Academic Internship Program Guidelines

Academic Internships taken for credit at Lake Forest College are off-campus learning experiences integrated into the academic program. Although the specific nature of internship experiences will vary, internships are intended to clarify the relationship between traditional liberal arts study and work in non-academic settings.

Program Guidelines

(Approved by the Faculty, April 11, 1984, amended May 8, 1992, March 3, 1993, April 4, 2001,  June 25, 2004, and September 14, 2007)

General Policies

These guidelines are intended as minimum criteria that allow individuals significant latitude. Within these guidelines, departments may establish requirements that are appropriate for the discipline of the specific internship.

Any internship agreement that transfers or assigns liability exposure to the College must first be reviewed with the Vice President for Finance/Planning & Treasurer, the student’s Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor, and the Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate.

  • Internships must apply or expand skills or knowledge learned at Lake Forest College.
  • The bulk of the internship work is to be at the site of the internship, where the intern is gaining experience with organizations, industry and people, and where the intern is under the supervision of one person.
  • Internships are open to juniors or seniors. In special circumstances, to be determined by the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor and the Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate, sophomores may be allowed to receive credit for internships.   
  • To prevent any potential conflicts of interest, students must disclose any familial relationships with employees of the organization where they wish to intern. No student may intern for a company owned or managed, fully or in part, by a family member. The on-site supervisor may not be a member of the intern’s family or anyone working under the supervision of a family member.   
  • Continuation of part-time or summer jobs may not serve as internships without prior approval by the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor and the Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate.
  • A student will not normally receive more than three internship credits toward the total number of credits necessary for graduation (not including foreign internship credit). A minimum of one (1) credit and a maximum of two (2) credits will be awarded for each internship. Any student seeking more than two internship credits must show that not more than two credits will be for internship experiences that are similar in terms of skills or knowledge learned or applied. Students in the Lake Forest College In the Loop program can earn up to four internship credits, with the fourth credit being taken during the In The Loop Program.
  • For each credit, approximately 150 hours of on-the-job experience will be required. 
  • Internships will be graded Pass-Fail. 
  • Internship proposals must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor, and Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate.
  • Commission-based internships will not be approved for academic credit.    
Requirements

In order to earn credit for an Academic Internship, a student will be required to do the following:     

  • Read these Academic Internship Program Guidelines and complete the Academic Internship Interest Form following the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor's advising session and before registration.
  • Meet with their Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor during the semester prior to the internship.        
  • Complete the Academic Internship Application once the internship is secured and at least one week prior to the add/drop date for classes. Materials from the on-site supervisor must also be submitted to the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor and the Career Advancement Center one week prior to the add/drop date for classes.     
  • Students must successfully complete the Academic Internship Course alongside the internship experience in order to pass the course. Typical assignments include, but are not limited to: learning plan, weekly reflections/discussions, mid-term/final evaluation, verified hour logs, and final portfolio. Assignments should include details such as a description of duties performed, relevance of the student’s previous academic training to the internship, and the role their internship plays in the student’s career plan.
  • Assignments must be completed by the stated deadlines and submitted to the online course. Students who fail to timely submit required assignments risk failing the Academic Internship Course.

On-Site Supervisor Responsibilities

The on-site supervisor will be one person designated to serve as the student's primary supervisor. 

  • The on-site supervisor must understand that interns are earning academic credit and consequently must perform duties that apply or expand skills or knowledge learned at Lake Forest College.   
  • The on-site supervisor must submit to the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor and to the Career Advancement Center a letter or other approved documentation that offers the student an internship and includes a written job description. Letters must be on company letterhead and must be signed by the on-site supervisor.
  • The on-site supervisor must meet regularly with the intern to evaluate the intern’s progress and to assess the appropriateness of the intern’s duties, reporting this information to the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor in the mid-term evaluation or more frequently as needed.  
  • At the end of the internship, the on-site supervisor must submit to the Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor a final evaluation of the student’s performance. The evaluation must include a description of the duties performed by the intern as well as the intern’s level of performance and progress during the internship.     

Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor Responsibilities

The Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor will oversee both the student's participation in their internship and the completion of required academic coursework.

  • The Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor must maintain regular contact with the intern and the intern’s on-site supervisor, either in-person, by telephone, or via e-mail.
  • The Director of of the Career Advancement Center or their designate will maintain a master list of the Internship Specialists/Faculty Internship Supervisors and the students assigned to them as well as a list of the on-site supervisors.
Evaluations

At the end of each semester, all students who have completed Academic Internships will be required to evaluate their experience.

  • Students will be sent an online evaluation by the Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate two weeks before the last day of classes.
  • Student responses regarding their Internship Specialist/Faculty Internship Supervisor will be anonymous.
  • Only the Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate and the Dean of Faculty Office will have access to the identity of the evaluator.
  • The evaluations will be kept in the office of the Director of the Career Advancement Center or their designate or the Dean of Faculty Office.
  • Internship Specialists/Facuty Internship Supervisors and chairpersons of the department in which the credit is being awarded may only see the evaluations after the grades have been submitted to the Registrar’s Office.