The HDFS internship is the capstone course for our undergraduate majors. To best meet their personal interests and goals, students can select from a variety of internship tracks. The HDFS internship consists of an intensive semester-long field placement wherein students apply their academic training in a real-life setting. Through this “learning by doing” experience, students develop the knowledge and skills that are critical for successfully achieving their long-range career objectives. Our internship students also make valuable contributions to the well-being of individuals, families, and programs within the local, national, and international communities.
In order to complete the 12-credit hour internship, students will have to work a minimum of 450 hours at their internship site. During Fall and Spring semesters, students will work about 30 hours a week over the course of a semester to earn the 450 hours. During Summer semester, students will work approximately 45 hours a week at their internship site. Students are expected to complete both the minimum number of hours and semester weeks at their site.
The primary goals of the HDFS internship are to provide students with an opportunity to apply their academic training in a real life setting so that they will be prepared to pursue their career goals after graduation. The specific learning objectives of the HDFS Internship are as follows:
HDFS students must meet the following prerequisites to enroll in the HDFS internship course:
There are two mandatory meetings students must attend prior to internship. The specific dates and time of the meetings will be announced through signs posted in Spidle Hall and the HDFS student listserv.
There are mandatory deadlines all prospective internship students must be aware of and adhere to. All students must turn in their Internship Application and Graduation Check two semesters in advance of the semester they expect to complete internship. The Internship Commitment Form and signed Student Internship Agreement must be turned in the semester before they complete the internship. Fingerprint/Background Check Clearing Letters need to be on file with the HDFS office before the student can begin the internship. No exceptions.
The deadlines for turning in the Internship Application materials and the Internship Commitment Form materials are:
It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the HDFS application process. Only students who are currently enrolled as an HDFS Major can apply. Specific guidelines for the internship application process are as follows:
After the Internship Application has been submitted, it is the student’s responsibility to select his or her internship site. Please review “How do I find an internship site?”
Once the student and site reach an agreement about the internship, the student should contact the HDFS Internship Director to discuss the placement. After receiving preliminary approval from the HDFS Internship Director, the student should submit their Internship Commitment Form and their signed Student Internship Agreement to the HDFS Internship Director by the appropriate deadline. Near the end of the semester prior to beginning the internship, students also should attend the mandatory Internship Preparation Meeting.
There are several things to think about when selecting an internship site. Most importantly, the student should consider his or her interests, career goals, and academic background. It is expected that students will select an internship site that is consistent with their prior coursework as reflected on the Internship Application. Students also will find the internship more rewarding when it fits with their interests and long-term goals.
Potential internship sites can be identified through a variety of sources, including Auburn University faculty and the Career Development Center, community referral services, telephone books, the Internet, fellow students, and hometown contacts. The HDFS department also maintains a collection of binders in 206 Spidle Hall that contain information on potential internship sites. An internship site can be within the United States or abroad.
Students should arrange to interview at least three prospective internship sites to discuss potential placement. This interview provides the student with an opportunity to explore the quality of experience and mentoring available at the site, and it allows the site to consider the fit of the student with its programs. The student should send the organization a copy of his or her resume prior to the scheduled date of the interview. If time does not permit, the student should present a copy of his or her resume at the interview along with information about the HDFS Internship. Information about the HDFS Internship can be obtained during the Mandatory Internship Orientation Meeting.
Once the student and site reach an agreement about the internship, the student should arrange to meet with the HDFS Internship Director to discuss the placement. Final approval of the internship site will occur after the student submits two copies of the Internship Commitment Form and two signed copies of the Student Internship Agreement to the Internship Director on or before the appropriate deadline one semester in advance of beginning the internship.
Internship placements should provide for educational direction, professional mentoring, qualified agency supervision, and other safeguards that encourage student learning. For the intern, the process of choosing a placement reflects such considerations as his or her Internship Track and future goals, as well as the location of a site and the type of client population served. One of the most important factors for a student to consider, however, is the person who will be serving as the agency supervisor. Based on the personalities of the supervisor and the intern, their specific areas of interest, the qualifications of the supervisor and his/her willingness to give adequate supervision, a student should ask, “Is the person who will be supervising me someone I want to work with and have mentor me?”
The Commitment Form is required for finalizing students’ internship placement. The form is used to convey information to the HDFS Internship Director about the student’s internship placement and the student’s contact information during the internship. The information from the Commitment Form is used to prepare the Agreement of Cooperation between the HDFS Department and the selected internship site. The HDFS Department will mail the Agreement of Cooperation and materials outlining internship objective and evaluation procedures to the internship site supervisor. It is mandatory that representatives of both the HDFS department and the Internship Site sign the Agreement of Cooperation before the student begins the internship.
Commitment Forms will be distributed to students during the first mandatory Internship Orientation Meeting that is held at the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters. Students should attend the Internship Orientation Meeting at least two semesters in advance of the semester they expect to complete internship.
If you will be away from the Auburn University Campus during your internship, you will want to complete the Away from Campus Dining Accommodation request process. The accommodation provides you a waiver for the mandatory dining fees. Your dining accommodation request must be completed no later than the 10th class day, but sooner is better! Follow these instructions
While it is the full responsibility of the student to initiate and complete the internship process, the HDFS Internship Director is available to support the student’s efforts and serve as an advocate for his or her success during the internship placement. More specifically, it is the role of the HDFS Internship Director to:
Undergraduate students in the Department of Human Development and Family Science (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:
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.
Stephanie Baumann, Ph.D.
Department of Human Development and Family Science Internship Director
Office: 278A Spidle Hall
Phone: (334) 844-3262