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COMM 430 Internship Objectives and Information

The Communication Arts Department recognizes that not all learning takes place in the classroom. Internships are designed to integrate classroom theory with practical work experience. Through an internship, students may earn up to three credits per semester/term based on the educational nature of their work experience as it relates to their field of study. The overall purpose of this level of internship is to help the students explore particular career fields and make informed decisions concerning their career goals.

Important documents:


Course Objectives:

  1. To apply particular core concepts and ideas from course work to a non-classroom based experience.
  2. To discover more about one’s personal field through experiential learning and reflection.
  3. To learn key skills and competencies required through a specific vocation.
  4. To analyze and understand a discipline specific organization’s communication in terms of its rites, rituals, culture, mission, and leadership.
  5. To understand their personal aptitudes, gifts, and limitations, as they discern their vocational callings.
  6. To provide a real world opportunity to integrate your understanding and practice of the Christian faith as it relates to your vocational callings.


 General Information:

  • Your faculty adviser must approve the place and type of work. The intent is to give you a new workplace experience that applies previous knowledge and not to merely give credit for a part-time job in which you already have experience. Internships are only occasionally paid, and the department does not require internship sites to be paid. The faculty adviser has discretion in approving the internship.
  • Before enrolling in COMM 430, you must obtain a contract from the Internship Coordinator (Kris Paal). Complete the contract and once everyone has signed it, make three copies. Give one to your supervisor, keep one for yourself, and give one to your faculty adviser. 
  • You must register for COMM 430 (3 hours) according to your concentration. In other words, be sure to register for the section that corresponds to they type of internship you will be doing. 
  • You must complete the internship during the semester in which you are enrolled in COMM 430. You cannot register for an internship in the spring semester and then have the internship during the summer.
  • COMM 430 is only available as a three-credit course. For each hour of academic credit, you must work at least forty (40) hours on the work site (120 hours total). Students may take up to two-3 credit internships for credit.

Internship Expectations:
For completion of your internship, each of the following requirements must be completed.  For each requirement that is not completed, your final grade will be reduced by one letter grade.  The exception to this is the actual internship itself; failure to complete the actual internship will result in failure of the course.  A detailed syllabus is provided upon registration for COMM 430.

The Actual Internship
This is pretty self-explanatory, but you actually need to attend and complete your internship as defined in the internship contract and job description.  A total of at least 120 internship related hours are required. 

Internship Contract
You must provide a signed copy of the contract signed by the internship provider, your faculty advisor and yourself.  Please be prompt in having all parties complete the contract within two weeks of starting.

Processing Meetings (For Fall/Spring Internships Only)

  • Group Processing Meetings- These will be held monthly with all interns.
  • Individual Processing Meetings- These will be held bi-monthly with the intern coordinator.

Background Check
Malone University requires all students representing the University off-campus to have a State of Ohio background check conducted.  You can arrange this check by signing up as soon as possible with Debbie Mittas in Administrative Services (ext 8379).  The current cost is $27 (to be paid by the intern).  Please sign up promptly at the beginning of the semester.

Job Description
In addition to the signed internship contract that needs to be provided within the first weeks of the semester, each intern must be supplied with a job description provided through the internship.  This job description should adequately answer the following: 


  • Supervisor Information- Who is your supervisor while at your internship site and what is their contact information?
  • Job Expectations- What are your responsibilities and duties as an intern for the next semester? Are there specific work assignments that you must accomplish? 
  • Hours- What hours are you expected to work over the coming semester?  Are they set hours or flexible hours?
  • Learning Outcomes- Are there particular outcomes you should attain by the completion of the internship?  What does the employer hope you will gain from this internship?
  • Additional Information- Is there any other pertinent information the internship provider wants to make known? 

While many sites may not have a current job description for interns, we believe it is imperative that one is created to clearly identify expectations and roles. 

Reading Responses
There will be two response papers you will submit over the course of the semester.  Each 3-5 page reading response will either address issues you may encounter as an intern or in a particular vocation.  Responses should be well developed, free of grammatical issues, and provide thoughtful response to the reading.

Logging Internship Hours
You are required to keep a record of your hours (either daily or weekly) for your internship.  Remember you must accumulate 120 hours over the course of the semester to earn full credit!  A log of your hours should be submitted at midterm and at the end of the semester.  Bring these to your individual processing meetings.

Threaded Discussions
The overall objective of this component of the internship is to provide you all with a different type of outlet to express yourself, reflect on the internship process, and share ideas with one another.  Using E-Companion, you will be provided with various questions to respond to and reflect upon.  The expectation is that you will provide at least 10 separate original responses to different weekly questions and at least 15 different follow-up comments to fellow intern’s responses (which go beyond the mere “cool!” or “me, too!”).  Although the prescribed expectations are intended to help ensure that discussion will take place, I do consider this to be a very flexible requirement that will greatly serve you over the course of the semester.  Do not forget about these, as lengthy gaps in your responses may result in a final grade reduction.

Internship Integration Paper
As with most experiential learning, you will write a term paper that will be submitted at the end of your internship which expresses what you have gained from the internship process.  Throughout the semester various resources will be provided that may guide the writing process of this paper, but it will be important for you to not wait until the end of the semester to begin organizing your thoughts!

Throughout the internship, keep track of relevant internship related materials that would illustrate what you accomplished.  For example, if part of your responsibilities was to write press releases, you should keep a copy of each one to place in the portfolio.  For some internships it may be difficult to have document of certain projects (e.g. a theater production or radio PSA), in which case we will work creatively on this together!  The objective of the mini-portfolio is to have an organized and professional looking portfolio which can demonstrate to others what you accomplished during your internship.  You may also want to consider how this can work together with your Capstone portfolio.  Elements that will be present in your portfolio:

  1. Content Page/Intro Page- This previews what will be found in the portfolio.
  2. Current Resume- Complete with a "blurb" about your internship. Please utilize Career Development Services if you currently do not have a resume, as they will provide support and direction.
  3. Job Description- Be sure to include your job description for your internship.
  4. Internship Integration Paper- This is what you will submit as your final integration paper.
  5. Special Projects/Assignments -Include any material for which you contributed to or worked on (be sure to have permission from your internship provider first!). Include a page that describes your specific contribution to the project/assignment and identify any skills or lessons you developed while working on the project. If certain projects are not tangible (i.e. sets, radio broadcasts, events, etc.) consider taking photos, recordings, or brochures which can still illustrate your involvement.
  6. Additional Components- Feel free to also include anything you believe demonstrates your learning or experience from the internship. This can also include any information gathered through response papers and such.