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Internship Provider Guidelines

Will my internship be approved? 

JOUR 444 Media Internship
Providers' FAQs

What are the expectations of an internship provider?

  • That the internship supervisor on site has the appropriate and relevant professional background, and time, to act as both a mentor and teacher to the intern.

  • That the internship supervisor complete all forms based on class deadlines.

How many hours a week should my intern work and how long should the internship last?

  • Internships should last approximately 10 weeks and represent 100 hours of work.

Is there paperwork that I need to fill out?

  • Before a student can begin an internship for course credit, the internship needs to be approved by the Journalism Department internship faculty coordinator. 

You and your intern should complete an Internship Proposal Form and submit to the department. This is required to start the process. Once the internship proposal has been approved, the student can enroll in the internship class, JOUR 444.

What is my role in the grading process?

  • The internship class, JOUR 444, is a credit/no credit class. Assigning of credit is done by the internship faculty coordinator.

  • You will submit a progress report at midterm and a final report at the end of the internship. These reports help the faculty coordinator evaluate the student’s internship participation.

  • The faculty coordinator reviews the progress reports and meets with the interns, once at midterm and again at the end of the internship, during final exam week.

Where can I find the forms that I need to fill out?

Is it OK to offer an unpaid internship?

  • Yes, though we would prefer it if interns can be paid. Our students are trained to be multi-faceted journalists, and we are open to new interactions between the working world and internship opportunities. However, by law, we are required to abide by the Fair Labor Standards Act when it comes to unpaid work.

  • The following criteria, established by the FLSA, must be met for our department to approve an unpaid internship:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school (a curriculum is followed, the students are under continued and direct supervision by either representatives of the school or by employees of the business);

  2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees or students; such placements are not made to meet the labor needs of the business;

  3. The trainees or students do not displace regular employees, vacant positions have not been filled, employees have not been relieved of assigned duties, and the students are not performing services that, although not ordinarily performed by employees, clearly are of benefit to the business;

  4. The employer that provides the training derives no advantages from the activities of the trainees or students, and on occasion his or her operations may actually be impeded;

  5. (5) The trainees or students are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period. – (Once a student has become an employee, the student cannot be considered a trainee at that particular community based placement unless in a clearly distinguishable occupation); and

  6. The employer and the trainees or students understand that the trainees or students are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

It is important to understand that an employment relationship will exist unless ALL OF THE ABOVE 6 CRITERIA described in this guidance are met. Should an employment relationship be determined to exist, participating businesses (as well as the school) may be held responsible for full compliance with FLSA, including the minimum wage and child labor provisions. Also, Wage and Hour may supervise payment of back wages and/or Civil Money Penalties.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Contact the Journalism Department Chair, Mary Glick, at mmglick@calpoly.edu or (805) 756-6738.

 

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