An internship is a short-term, hands-on, supervised work experience with a professional organization that is designed to increase a student’s knowledge of a professional career field. More than a part-time job or volunteer experience, an internship includes intentional learning objectives related to increasing student knowledge, training to develop additional skills, and quality supervision to guide and mentor the intern.

Programs that offer internship courses

Internships are required for many of the Associate of Applied Sciences Degrees.  Course prerequisites are listed in the college catalog.  Discuss your eligibility with your faculty advisor.

Students in other AAS Degree programs have an option to gain experience with an internship.

Other programs offer experiential education components including Medical Assistant externships, Culinary Arts in-house internships, and closely-supervised clinical courses for most healthcare fields. On an individualized basis, there is an option for students to participate in an independent study internship. Questions? Contact careers@fvcc.edu or (406) 756-3803.

What defines an Internship?

FVCC subscribes to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) definition of what constitutes an internship that states an internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. The following criteria must be met (note that some academic departments may have additional criteria):

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
Student Internship FAQs

How do I get started?

Check to see if internships are offered within your program. Discuss this early on with your faculty advisor. Most internships occur after a student has earned 30 credits and prerequisites have been taken.

  1. Talk with your advisor and the internship instructor about your internship interest.
  2. Meet with FVCC Career Advisor to learn process. Contact careers@fvcc.edu.
  3. Put together resume and cover letter.
  4. Find internship through talking with faculty and advisor, personal contacts, online research on companies of interest, LinkedIn search, online career board postings, FVCC Career Advisor, etc.
  5. Submit resume/cover letter to employer and be selected for interview.
  6. If hired, fill out Internship Agreement before internship starts and return to Career Advisor. Enter into the online FVCC Career Board for tracking at www.fvcc.edu/career-board. Use the “Experiential” tab.
  7. Register for internship course with permission from the instructor.

When should I get started?

Plan to meet with the FVCC Career Advisor for an Internship Orientation the semester before you hope to intern. Generally this should be by November 1 for a Spring Semester internship, July 1 for a Fall Semester internship, and April 1 for a Summer Semester internship. Contact careers@fvcc.edu.

Are internships paid? What if I’m already working in a job related to my major?

Internships can be both paid and unpaid. If a student finds or currently has a job within their field you might be able to count this as your internship if there are new and challenging projects and opportunities for you to learn.

Where will I do my internship?  How are worksites chosen?

You will want to put together a list of several potential internship sites of interest. Discuss this with your advisor and career advisor. All internship sites undergo an approval process to help insure that you will receive training and have the opportunity to learn and put your knowledge and skills to work. Students may not intern at family’s business nor with an organization where a student’s family member or significant other ranks above the student’s supervisor. It poses a conflict of interest and could influence the intern’s experience and grade.

When can I actually start at my internship site?

As an FVCC college course, start and end dates for the internship follow the same semester begin and end dates as other classes. Your goal should be to have a signed Internship Agreement in place with an agreed upon start date before the semester begins.

How many hours will I spend at a worksite?  How many hours is that per week?

Hours at the worksite are determined according to academic guidelines based on the number of course credits, with 1 credit for approximately every 45 hours, depending on the program of study. Interns spend 135-150 hours at their worksites for a 3-credit course usually working about 10-15 hours per week. Work schedules vary dependent upon the needs of the employers and the students’ schedules.

What assignments will I have to do? Do I receive a grade?

Assignments vary depending upon the instructor. Most faculty will monitor your learning through a weekly activity log or blog, learning objectives assignment, conduct a mid-term site visit, and ask that your internship provider submits a mid-term and final evaluation. You will need to track your hours through a Monthly Time Sheet. You may need to submit assignments via Eagle online. You will receive a grade for the course. Read through the Student Internship Handbook and Internship Agreement. Students must follow professional standards of conduct, organizational policies and safety standards. Violations of professional ethics, insubordination, unexcused absences, breaches of confidentiality, or failure to turn in assignments on a timely basis are cause for termination, removal from the internship site and will result in an “F” grade.

Do I have to pay tuition to do an internship?

At FVCC, internships are courses for which you register and pay tuition. If an internship is listed in the catalog as being optional or required for your program, this may be covered under financial aid if you are receiving a Pell Grant so be sure to check in with the Financial Aid Office. There are some employers who do offer internships that are not associated with the college.

Employer Forms
Faculty Forms