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For questions about internships at Bethany Lutheran College, contact the Career Development Center.

Internship Handbook

Student Section

Definition of an Internship

An internship is a student-motivated, employer-planned, and directed learning experience that provides an opportunity to integrate academic, professional, and personal skill development. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and to enhance skill development in a professional setting. The internship experience involves an academic relationship between the student, faculty advisor, and the employer. Internships generally span an academic term, may be paid or unpaid, and are for academic credit.

Philosophy & Objectives

The benefit of doing an internship is experiential learning. Internships are designed to accomplish as many of the following objectives as possible:

  • Extend the student’s learning through direct experience in a related job or profession.
  • Experience the demands and opportunities essential to success in the workplace.
  • Sample a career path to explore alignment with the student’s interests and abilities.
  • Begin networking in the profession in ways helpful for the future.
Academic Policy
  • Internships are available to any student with a minimum of 60 earned credits and should be in the student’s area of academic study.
  • Students applying for an internship must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and have the approval of their academic advisor.
  • Interns must have a site supervisor at the internship worksite with whom they meet on a regular basis. Site supervisor cannot be an immediate relative of the intern.
  • One academic credit is earned for every 45 hours per semester. For example, one academic credit equates to approximately 3 hours of work per week during the fall and spring semesters, or approximately 4.5 hours of work per week during the summer term.
  • Academic credit must be awarded during the term in which the internship takes place.
  • A completed Internship Registration Form must be in place before the internship begins.
  • Student interns are required to meet with the Bethany faculty advisor midway through the internship to assess the progress.
  • Interns are required to complete academic and reflective work under the supervision of their Bethany faculty advisor.
Tuition for Credit

Tuition for internship credits is the same as for other credits earned at Bethany Lutheran College. Students applying for summer internships will be invoiced $200 per credit for the number of credits registered for during the summer months.

Learning Experience

An internship is a learning experience. Certain things are learned more effectively through experience, and internships provide that opportunity. A grade for an internship is based on what you can show you learned during the internship, not solely on the evaluation of your performance. Your Bethany faculty advisor evaluates the quality of the learning experience.

Professional Experience

An internship can be a great start to your professional experience. Since your internship will be supervised by a professional within your field, you will have the opportunity to gain real world experience. Many employers value hiring someone who has had an internship experience; therefore, when you are competing for a particular position in a given field, your internship may prove beneficial. A good way to maximize your internship experience is to begin to build a professional network.


Most students report working just as hard if not harder on their internships as they do for classes on campus. Pursuing an internship along with several other classes creates a demanding schedule and requires a lot of time and energy. It is recommended to plan for a lighter class load when participating in your internship.


When participating in an internship you are representing yourself, your department, and Bethany Lutheran College as a whole. Since you are representing more than just yourself, it is important to demonstrate the values and mission of the college in a professional manner.

  • Academic credit will be granted upon successful completion of the internship.
  • In order to receive credit, the internship must be related to your academic major.
  • Credits cannot be retroactively applied. An internship should not begin until after the internship has been approved. Any hours worked by the intern prior to the approval of the internship do not apply toward the internship requirements.
  • Academic credit is awarded by participating departments. The total amount of credit varies based upon the nature of the work, the academic projects, and the amount of time spent on the job. A minimum of 45 hours of work for each credit earned is required.
  • Letter Grades are earned based on the final evaluation from the site supervisor and the final assessment(s).
  • A maximum of 12 credit hours obtained through internships may be applied toward graduation requirements. Check with the individual department as to the maximum number of credits allowed for application towards each major.

Bethany Lutheran College seeks to provide interested students with experiential learning internship opportunities that complement their academic preparation with direct practical experience that leads to academic, personal, and career growth. Organizations sponsoring Bethany interns provide an invaluable service to student development. Bethany grants academic credit for these internship experiences; however, Bethany makes no other assurances about the experience, the site, or the arrangements that the student may make in connection with this opportunity.

Student Responsibilities

Students seeking credit for an internship agree to:

  1. Submit the Internship Registration Form online and electronically obtain approval from the Faculty Advisor who is supervising the internship, the Internship Site Supervisor, and the Career Development Center Director.
  2. Conduct their own due diligence in regard to the internship duties and working conditions prior to beginning the internship.
  3. Perform to the best of their ability any tasks assigned to them.
  4. Follow the rules, regulations, and requirements of the sponsoring organization.
  5. Notify the Career Development Center and make their Faculty Advisor aware of any problems that may develop during the internship.
  6. Maintain sufficient health and accident insurance to cover them during the internship.
  7. Maintain insurance on their personal vehicle if used to travel to and from the internship site.
  8. Be responsible to collect any wages due and to pay any taxes on income from the internship as applicable.
  9. Be responsible for any accident or injury suffered during the course of the internship.
  10. Observe standards of conduct and professionalism that will promote the continuance of future internships for Bethany students.

Bethany does not knowingly approve internships opportunities which pose an undue risk to participants, nor does the college conduct reviews of internship sites. Internship travel to and from the site carries with it inherent risk beyond Bethany’s control. Students agree to hold Bethany Lutheran College harmless for any injuries sustained during the internship. This includes travel to and from the internship site. Bethany Lutheran College reserves the right to cancel, change, or substitute an internship in cases of emergency or changed conditions, or in the general interest of the Internship Program. This includes any changes necessary for protection from COVID-19 or any other potentially dangerous condition.

Note: Submitting the the Internship Registration Form indicates that you have read and understand the above requirements. Your submission of the Internship Registration form means that you agree to abide by the terms and conditions as described in this section.

Students interested in obtaining an internship must meet with their faculty advisor to discuss opportunities and begin résumé preparation prior to the start of the internship search. It is best to begin this a minimum of two semesters prior to the intended internship semester.

Steps to Beginning an Internship

The initiative for all of these steps lies with the student.

  1. Situate an internship in the development of your academic plan.
  2. Locate a potential internship site. Your Handshake account is an excellent place to begin.
  3. Prepare a résumé, cover letter, and portfolio (if necessary). Use resources on campus, such as the Writing Center or the Career Development Center, to fine-tune these. Have your faculty advisor approve these and then proceed to apply for the internship through the employer.
  4. Interview for the internship, if necessary, and secure a list of responsibilities from the employer.
  5. In consultation with the faculty advisor, develop learning objectives and fill out the Internship Registration Form.
  6. The Internship Registration form will be electronically sent to your faculty advisor, your internship site supervisor, and the Career Development Center Director for approval.
  7. The Registrar’s office will enroll you in the appropriate course for the internship (1–12 credits). The Registrar will not accept student registration for any internship course without the fully-approved registration form.

Note: All of the above must be completed before the internship is actually begun. Any hours worked by the intern prior to the approval of the internship do not apply toward the internship requirements.

During the Internship

The student is responsible for representing Bethany Lutheran College in a professional manner. This can be accomplished when the student adopts the following guidelines:

  • Report to the internship site/workplace on time and when scheduled.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Behave in a professional and ethical manner during the entire process.
  • Show initiative; set goals and prioritize.
  • Observe confidentiality.
  • Learn everything possible about the position and the worksite.
  • Contact your faculty advisor throughout the internship to discuss progress toward attaining learning goals and completion of academic activities.
  • Communicate all problems that arise during the internship to your faculty advisor.

Clear communication is key to an effective internship. The following guidelines suggest how to establish a good communication network during the internship experience:

  • Understand the job description as discussed with the site supervisor and know the learning objectives as formulated with your faculty advisor to prepare you to get the most out of your internship.
  • Schedule regular meetings with your site supervisor to discuss new and past assignments, answer any questions, and discuss the dynamics of the organization.
  • Communicate all problems that arise during the internship to your faculty advisor, who will guide you in the proper means to handle the situation.
  • Inquire about opportunities to attend meetings, corporate events, or networking events, if possible.
  • Discuss career entries and long-term career paths in the field.

Yes. The Internship Registration Form must be completed prior to Midterm of the semester you plan to receive credit for the internship in.

Faculty Section

The faculty advisor supports the academic aspects of the internship. The faculty advisor ensures that the experience qualifies as an internship and not simply a work experience performed by a student. The role includes serving as a mentor to students by using expertise and leadership to guide students in the development of academically sound and realistically appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The faculty advisor assists the student intern in formulating attainable and measurable learning outcomes. The assessment of the internship and assignment of a final grade for the course lies in the hands of the faculty advisor.

To be considered a legitimate internship, all the following criteria must be met (National Association of Colleges and Employers [NACE], 2022):

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor. 
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

As faculty advisor, you are involved in assisting the intern in areas 1 and 4 from above. The role of the faculty advisor involves monitoring progress of the academic goals in the process of the internship. This can be accomplished through the following:

  • Discussions regarding the importance of the internship experience start in the early years of the student’s academic career. The student’s four-year course of study will likely include at least one internship. The faculty advisor can work with the student to help determine what types of opportunities best fit their interests and abilities.
  • The faculty advisor meets with the student, prior to the start of the internship, to complete the Internship Registration Form. The advisor and student design an agreement containing learning objectives and evaluation methods to assure learning objectives are achieved. The aim and tasks of the internship should be based upon the SMART principle: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. The document must be electronically signed by the faculty advisor, the intern, and the site supervisor prior to the beginning of the internship.
  • Academic assessments are used to measure the student’s worksite performance and synthesis of the academic learning with workplace activities.  These assessments are used as determining factors in the final internship grade.  They may include employer assessments, journals, written or oral research reports, presentations, examinations, class/seminar attendance, or any other academic activity deemed appropriate by the supervising faculty advisor.
    • Every student who completes an internship will minimally be required to prepare a poster for a poster session. This poster should provide evidence of the accomplishment of the learning objectives.
    • The final grade for the course is recommended to be based 50% on the evaluation by the site supervisor and 50% on the faculty advisor’s evaluation of the academic assessment(s), including the poster.
    • The final grade for the internship will be decided on and assigned by the faculty advisor.
Prior to Internship
  1. When developing an academic plan with your advisees, include an internship as part of the plan. Internships are upper-division courses to be taken upon reaching Junior status.
  2. Approve your advisee’s resume and cover letter after these have been edited. Resources include the Writing Center and the Career Development Center
  3. Design academic learning outcomes and assessments for the internship experience with your advisee.
  4. Approve the student’s completed Internship Registration Form (or work with them to revise and resubmit it as needed). The academic learning outcomes from the previous step are recorded on this form. The Internship Registration Form is a contract and must also be approved by the Internship Site Supervisor.
Midway Through Internship
  1. Midway through the internship, an email will be sent from the Career Development Center. Respond to any concerns that you receive from the Site Supervisor
  2. Meet with the student to discuss Site Supervisor feedback and check in to see how the student is progressing on the path of meeting the academic objectives.
Last Few Weeks of Internship
  1. Two weeks prior to the end of the internship, remind the student to begin the poster using the provided template.
  2. The Site Supervisor will be asked to submit a final evaluation through the Career Development Center. Access this information to help the student improve.
  3. Evaluate the student’s poster as evidence of mastering learning objectives.
  4. Assign the final grade based approximately 50% on the Site Supervisor’s final evaluation and 50% on all internship assessments, including the poster. Submit this final grade through MyBLC or the Registrar’s Office.
Midway Assessment of Internships

Half-way through each internship, the Career Development Center will send an email to each site supervisor of the student interns and carbon copy the appropriate faculty advisor. This email will encourage dialogue between the faculty advisor and the site supervisor(s) and seek feedback on successes or opportunities for improvement.

  • If a response is received from the site supervisor: the faculty advisor will provide any follow-up as requested by the site supervisor, and make note of the feedback.
  • If no response is received from the site supervisor: no further action is required.
Email Template Sent from the Career Development Center
Hello <<Site Supervisor Name>>,
At Bethany Lutheran College we are dedicated the to the professional development of our students. We understand that <<student’s name>> is currently an intern for your organization. With the internship nearing its midpoint, we are writing to request your feedback on <<student’s name>> performance. We would be encouraged to hear any successes, accomplishments, or areas of improvement for this student. In addition, please comment if there are any action items you would like the faculty advisor to take to ensure the remainder of the internship is successful.
Please reply all to this email with your comments by: <<future date>>.
Thank you for supporting the professional development of our Bethany Lutheran College interns.

Bethany Lutheran College Career Development Center

Final Assessment of Internships

At the end of each internship the Career Development Center will contact each site supervisor of the student interns. Site supervisors will be asked to complete the Final Evaluation Form. The site supervisor will be asked to go over the final evaluation with each student intern similar to a performance review. The final evaluation form will be accessible to the Career Development Center and faculty advisor upon completion. This evaluation should make up approximately 50% of the student intern’s final grade.

Employer Section

Internships at Bethany Lutheran College

An internship is a student-motivated, employer-planned, and directed learning experience that provides an opportunity to integrate academic, professional, and personal skill development. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and to enhance skill development in a professional setting. The internship experience involves an academic relationship between the student, faculty advisor, and the employer. Internships generally span an academic term, may be paid or unpaid, and are for academic credit.
The employer should identify the specific terms and conditions of employment and should discuss these with the prospective intern, so there are no misunderstandings regarding the internship. Terms of employment are left solely to the employer and the student.

Employer Role in Internships
  • The student(s) will ask you to approve their Internship Registration Form. You will be required to approve the form before the student(s) can earn academic credit.
  • Partway through the internship, you will receive an email from the Career Development Center requesting feedback on the intern’s progress.
  • At the conclusion of the internship, you will complete a final evaluation to provide a current assessment of the performance and progress of the student intern. We encourage you to review this evaluation with the intern as it will guide in his/her personal and professional development.
  • The final evaluation of the student intern’s performance will help the faculty advisor assign the grade. However, the final grade will be at the faculty advisor’s discretion.