An internship is a learning experience that allows a student to integrate academic learning and theoretical concepts in the classroom with “real-world” practical experience within a given career path.  The objectives set by each intern will involve, in a broad sense, the application of academic theories and concepts to their work experience and a critical analysis of their findings.  All students are required to participate in at least one three-credit hour internship of 156 hours.  The student is thus required to design the internship and define its objectives in conjunction with a site supervisor, and submit the resulting memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the Internship Director for approval.

Internships provide new professionals an opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience under the leadership of an experienced practitioner. Through working in student affairs units, students learn how to apply the theory and concepts they are learning in the classroom to real life situations. They also gain a better sense of their particular areas of interest within student affairs and have a chance to develop the skills they will need to be successful in the field. Therefore, all students are required to participate in at least one internship experience while enrolled in the program. However, we recognize that some students in the program will be experienced professionals enrolled in order to gain advanced academic credentials and/or training for upward mobility. Therefore, students who have professional experience in the field of Student Affairs (i.e., 3+ years of service) may be exempt from having to complete the internship experience. Students will be required to take an additional course in the major areas of study as a replacement. Any questions regarding internships should be presented to the Director of Internship: Margaret A Gates <>

Students will be permitted to register for the internship experience only after they have fully matriculated into the program, completed SAA 510, 511, 512, 513, 514, obtained a grade-point average of B or better, and submitted a completed Internship MOU with signatures indicating approval by the site supervisor where they intend to work and the Director of Internship: Margaret A Gates <>

While the time equivalents (156 clock hours) are the basis for these options, the intent here is to afford students who may be working and attending school simultaneously flexibility in their scheduling options. The final product for the internship experience will be a presentation and written summary outlining the aspects of the student's learning experience based on the objectives identified in the Internship MOU. 


To qualify for an internship, all of the following must be met:

1.     The student must be matriculated in CCPA and must have completed SAA 510, 511, 512, 513, 514.

2.     The internship must be related to the career goals of the student and the student should have sufficient background to undertake the internship and learn from the experience.  You cannot do an internship in the same office where you are a Graduate Assistant (GA).

3.     The internship must be performed in an established Student Affairs/Services office in a two- or four-year institution of higher education.

4.     This site must not be owned in whole or in part by any of the student’s parents or relatives.

Policies and Procedures

1.     After the student has organized their internship experience, the student must submit a completed SAA Internship MOU. 

2.     Since the preparation of a MOU requires a great deal of thought and consideration, planning should begin well before the registration period for the semester in which the internship will be performed.  A student can register for an internship only after the MOU has been approved by the site supervisor and the Director of Internship: Margaret A Gates <>.

3.     Students cannot register on-line for SAA 595.  Registration must be completed in the Student Affairs Administration Program Office.

4.     Three-credit hour internship MOUs should be filed no later than the middle of the second week of class.  Please check with the Program Office for specific deadlines.

5.     A copy of the student’s MOU will be placed in the student’s academic file.

6.     Internships are graded on a pass/fail basis only. 

Director of Internship

2.     The Director of Internship is responsible for serving as the on-campus coordinator and supervisor of the internship.  As such, the Director of Internship must approve the internship MOU, must maintain contact with the site supervisor to insure that the MOU is implemented properly, and is responsible for submitting the final grade to the Registrar’s Office. 

3.     The Director of Internship must be available for regular contact with the student during the internship.

 Site Supervisor

1.     The site supervisor is the person who will serve as the direct contact for the student during the internship.

2.     The site supervisor is responsible for providing a mid-semester and final evaluation of the student’s activities to the Internship Director for use in grading the student’s overall experience.

Felony Statement

Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact the Department Chair of their intended academic program.

Internship format options (minimum of 3 credits=156 clock hours)

Full-time internship (one semester)

  • Fall or spring = 156 clock hours
  • ex: 13-weeks at 12-hours/week

Half-time internship (one academic year)

  • Fall + spring = 156 clock hours
  • ex: 26-weeks at 6-hours/week

Flexible half-time internship (one semester + summer)

  • Fall or spring + summer = 156 clock hours
  • ex: 13-weeks at 6-hours/week + 78-hours/summer semester

Summer internship

  • Summer = 156 clock hours