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Academic Internship Policy (Undergraduate)

Internships that allow students to earn academic credit must meet credit-hour and faculty-workload standards—see the Course Classification Guide (.pdf)—related to required hours and additional pedagogical and risk-management standards required by the California State University system and CSUN. Each college is responsible for maintaining data that will assure compliance with current academic standards, risk-management and audit policies.

  1. Definitions
    1. For the purposes of this policy Academic Internship refers to undergraduate academic internships.
    2. Academic Internships are one category of classes in which experience is the predominant teaching-learning mode and includes applied and practical experiences that are linked to students’ academic study and professional preparation. This faculty-approved and -facilitated experience will normally be in organizations other than the academic departments offering the courses. These courses will include significant involvement of students and faculty in planning, processing and evaluating the learning resulting from these experiences. Normally, Academic Internship courses will be at the upper division-level.
    3. For the purpose of hours and unit requirement related to this policy, Academic Internships will not include supervised student teaching, required work in credential pathways, or clinical experiences (the specific nomenclature of that is determined by the accrediting or licensing agency which regulates the profession). Programs excluded through this provision must comply with credit-hour standards, risk-management and audit policy.
  2. Course Elements
    1. Academic Internships will include the following elements:
      1. Identified relationship to the academic discipline(s) offering the course.
      2. Screening or selection procedures for students seeking to enroll in these courses, which will be designated as restricted.
      3. An orientation to experiential learning concepts.
      4. In addition to a syllabus, a written learning agreement or contract accepted by the student, faculty member and on-site supervisor describing the rules and regulations, activities, learning processes, and evaluation methods used in the course.
      5. At minimum, student performance will be evaluated by the instructor at the middle and end of the semester. Input from the on-site supervisor is advisable.
      6. Students will be required to evaluate the quality of the field experiences.
      7. Facilitation of student learning by the CSUN instructor during the on-going experience.
      8. Compliance with all risk-management requirements.
  3. Credit and Grading
    1. Academic credit will be granted upon the faculty member’s determination of student learning. This process for final determination of academic credit will be defined in the learning agreement and may include contributions by the student and on-site supervisor.
    2. Normally, students’ performances in Academic Internships will be evaluated on a Credit/No Credit basis. For new courses, upon justification by the academic department and approval by Educational Policies Committee (EPC), a different basis of grading may be added.
    3. Academic Internship credit will not be granted after the fact or for prior life experience.
  4. Internship Hours and Units (See I C for exemptions)
    1. A minimum of 12 hours of contact with CSUN faculty is required per course.
    2. 45 student hours per unit per semester is expected and may not be exceeded without approval of EPC.
    3. A maximum of 3 units of internship credit is normally permitted per semester.
    4. Normally, a student may count no more than 6 units of Academic Internship course credit toward an undergraduate major. However, upon justification by the department, EPC may allow up to a total of 12 units. A student may count no more than 12 units of Academic Internship course credit toward a baccalaureate degree.
  5. Course Designation
    Departments may not offer Academic Internships under a 499 designation as Independent Study. Departments seeking new internship courses for the first time should use the 494 designation, if available.
  6. Nondiscrimination
    The University and the participating organizations will adhere to all current CSUN and CSU system nondiscrimination policies.