Justification for an Internship Program

For the program

Helps establish goals and define the curriculum, course offerings, new tracks, types of skills, etc.
Helps students gain appropriate educational objectives.
Communicates high expectations for students' self-learning and taking responsibility.
Career enhancement.
Improves student recruitment, on and off campus.
Enhances student-faculty relationships, e.g. encouraging contact with students.
Demands that the faculty constantly reflect on the changing job market, graduate school options, etc.
Promotes the major on campus and the university in the region.
Links the university and the department with community service groups.
The department can be tied to the university mission.
Improves regional visibility of program.
Creates "demand" for anthropologists, as successful students help employers learn the value of the skills anthropologists offer.
Interning students provide role models for younger students.

For the Student

Gaining a real-world perspective.
Promotes the application of anthropological knowledge and theory, e.g. archaeology, historical preservation, refugee resettlement, analysis of organizational structures, comparisons of missions of organizations and their practice, etc.
Development of specific job competencies, e.g. learning how to implement research, develop and organize workshops, and write internal policy documents.
Learning skills that are part of a liberal studies education, e.g. critical thinking and analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, integration of various approaches to an issue, and identifying options for action.
Development of interpersonal skills, e.g. how to interact and secure an internship site, how to interact with co-workers, and institute change in an effective manner.
Development of research skills, e.g. practicing and gaining new research skills, and the ability to organize and communicate research results.
Networking and learning what career slots are available and what is needed to apply and secure a position. Decision making is enhanced, e.g. discovering if this work is for you.
Enculturates students into the professional demeanor.
Builds initiative as students learn at the outset that the success of their internship is in large part dependent upon their institutional research, groundwork, and negotiation of a work plan.
External evaluation of student performance; successful students secure references from beyond the pool of department faculty.

Designing a Successful Internship Program

(Issues to Consider)

Department Commitment

Utilize faculty networks, not just the coordinator, to identify sites for internships.

Experience must be valued by all faculty, each should use time with advisees to encourage them to pursue internship opportunities.

Justify to Deans and Provosts the validity of experience for students. Speak with a united voice to administrators about the value of internship programs.

Financial and Logistic Support for Advisor/Coordinator

Give course equivalency or summer contract for the internship advisor.

Make the job of Internship Coordinator part of the professional work load, included in workload and evaluation.

Give travel support for the Internship Coordinator.

Give assistance to students seeking costly internships (e.g. help them secure funding and research grants).

Plan the logistics of grading, placement, evaluation before any students are placed.

Value and Validity of Experience in the Curriculum

Build internships into the major as a curricular option.

Arrange for equivalence with honors activities or thesis preparation.

Use internships to emphasize building a professional persona.

Professional Quality Experience

Carefully monitor the appropriateness of internship sites.

Establish guidelines for students as well as site supervisors.

Establish a goal, such as a finished product (i.e. paper, presentation, etc.), to be reached by the end of internship period.

Help create professional applications and resumes for the students.

Encourage student initiative in locating and applying for placements.

Selection of Students - Send Your Best Forward

Establish prerequisites in order for the students to prepare for the experience.

Require a minimum grade point average for participation in the program..

Require junior status for participation in the program.

Give permission for internships, do not require it for all students.

Communicating Explicit Requirements to Students

Contract with the student for the work to be completed.

Create the Super Syllabus containing substantial detail about expectations for student performance.

Show the students models of previous successful internships.

Give deadlines for submission of essential work.

Profile Student SuccessInterns as Mentors

Student should present their research and internships in colloquia, undergraduate conferences, or for an Anthropology Club.

Profile successes in newsletter, annual department reports, and alumni materials.

Use a bulletin board to display announcements of internship opportunities, profiles of previously completed and current internships, and photos of internship participants

Examples of Internship Topics and Sites

From the IUP Program (1992-1997)

Archaeological Field Research

  • Pict's Knowe Archaeological Site, Scotland
  • Koobi Fora Field School, Kenya
  • Archaeological Museum, Ecuador

Museum Studies and Collection Management

  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology
  • Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh
  • American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
  • Pennsylvania State Museum, Harrisburg
  • Bedford County Museum Bedford, PA
  • University at Buffalo Museum, Buffalo, NY

Biological Anthropology

  • Elmina Skeletal Analysis, Kent State University Bioanthropology Laboratory
  • Ethnobotany of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh

Historic Preservation

  • Bedford County Museum
  • Allegheny Highlands Heritage Center, Johnstown, PA
  • Hope Lodge State Historical Museum

Ethnic Studies and Human Rights

  • Cultural Survival
  • Ojibwe Cultural Center, Manitoulin Island, Canada
  • Salamanca and Seneca Land Rights, Salamanca, New York

Applied Research

  • Office of International Service, IUP
  • New Growth Arts Festival Tourism Research
  • Seattle Midwifery Center

Refugee Relocation and Adaptation

  • Bosnian Refugee Relocation, Tressler Lutheran Services, Harrisburg
  • Soviet Jew Relocation Research, United Jewish Federation, Pittsburgh
  • Hmong Refugee Services, Tressler Lutheran Services, Harrisburg

Human Service Organizations

  • Alternative Family Services, Pottstown, PA
  • Blair County Senior Services
  • YMCA Youth Center
  • Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA

Community Development Programs

  • Chevy Chase Community Center, Needs Assessment Project, Indiana, PA
  • Youth Build Alternative Housing, Philadelphia
  • Operation Crossroads Africa, Ghana and Kenya

Primate Studies

  • Pittsburgh Zoo Primate House