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SUNY Potsdam's Internship Program is an academic program where students work as an intern at companies or organizations related to their career goals while also completing academic work in collaboration with a faculty sponsor. During the internship, the student is expected to accomplish certain predetermined goals and learning objectives agreed upon by the internship site supervisor and a faculty sponsor.

Internships give you an edge in the job market, and help you decide what kind of career you want to build.

There are so many opportunities to choose from-whether you want to intern in New York City, internationally, or right here on campus!

Information For Students:

Internship application/registration deadlines for Winter session and Spring 2024

  1. Determine your eligibility for an internship.
  2. Identify a faculty sponsor.
  3. Search for an internship.
  4. Apply to and secure your internship.
  5. Complete the Internship Proposal.
  6. Submit the Internship Proposal to register for credit.
  7. Complete your internship evaluations.

Each of these steps is described in detail in the Internship Workflow webpage.

The most important form in the internship process is the Internship Proposal.

This document:

  • Outlines what you intend to learn and accomplish during your internship.
  • Acts as a contract between you, your internship site supervisor, and SUNY Potsdam. It details mutual intentions and expectations.
  • Specifies educational and work-related expectations as well as outlining criteria and techniques for mid-term evaluation and grading at the internship’s conclusion.
  • Provides a reference against which progress can be measured.
  • Represents a description of learning goals and specific strategies for achieving those goals. You are not an employee or a “free agent.” In return for your experiential opportunity, you carry out agreed upon activities and projects. You are negotiating what you want to learn, what the supervisor needs done, and what your faculty sponsor wants you to demonstrate you have learned.
  • Describes your academic work. Faculty sponsors will require you to undertake learning activities that will supplement or enhance the on-site work. You should work together to develop specific assignments and duties. You may be required to have supplemental readings, write a paper, and/or keep a journal of your work. Be sure your faculty advisor states up front what percentage of your grade each assignment will be worth.
  • Lists your Learning Objectives. Learning Objectives describe what you intend to learn through your internship. Be specific about the skills and knowledge you are looking to improve and obtain. Are you also seeking to test a career interest and your own stability in a particular field? You should consult with the faculty sponsor to outline objectives for the internship. These should be specific, measurable statements of what you hope to accomplish at the internship. Examples:
    • Develop skills in teaching within a multi-aged classroom using cooperative learning techniques.
    • Gain knowledge about how computers are used in the banking industry.
    • Develop counseling and interpersonal skills by conducting interviews with clients.

Forms

HandShake

Late Registrations

Late registrations are only accepted under extraordinary circumstances. Students who did not register their internship for credit by the semester due date can appeal for a late registration using this form.  Click here for due dates.

If you need help with internships, you can reach out to Sarah Lister, Internship Coordinator in the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning. If your program requires an internship, your department or school may have a faculty coordinator you can work with, as well.  Reach out to one of us for help!

General Advising: Sarah Lister

School of Arts & Sciences

Arts Management: Joshua Vink
Environmental Studies: Jessica Pearson
Graphic Design: Kathleen Mahoney
STEM and pre-health: Robert G. Ewy, Biology

School of Education & Professional Studies

Business Administration: Shalu Wunnava
Community Health: Sarah Lister
Education: Julie Johnson, Center for School Partnerships
Exercise Science: Tanya Hewitt

Crane School of Music

Music Business: David Via
General Advising: David Heuser

Lougheed Center for Applied Learning

(315) 267-2507 or email appliedlearning@potsdam.edu. You can also book an appointment through Starfish.

We can help with:

  • Using our software tools to locate remote-work internships
     
  • Identifying and combining micro-internships to build a full credit-bearing experience
     
  • Ensuring that on-site internships have the right safety procedures in place
     
  • Prepping for online interviews or applications for your dream internship
     
  • Locating opportunities for next year

Apply Here

All SUNY Potsdam eligible students may apply for the following Internship Scholarships:

  • Haden Land Endowed Internship Scholarship (Aerospace and Defense Internship Scholarship)
    Purpose: Students must be a major in Computer Science, Mathematics or Informatics Programs-a double major or major/minor combination is encouraged, e.g., CIS/Math.
    $1000
     
  • Kellogg Family Scholarship
    Purpose:
    • Recipient must have declared a major in The School of Arts & Sciences;
    • Recipient must demonstrate a current or previous involvement in an internship or other work experience related to their major or career path while maintaining a full-time academic status;
    • Recipient must have strong leadership and citizenship background;
    • Recipient must have financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office; and have at least a GPA of 3.0 or higher (rare exception, as low as 2.7, at the Director  of Experiential Education's discretion).
      $1,000

       
  • Lambert Eagle
    Purpose: Awarded by the Office of Experiential Education to a student with a minimum GPA of 2.5, who has secured an internship placement of at least 6 credits, and has demonstrated financial need as defined by the Office of Financial Aid. The student must submit an Internship Proposal and Learning Contract along with an application for the scholarship.
    $1,000

What is a faculty sponsor?
Students are required to have a faculty sponsor for all credit-bearing internships. The faculty sponsor determines the academic appropriateness of the proposed internship, monitors the student intern’s progress, and assigns a grade for the student's overall internship experience.  It is the responsibility of the student to recruit a faculty sponsor - they don't have to be your advisor, but they do need to be knowledgeable about the kind of work and learning you will be doing in your internship. The faculty sponsor reviews the internship description, outlines the expected learning outcomes of the experience, and assigns related academic work. Faculty sponsors are expected to meet with their student interns, face to face or online, on a regular basis during the internship.

What does my site supervisor do?
The student must have a supervisor at the organization where they intern, to offer training and guide the hands-on, practical learning experience of the internship. Site supervisors must provide an internship description and an outline of the duties expected of the intern for the Internship Proposal, and must also approve the full Internship Proposal after it is completed. Site supervisors must submit a mid-term and final performance evaluation of the student’s internship experience, which is used by the faculty sponsor to determine an appropriate grade for the hands-on portion of the internship.

How many contact hours at a worksite do I need to complete in order to be granted 1 academic credit hour?
40 contact hours plus an academic component assigned by a faculty sponsor equals 1 (one) credit hour .

1 credit = 40 contact hours
3 credits=120 contact hours
6 credits =240 contact hours,
9 credits= 360 contact hours
12 credits=480 contact hours

SUNY Potsdam allows students to earn up to 12 internship credits to count towards graduation. Some departments have specific guidelines about how internships can count toward the major, so students must check with their academic advisor before registering for a credit-bearing internship.

Can I register now for the internship I did over the summer?
No! It is expected that the faculty sponsor and the student are working together on academic content at the same time that the student is working at the internship site. This cannot be done if there is no Internship Proposal created.

  • Registration must be completed by the published deadlines for the semester in which the internship will be undertaken.
  • Academic credit will be awarded only for hours worked during the period listed in the Internship Proposal.
  • No “retroactive credit” can be awarded for hours worked before or after the period of the contract or after the internship is completed.
  • Late registrations will only be considered in extremely unusual circumstances.

What are the due dates for registration?

If I have a summer internship and I want to receive academic credits, do I have to pay summer tuition?
Yes! A summer academic internship is just like a summer class. You must fill out an Internship Proposal with your faculty sponsor and site supervisor, and then submit that proposal via HandShake. A staff member will register you for the summer session, and you will be billed for tuition per credit hour from the Student Accounts' office.

Can I be paid and receive academic credit for an internship?
Yes! The academic credit is based on your contact hours at the internship, your academic work with your faculty sponsor, and your performance at the internship site. There is no conflict in being paid for the hours you work, so long as your academic and job performance meet the learning outcomes and duties agreed upon in the Internship Proposal.

Can I do my internship at my mom's law office?
No. Students are not permitted to develop internships where they would be working under the direct supervision of, or in close proximity to a member of their immediate family or a close relative. Exceptions may be made if there are extenuating circumstances and the faculty sponsor, site supervisor, and advisor are all aware of the situation in advance of approving the internship. Please contact the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning to discuss options.

What do I do on my first day as an intern?

  • Confirm in advance what exactly what is required and expected of you by the internship site on your first day - this may just be "Meet Erica Lopez in her office at 9 a.m.", but knowing what to do first on the first day will help you smooth out any nerves.
     
  • Find out what the dress code of the organization is so you dress appropriately. This is a good question to ask of your site supervisor.
     
  • Act professionally. Your co-workers will be depending on you and will expect you to adhere to the same rules and regulations as other employees. If you're not sure if something is appropriate, ask. They know you're an intern, and learning - but be sure to ask respectfully, and accept the answer you're given.
     
  • Learn what to do if you cannot make it into the office BEFORE you need to call in sick. What is the attendance policy? Who should you contact? Can you make up the hours?
     
  • Ask if there is any information you may review to learn more about the organization, and what processes and procedures you should know, like what to do in case of emergency.
     
  • Display enthusiasm for the internship position and remember that the more dedicated you are to a position, the more recognized you will be.
     
  • Get to know other employees and become familiar with their work functions - you may learn about your dream job this way!
     
  • Take lots of notes - you may want these for your academic work, and you'll need to remember what you've been assigned to do.

Information For Faculty

All courses with a schedule type of Internship or Practicum are managed administratively through the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning internship approval process. This creates centralized liability management, assessment, and reporting for all off-campus credit-bearing applied learning activities outside of teacher education.

For Fall 2023 internships, we will be using Handshake to manage these courses. 

 

A credit-bearing internship is composed of two distinct parts: the on-site work experience, and the academic work to integrate that experience with the learning done in the student's academic program. As such, it has two key mentors: the site supervisor (on-site work), and faculty sponsor (academic work). The roles are defined as follows:

  • The student must have a supervisor at the organization where they intern, to offer training and guide the hands-on, practical learning experience of the internship.
  • Students are required to have a faculty sponsor for all credit-bearing internships. The faculty sponsor determines the academic appropriateness of the proposed internship, monitors the student intern’s progress, and assigns a grade for the student's overall internship experience.  
    • The faculty sponsor reviews the internship description, and creates a syllabus for the internship. The syllabus must include:
      • Student learning outcomes
      • Academic work that relates the site experience to the SLOs
      • Grading rubric
      • Any other campus requirements or expectations as appropriate to the course
    • Faculty sponsors are expected to meet with their student interns, face to face or online, on a regular basis during the internship to provide support, feedback, and academic mentoring.
    • Faculty sponsors assign the grade for the internship based on the rubric in the syllabus. The grade should be assigned with consideration to:
      • The student's academic work
      • Site supervisor evaluations
      • Any additional criteria created by the faculty sponsor

Faculty sponsors may need to assist students in completing their internship proposal. The internship proposal, in concert with the syllabus:

  • Details the course the student is enrolling in. The faculty sponsor is the instructor of record for the course, so should assist the student in determining these details - subject code and number, grading system, number of credits, etc.
  • Outlines what a student intends to learn and accomplish during the internship.
  • Acts as a contract between the student, the internship site supervisor, and SUNY Potsdam. It details mutual intentions and expectations.
  • Specifies educational and work-related expectations as well as outlining criteria and techniques for mid-term evaluation and grading at the internship’s conclusion.
  • Provides a reference against which progress can be measured.
  • Represents a description of learning goals and specific strategies for achieving those goals. An intern is not an employee or a “free agent.” In return for their experiential opportunity, they carry out agreed upon activities and projects. They are negotiating what they want to learn, what the supervisor needs done, and what the faculty sponsor wants the student to demonstrate they have learned.

During summer session, faculty are paid $50 per credit hour to sponsor internships.

During regular semesters, faculty are compensated with professional development funding at a rate of $50 per credit hour. Full information is available on the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning funding page.

What are the registration deadlines for internships?

Fall 2023 registrations deadline has passed.  If your student needs to submit a late internship, they must complete the Late Internship Appeal Form.

For all regular terms beginning with Spring 2024, students must submit their internship proposals during the normal Add/Drop period.

Internships are courses, with academic expectations and requirements. They are also opportunities for students to practice professionalism and work ethic with community partners. To ensure the best experience for employers, students, and faculty, and to safeguard the academic integrity of the student learning experience, internships must be registered through established processes. Additionally, internships must always be registered in advance of student work, and taught in the term in which the student is gaining the site experience. Internship registration deadlines cannot be infinitely flexible, just as course enrollment cannot be infinitely flexible. 

Why are internships approved differently than regular courses, and how does APLE work?

  • "Internship" and "practicum" are schedule types, coded into Banner.
    • Example from BearPaws for Fall 2023:
      @GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERNSHIP - 92863 - APLE 491 - 005
      Associated Term: Fall 2023
      Levels: Matriculated Undergraduate, Undergrad Non-Matric
      Internship - Unpaid Schedule Type
      0.000 TO 12.000 Credits

  • APLE is a subject code prefix for interdisciplinary applied learning experiences administered by the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning. The curriculum for APLE is managed by the faculty Advisory Board of the LoCAL
  • APLE 491 is the course for flexible non-departmental or interdisciplinary courses with the schedule type of internship. 
    • In addition to APLE 491, there are dozens of departmental courses that are instruction type Internship (list below is the first 5 from the current catalog).
      • @ACCT 491 - Internship
      • ANTH 470 - Museum Internship
      • @ANTH 490 - Internship in Anthropology
      • @ANTH 491 - Internship in Applied Anthropology
      • ARTS 490 - Senior Art Internship
    • Depending on a student's needs for their degree progress, APLE 491 or a departmental course number may be used. 

 

Information for Employers

Each year, more than 400 students complete internships for academic credit as part of their education at SUNY Potsdam. Our graduates are #PotsdamProud that they've learned how to solve complex problems - both in and out of the classroom. 

Raising the Bar

During her time at SUNY Potsdam, Sara Behuniak ’14 landed an internship at the St. Lawrence County Public Defender’s Office—fully immersing herself in a law office for the first time her senior year, as she paved the way to an impressive career lawyer.

Read More

Seeing the Future Through the Past

 Marla Jacobs ’20 drew strength from her Mohawk heritage to overcome daunting challenges and finish an archaeology degree with three minors. Hard at work on a new display for The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, she continues to help build our knowledge of Indigenous peoples and their role in the ancient Adirondack landscapes.

read more

 

Combating Disease Through Education

For Whitney Callaghan ’17 & ’21, out-of-the-classroom experiences proved to be immensely important, like her semester-long internship at Planned Parenthood in Saranac Lake. Her primary role involved educating youth about sexual assault prevention. She also completed a research project examining the risk factors for chlamydia in St. Lawrence and Franklin County, and interviewed people about prevention methods. An internship with the Franklin County Department of Public Health rounded out her real-world training.

Real-World Training

As part of his community health major, Othman Ladan'19 completed two internships during his last semester on campus. First, he worked at Canton-Potsdam Hospital to educate families about nutrition and fighting obesity, before heading down to New York City to oversee similar educational objectives with at-risk populations, through an internship with the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Read more

World Class Experiences

From working on the floor of the New York State Assembly to helping with hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, Julissa Santana ’20 graduated from SUNY Potsdam with unrivaled hands-on experiences.

Read More

Summer Internship

Stanley Martinez '19 spent his summer completing an eight-week-long internship at Double H Ranch, a camp that provides specialized programs for children dealing with life-threatening illnesses.

Read more

Behind the Scenes at The Met

As an undergraduate student at SUNY Potsdam, Johnna Bernard ’18 has performed on stage at Carnegie Hall, toured Cuba with the Crane Latin Ensemble and hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain with the Crane Concert Choir. She is now working as an intern for the Metropolitan Opera National Council in Manhattan—an amazing hands-on experience at the world's most famous opera house.

Read more

Morgan Ose '19

Morgan Ose '19 spent the Fall semester of her junior year studying abroad in Ireland, but unlike many programs where students study abroad at a university, Ose had the ultimate applied learning experience by interning at a professional dance theatre in Dublin.

Read more

Office Information

Lougheed Center for Applied Learning
Experiential Education Office
Lougheed Learning Commons Suite107

Email: appliedlearning@potsdam.edu
Phone: (315) 267-2507