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Internships

Introduction

HIST498 is an upper level course developed for history undergraduate majors and minors. The internship program is designed to provide advanced students with an opportunity to integrate classroom learning with real world experience. The program is primarily designed for students planning to enter the fields of museum studies, archival management and maintenance, and historical preservation. However, we are hoping to expand our opportunities to include historical research and publication.

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    Goals

    The major goals of the internship program include:

    1. Professional Development
    Through supervised field work at museums, archival collections, historical preservation agencies, government institutions, and non-profit organizations, interns will enhance their understanding of the ethics, values, and service opportunities of community organizations. Interns are provided an opportunity to interact with and cooperate with a variety of individuals and groups within the community.

    2. Knowledge Enhancement
    The internship provides students an opportunity to explore, among other things, the operations of governing or advisory boards, the day to day operations of the community organization in which they are serving, the professional expectations for historians working in these areas, fund-raising efforts, and the practical aspects of providing public service to the larger community.

    3. Career Exploration and Opportunities
    Students receive hands on training in organizations requiring the skills of a historian. This opportunity allows the intern to form realistic expectations of careers in various environments. It also gives students valuable on the job training and can lead to employment opportunities. The intern will also learn to apply these skills in practical situations.

    4. Critical Thinking in Real World Environments
    Intern placements allow students to put their formal historical training to practical use. Problem solving, organizational thinking, and effective methodology are skills that will be utilized.

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    Course Description

    Prerequisites
    Junior and senior history majors and minors may normally enroll in the program. All students who enroll in internship classes must receive program permission from the current undergraduate coordinator, who will also serve as the faculty supervisor. Prospective interns must have a 3.0 GPA in their major courses (or special permission), exhibit professional behavior, and have passed HIST300: Historiography with at least a B. Students who have no upper level courses in history, who have had an erratic attendance record in regular classes, who have probationary status, or who have just transferred from another school may not be allowed to enroll in the program. Field service supervisors expect a certain level of expertise in the field and a high level of responsibility on the part of the student participant.

    Application Procedure
    Students interested in enrolling in HIST498 must discuss placement with the undergraduate coordinator during pre-registration in the semester preceding the planned internship. Students must also solicit a recommendation from a ranked history faculty member and ensure that their recommendation (sent via email) has been received prior to their first meeting with the coordinator. In those discussions, consideration will be given to the student's course load, class standing, and whether the student can realistically commit to the time requirement. With the approval of the undergraduate coordinator, students can then enroll in the course. The faculty supervisor/undergraduate coordinator will receive the application and make a tentative assignment based on the following considerations:

    1. Availability of a host agency that matches the student's interest and has expressed a willingness to participate in the internship program.
    2. Student's past experiences, interests, and suitability for a host agency assignment.
    3. Faculty supervisor's agreement with the student's expressed preference.

    The supervisor will then forward the Intern Placement Form to the prospective field supervisor and the student will arrange a personal interview with the agency. After the interview, if the agency and the student indicate acceptance of the placement, they will agree upon work assignments for inclusion on the form. The faculty supervisor, field supervisor, and student must sign the Intern Placement Form. All three parties to the agreement will have a copy of the agreement. It will be the responsibility of the student to make sure each party has signed the form and has a copy of it.

    Credit
    Students can enroll for 3-6 credit hours. The maximum number of credit hours allowed for internships in the history program is 6 hours.

    Course Description
    A student is required to work at the placement site 42 hours for each credit hour, as follows:

    3 credit hours = 126 site hours + 3 hours/faculty supervisor
    4 credit hours = 168 site hours + 4 hours/faculty supervisor
    5 credit hours = 210 site hours + 5 hours/faculty supervisor
    6 credit hours = 252 site hours + 6 hours/faculty supervisor

    Site work will normally be carried out on-site unless special arrangements have been made between the faculty supervisor and the on-site supervisor. Students will receive a specific set of written instructions when such arrangements have been made. In addition to the on-site fieldwork, all students are required to keep a log of daily activities at the site. The log will include the number of hours worked on site each day. Field supervisors will be asked to confirm the record of hours. Using this log as a basis, students will write a process paper describing what was learned during the internship. The paper should show how the fieldwork affected the student's professional development, their knowledge base, their knowledge of career opportunities, and their critical thinking skills (see goals of the program above). Papers should not be longer than eight pages and must be turned into the faculty advisor by the last day of regular classes of the semester the student is enrolled in the internship.

    Placement
    Most students are placed with societies, museum, libraries, or government agencies with which the history program has had long-standing agreements and working relationships. However, we do receive periodic requests for interns from community groups working on special projects. If these projects are designed to provide the type of broad educational experience that will be productive for student growth, we will try to place students who seem a good fit for the project. Students may also suggest internship opportunities. If suitable arrangements can be worked out with the hosting site and supervisor, and if the internship provides the appropriate educational experience for history students, such internships will be encouraged. Typical placements include the CF&I Archives (Bessemer Historical Society), Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center, El Pueblo Museum, Western History Collection (Pueblo Library District), Western Museum of Mining and Industry, and the Pioneers Museum in Colorado Springs. County and city government units have periodically requested research historians for special projects, often involving historical preservation of buildings or areas.

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    Responsibilities

    Responsibilities of the Hosting Agency

    • To interview a prospective placement student and to accept or reject the student.
    • To consider a student for placement without respect to race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability (unless the student is not able to function in the agency setting), or political belief.
    • To identify a field supervisor and grant the supervisor the necessary time to fulfill his field teaching responsibilities.
    • To provide the student with a variety of opportunities to gain practical experience in the specific tasks of the agency.
    • To provide physical facilities and materials necessary for the student to carry out his or her assigned tasks.
    • To notify the faculty supervisor of any difficulties the student might have in carrying out his or her task.
    • To dismiss the student if he or she is not fulfilling the agreed contract.

    Responsibilities of the Student

    • To arrange a placement interview with the agency.
    • To report to the agency at the date and time specified for the beginning of placement.
    • To participate in formulating the learning contract with the faculty supervisor that articulates learning objectives and learning assignments.
    • To act as a mature, professional person at the assigned agency and to develop professional work habits.
    • To attend scheduled conferences with the faculty supervisor and observe the agency's schedule for working hours. In the case of illness or other extraordinary circumstances necessitating absence, the student is expected to notify his or her site supervisor about the reason for the absence and expected date of return.
    • To seek assistance from the faculty supervisor if problems are encountered in the placement.
    • To arrange with the agency supervisor for the termination or orderly transfer of work assignments before leaving the agency.
    • To complete an evaluation of the field experience at the end of the placement.

    Responsibilities of the Faculty Supervisor

    • To identify and select intern sites that will offer meaningful experiences for the history student.
    • To properly prepare the student with the academic and theoretical knowledge to be a contributing member of the agency.
    • To work collaboratively with the field supervisor to ensure the educational focus of placements.
    • To contact the field supervisor at least twice during the course period to review the student's assignment and progress.
    • To provide the field supervisor with information about policies, procedures, goals, and expectations for student performance as an intern.
    • To facilitate resolution of problems or conflicts between the student, field supervisor, and/or agency.
    • To collaborate with the field instructor in evaluating the student's performance upon completion of the field placement and assigning the final grade.

    Responsibilities of the Field Supervisor

    • To interview and assess the student's suitability for placement with the agency.
    • To articulate the responsibilities and activities for the student intern in writing and orally.
    • To orient the student to the agency, including agency policies, procedures, services, administrative structure, and linkage to other agencies.
    • To provide the student with tutorial instruction necessary to carry out assigned tasks.
    • To provide the student with evaluative feedback about his or her performance.
    • To consult with the faculty supervisor about the student's on-site performance and final grade. The faculty advisor will contact the on-site supervisor mid-way though the internship for an oral report of the student's performance and also at the end of the internship. Written evaluations of student performance by the on-site supervisor are requested so they can be included in the student's portfolio.
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    Problem Solving and Grievance Procedures

    Proper procedures and channels should be followed if a student experiences any difficulty or becomes dissatisfied with his or her field placement, and are as follows:

    1. Discuss the problem constructively and in an issue-oriented fashion with the agency field supervisor.
    2. Discuss the problem and attempt to resolve it at the agency level with the faculty supervisor, who will subsequently discuss the situation with the field supervisor when appropriate.
    3. If a satisfactory solution cannot be achieved, the student may elect, with consent of both the faculty supervisor and the field supervisor, to either drop the placement or when possible to switch to another agency.

    If an agency is dissatisfied with a student's performance, the procedures to be followed are:

    1. Immediately bring the issue to the student's attention in order that the student may help to solve the problem.
    2. When appropriate, the field supervisor should work with the student to modify the assignment contract so that the agency's expectations can be stated in constructive terms.
    3. If the student's performance does not adequately improve using the above procedure, the field supervisor should immediately contact the faculty supervisor to determine a corrective action.
    4. Unexplained absences, breaches of agency or office protocol, or apathetic performance of assignments all constitute grounds for dropping the student from his or her internship.
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    Insurance Coverage

    All students whose internship is an elective to meet a degree requirement are covered by liability insurance carried by CSU-Pueblo. All student activity approved by the hostagencies and field supervisors as part of the field placement is covered except for “wanton and willful neglect, irresponsibility, or inaction. In order to ensure that adequate liability coverage exists, the Intern Placement Form must be completed and returned to the faculty supervisor prior to the first week of field placement. Completion of the planned student activities section of the contract is important in the process of certification of coverage. It is not acceptable for that section to be left blank since the assignments reflect activities intended to address placement objectives, and thus, legitimate the practice as meeting course requirements. Should host agencies be unwilling to grant students approval to practice within that agency without additional assurance of liability coverage, a certificate of insurance for that agency can be negotiated with the University's Purchasing Office.
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