= Site Supervisor Guidelines =

We appreciate your support of Muhlenberg's internship program and your willingness to share your time and talent. We hope the following information will help ensure that your experience with a Muhlenberg student is a positive one. Please read both this section and the student guidelines to familiarize yourself with the College's expectations of students.


Muhlenberg College internship policies

The student who is earning academic credit for the internship experience is expected to meet certain requirements.

  • The student is expected to work 9-12 hours per week or 126-168 hours per fall, spring or summer term internship.
  • In order to avoid any conflict of interest, no family member may serve as on-site supervisor.
  • The student will be required to complete an academic project to be defined and evaluated by a faculty sponsor. Most internships are taken on a pass-fail basis, however those required by the student's major are assigned grades. The grade will be based on the academic project and your evaluation and will be determined by the faculty sponsor.
  • A written evaluation by the site supervisor will be required at the end of the internship. In addition, a mid-term evaluation is recommended to provide a basis for assessing the student's development during the internship.  Evaluation forms are included in this manual. You may use your own organization's employee form if you prefer.

How to make the internship go smoothly

Faculty contact. At the beginning of the internship, the faculty sponsor will initiate contact with you to define the student's performance during the internship.

Written learning contract. The College encourages the student to write a learning contract in cooperation with you and the faculty sponsor. This document will allow the three individuals to reach agreement on the form and substance of the internship and on the performance criteria. Be specific about the work results you expect of the intern.  Plan ahead for a mutually beneficial experience.

Even if a learning contract is not required by the faculty sponsor, you are encouraged to require one of the intern. A learning contract is included in this manual.

Communication. Open communication between you, the faculty sponsor, and the student is critical to a positive experience. The student will meet with the faculty sponsor a minimum of three times during the semester. Likewise, the faculty sponsor will contact you at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the semester for your feedback on how the internship is progressing.

Please do not hesitate to initiate a call to the faculty sponsor during the semester. Checking in with news of your intern's activities is welcome. Similarly, concerns or problems sometimes arise. You are encouraged to contact the faculty sponsor immediately to discuss your observations, no matter how small the issue. Early communication can prevent minor concerns from escalating into major problems.

Students with disabilities or special needs.  Students with disabilities or special needs have access to internships under the same guidelines and criteria established for all students and are expected to fulfill the same standards and requirements.  When a student discloses a disability or special need, the faculty sponsor and support services at Muhlenberg provide guidance to the site supervisor regarding recommended accommodations.  It is especially important for the student to clearly articulate his/her needs and to work with both the faculty sponsor and site supervisor to facilitate a positive internship experience.

High expectations. The greatest benefit to the student is when you treat him or her as you do your professional employees.


Orientation to the work setting

Understanding the context in which work takes place can help the student learn from the internship experience and be more effective in carrying out assignments. The people, events, and issues in your organization often comprise an unlimited curriculum in social sciences, organizational development, politics and humanities. At the beginning of the internship, you might set aside time to discuss some of the following:

    The organization's goals
    Are there clear or implicit goals for your organization? Are there varying views of what the goals are? Share with the intern material in which those goals appear, such as annual reports, public relations material, and strategic planning documents.

    The organizational environment
    People - Who are the key players in the larger organization? In your department? Who are the formal and informal leaders in your organization? What are their backgrounds? Give the intern an opportunity to speak with various individuals about their roles.

    Structure - What are the formal and informal organizational structures at your site? Where does power/influence reside? What are the formal and informal communication patterns?

    Decision-making - Where and by whom are decisions made? How are they made (decision-making style)?

    Funding/Budget - Where does the funding come from to operate your organization? Share with the intern some of the operating budgets for your unit or the organization as a whole. How does the budget process work? How are budget decisions made?

    Supervision - If you are supervising others, how would you characterize your supervisory style? What are the challenges you meet as a supervisor? How has your style changed during your career?


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