As early as the junior year, students are encouraged to consider the possibility of completing an internship for academic credit towards their selected major. An internship is a work-related learning experience which is incorporated into a student's academic program. It gives the student an opportunity to integrate theoretical learning in a major area of study with actual work experience. It is intended to enhance educational goals, expand job skills, and guide career decisions.
The internship may be completed for 4-8 credit hours under the direction of a faculty adviser and an employer supervisor; the Internship Coordinator is available as an additional resource. Involvement in an internship begins with attendance at an Internship Information Seminar, offered early in the fall and spring semesters. This seminar introduces students to the internship process at the College and assists students in planning for an internship.
An internship experience should be a new, educationally rewarding one rather than a continuation or repeat of a current or previous work experience. It is a short-term position. The work experience should involve challenging tasks with educational value rather than tasks which would be considered as "busy work". Students must have reached junior status and have completed at least 16 hours in their major before requesting an internship.
Psychology majors at Wheaton College who choose to do an internship are required to have 40 hours of experience in some area of applied psychology for each hour of credit received. To the extent that it is possible, we encourage participation in a wide variety of activities. For example, at some of our clinical internship sites students are involved in the following activities: conducting interviews with new clients, writing up social histories, participating in diagnostic staff meetings, working with patients on the ward, sitting in on individual and group therapy sessions, etc.