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Internship Guidelines

Internship Guidelines

  • Internship must relate directly to the Department’s program.       
  • Internships can be paid or unpaid.
  • Internship agencies may be in the public or private sectors.
  • A student already employed in an appropriate agency may serve an internship in that agency.                                                        

Number of Hours                                                  

The internship must consist of a MINIMUM of 120 hours, but not more than 200 hours, preferably during the academic semester (16 weeks) in which the student is enrolled in the internship course.

However, it is possible that this prescribed number of hours (or the number of hours required by the agency in excess of 120) may not be completed by the end of the designated semester. Such instances should normally result at the behest of the agency, but in cases where there is a serious and/or compelling reason (e.g., illness, or other unavoidable situations), the student may request an extension of time in which to complete the internship. Both the agency and the internship coordinator must agree to the extension before it is approved. When this occurs, the student will receive an “Incomplete” grade and the grade will be changed upon completion of all course requirements.

The number of hours required breaks down to approximately 8‐13 hours per week. However, the actual distribution of the required number of hours per week shall be agreed upon by the agency and the student intern.

Background Screening                                                     

It is normally expected that students applying for an internship will be subject to background screening by the agency in order to determine suitability for placement. Such background screening may include, but not be limited to, trustworthiness, criminal history, employment history, previous residence, academic record, drug and/or alcohol use, fingerprinting, etc. It is the student's responsibility to apply with the agency for the internship giving ample time for background screening to occur prior to the start of the internship. The student is responsible for any costs associated with background investigations.  

Duties and Responsibilities

The actual duties of student interns will be determined by the agency or its representative(s), agreed to by the potential student intern, with final approval resting with the Internship Coordinator. Such duties will be varied depending on the type of agency involved (e.g., law enforcement, probation, juvenile facility). However, duties of student interns must benefit both the student intern, and the agency, and may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Learning policies and procedures governing the long‐term objectives and day to day operations of the agency.
  • Observation (including participant observation) of the day to day activities of agency personnel, and their pursuit of agency objectives.
  • Carrying out of projects specified by the agency, which will provide data/information seen as desirable by the agency, and which will increase the awareness of the student intern regarding the actual operation/functioning of the agency (Examples: Conducting research on the feasibility of implementing a School Resource Officer [SRO] program; conducting research regarding the feasibility or effectiveness of sub‐stations).      
  • Assisting agency personnel in carrying out appropriate duties such as interviewing witnesses or clients, supervising caseloads, preparing appropriate paperwork for submission to the court or the district attorney.
  • Other activities could include such things as assisting in dealing with questions and/or complaints from the public or other agencies; assisting in crime scene investigations; assisting with the implementation and/or monitoring of programs such as Neighborhood Watch, etc.

Student interns should not be involved in direct peace officer activities. The agency supervisor should restrict the intern’s activities so that he or she will not be placed in potentially dangerous situations.

Student interns must take responsibility for informing internship supervisors or other appropriate agency personnel when they have finished a task, or are otherwise available for assignment to other or additional duties.

Code of Conduct

Student interns are expected to adhere to and exhibit the highest and most professional moral and ethical standards. Such standards include, but are not limited to, adhering to all laws, ordinances, and agency rules/regulations; maintaining confidentiality; maintaining appropriate interpersonal relationships; and adhering to the highest standards of fairness and justice; dressing and conducting oneself in a professional manner; etc.  

During the course of the internship, the student may come into contact with sensitive or confidential information. The student is expected to treat such information confidentially and not discuss it with others. If confidentiality is breached, the intern will not receive credit for the course.