available each semester is limited. Placement of students in internship and practicum settings is the responsibility of the University. Prior approval of the Dean of the appropriate school is necessary for enrollment. Students will not receive academic credit for experiences that are not previously approved, assigned, and supervised by a faculty member. Grading is either pass (“P”) or fail (“F”). The prior academic performance of the student is a consideration in the selection and approval process. Normally, only students who have achieved junior or senior standing are eligible to participate. No more than six (6) semester hours of credit may be earned through these experiences, except when noted in a certain program of study. Predetermined and measurable academic objectives must be established for the internship or practicum prior to assignment. Success in the internship or practicum experience is determined, in part, by meeting these objectives.


Internship and practicum experiences will be designed to assist the student in exploring career opportunities and directions, while assisting the student in the development of the professional skills necessary to enter the employment arena after graduation. Internship and practicums described in this section should not be confused with student teaching which is required of education majors, with clinicals which are required of Nursing majors, or with legislative internship. Student teaching, clinical experiences, and legislative internships are described elsewhere in this document. For additional information, contact the Office of Career Planning and Internships or the Registrar.



Practicum Experience

A practicum is designed to give first and second year students the opportunity to observe and experience the role and responsibilities of their proposed career field.  Students engaging in practicum experiences spend around 50 hours of observation at an organization.  These students typically do not have any hands on experience during the practicum and are not entitled to any compensation.  Practicums are tied to particular academic courses and are part of specific course requirements.


NOTE: No practicum will be held over a 2-semester window.  Each will take place during a single semester only (for financial aid and audit purposes).


NOTE: Students may be assigned a practicum as an extenuating circumstance by approval of the school Dean and Director of Career Services and Internships.  



Internship Experience

Internships require students to be more responsible and aware of the given environment. During the internship phase, students apply skills learned through classes and other experiences where he/she has to work directly under the employer. An internship is not part of an academic course, but is the academic course. Students participating in an internship may or may not be paid. Most organizations require that students seek academic credit for the experience.  Along with this requirement, students not receiving compensation are required to have their employer sign the Fair Labor Standards Act.   

Students may also be required by faculty sponsors to submit assignments or special projects based on information gathered during the internship experience. 



Internship Qualifications

· Student must be a junior or senior (Students may be assigned an internship as an extenuating circumstance by approval of the school Dean and Director of Career Services and Internships).  

· Students must be in good standing with the university.

· Student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above.

· Internships must be directly related to your major, minor, or occupational goal, and approved by a faculty sponsor.

· No internship will be held over a 2-semester window.  Each will take place during a single semester only (for financial aid and audit purposes).


· Employer must be willing to enter in the “Internship Learning Contract” with Cumberland University.



Unit Credit Available

The credits awarded are determined according to the hours worked on site per semester:

· 1 credit=50 minimum hours

· 2 credits=100 minimum hours

· 3 credits=150 minimum hours

NOTE: Hours worked on site may vary among departments based on accreditation standards and/or other extenuating circumstances as determined by the school Dean and Director of Career Services and Internships


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Loss of privileges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
VP for Academic Affairs

Director of Career Services and Internships

VP for Academic Affairs

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