The Communication Internship (COMM 410) provides students with an opportunity to earn academic credits via a meaningful work experience.  Through an internship students can experience possible career situations and work in organizations commensurate with their interests.  More importantly, internships allow students the chance to draw upon what they have learned about communication in classroom settings.

An intern is like a ethnographic or naturalistic researcher.  He or she participates in a work experience or organization as he or she observes it.  Interns study the organization through their experience and interaction with others and via performing their internship tasks.

Note: A student can choose any faculty in Speech Communication to work with for an internship. All you need to do is contact a faculty member before a term begins, ask if the faculty member would be willing to facilitate an internship with them, and then the two of you (the faculty member and student) work together during the term. It is like an independent study - any student can work with any professor who agrees to work with them. We provide a paper packet available from the Shepard Office, this is only an example of what a professor might require for an internship.

To be eligible for the COMM 410 Internship program, students must:

  1.       Be a Communication (COMM) major.
  2.       Be a Liberal Studies major with Communication as a primary part of the Liberal Studies program.
  3.       Have completed 21 credits in the Communication (COMM) major.
  4.       Have an overall GPA of 2.3 or higher (C+).
  5.       Have a COMM GPA of 2.7 or higher (B-).

Determining Credit Hours:
    12 hours of credit:    40 hours per week
     9 hours of credit:    30 hours per week
     6 hours of credit:    20 hours per week
     3 hours of credit:    10 hours per week

Application Procedure:

  1. Students must submit a typed COMM 410 internship proposal to a COMM faculty member who participates in the program.  The proposal should:
  • Detail the nature of the internship work (the work the intern will do).
  • Indicate the hours per week worked and the length of the internship (number of weeks).  Based on that, calculate the number of credits you hope to receive.  The general credit hour formula is as follows: 1 credit for each 30 to 40 hours of internship work time. Consequently, a 12 credit internship requires about 40 hours of work weekly for ten weeks.
  • JUSTIFY Communication (COMM) credit for the proposed work.  A good internship allows the student to observe or participate in a variety of significant communication events, situations, etc.  This justification should feature possible communication theories and concepts that could be applied to communication activity the student anticipates in the internship.
  • Explain how the internship  fits into the student's overall COMM or Liberal Studies program and relates to career aspirations.
  • Specify the date by which all written internship material will be submitted to the faculty sponsor.
  • Include a current transcript.

2.  Internship proposals should be submitted to potential faculty sponsors at least three weeks before preregistration for the term in which the internship will take place.

Gaining Approval:
The faculty member to whom the student has submitted the internship proposal will review that proposal to determine approval status.  If the internship is not approved, the student may revise and resubmit the proposal or seek an internship that is appropriate for academic communication (COMM) credit.  Upon approval, the student must:

  1. Turn in a variable credit form, signed by both the student and the faculty sponsor.  Variable credit forms are available in the Speech Communication Department Central Office and should be turned in there.  Students who do not turn in a variable credit form will be "no show-dropped."
  2. OPTIONAL; At the discretion of the faculty sponsor:  Complete an internship contract, signed by the on-site supervisor, student, and sponsoring faculty member.

Completing the Internship:
In order to earn academic credit for the internship, students must submit the following materials for evaluation:
    1.    Periodic written work, such as:
           a.    Daily logs, or
           b.    Weekly (per forty hours of internship) communication activity reports (Dr. Walker requires these)
           c.    Journal entries (Dr. Goodnow requires these)
    2.    A final analytical paper, term length.
    3.    A letter of evaluation from the student's on-site supervisor, sent directly to the faculty sponsor.
    4.    All internship materials should be turned in no later than the second day of finals week, unless another due date has been arranged with the faculty sponsor.

Internship Deadlines and Incomplete Policy:
Internships should be completed within the academic term.  Incompletes will not be assigned without prior approval.

  1. Unless arranged otherwise and with prior approval of the faculty sponsor, internships should end by the last day of classes prior to final exam week.
  2. All internship materials should be submitted to the faculty sponsor within the subsequent four day period (for example, by Tuesday of finals week of a regular term).  If not, students may receive a "No Pass." 
  3. Students whose internships extend beyond the last regular class day of the term and/or cannot submit their work within the four following days must request receiving an incomplete from the faculty sponsor.
  4. Ideally, incompletes should be anticipated and arranged prior to the beginning of the internship, but no later than three weeks prior to the end of the term.
  5. Faculty will not assign incompletes ("I") without prior arrangement.  Students whose work is not submitted by the confirmed due date will receive "No Pass" or "N."  Under normal circumstances, "N" grades will not be later changed.
  6. Students should consult specific deadlines that may apply to particular terms, such as Summer Session.