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INTER-LS 260 - About (redirected from INTER-LS 260 - About the Course)

Page history last edited by Kathleen Rause 4 years, 2 months ago


  Instructors   Readings     Syllabus
  Learning   Examples


An Academic Match for Your Internship Experience


Half of all college graduates report completing at least one internship during their time as students.  This online course provides a way for UW students who have found exciting outside internships to earn academic credit in connection with their work experience. 


Students will analyze their professional training experiences in the workplace in the context of the goals of a liberal arts and sciences university education, by practicing critical reading, writing, and observation skills.


A diverse variety of L&S professors teach this class over the course of the fall, spring, and summer terms.


About Internships


What is an Internship?

  • A short-term, real-world work experience that integrates knowledge from the classroom with practical application and skill development
  • A mutually-beneficial relationship between both you and your employer
  • Can be paid, unpaid, for credit, full-time, or part-time
  • Can occur during the academic year, a semester or summer, or after graduation
  • Can involve a for-profit, non-profit, or governmental organization
  • Involves a personal, ongoing relationship with at least one supervisor or professional at the organization
  • Introduces you to a particular kind of potential career path


What are some examples of work that would be called an internship?

  • You have been hired to work for minimum wage in a company's official summer intern program.
  • You have been approved to work as an unpaid reporter for a news organization for a three-month period, supervised by a professional journalist, in which your goal is to write a piece of your own and have it published by the end of the contract period.
  • You have been accepted to a competitive (but unpaid) state government program for college students to work as volunteer aides to legislators throughout the fall school term.
  • You arrange, on your own, a deal with a local community organization to volunteer with them on a regular, weekly basis at their location, doing a variety of tasks that both benefit the organization and introduce you to a particular kind of career in the non-profit sector -- and you have a designated professional at the organization who you report to.


What are some examples of work that would not be called an internship?

  • If you're just volunteering with an organization on an irregular basis, without any personal, ongoing relationship with the organization's staff or regular set of duties, you're not an intern, and cannot combine this experience with our internship course.  (However, this kind of community work might connect well to a service-learning course.)
  • If you're working completely on your own, trying to put together a project that you hope will be of interest when you submit it to an outside organization after weeks of preparation, you're not an intern, and cannot combine this experience with our internship course. (However, this kind of independent work might connect well to a directed-study course.)
  • If you're working for an organization as a regular employee, full-time or part-time, simply as a way to gain a paycheck with no interest in exploring the meaning or value of the organization as a future career path, you're not an intern, and cannot combine this experience with our internship course.


What is the value of an Internship?

  • Develop marketable skills
  • Gain hands-on experience
  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Try out a career on a short term basis
  • Develop relationships with professional contacts for future networking
  • Be more employable since employers want to hire students who have had internship experience
  • Reflect on the value of your undergraduate education in order to make the most of your remaining time at UW-Madison


Application Process


To be eligible to take this course:

  • Students must be enrolled at UW-Madison, in any college or program.
  • Students must have an internship secured.  For proof of the internship, provide a letter from the employer stating that you are hired for the internship. 


Steps to apply:

  1. Read through this web site to make sure you understand the requirements for the course.  (The workload is appropriate for a one-credit course which does not meet in person; a normal three-credit course includes nearly 40 hours of class meeting time, plus time for student work on assignments.)
  2. Secure an internship with an outside organization, and obtain proof that you have secured this internship (eg. a letter of acceptance).  You may visit the L&S Office of Career Services for help in finding an appropriate internship. 
  3. Complete all required steps in the instructions to apply for Inter-LS 260. 
  4. You will be notified by email if accepted approximately 2 weeks after submitting your application. If Career Services accepts your application, you will be authorized to register for the course.  
  5. You must not forget to then officially register for the course online and pay for it just as with any course.  Full-time students in Fall and Spring semesters do not pay an extra fee for this additional credit.  More about tuition costs can be found here. 


Please note:

  • You must take the course during the same term that you are engaged in your internship.  This course is offered both during the regular fall and spring semesters, and during the special 8-week summer session You cannot do your internship in the summer and then take the course the following fall.
  • Students may repeat this course up to three times, but you may not take the course combined with the same internship more than once.
  • If for any reason you find that you cannot complete your internship, you must inform the course instructor immediately. Depending on timing and circumstances, there may be a way to withdraw from the course, or complete the work of the course based on a partial internship experience. 



While working for various individual outside organizations as paid or unpaid interns, students will come together online to:

  1. Read a series of scholarly articles (available at our online Reading Repository) on the intersection between liberal education and professional practice;
  2. Produce a shared wiki of organized field notes on their work site and training experiences, responding to issues in those scholarly articles; 
  3. Converse and comment on other student wiki pages in order to discuss internship experiences and reactions to the articles;  
  4. Read and discuss one academic book connected to their field site, chosen by the professor; and
  5. Write a final paper (minimum 2000 words, the equivalent of 8 pages typed and double-spaced) relating their work experiences, the scholarly articles, and the book they have read to the broader themes of the course, to be posted on the shared wiki as part of the student's overall "online porfolio."


Final grades will be based on:

  1. Wiki-based fieldnotes and article responses (25%)
  2. Collaborative discussion of fieldnotes and articles (25%)
  3. Summary of the book you have read (25%)
  4. Final written paper (25%)


The internship is graded on the normal A-F system.


Important notes

  1. Internship site supervisors cannot grade students; nor can students count work performed at an internship site toward college credit.  All UW internship courses must be supervised by a faculty member, and graded only on academic work completed in parallel with on-site internship work. 
  2. If for any reason you find that you cannot complete your internship, you must inform the course instructor immediately.  Depending on timing and circumstances, there may be a way to withdraw from the course, or complete the work of the course based on a partial internship experience. 


Special Needs


Persons with disabilities are to be fully included in this course. Please let us know if you need any special accommodations to enable you to fully participate. We will try to maintain confidentiality of the information you share with us. To request academic accomodations, please register with the McBurney Disability Resource Center.



Academic Honesty


Academic honesty requires that the course work (drafts, reports, examinations, papers) a student presents to an instructor honestly and accurately indicates the student's own academic efforts. If you are unsure about what qualifies as academic dishonesty, please consult the Academic Misconduct Guide for Students


Three points in particular to keep in mind:

  • Copying or paraphrasing material from web pages without proper quotation and citation is plagiarism 
  • Copying or paraphrasing material from fellow students is plagiarism 
  • Failing to accurately portray the work you performed in the internship — in field notes, in your final paper, or in communications with the instructor — represents academic dishonesty


Please remember that any academic dishonesty may be sufficient grounds for failing a student in the entire course.



Classroom Respect


The UW-Madison is committed to creating a dynamic, diverse and welcoming learning environment for all students and has a non-discrimination policy that reflects this philosophy. Disrespectful behaviors or comments addressed towards any group or individual, regardless of race/ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, ability, or any other difference is deemed unacceptable in this class, and will be addressed publicly by the professor.




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