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FAQ about English Internships
What is an English Internship?
- A supervised field experience
- Within an approved organization
- For academic credit (English 359, 1-8 credits, amount determined
by the nature of the internship and the hours worked; up to 4 credits
count for major or minor requirements)
- With a primary focus on English
- Designed to enhance academic training.
What are some benefits for students of an internship?
- An internship gives students the opportunity to:
- Connect classroom learning to the world outside the classroom.
- Extend learning by applying it in practice.
- Explore professional interests.
- Develop a stronger sense of vocation.
- Learn new skills.
- Develop a portfolio of professional work.
- Make professional contacts.
- Gain valuable work experience.
- Serve needs through a for-profit or non-profit organization.
Where might English majors and minors do internships?
Internships can happen in the private or nonprofit sectors. Most are
local, but they can happen at more distant sites, including but not limited
to off-campus programs like the Chicago and Washington semesters. Possibilities
- Working at a publishing company.
- Writing grants for non-profit organization like the Red Cross.
- Developing projects at a museum.
- Working at an agency serving women in crisis and thinking about
- Working with storytelling at a senior center and applying ideas
about narrative theory.
- Working as a newspaper reporter.
- Working at a church on the integration of literary arts into congregational
- Working with a tutoring program on what “English” means
for students whose families may not be native speakers.
- Working with an organizational communications consultant.
- Applying critical pedagogy through work as a teaching assistant
in a Hope faculty member’s class.
- Working with the Visiting Writers Series.
- Investigating how and why literary scholarship matters through working
on a joint research project with a faculty member.
- Working on writing projects for a local agency helping people in
need and considering issues of social justice.
How do students qualify to do an English internship?
- Declare an English major or minor.
- Have junior or senior status.
- Complete at least 18 credits of the major or 14 credits of the minor.
- Consult with the English department’s Internship Coordinator
in order to develop a learning agreement and receive permission to
register for the internship.
How is an internship secured?
There are several ways to explore possible internships:
- Career Services maintains listings of organizations that have expressed
interest in having interns. These are available on the Career Services
web site. They are categorized under different fields of interest,
several of which are relevant to English internships.
- The English department Internship Coordinator maintains lists of
places where English internships have happened in the past and contacts
exploring particular interests.
- Students are also encouraged to take
the initiative in promoting the idea of an internship to an organization
in which they would like
work. Both Career Services and the English Internship Coordinator
provide help for doing this successfully.
However the internship is
found, the intern has the responsibility to make arrangements
for the internship (under the guidance of the
For approval in the English Department:
- Internships must have a primary focus that pertains to the study
- Internships must provide a new learning experience for the student.
- An intern must have a supervisor at the host organization.
- An intern must negotiate with the Internship Coordinator a written
learning agreement outlining learning objectives and academic responsibilities.
How are internships evaluated?
- Evaluation is done by the Internship Coordinator based on the learning
goals established in the learning agreement.
- Grading is on a pass/fail basis.
- Evaluation strategies might include: a journal; a final paper; a
portfolio of materials created during the internship; site visits and
meetings between the internship coordinator, the intern, and the
supervisor at the host site; a letter from the internship supervisor
completion of the internship.
What should you do if you’re interested in an internship?
- Talk to your advisor or Prof. Peter Schakel (the English Internship
Coordinator) or to Sara DeVries, the internship coordinator at Career