Undergraduate students in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at Auburn University are required to complete a 12 credit hour internship that is related to their course of study and their long-term career goals. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 450 placement hours over the course of a semester. In addition to the minimum number of hours, students are expected to work at the internship site for the full number of weeks in a semester. The actual day and times worked by the student at the site should be arranged between the site supervisor and the student.
Internship placements should provide for educational direction, professional mentoring, qualified agency supervision, and other safeguards that encourage student learning. It is the responsibility of the internship site to commit itself to follow through with the intern in the prescribed manner until the end of the placement. Assignments with the organization should be easily understood, visibly accomplished, helpful to those receiving services, and of educational value to the student.
If you decide to work with an HDFS student, it is anticipated that the person who most closely supervises the student will do the following:
- Provide the student with as much direct, hands-on experience with clients and services as possible and appropriate.
- Help the student to become acquainted with the staff, physical characteristics, and operational methods of the site.
- Supervise and facilitate the student’s development by regularly observing his or her work, and providing him or her with constructive feedback.
- Complete a mid-semester and final evaluation on the student, and provide opportunity for the HDFS Internship Director and site supervisor to consult about the student’s progress via telephone, and/or a site visit
Organizations that choose to work with an HDFS student will be asked to sign an Agreement of Cooperation with the HDFS department. A copy of the agreement and a detailed outline of the HDFS internship objectives and evaluation procedures will be mailed to the site supervisor after the student informs the HDFS Internship Director of their placement. In addition, the student should be prepared to provide the site with information about the internship, agreement, and evaluation procedures during the initial interview.
The internship is a very important component of the student’s college education and professional development. The HDFS department appreciates that it is the cooperation of the internship sites that makes this experience possible. To this end, the HDFS Internship Director is available to answer questions and support site supervisors’ work with students anytime during the internship process.