Guiding Students through the Academic Internship Process

The Career Advancement Center (CAC) can help students create an internship search plan and show them how to complete an Academic (for-credit) Internship as part of their schedule. As a faculty or staff member, you play an integral role in the advising process.

This page serves as a guide when approached by an advisee or student who expresses interest in completing an internship as part of their academic plan. Students should be aware that an Academic Internship is just one way to satisfy the College’s Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC) requirement.

Academic Internships (paid or unpaid) may qualify as credit-bearing internships. Academic Internships are credit-bearing internships, allowing students to earn academic credit for the hours spent on-site at their internship and completion of required weekly assignments supervised by an Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor. 

Please note that receiving approval for an internship slightly differs for U.S. Citizens, International Students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, and Transfer students.

Another helpful resource may be found in this informational video for faculty: Co-Curricular Partners Sessions: Career Advancement Center.  

See the below tables for relevant information, and encourage students to visit the Career Advancement Center’s Academic Internship Course webpage for additional details.

Securing and completing an internship is a two-semester process!

Therefore, we recommend that students meet with their Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor to discuss the Academic Internship search and application process within the first two weeks of the semester prior to their planned internship.*

*Students should be aware that some organizations, such as those in Business and Finance, may start recruiting for interns one year in advance.

Semester One: Internship Search and Approval

It is primarily the student's responsibility to secure an internship. The Career Advancement Center is available to help guide and assist with the internship search process. However, a successful internship search requires active student participation.

Students should begin the internship search process as early as possible in the semester prior to participation. Students should be aware that some organizations, such as those in Business and Finance, may start recruiting up to one year in advance.

Search Process
The internship search process requires the following on behalf of the student:Completing the Internship Interest Form

  1. Discussing their internship plan with their Academic Advisor
  2. Connecting and staying in constant communication with their Internship Specialist
  3. Searching for and securing their internship 

Approval Process
Before a student will be permitted to complete an Academic Internship,. the Career Advancement Center will request approvals from the following:

  1. Student's Academic Advisor
  2. Student's Internship Specialist
  3. Dean of Students
  4. Title IX Coordinator

Note regarding International Students
International students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa must discuss their internship plan and receive Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization from Associate Dean of Students, Erin Hoffmanprior to starting an internship.

Semester Two: Starting and Completing the Experience

Start and End Dates
The start and end dates of a student's internship typically fall within the first and last day of classes of the semester of participation.

Required Coursework
Students must complete the Academic Internship coursework alongside their internship.

Grading
Academic Internships are graded  Pass/Fail.  Both required coursework and internship hours must be completed in order to earn credit for the experience.

Program Details

The below information is an abbreviated version of the information included on the Academic Internship Course webpage. This information is meant to serve as a basic guide to Faculty and Staff when advising students who express interest in completing an internship.

Types of Internships

Academic (for-credit) Internships:
Academic Internships are credit-bearing internships. Students earn academic credit for the hours spent on-site at their internship, as well as completing required weekly assignments supervised by an Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor. Students will work with a Career Advancement Center Internship Specialist to identify and set internship goals, target employers offering meaningful learning experiences, and complete the accompanying coursework.*

*International students must Students must be registered for internship credit in their major field of study in order to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT). See Employment and Eligibility for additional information regarding work authorization. 

Continuation of Internship or Part-Time Job:
Internships must provide real career-building experience. Students wishing to continue an existing internship or part-time job as an Academic Internship must show that their responsibilities have significantly changed and that the new responsibilities will give the student a sufficiently different educational/academic experience.

Remote Internships:
Typically, the bulk of internship work should take place at a physical site. However, remote internships will be considered. Students must meet with their Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor to discuss the details of the remote internship and receive approval before starting in their position.

Commission-Based Internships:
Internships based solely on commission will not be approved.

Non-Credit Internships:
Students who are not yet eligible to complete an Academic Internship, have earned all available internship credits, and/or wish to pursue an internship that does not meet the Academic Internship Program Guidelines may choose to pursue a non-credit internship.  Non-credit internships are separate from our formal Academic Internship Program and are student-directed. Students may work with an Internship Specialist for additional career advising support and assistance developing their search strategy, however these internships are not supervised by the Career Advancement Center. * 

*Students should be aware that certain organizations may only offer internships for academic credit. International students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa are not eligible to complete non-credit internships. 

Note Regarding Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC):
Students may choose to pursue a non-credit internship, separate from our formal Academic Internship Program. This process is student-directed, and students may contact their CAC Internship Specialist for additional support and assistance developing their search strategy. Should students wish to satisfy the FFC experiential learning requirement this way, they will first need to complete the Special Activity Experiential Tag Application, as well as identify a Faculty Project Supervisor. More information may be found on the Forester Fundamental Curriculum webpage.

Important Policies

The below information pertains to frequently asked questions posed to Faculty and Staff by students. Students should refer to the Academic Internship webpage for complete information regarding internship policies.

  • Students interested in pursuing an Academic Internship must first complete the Academic Internship Interest Form
  • Internship must be completed in a student’s major or minor. International students must must be registered for internship credit in their major field of study in order to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT). See Employment and Eligibility for additional information regarding work authorization.
  • A minimum of 1 credit and maximum of 2 credits may be awarded for each internship per semester. 
    • 1 credit = 150 hours of on-the-job experience
    • 2 credits = 300 hours of on-the-job experience
    • A student will not typically be allowed to receive more than a total of 3 internship credits during their time at the College. 
      • Exception: Students in the Lake Forest College In The Loop program can earn up to 4 internship credits, with the 4th credit being taken during the In The Loop program. 
  • Retroactive credit is not permitted. In order for you to earn credit for your internship you must complete required weekly assignments supervised by your Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor concurrent with the internship experience.
  • 100% commission-based internships will not be approved for academic credit.  
  • Please keep in mind that policies vary for U.S. Citizens, international students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, and transfer students.
Internship Search Timeline

Keep in mind, the following information is a basic guide to the pertinent steps in the internship search process. More in-depth information can be found on the Academic Internship webpage. Please note that the below timeline is also featured in the Academic Internship Program Fact Sheet

1. Student Completes the Internship Interest Form

  • By completing this form, students are entered in CAC's system and are connected with the appropriate CAC staff to assist them in their search, as well as answer any/all questions they may have about the process. Students are encouraged to first complete this form, but any initial questions may be directed to cacintern@lakeforest.edu.

2. Student Connects with Internship Specialist

  • Upon successful completion of the Internship Interest Form, students will receive an email from the CAC assigning them to the appropriate Internship Specialist (IS). The CAC has Internship Specialists dedicated to each Career Pathway. Students are responsible for making an appoinment with their IS via the CAC's online career portal Handshake (Handshake FAQ).

3. Student Starts Internship Search

  • The internship search must be student initiated. Internship Specialists (IS) will assist students in their internship search as well as help them craft their resume and cover letters and prepare for interviews. That said it is the student's primary responsibility to search for and secure an internship with help and direction from their IS.

4. Student Secures and Begins Internship

  • Before starting their Academic Internship, students must discuss their internship plan with their Academic Advisor(s). After they have connected with the Academic Advisor, their Internship Specialist will provide site approval, as well as the link to the Internship Application. Please note that the Internship Application is separate from the Internship Interest Form.

5. Student Completes Internship

  • Students must successfully complete the Academic Internship Course alongside their internship experience in order to receive a passing grade for the internship. Typical assignments include, but are not limited to: a learning plan, weekly reflections/discussions, a mid-term and final evaluation, verified hour logs, and a final portfolio.

Internships and the Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC) Requirement

Pursuing an internship (for-credit or non-credit) is just one way a student may satisfy the Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC) experiential learning requirement. Please note, International students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa are not eligible to complete non-credit internships. Please refer to the Forester Fundamental Curriculum webpage for a complete list of ways that students may fulfill the FFC requirement.

Types of Internships 

  1. Academic (for-credit) Internships
    1. An Academic Internship is just one way a student may fulfill the FFC requirement. Academic Internships are credit-bearing internships, allowing students to earn academic credit for the hours spent on-site at their internship and completion of required weekly assignments supervised by an Internship Specialist or Faculty Internship Supervisor.
    2. Please see the Academic Internship Course webpage for additional details.
  2. Non-credit Internships
    1. Students may also satisfy the FFC requirement with an approved non-credit internship. A non-credit internship is separate from our formal Academic Internship Program and the process is student-directed.
    2. Should students wish to satisfy the FFC Experiential Learning requirement with a non-credit internship, they will first need to complete the Special Activity Experiential Tag Application, as well as identify a Faculty Project Supervisor. More information may be found on the Forester Fundamental Curriculum webpage.
    3. Students may contact their Internship Specialist for additional support and assistance developing their search strategy. However, non-credit internships are not supervised by the Career Advancement Center. 
    4. Students should be aware that certain organizations may only offer internships for academic credit.
    5. International students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa are not eligible to complete non-credit internships. 

Who to Contact

Students are encouraged to first complete the Internship Interest Form but any initial questions may be directed to cacintern@lakeforest.edu

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to reference the below contact information for both general program inquiries as well as Career Pathway-specific questions. 

General Program Inquiries

Jennifer Lazarus
Associate Director of Internships
847-735-5235
lazarus@lakeforest.edu

Business, Finance, and Data Science

Economics/Business/Finance, Mathematics, Computer Science

Marie Josephitis
Business, Finance, and Data Science Pathway Leader 
847-735-5235
mjosephitis@lakeforest.edu

Creative Arts and Communication

Art, Art History, Communication, English, Music, Music Education, Theater

Danielle Kelly
Internship Specialist/Pathway Leader
847-735-5235
dkelly@lakeforest.edu

Law and Public Service

American Studies, Area Studies, Asian Studies, Foreign Languages, History, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Sociology and Anthropology

Ben Rohde
Internship Specialist/Pathway Leader
847-735-5235
rohde@lakeforest.edu 

Science and Health Care

Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Neuroscience, Physics, Pre-Health 

Pauline Binder-Finnema, Ph.D.
Science and Health Care Pathway Leader
847-735-5235
pbinderfinnema@lakeforest.edu

Psychology

Psychology, Neuroscience
More information

Kathryn Dohrmann, Ph.D.
Faculty Internship Supervisor
847-735-5245
dohrmann@lakeforest.edu