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Internship Information

Student Application Form | Employer Verification Form | Employer Evaluation Form

Eligibility

  1. You must be a CIS undergraduate major or an MSIS graduate major fully admitted to the program
  2. You must be in good academic standing, with GPA minimum of 2.75 for undergraduate students and 3.5 for graduate students.
  3. Undergraduate must be in their junior year and completed at least one-half of your CIS required courses.
  4. Graduate students must have completed at least 3 of the required MSIS courses.
  5. You MUST get approval for the internship before it begins and you must have a degree plan on file.
  6. International students are eligible for internships subject to US Immigration rules, Tarleton International Program policies, and the cooperation of the prospective employer.  Internship which carries academic credit allows special exceptions to some rules.  Contact the International Program Director’s office for details.

Qualifying Internships

  1. The internship provides relevant, in-depth, on-the-job learning opportunity related to, and at the level of, your degree.  The credit is not just for working, it is for quality learning beyond the classroom.
  2. The work must be within an “IS/IT organization” where there is at least one employed full-time experienced professional doing IS/IT work for the organization.  An “IS/IT organization” could be a support function or department of a larger organization.
  3. The sponsoring organization must assign at least one internal IS/IT professional to mentor and supervise your work.
  4. For internship enrollment, you MAY NOT work as an un-mentored or freelance IT/IS worker.
  5. The minimum length of an internship is no less than ten (10) weeks.  Even, for example, if enrollment is in one 5-week summer session the work and reporting must span the entire summer. 
  6. Long-semester (Fall and Spring) internships are expected to run the entire semester.
  7. No less than 250 hours of work on the approved job must be completed in the internship semester.  Under certain special circumstances, a student can request in advance to extend the internship period into the next academic  semester to be able to accumulate the required work hours.  The grade of “Incomplete” will be issued (if the intern is making satisfactory progress) until all requirements are met.
  8. The internship does not have to be a full-time position nor does it have to be a paid position. If it is a non-paying position, most companies will need to have you set up on some kind of contractual relationship and pay to “get you on the books.”  You should be treated and feel as though you are a regular employee, with all the pertinent responsibilities. 

Employer Obligations

  1. The employer should make a good faith effort to provide you with relevant work experience in sufficient quantity to satisfy the time and quality requirements.
  2. As previously stated, the employer must provide you with professional IT/IS supervision and mentoring.
  3. As part of the approval process, the employer must timely complete and submit the required application form.
  4. As part of the completion process, the job supervisor must timely complete and return your performance evaluation at the end of the internship semester before your grade can be issued.

How Do I Sign Up For an Internship?

  1. Enrollment is by permission only. Get your academic advisor’s approval to do an internship (advisor may or may not need to know the specific company and job).
  2. Satisfy all the approval criteria stated here.
  3. Find an internship job opportunity and work out a tentative agreement with the employer. The internship coordinator may know of opportunities but is not responsible for finding you a position.
  4. Get Internship Coordinator’s tentative approval.
  5. Submit the “student application” online form
  6. Have the employer submit the “employer application” to verify your information.
  7. Only after both applications are received by the Internship Coordinator, can you  receive an official notification of approval.  Notification is normally by email to the address listed in your application.
  8. When you receive the approval notice, contact the CIS Department secretary for your enrollment override code.  Complete your enrollment normally. 

Your Responsibilities as an Intern

  1. Satisfy all periodic progress reporting requirements as stated in the Internship Guidelines (Reporting Requirements)
  2. Communicate with the Internship Coordinator (1) prior to, (2) within the first week of the semester, (3) during the semester, and (4) near the end of the internship semester, in addition to all other required reporting.  It is your responsibility to get timely feedback to make sure everything is on track on the academic side; your grade depends on it!
  3. Help coordinate any on-site visits that may be requested by the coordinator. 
  4. Complete the Final Summary Report paper and submit during the Final Exam week for that semester.
  5. Make sure that your supervisor submits your performance evaluation to the Internship Coordinator in a timely manner.
  6. Make certain that the Internship Coordinator has all of your materials prior to the grade submission deadline for the semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What differentiates between the nature of internships for undergraduate and graduate students?
    To name a few the professional or intellectual level of the required work and/or job responsibilities, required technical, professional or corporate background or skills, and managerial or strategic focus on activities (as opposed to technical, line-level or task-level responsibilities).
  2. Is there a required duration for an internship?
    The minimum length of an internship is no less than ten (10) weeks.  Even, for example, if enrollment is in one 5-week summer session the work and reporting must span the entire summer. Long-semester (Fall and Spring) internships are expected to run the entire semester. In any case, the required minimum number of work hours must be satisfied (see below).
  3. Must an Internship be a full-time job?
    No, but you must work consistently and preferably no less than half time, completing the required work hours.
  4. How many hours must be worked during the internship?
    No less than 250 hours of work on the approved job must be completed in the internship semester.  Under certain special circumstances, a student can request in advance to extend the internship period into the next academic semester to be able to accumulate the required work hours.  The grade of “Incomplete” will be issued (if the intern is making satisfactory progress) until all requirements are met.
  5. Must an Internship be a “paying job?”
    Not necessarily, but it should be a bona-fide employment arrangement.  Most companies will need to have you set up on some kind of contractual relationship and pay to “get you on the books.”  You should be treated and feel as though you are a regular employee, with all the pertinent responsibilities.
  6. What are the employer’s obligations?
    The employer should make a good faith effort to provide you with relevant work experience in sufficient quantity to satisfy the time and quality requirements. As previously stated, the employer must provide you with professional IT/IS supervision and mentoring. As part of the approval process, the employer must timely complete and submit the required application form. As part of the completion process, the job supervisor must timely complete and return your performance evaluation at the end of the internship semester before your grade can be issued.
  7. Who gets the internship job for me?
    You do.  The Internship Coordinator does not operate a placement service.  We do not have a list of jobs waiting for interns, nor do we act as a broker in any way placing students in internships or finding employers for prospective student interns.  From time to time we do receive requests from companies for interns.  When that occurs, we attempt to publicly communicate these opportunities to students.  But, you must take the initiative to inquire and follow up.  We WILL help you with general advice on appropriateness of an opportunity for you, developing your application strategy, working on your approach to a company, refining your application letter and resume, as well as coaching for interviews.  The internship experience is the best preparation possible for getting your first job after graduation.  The internship job search process is an important element of that overall experience.  Almost all interested students who follow through with the process do find a good internship opportunity.
  8. What are my obligations to the Internship Coordinator during an internship?
    You must satisfy all periodic progress reporting requirements as stated in the Internship Guidelines. You must communicate with the Internship Coordinator (1) prior to, (2) within the first week of the semester, (3) during the semester, and (4) near the end of the internship semester, in addition to all other required reporting.  It is your responsibility to get timely feedback to make sure everything is on track on the academic side; your grade depends on it! You will help coordinate any on-site visits that may be requested by the coordinator.  Also, you must complete the Final Summary Report paper and submit during the Final Exam week for that semester. It is also a good idea to make sure that your supervisor submits your performance evaluation to the Internship Coordinator in a timely manner. In order to get a grade in the course, you need to make sure that the Internship Coordinator has all of your materials prior to the grade submission deadline for the semester.
  9. Can an internship enrollment be applied to a job I already hold? 
    Yes.  Your advisor has the last word.  Advisors sometimes prefer that you take other coursework to strengthen your program rather than an internship.  Your regularly-assigned advisor must send some kind of notice of authorization or denial of your internship to the Internship Coordinator. The Internship Coordinator cannot override the advisor’s decision.  Any appeal must go to the Department Head then Dean, as needed.
  10. Can my advisor refuse to approve the use of internship credit on my degree plan?  Yes.  Your advisor has the last word.  Advisors sometimes prefer that you take other coursework to strengthen your program rather than an internship.  Your regularly-assigned advisor must send some kind of notice of authorization or denial of your internship to the Internship Coordinator. The Internship Coordinator cannot override the advisor’s decision.  Any appeal must go to the Department Head then Dean, as needed.
  11. Can I take a SECOND internship course?  Again, the advisor may or may not think a second internship is in your best interest compared to other coursework. The advisor may allow a second internship if he/she deems it valuable to your degree plan. If the second internship is allowed by the advisor, it must be in a different employment setting and consist of significant and distinctly different learning experiences from the prior internship.  The Internship Coordinator has the last word on whether these criteria have been met, even if the advisor approves the second internship “in concept.”
  12. I have an opportunity to do a worthwhile and in-depth project as a ‘private consultant’ that will take an entire semester to complete.  I will learn a lot from it.  Can I use this as an internship?
    No.  This does not meet the above definitions and criteria of internship.  HOWEVER, it could qualify as a Special Project independent study course.  With your advisor’s approval to do such a course, you may approach any of our full-time faculty to help you develop and supervise you in such a project.  Guidelines of a Special Project are approved through written contract with the supervising faculty member.  These courses are not approved nor supervised by the Internship Coordinator.
  13. Can I apply for internship credit for work I have already done?
    No -- not work that was done before the application is made.  In special cases it might be possible to request to do all internship work one semester but enroll for the grade in the next semester.  If approved to do that, you would make all the arrangements and get approval, do the entire internship and required reporting, complete all the requirements in one semester, but enroll and receive the credit in the following semester.  This must be requested and approved well in advance.  Because this calls for extra work and responsibility for both the student and Internship Coordinator, approval is not guaranteed.
  14. Does on-campus employment such as computer lab instructor, teaching assistant, or student technician qualify for internship credit?
    No more or less than any other outside job.  It is subject to all the guidelines stated above, particularly related to “IT/IS organization” and “supervision by an IT/IS professional to mentor and supervise”. 
  15. How am I graded in the internship?  You will normally be graded by the Internship Coordinator.  Internship academic supervision and grading can be done by other faculty member(s) as appointed by the department head.  Your reporting and communication must be done with the Internship Coordinator AND the other faculty member, when assigned. Your grade will be comprised of the following:Employer’s assessment of the overall quality of the work you have done (50%) and Coordinator’s (or assigned faculty supervisor’s) assessment of the quality of the internship effort, including completeness and timeliness of all communication and required reporting (50%).
  16. What about “incomplete,” low or failing grades in an internship? It is possible to make a low or failing grade in an internship by not satisfying the criteria above, or if you are dismissed before the end of the internship for inadequate performance (from the perspective of either the employer or the Internship Coordinator). Termination of an internship prematurely for issues other than performance (e.g., personal emergencies or employer problems) may be eligible for a grade of “incomplete” and completion under different circumstances.  The intern must responsibly communicate and work closely with the Internship Coordinator if such a situation arises.