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Internship Frequently Asked Questions


Purpose of the Professional Practice Requirement

The Professional Practice coursework in the School of Information Technology consists of supervised work experience arranged by the student and approved by the School. Work sites may be found on-campus, in the Bloomington/Normal area, at other locations in Illinois, and occasionally out-of-state. The Professional Practice program offers the student the opportunity to integrate classroom study with a learning experience in a work environment related to information technology. This work experience may benefit the student by providing documented work experience for the resume, providing supplemental income, and allowing the student to experience work in his/her chosen field of study.

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When to Complete the Internship Requirement

In general, companies seek interns who have, at a minimum, completed the core courses offered as part of the School of Information Technology (SIT) curriculum at ISU. Prior to completion of the SIT core courses, academic background is usually insufficient for the student to participate in, or to offer assistance to the employer in, completing the assigned tasks. So, the School recommends completing the internship after the sophomore year.

Planning for the internship will include the completion of IT 191 along with participation in the University Internship Fair, which is held in the fall of each year. If a full time internship in the summer is not possible, then the student may consider completing the requirement by working part-time for two semesters, or by completing the internship during the fall or spring semester of the junior year, or the first semester of the senior year.

The length of an internship depends on the company you select and the term in which you do the internship. The typical summer internship lasts 10 to 12 weeks. An internship in the fall and spring semester lasts 15 to 16 weeks. A few companies require 25 to 28 weeks completed over a spring/summer or summer/fall term.

Students enrolling in an internship for the first time must do so prior to the last semester of class. Enrollment in IT 398 during a student’s last semester of coursework will only be approved if 3 hours of IT 398 have been completed during a previous semester. The Internship is an interaction of education and employment that allows the student to understand how education prepares the student for full time employment. Students seeking to enroll in the Internship for the first time in their last semester will be denied admission to the program. These students will complete an alternate requirement. To learn about the alternate requirement see the IT Advisor.

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Locating Your Internship

Locating an Internship begins with the student registering for and successfully completing IT 191. Subsequent to completing IT 191, the student must locate an internship with a company in which the student may apply skills acquired in information technology program. The School of Information Technology does not award or assign an internship to any student. Part of the experience is that the student will seek an assignment that is related to the area of information technology the student finds most interesting. Criteria for an appropriate placement are listed below. The student is expected to locate a position that will meet these criteria. There are certain positions that will not be approved regardless of the content of the position.

The University and the School will provide assistance in locating internships through the activities listed below.

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Where to Look for an Internship

  1. ISU offers an Employment Fair once each fall and each spring. Potential employers gather in the Bone Center in an "open house" format organized by the Career Center. Students may circulate through the room at will disbursing resumes and talking with potential employers. Employers usually return at a later date to conduct more formal interviews and make selections.
  2. The School of Information Technology receives several notices each year of available internships. These notices are posted on the IT Listserv which is sent to all IT majors.
  3. The Career Center also maintains a list of available internships. Students are also encouraged to research companies located near their homes.
  4. Finally, IT 191, Introduction to Professional Practice, offers students experience in resume writing, interviewing skills, and in researching companies on the web. These experiences will be very valuable to any student actively seeking an internship in the Information Technology area.

Please note that students are not limited to these resources and are free to research and inquire with nearly any company about a possible internship. The key to approval is not who the internship is with. Rather, it is what the student will be doing and who will be supervising the student.

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Approval Criteria

In order to assure a beneficial educational experience the School of Information Technology has developed some criteria for approving an internship. In general, an internship will be approved if it meets the following criteria:

  • The student must be working for an Information Technology/Information Systems area of a company.
  • The student must receive daily, on-site supervision by an IT/IS professional. It is expected that the student will be in a learning environment as opposed to just an employment situation.
  • The student must be assigned to an IT/IS task, which may include, but is not limited to, assignments such as application development or maintenance, network development or maintenance.
  • Credit will be awarded only on a semester by semester basis, with a maximum of 6 hours of credit per semester.
  • Compensation is an indicator of professional level activity. It is expected that the student will be compensated for their work efforts.

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Getting Approval for Your Internship

When you have located a position that you believe meets the criteria listed above, you will need to submit the position to the Professional Practice Coordinator in the School of Information Technology for approval. To do so, complete all information on the forms listed below and submit the forms to Mr. Tal Parmenter. Incomplete forms will be returned without action.

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Positions not Approved

Certain types of positions will not be approved for internship credit even if they meet the criteria listed above. These are:

  • You may not work for yourself
  • You may not work for your parents
  • You may not work for or be supervised by close relative
  • You may not work for a company owned by your parents or other close relative
  • You may not work via telecommuting. You must work on-site, under supervision, on a daily basis

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Submit All of the Following Forms at the Same Time:

Submit the required paperwork to the IT Advising Office. These forms must be submitted at the same time:

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Six Hours of Credit

The Professional Practice component of the degree program is considered a laboratory class. Lab classes (like IT 168) require two hours of contact to equal one hour of credit. So, depending on the student's catalog year, to earn the 6 hours of credit in Professional Practice the student must enroll in:

IT 398.5 (6 hours) = 40 hours of work for which the student receives a grade OR

IT 398.5 (3 hours) = 20 hours of work for which the student receives a grade.
IT 395.6 (3 hours) = 20 hours of work for which the student receives credit/no credit.

The student will receive detailed registration instructions from the Undergraduate Advisor via email once the internship has been approved.

For a full time internship a 37.5 hour work week will be considered full time. Six hours of credit will be awarded.

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Deadlines for Submission

The deadline for submission of these forms is as follows:

  • Spring and Fall semesters - by 4:00 PM on Friday of the second full week of class
  • Summer session - by 4:00 PM on the first Monday of June.

The Professional Practice Coordinator will review the documents to be certain all information has been provided and that the internship meets Department criteria. If the internship is approved, a permit will be entered by the IT Advising Office, which will allow you to register for the Professional Practice. The student will be notified when the permit has been entered and given any necessary instructions. It is the responsibility of the student to officially register for the Professional Practice (i.e. IT 398). If the student fails to register, credit will not be awarded. Under no circumstances will credit be awarded retroactively for Professional Practice.

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Getting Your Grade

The Student Evaluation Form and the Employer Evaluation Form are available on line. At the end of the internship, it is the responsibility of the student to be certain that both forms are completed and mailed to the IT Advising Office. The deadline for submission of these forms is the last day of finals for the semester in which you registered for the internship. The address for submitting the form is included on each form.

Students enrolled in IT 398.5 and/or 398.6 must also complete an Exit Interview with the faculty coordinator. The interview takes place near the end or after the completion of the internship. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the faculty coordinator and schedule the interview.

Your grade will not be issued until both evaluation forms are received and the exit interview is completed.

Until forms are received the grade of "I" (incomplete) will be recorded. University policy requires that the "I" be changed to an "F" if the grade is not submitted in a timely fashion. To avoid having an "F" appear on your transcript, the student is responsible for seeing that evaluations are submitted promptly.

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Grading Criteria

  • Students who voluntarily leave an internship before its completion will receive a WX.
  • Students dismissed from an internship before the completion date will receive a WX, WF or F
  • Students dismissed from an internship for a second time will not be permitted to re-enroll in IT 398.50 or 398.60.
  • The letter grade in IT 398.50 and the CR/NC in IT 398.60 will be based on
    • information from the employer, including the employer evaluation, indicating such things as, but not limited to, the student exhibiting good work habits (i.e. being at work on time), completing assigned work on time, and the quality of work produced.
    • Information in the student evaluation.
    • The content and quality of the student's term paper (if required)

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What If I Just Can't Find an Internship?

On the rare occasion that a student is unable to locate an internship experience, the SIT does offer an alternative. The alternatives include a combination of the Directed Project, IT 391, and additional course work. For more information see the School of Information Technology Advising Office in OU 302.

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Completing Additional Internship Hours

The School of Information Technology requires that students complete a minimum of six (6) hours in Professional Practice. The University allows a student to have up to sixteen (16) hours of Professional Practice credits.

Once a student has completed the required six (6) hours, that student may wish to continue working in the field for additional credit hours. The School will allow credit for Professional Practice up to the University maximum with the following stipulations.

  • The student must follow all procedures outlined above for approval and registration of the internship. Additional hours must meet the same requirements for approval as the initial internship.
  • Registration procedures are the same.
  • Evaluations from both the student and the employer must continue to be submitted at the end of each semester.
  • The student must be aware that he/she will be charged appropriate tuition and fees by the University.
  • Credit will be assigned based on the following formula:
    7 hours of work/week = 1 credit hour
    20 hours of work/week = 3 credit hours
  • All credit beyond the initial 6 hours of Professional Practice will receive a grade of credit/no credit.
  • Additional hours of Professional Practice may not be substituted for any course work.

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What if I am already working in the Information Systems Field?

The School recognizes that some students may already be working in the field of Information Technology while completing the degree program. Working students employed in information technology may request that current employment be used as the internship credit. To receive credit the student must remain in the approved employment for the entire semester in which the internship is approved. The position must meet approval criteria mentioned elsewhere. Evaluations must be submitted. Grading criteria will be the same as listed in below. Retroactive credit will not be granted under any circumstances.

A student whose position does not meet the approval criteria may complete the internship requirement by completing alternatives mentioned above. Please see the School of Information Technology Advising Office for more information.

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Register by Computer

Registration for an Internship is completed through the My Illinois State portal. However, you may not register for the Internship until you receive instructions and registration information from the Undergraduate Advisor. When My Illinois State is closed you may register in person at Moulton 107 or by FAX or mail. See the instructions below for more information.

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Register by FAX or by Mail

When iCampus is closed, or if the student is completing the internship at an off-campus location, the student may still register for the Internship by FAX or mail. Prior IT Department approval is still required.

To register by FAX or mail, send a correspondence to the Office of the Registrar which contains the following information:

  • A statement that you wish to be registered for the specified class, including the following:
    • Department name: School of Information Technology
    • Course number (398.5 or 398.6 or both, depending on instructions given to you)
    • Number of hours (which will be 3 unless otherwise specified)
  • Your full name - no nicknames
  • Your ULID
  • A photo copy of your University ID
  • Your signature

Registration will check to be certain that you have Department approval to register for the class. They will also check to be certain there are no blocks on your registration. If both are approved you will be registered for Professional Practice and billed appropriately.

The mailing address is:

Registration
Julian Hall
Campus Box 2204
Illinois State University
Normal IL 61790-2204
Fax: (309) 438-8652

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Directions for Completing Required Forms

This information has been provided to help you understand the purpose of each required form and how to complete the forms. For each form the student is expected to provide full, complete and accurate information. The School of Information Technology will return to the student any form that is not completed and will decline to act on the internship application until all requested information has been provided.

In addition, the School may, at its option, check the accuracy of the information provided. If the information is found to be false, the School reserves the right to decline approval of the internship, or, if the student has already registered, the School may refuse to give credit for the internship, or to assign the grade of "F".

  • Professional Practice Registration Form
    This form is submitted along with others for initial registration. Be sure to provide all information requested. If you do not know who your immediate supervisor will be, provide the name and telephone number of the person who hired you. All information on this form is required. Incomplete forms will be returned without action.
  • Professional Practice Health Insurance Certification Form
    Students enrolled full time at ISU are required to show proof of health insurance coverage. This may be provided privately or through the university program. You complete this form to show proof of insurance. If you have private insurance in lieu of the ISU program, you must complete the form and you must submit proof of coverage. NOTE: this form is not a waiver excusing you from purchasing the ISU student health plan. If you wish to do so please contact the Insurance Office at (309) 438-2515.
  • Professional Practice Student Information Form - FORM 1
    Provide all requested information. All information on this form is required. Incomplete forms will be returned without action.
  • Student Evaluation Form
    Each student must complete an evaluation form regarding his/her internship program. This form is due by the last day of finals of the semester in which the internship is completed. The student is responsible for knowing the date which is published in the Registration Directory each semester. Forms are available on the IT Internship web page. An evaluation form from the student is required even if the internship is for credit hours beyond the 6 hours required for the degree.
  • Employer Evaluation Form
    Each employer must complete an evaluation form regarding each intern he/she supervised. It is the responsibility of the student to see that the supervisor has a copy of the form and submits it to the address on the form. This form is due by the last day of finals of the semester in which the internship is completed. The student is responsible for knowing the date, which is published in the Registration Directory each semester, and for providing the information to the employer upon request. Forms are available on the IT Internship web page. An evaluation completed by the Supervisor is required even if the internship is for credit hours beyond the 6 hours required for the degree.
  • Letter of Employment
    Students who have a position located ON CAMPUS at ISU - may have the ISU supervisor send an email confirming employment to Mr. Tal Parmenter. The email must include the student name, a description outlining the tasks to be performed and skills related to the position, and the beginning and ending date of the position.
    Students with positions OFF CAMPUS - the student must submit a letter from the employer on employer letterhead confirming employment as an intern. The letter must include the student name, a position description outlining the tasks to be performed and the skills related to the position, and the beginning and ending date of the position.

If after reading the instructions you have a question, please feel free to contact the IT Advising Office at 438-5186. Or, you may send an e-mail to Ms. Lisa Walter.

 

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Illinois State University

SchoolofIT@IllinoisState.edu

School of Information Technology
Normal, Il 61790-5150
Phone: 309.438.8338

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