Internship Host Requirements

An internship is not just a temporary job, but rather a monitored work-service experience in which a student has learning goals, and actively reflects on his or her learning experiences.  One of the best ways to investigate a career is to become an intern; this is why all Sterling College students participate in an internship.

What does hosting a Sterling College internship entail?

  • First and foremost, an internship is a learning experience based on the philosophy of service-learning.

    “Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development.  Service-learning includes the key concepts of reflection and reciprocity.”  – Barbara Jacoby and Associates

  • Sterling College’s foundation is environmental stewardship; we want our interns working with organizations that are examples of this stewardship.

  • The practicum is a 10-week learning experience.  Some internships can be longer.  Students can participate in this practicum during any semester; the Summer (May – August), the Fall (August – September), and the Spring (January – May).

  • Students are not allowed to intern for an organization that they have worked with in the past.  We have found that students who have returned to a previous employer, have a difficult time separating their past position with their new intern role.

  • Internships cannot occur in Craftsbury, Vermont. This is in place so that students explore options outside of their comfort zone.

  • One of the goals of the Internship Program is to have a self-empowering, independent experience; therefore only one Sterling College student may intern/work at a host site concurrently.
  •  Students will be engaged full-time, at least 40 hours per week.  This is a 6-credit course.

  • The organization and supervisor can facilitate the four learning objectives of the intern.  The first of the four objectives is required for all students and is listed below.  The students, according to their interests and course of study, create the other three learning objectives; they are responsible for their learning.
    Learning Objective #1: To understand my employing organization’s history, budgetary processes (both natural resources and monetary inputs and outputs), mission (including long-term and short-term goals), and structure (who makes decisions and how are they made).
  • The supervisor will be available to the  intern and will schedule a weekly one-on-one meeting (minimum of 60 minutes) to ensure the student is being challenged, offer feedback, answer any questions the student may have, and address any concerns. The supervisor must be an independent professional, or a professional affiliated with the employing agency or institution.

  • The organization will allow the student the time and space to document his or her experience through photography.

  • The organization and supervisor will take the time to visit with a Sterling College faculty member while the faculty member visits the internship site to review the student’s performance and progress.
  • The organization is open to the student learning about the administration of the organization, how decisions are made, and how the organization meets the bottom line.

  • The organization and supervisor will allow the student to grow as a problem solver by being open to the student identifying something that needs change and providing the opportunity for them to change it as they work to benefit their host.
    “Service-learning programs are distinguished from other approaches to experiential education by their intention to equally benefit the provider and the recipient of the service as well as to ensure equal focus on both the service being provided and the learning that is occurring.”   – Andrew Furco

  • The supervisor will provide a written evaluation of the student and program upon completion of the internship.  (Sterling College will provide the forms.)

  • College students are on tight budgets and we hope they receive some form(s) of compensation to help with their expenses.  This may be in the form of stipends, housing and/or food.

  • Please Note:  The Internship Program Director must approve all internships before a student accepts a position.  This approval is in place as a system of checks and balances to make sure everyone (Sterling College, Internship Host/Supervisor and student) is on the same page in regards to expectations and commitments.

If you interested in hosting a Sterling College internship, please fill out the Internship Host Form.