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The internship (ELP 383N) in the Program in Higher Education Leadership is acquired through practical study/fieldwork.

The nature of the internship experience will vary for students in higher education in accordance with their own background of experience, career plans, professional objectives, and other considerations. It should involve work under a professional administrator who is in a position to provide or arrange learning experiences desired and who is sympathetic to and supportive of the objectives of the internship. The internship should provide a variety of learning experiences; it may include a project, but should also include the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and knowledge of the role of the administrator with whom the intern is working and the office or component of the organization where located. Ideally, the intern would have experiences or the opportunity to observe the work of offices other than the one with which s/he is associated.

The student whose background of experience in higher education is lacking will often undertake an internship involving the specialization s/he expects to pursue as a professional practitioner. Students who have had experience in higher education may follow the same course but often will undertake an internship in another aspect of higher education unrelated to his/her prior experience but which will enhance one's preparation for a leadership role in higher education. For example, a person experienced in student affairs might find it profitable to engage in an internship in the business affairs area of a university, which would provide insight into university operations not previously encountered and which would enhance one's preparation for leadership in a student affairs role.

The student will discuss his/her ideas for an internship with his/her academic advisor and the advisor should endorse the placement. Master’s internships usually have as the coordinator/faculty of record Dr. Marilyn Kameen. Doctoral internships usually have the advisor as the faculty of record/coordinator, but may also be coordinated by another faculty member or appropriate individual should supervise it. In some cases, the supervising faculty member will make arrangements with the professional administrator with whom the student will serve as an intern; in others, the student will, after conferring with the supervising faculty member, visit with the administrator and discuss the internship, including role(s) to serve, functions in which to become involved, experiences to be gained, special project if any, schedule, office assignment, and stipend, if any. Some offices provide a small stipend but the typical internship in higher education is for academic credit.

The internship for masters and Ed.D. students typically consists of one-quarter time for one semester (120 contact hours) or a full summer session, enrolled for three credits. A master’s student who works full-time may contract for fewer than 120 hours, consult with first your advisor, then your coordinator/faculty of record if this an appropriate modification. An Ed.D. student with extensive practical experience in higher education may substitute the research apprenticeship for the internship, subject to the advisor's approval. A Ph.D. student with minimum practical experience may also be encouraged to consider an internship as an elective specialization credit course in addition to fulfilling the research apprenticeship requirement for a Ph.D. All students must complete and have approved by their faculty of record/coordinator an "Internship Contract" before proceeding.

In some cases, the supervising faculty member will visit with the intern and on-site professional administrator in the internship situation to discuss progress. In all cases, the intern will be expected to fulfill the requirements of the Internship Contract, including the submission of a timesheet and submit the final project portfolio, where required, at the end of the term to the faculty of record/coordinator. The timesheet should be verified by the signature of the supervisor or via email from the supervisor to the faculty of record ensuring the student has completed the parameters of the contract. The faculty of record will solicit an evaluation from the internship supervisor to assess whether the student completed satisfied performance. The internship for doctoral students usually occurs after the Higher Education specialization coursework has been completed. Registration for an internship is on a Credit/No Credit basis only.

To enroll, the student should complete a consent of instructor form. The faculty of record signs the form and the student should submit the form to the graduate coordinator who will enroll the student in the course. Generally, the faculty of record requires at least a partial contract before signing the consent of instructor form. Students should contact the faculty of record in the semester before they wish to enroll to start the process early and obtain their advisor’s informal approval, agreement with the internship supervisor, and approval of the coordinator/faculty of record.

Students typically do not register for an internship that involves his/her employment or other activity in which the focus is primarily on productive work rather than learning. Exceptions may be made for persons serving as graduate assistants at the University of Texas at Austin which involve learning experiences relevant to their academic program. The internship supervisor cannot be the student's direct supervisor in the employment workplace.

Most internships will take place in colleges, universities, system offices, higher education coordinating agencies, and other agencies directly related to the administration of colleges and universities. Alternative internships, whether in other organizations or whose assignments involve alternative learning experiences, may be approved in certain circumstances. Students wishing to undertake an alternative internship should discuss it with their academic advisor and then submit the "Internship Contract" for approval.

The final internship portfolio should include:

  1. Contract 
  2. Timesheet indicating your completion of hours, verified by your supervisor 
  3. Reflection (3-5 pages)
  4. Artifacts demonstrating your work

Portfolios may be submitted in a binder/folder to the mailbox of your instructor of record (SZB 243) or as a single PDF document via email. All portfolios must be submitted to your instructor of record (Dr. Kameen) by the last day of classes of the semester in which the internship is completed (unless another timeline has been agreed upon).

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