Academic Credit for Internships
Wesleyan has three options for granting credit for an internship experience: Education in the Field, Independent Study, and the Quarter Credit option. For both Education in the Field and Independent Study you should see your class dean or faculty advisor to review the requirements and begin the process. Please note that some academic departments do not offer credit for internships.
EDUCATION IN THE FIELD
- Students must receive faculty and department sponsorship prior to starting the experience.
- Students work one-on-one with a faculty member on a research project.
THE QUARTER CREDIT OPTION AND INSTRUCTIONS
I. General Information
To guard against the use of interns as a source of free labor and the possibility that unpaid internships might be substituted for entry-level jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor in 2010 issued a set of rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1947. These rules indicate that interns should derive benefits from unpaid internships similar to those they would receive in an educational setting.
Wesleyan has established a pass/fail partial-credit course, CSPL 493, as the vehicle through which you can receive .25 credit upon successful completion of an internship—whether unpaid or paid. To receive credit, you must satisfy 1) the requirements of the internship and 2) Wesleyan’s specific learning requirements. PLEASE READ WITH CARE ALL THE INFORMATION BELOW. The Director of Service-Learning administers the internship credit process. Until 6/30/14, the Director is Prof. Krishna Winston, German Studies. International students must also work closely with Ms. Janice Watson (see Section II below).
Before registering for CSPL 493, confirm with your employer exactly what documentation you will need to provide. Some employers require only official assurance from the institution that students are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship. The Internship Description Form provides this assurance, but if an individualized letter is required, you will need to provide the employer’s contact information to the Service-Learning Director, together with any specific points to be covered in the letter. If your employer requires verification of enrollment in CSPL 493 for either academic credit or an audit notation, follow the steps in Section III below. Once you are registered for the course, the Service-Learning Director can send a credit verification letter to your employer. In this case, too, you will need to provide your employer’s contact information and any specific points to be covered in the letter. Your employer might also accept a screen shot of your academic record (from your e-portfolio) as proof of your registration in CSPL 493.
II. Important Information for International Students
Before engaging in an off-campus internship, whether paid or unpaid, you must complete the following steps and receive authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Note that your internship must relate to your major(s) at Wesleyan, and that your student visa limits weekly off-campus employment during the fall or spring semester to 20 hours. In addition to completing these steps, you must complete the steps in Section III-1–5 below.
1) See Janice Watson, Coordinator for International Student Services, in North College, Room 123.
2) Obtain an internship offer.
3) Ask the Director of Service-Learning to register you for CSPL 493 (see Section III-1 below).
4) Ask your internship employer or supervisor to fill out the For-Credit Internship Description Form and return it, signed, to you, either in hard copy or scanned.
5) Forward the Internship Description Form to Ms. Watson and to the Director of Service-Learning.
6) Provide evidence to Ms. Watson of your registration for CSPL 493. She will complete the paperwork for your CPT authorization, which should come through in approximately 10 working days.
7) Furnish your I-20 with the authorization to your employer.
III. Steps to Earn Academic Credit or the Audit Notation for an Internship
The following steps must be fulfilled in order to earn academic credit or the audit notation for an internship.
1) Register for CSPL 493 by filling out and emailing the For-Credit Student Information Form, available
at this link, to the Director of Service-Learning, who will process the Drop/Add form with the Registrar. You must
ascertain whether your employer requires that you receive credit or will accept an audit notation.
2) Ask your internship employer or supervisor to complete the For-Credit Internship Description Form,
available at this link. He or she must provide contact information for verification. The form should be returned to
you, then e-mailed or hand-delivered to the Director of Service-Learning.
3) When the internship ends, ask your supervisor to fill out the For-Credit Internship Completion Form. He or she
must again provide contact information for verification. The form should be e-mailed to the Director of Service-
Learning within 10 working days of the end of the internship.
4) Wesleyan’s learning requirement consists of a confidential report on the internship, to be e-mailed as a Word
document directly to the Service-Learning Director, who is the only person who will review it. The report should be
a thoughtful essay of at least 500 words, describing the internship experience and reflecting specifically on what you
learned from it. You should mention both positive and negative aspects of the experience and evaluate how you
responded to working in a professional environment. You might also mention new skills and knowledge you
acquired, existing skills and knowledge you enhanced, and insights you gained into the professional field to which
the organization/employer belongs. It may be helpful to keep daily notes during the internship, which can serve as
the basis for your report.
5) For the benefit of other students seeking internships, enter non-confidential details on your internship experience
in the WesSID (Wesleyan Summer Internship Database):
http://www.wesleyan.edu/careercenter/jobsinternships/wessid.html. Enter your information under WesSID Entry. .
You can view other students’ reports in your e-portfolio under “Career Resources, WesSID Search.” Please note that
this entry does not constitute the report described in Section III-4 above!
6) Once the Director of Service-Learning has ascertained that the internship has been satisfactorily completed and
the reporting requirement met by the relevant deadline, you will receive either credit or the audit notation for CSPL
493. Failure to submit your 500-word report will result in a U on your transcript.
1) The For-Credit Internship Student Information Form must be submitted to the Director of Service-Learning as
soon as possible before the scheduled beginning of the internship.
2) The For-Credit Internship Description Form must be filed with the Director of Service-Learning before the
3) If you wish to withdraw from CSPL 493 without having a “W” appear on your transcript, you must inform the
Director of Service-Learning within 10 days of the start date of the internship indicated on the Description Form. If
you drop out of the internship later or the internship fails to materialize or terminates for some reason, you must
notify the Director of Service-Learning immediately of the circumstances; otherwise you might receive a U for the
4) For all internships, your report (Section III-4) on the completed internship must be submitted to the Director of
Service-Learning by the first day of classes of the following semester.
5) As indicated in Section III-3, your supervisor should file the Internship Completion Form with the Direector of
Service-Learning within 10 working days of the end of the internship. If the Supervisor anticipates difficulty in
meeting this deadline, he/she should get in touch with the Director.
V. CSPL 493: Tuition Charges for the Academic Credit and the Audit Option
1) Full-time Matriculated Students
Starting in the fall of 2013, there is no charge for an internship credit. This provision applies whether your internship takes place during the fall/spring semester, the summer, or the winter break.
2) Non-matriculated Students
The charge is .25 of the fall/spring tuition rate for for-credit internships taking place during those semesters. For internships taking place during the summer or during the winter break, the charge is .25 of the summer/winter-term tuition.
An Audit Notation (which must be acceptable to your employer) is an acknowledgement on your transcript of your completion of the internship. It is not a grade, does not carry credit, and does not incur a tuition charge. The steps in Section III 1–5 must be completed and the deadlines in Section IV complied with.
VI. Internship Policies (adopted by the Educational Policy Committee)
1) If you are on strict probation, you are not eligible for internship credit.
2) No more than two .25 internship credits (for a total of .50) will count toward graduation.
3) If you plan to intern for a second time with the same organization and wish to receive academic credit for the experience, your report (see Section III-5) must document the ways in which the second internship entails responsibilities or assignments that differ significantly from those of the first internship.
4) The minimum number of hours for an internship credit is 40. There is no maximum; it is up to you to determine whether the work hours are reasonable.
VII. Internship Expectations
1) You must comply with any confidentiality rules in force at the internship site.
2) You are expected to observe all policies and procedures stipulated by the employer.
3) Regular attendance and compliance with all job requirements are essential.
4) You must confer at least weekly with your supervisor to receive guidance on your assignments, feedback on your performance, and explanations of the organization’s mission, objectives, methods, and operations.