Internship Syllabus

Marist College – School of Communication

Communication & Media Studies Internship Syllabus


Marist College – School of Communication
Communication & Media Studies Internship Syllabus

Internship Director: Gerry McNulty
Phone: 845 575-3655 FAX: 845 575-3885
Office: Lowell Thomas 150
Office Hours: Schedule posted outside office door

(revised - December 2014)

The main objective of the Communication Internship is to gain professional experience. Students will spend time in a professional setting, under the supervision of media professionals. Students will have an opportunity to learn skills unique to their field; they will gain valuable insider knowledge about their industry and meet the people who may someday be their co-workers and/or supervisors, gaining advantage in the job market. Increasing personal skills and knowledge and enhancing professional competencies are key goals of the internship.

In order to qualify, a student must meet these requirements:
• Earned GPA of 2.5 or above
• Passed the 1-credit course CRDV 100N Employment Practicum prior to the start of internship.
• Earned 60 or more credits (transfers students must have earned at least 12 credits at Marist)

Definition of 'Communication internship'
The term "internship" is often used to mean a variety of things. The Communication Internship Program defines internships as a specified amount of time spent by the student in a professional work setting, with the student receiving feedback from a designated media professional. The amount of time spent in the work setting, the type of work produced and the student's academic assignments determine the number of credits the student may earn. p The main goal is that the student gain practical "real world" experience and make key contacts in his/her chosen field. An internship may be a paid position or an unpaid position. The student intern must be enrolled at the start of the semester during which the work experience occurs and is therefore a candidate for college credit. Internships are often referred to "experiential learning" opportunities. To be effective, experiential learning requires the student intern to engage fully by integrating the "concrete experience" of the workplace with "reflective observation," which leads successful students to "abstract conceptualization" about the work experience. Written assignments, such as periodic reports and a Final Paper, are the means by which students analyze and measure their experiences and engage in reflection. College internships are governed by federal law. Both sponsoring employers and students face restrictions under that law. (See )

The 3-way-partnership
The credit-bearing internship requires a three-way partnership: College-Student-Employer. The student is at the center of this arrangement in which he/she is benefiting from opportunities offered by both the school and the employer. The college offers credits and official support; the employer gives the student an opportunity in the "real world." Ultimately, the student is responsible to balance the needs of two "bosses." The most successful students are those who bring a mature and responsible attitude and remain flexible and realistic, seeking ways to balance the sometimes conflicting needs of school and internship schedules.

Course Offerings & Registration
Internship courses are offered during the traditional 15-week Fall, Spring and Summer terms. No winter break internships are available. All internship registrations are subject to the approval of the internship director prior to the start of the internship. No retroactive credit is available; students must be enrolled at the beginning of each term (Fall/Spring/Summer) in order to receive credit in that term. A wide range of credit options are available (see chart). However, there is a cap – student may earn a maximum of 14 internship credits. Only Sports Communication have an internship requirement (3 credits). For all other Communication majors and for Media Studies/Production majors, internship credits are General Elective credits which count toward the diploma, but DO NOT fulfill any requirements.

Internship Schedules
Students should review the chart at right to calculate minimum hours per credit sought. Remember, this chart is focused on the "credit bearing" requirements. For example, a student enrolled in a 3-credit internship must work a total of 135 hours over the term, or an average of 9 hours per week. Students MUST complete internship work hours WITHIN the specific semester in which they are registered. However, students should also note the above mentioned hours are the MINIMUMS; it is perfectly all right to work more than the minimum if a student wishes to do so. Ex: Enroll in 3-credit internship, but work 2 days per week rather than 1. It is best to discuss scheduling with the Internship Director prior to the start of the internship. We measure time by hours worked "on the job." Travel time does NOT count toward internship hours. The Learning Contract form, filled out and signed by student and employer/supervisor at the start of the internship, is the document used to formalize scheduling.

Required Forms
Interns must complete and submit 3 required forms:
• The Learning Contract Form, which specifies a student's work schedule and job description, must be completed and signed by both student and immediate supervisor. The Learning Contract form is due prior to internship registration.
• FERPA course combination form, which requires the student to acknowledge that some course shells will be "combined" or grouped for online reporting purposes. Ex: Students enrolled in the 1, 2 & 3 credit internship courses will be combined into the 3-credit online course shell labeled "COM 308N."
• An Evaluation Form will be mailed to the student's immediate supervisor near the end of the term. (more details on Evaluations appear below)

There are numerous resources available to students seeking internship. First, the pre-requisite class, CRDV100, offers instruction in resume writing, cover letter writing, job searching, interview preparation and other skills and techniques. Foxquest, the Marist College jobs/internship data base, lists thousands of opportunities. Students are not limited to these contacts, but may seek an internship with any company or organization engaged in mass media enterprises. Please note that ALL credit-bearing internship placements are subject to pre-approval by the internship director. Numerous books and trade publications available in the Internship Program Office and at Center for Career Services located in the Marist Library provide a great deal of information about careers and employers

Instructional formats
This course consists of fieldwork and written assignments. Professionals at each site supervise interns in the workplace environment. Students establish the details of their internship job description and work schedule in collaboration with supervisors at the workplace. The College reserves the right to approve all schedules in advance. Also, the internship program director reserves the right to conduct status checks via telephone, email or in-person.

Internship Assignments
Students are required to submit a series of writing assignments as part of the internship program:
• Writing assignments in the form of reflective and/or analytical reports are to be submitted to the program staff. The number of assignments varies by number of credits attempted. Ex: 1-credit interns submit 4 reports; 9-credit interns submit 10 written assignments. (for details, see "Assignments" in your iLearn course shell). All written assignment topics are posted on the iLearn (online) system. All students are required to use their Marist accounts to access this system.
• Blog assignments in the form of student web logs are required during the course of the semester. Students will be instructed as to topical areas as well as deadlines. Blogs have a dual purpose: to report on the internship experience as well as to learn about what peers are experiencing.
• A Final Paper is due Final Exam Week. The paper should be an analysis of the internship, reflecting on the range of duties performed, lessons learned. As per the stated instructions, the Final Paper should explore how the internship experience compared/contrasted with theories taught in class. The student should explain the value of the internship experience as a supplement to classwork. (see instructions for details)

WARNING: LATE reports/final papers WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Late assignments are grounds for failing the internship course. Stay current, follow the schedule and meet deadlines.

Student Conduct & Attendance

Students are expected to demonstrate mature, responsible behavior in their internships. They are expected to fulfill their work schedules as planned (See the Learning Contract form). They are expected to behave in a professional manner, treating all co-workers with courtesy and respect at all times. Problematic behavior will be considered grounds for failure of the internship course.
In addition, excellent attendance is critically important. Students whose attendance is questionable or who have substantial absences risk failing the internship course. The internship credit chart (above) denotes minimum hours that must be worked to reach each credit threshold. Students should keep their employer/sponsor fully informed regarding any illness or personal issues that prevent them from attending the internship as schedule. Also, students should inform the internship director in the event they face an extended absence of more than a few days.

Outcomes & Evaluations
The Internship Director uses the following methods for outcomes evaluation.
1) Calculation of number of hours student worked at internship site, verified by supervisor
2) Assessment of the quality of the written assignments,
3) Review of the employer's evaluation of the student and,
4) Exit interviews with the student intern and/or the internship employer supervisor. The internship program retains the right to conduct a "site visit" to evaluate the student's progress or conduct a telephone interview for evaluation purposes.

Internships are graded Pass/Fail. In order to obtain a passing grade, students must:
• Complete the required number of hours/per credits enrolled
• Turn in written reports and your Final Paper in a timely manner
• Obtain a satisfactory evaluation from their supervisor
- Students who do not meet these requirements risk failure

INTERNSHIP REGISTRATION MUST BE FINALIZED IN PERSON WITH THE INTERNSHIP DIRECTOR NO LATER THAN THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OF THE TERM. Registration deadlines are posted on the website and on the bulletin board outside the Internship Office at LT 150.

Enrolled interns are advised to make every effort to complete their internship requirements. Quitting an internship prematurely places the student at risk of failing the internship course and losing the credits sought. Students are strongly advised to remain in close communication with the Internship Program Staff regarding questions or concerns about their internships.

Number of Credits

  • Varies by number of hours worked. Consult the credit chart in the Syllabus, or speak with Internship Program Staff

Internship Required by Major/ Concentration

  •   Sports Communication – Yes
  •    All Others – No


  • Offered ONLY at Start of each semester.
  • All registration is handled in-person at the Internship Program Office (there is NO electronic registration)

Retroactive credits

  • No credit is awarded for work done in a previous semester


  • 60+ credits completed (Transfer students – see Internship Program Staff)
  • 2.5 or above GPA
  • Passing grade in CRDV100 Employment Practicum

Required forms

  • Learning Contract form
  • FERPA form
  • Evaluation Form


  • Bi-weekly Periodic Topical Reports (number varies by credit load)
  • Reflection/analysis Final Paper


  • Pass/Fail