July 20, 2024
Image of an intern with phone, computer and shipping boxes.

Key Factors for Internship Program Design

What are the key factors to consider when designing a new internship program, or seeking to improve an existing program?

[1.] Vision and Purpose: Defining the vision and purpose of the program
[2.] Student Participation: Determining which students will participate, ensuring equity and inclusiveness; planning for equitable student access, including consideration of family engagement, cultural diversity, gender diversity, and disability supports or accommodations
[3.] Employer Participation: Developing a method for finding worksites
[4.] Worksite Safety: Ensuring the safety of worksite experience
[5.] Quality of Experience: Determining steps for creating a quality work experience, including student workshops and orientation before the program; development of high-quality job descriptions; exploring links between the experience and key skills from a student’s pathway or classwork; and development of opportunities for student reflection during and after the experience.
[6.] Staffing: Having an effective staff plan, including oversight, coordination and worksite liaison
[7.] Program Design and Logistics: Addressing logistics including scheduling, grading, transportation and other considerations; identifying forms, letters, agreements and other materials to manage the flow of information; evaluating the program design and program outcomes based on a checklist of key considerations for internship programs.
[8.] Managing Information: Having a system for managing information about the program, for sharing operational information within your organization, and for reporting information to your organization’s leadership, community partners, funding sources and other stakeholders.

This series of posts draws from the booklet “Elements of Model Internships” with updates based on the experiences of the past few years, including the setbacks and victories of the pandemic and post-pandemic years and the resurgence of interest in internship and co-operative education programs via new career/technical education and career pathway programs in schools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *