What are the steps to getting an internship?
- The first and hardest step is figuring out what you want to do. The Internship Coordinator can help you here. What type of organization or population do you want to work with? What types of things do you want to do?
- Next, figure out which local organizations might be good fits for you. Again, the Internship Coordinator can help provide some lists of organizations. You can also search the phone book or use the internet. A good resource is the Treasure Valley Referral Directory. Search the directory for anything in Boise and you will get a long list of local organizations. You can find another list of likely organizations by looking at the BSU Service Learning List of Approved Agencies.
- Politely call the organization where you want to work. Talk with them about whether they would be willing to supervise an intern and what your duties would be.
- Once you have an arrangement worked out with the organization, fill out the online application. Make sure you put in the correct email address for your supervisor at the site. Also take the online training. The Internship Coordinator will see it automatically and approve it online, or contact you if there is a problem. So will your site supervisor. THIS PROCESS IS ALL ONLINE NOW, no papers to sign!
- You must also complete the online internship workshop, which is within the same system where you fill out the online application.
- Be sure to complete all steps by the deadline (October 1 for Fall 2014).
What are the requirements to have an internship?
- To get an internship in Psychology, you must be a Psychology major and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
Can I get paid for my internship?
- If you can find an internship position that is willing to pay you for your time, that is allowed. Be aware, however, that the point of an internship is that it is a volunteer position for you to gain experience.
Internships are offered Fall and Spring semesters only — Not in the summer or during Intersession.
Internships through the Psychology department are intended to help Boise State University students achieve valuable training and work experiences, as well as to provide needed assistance to social service organizations and other agencies.
The internship opportunities available to psychology students are vast, and continue to expand. Because psychology is described as the “scientific study of thought, feeling, and behavior” and psychology students are typically well trained in this area of study, interns from the psychology department can successfully fill many roles and make great contributions to many agencies and to the people these agencies serve. Past psychology students have worked closely with agencies treating people experiencing various types of psychological difficulties, developmental disabilities, and life trauma. Others have worked with children from families in poverty, the homeless, and university students. Other opportunities exist to help place interns with organizations that serve seniors, refugees, and prisoners and parolees, among others.
In accordance with university guidelines, students must have a 3.00 G.P.A. or higher to enroll for an internship, and may complete a total of 12 internship credits. No more than 6 credits per semester.
The procedure for beginning an internship is as follows:
An interested student should contact the internship coordinator in the Psychology Department. The coordinator and the student can discuss the student’s interests, and the coordinator may provide some possible contacts for internships at agencies and organizations consistent with the student’s interests.
A good resource is the Treasure Valley Referral Directory. Search the directory for anything in Boise and you will get a long list of local organizations. You can find another list of likely organizations by looking at the BSU Service Learning List of Approved Agencies.
Next, the student should contact the relevant person at the agency or agencies that the student is interested in working with. Typically, the contact person at the agency will meet with the student to discuss internship possibilities. The student should then go online and fill out the internship form. Be sure you put the email address of your agency supervisor in the online form. If the student and the contact person at the agency agree to an internship for the student, the agency will approve it online and so will the internship coordinator. You must also take the online training that is available from that same website.
The online form establishes where the student will be completing the internship and the number of credit hours requested. Internships for 3 or fewer credit hours will be graded; the internship coordinator automatically assigns a grade of pass/fail to students who enroll in 4 or more internship credit hours during a given semester. Additionally, all students must sign a non-disclosure statement before starting activities at the internship site.
The hours requirements for internships are as follows: a student must complete 45 hours of work at an internship site for a one-credit internship, 90 hours for a two-credit internship, and 135 hours for a three-credit internship (in some cases, students can earn more than three internship credits in a semester). The student and the cooperating agency supervisor are responsible for developing a schedule that will help the student meet the hour requirement for the number of credits requested.
Internship grades are determined by several factors. First, near the end of the semester, the cooperating agency supervisor will be asked to recommend a grade for the student who completed the internship, based on his or her observations of the student’s performance. Second, the student will turn in a journal (see below).
Students must each turn in a journal documenting his or her experiences during the internship, and the material provided in the journal will also affect the grade that is ultimately assigned by the internship coordinator. Journals of extraordinary quality may allow for final grades higher than those recommended by the cooperating agency supervisor, and mediocre or low quality journals may result in poorer grades than those suggested by the cooperating agency supervisor.
The internship journal may be hand-written (neatly and legibly) in a notebook or loose-leaf binder, or may be typed. It should document, week-by-week, the student’s experiences at her or his internship site, and should also reflect on how these experiences relate to the field of psychology. Weekly entries do not have to be tremendously long, but they should be sufficiently lengthy to communicate the duties performed by the student, and to comment on how these experiences have affected the student’s understanding of human thought, feeling, and behavior. Completed journals must be submitted in hard copy to Dr. Barlow no later than the last day of classes each semester to receive credit. Otherwise a grade of F will be issued for the student.
We are glad that you are considering an internship through the psychology department. Interns routinely help important agencies complete their work in a timely, responsible fashion, and also provide valuable assistance to the clients of these agencies. Furthermore, students who complete internships gain quality work experiences and build their resumes and vitae, both of which are invaluable in helping psychology graduates attain career opportunities and graduate school admissions.
Please feel free to contact me to learn about specific internship possibilities or to discuss questions or concerns about internships.
Dr. M. Rose Barlow
Department of Psychology
Where have students done internships in the past?
Here is a small sampling of places where students have worked:
- All Seasons Mental Health
- St. Luke’s Hospice
- El Ada Community Action
- The Idaho Regional Alcohol Drug Awareness Resource (RADAR) Center
- Boise VAMC
- Community Connections, Inc.
- The Boys and Girls Club
- The Family Table
- Ada County Family Court Services
- Northwest Children’s Home Linden House
There are many other possibilities, too! This list is only a starting place, not all-inclusive.