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Internship Handbook for Career Academies

This report was made possible by major funding from the Wallace - Reader's Digest Fund to the College and Career Academy Support Network.


College and Career Academy Support Network
University of California, Berkeley
Graduate School of Education
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670


This handbook was written by Jerauld Winthrop, an Academy Lead Teacher, a member of the California Partnership Academy Technical Assistance Steering Committee, and a consultant to the College and Career Academy Support Network.

Jerry thanks the following individuals and organizations: Karen Shores, Consultant, California Department of Education (CDE), Sacramento Charlie Dayton and Susan Tidyman, College and Career Academy Support Network, U.C. Berkeley Pam Langbehn, California State Franchise Tax Board, Sacramento Thanks also to the many teachers, administrators, employees, high schools, businesses, parents, students, and other supporting organizations that have contributed in one way or another to the content and materials here.





Academies, also known as Career Academies and Partnership Academies, are high school programs that frame academic learning around a career focus in order to increase student motivation and achievement. Though the configuration of Academies varies, they generally have three defining features: a school-within-a-school structure, a college preparation curriculum with a career theme, and partnerships with employers, the community and higher education. Academy students attend a group of classes restricted to them, usually one career related and two or three academic classes each semester, taught by a team of academic and technical teachers who work together to coordinate the program. Academies usually include the last three years of high school, although some include all four. More detail on the model can be found many places, including the College and Career Academy Support Network web site.

A good deal of research has shown that Career Academies improve the performance of students enrolled in them, in terms of such indicators as attendance, credits earned toward graduation, grades, and graduation rates. Attempts to analyze the reasons for these effects suggest that the central features that define an Academy all play a role, particularly the small, friendly nature of the program and the close contact among students and teachers. The focus on a career field that shows students the relevance of what they are learning is also important, and internships play an important role in this regard. These typically come toward the end of high school, most often during the summer following the junior year, or part-time during the senior (and sometimes junior) year. Internships can be thought of as the capstone experience for students in terms of learning about a career field, following other activities that come earlier in an Academy: business speakers and field trips during the sophomore year, and a volunteer employee mentor program the junior year (see the CCASN Mentor Handbook for details on this program).

Unlike more traditional vocational training programs Career Academies are not designed to prepare high school students for specific jobs upon graduation. Rather, they are designed to expose students to career fields , entire industries , and to provide broadly defined workplace skills relevant across many jobs. They are also designed to show students the relevance of academic skills, which are increasingly important in most workplaces. Academy internships need to be designed with this in mind. Most employers not only understand this philosophy but applaud it. They want well prepared employees in terms of academic skills and broadly defined workplace skills, exactly the sort focused on in Academies. They can (and prefer to) provide any needed job specific training.

While this handbook focuses on internships as they apply to Academies, there are many other programs that successfully use internships, and the materials in this handbook draw from many sources. Likewise, even within Academies internships can vary. Some are primarily paid, others unpaid. Some emphasize community service and work with public agencies, others profit making enterprises (dependent in part on the career field). Thus view this as a guide to the development of a program which can be custom fit to your Academy through the efforts of your own stakeholders: teachers, employer partners, parents, administrators, counselors, and students.

Internships allow students to spend time at a particular work place. However, they are not jobs in the traditional sense. They are learning experiences. Students often (and preferably) work in a variety of departments, learning the range of jobs and careers within the company or agency. Variations among communities, career fields, and employers result in a wide variety of internship opportunities for students. Almost all can be useful if the employer understands the purpose and has the student's (as well as the company's) interests in mind. The common underlying principle is that they expose students to meaningful learning experiences that show them the relevance of what they are learning in high school, teach them at least a bit about what it means to have a job, and help in their development of an educational and career plan for the future.

An internship is a chance to use a “business classroom” to connect with what is happening at school, to add value to the educational experience, and to clarify the vast number of options available to students. Through internships, the student's education is improved by:

  • Introducing the intern to modern workplace equipment and actual workplace problems
  • Giving young people access to experiences that require more knowledge and skills than ordinary “student jobs”
  • Giving educators and employers the chance to work together in preparing students for success in the workplace
  • Helping educators connect the classroom to the modern workplace
  • Helping students understand the importance of their classroom instruction
  • Providing experience to list on the student's resume
  • Giving students the opportunity to have a real world experience in a career field in which they have an interest
  • Creating possible future opportunities for young people in the companies where they intern (and possible future employees for companies that need them)
  • Allowing employers to build alliances with local schools. Together, employers and educators can deliver a powerful message of the importance of education.

Students involved in an internship gather firsthand experience in modern business practices and skills. They learn what is necessary to complete assigned tasks in a timely manner, how to comport themselves responsibly and professionally, how employees work together, and the many opportunities available to them. They get the chance to practice or observe current technology, teamwork and cooperation, and basic business decorum. Internships provide an excellent opportunity for young people to question adults about their careers. They can view the myriad of possibilities within each career field; discern what they like and dislike about a particular job; and learn what skills, knowledge, and education are necessary for the career in which they have an interest. Because internships are not the same as jobs, students can learn more about the company than they would as an employee.

Internships assist the classroom teacher by giving the student a context to which they can relate their schoolwork. Research, writing, speaking, computation, analysis, problem solving, use of technology, organization, and responsibility are all inseparable parts of the modern workplace. When students can see the imminent value of their education first hand, a natural, honest motivation occurs, and gives value to that which the teacher has to offer. Students who serve internships learn the answer to “Why do we need to learn this?” first hand, and do not need to be apprised of the value of their academic instruction. They also see the relationship between job quality and level of education, and often return to school more motivated to go to college than beforehand.

Classroom instruction which augments the internship experience can be part of this experience. Examples include journal-keeping, resume building, and portfolio development. Lessons in all disciplines can be geared to relate the internship experience to academic skills. Such activities help to emphasize for students the connection between school and work, showing them practical applications for their learning and opening their minds to possible futures beyond what academic instruction alone usually achieves.

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The coordinator is crucial to an effective internship program. He or she should be carefully selected as one who is knowledgeable in, and dedicated to, the values of work-based learning. The coordinator will generally have final responsibility for development and implementation of the internship program, and will work with students, parents, teachers, mentors, supervisors, site and district administrators, and business to bring together a rigorous and valuable experience. This is a pivotal role, requiring interest, dedication, and time.

The coordinator may be an academic or vocational teacher, a school-to-work or cooperative education coordinator, a high school or district administrator, or an Academy coordinator. Any of these professionals can do a fine job of putting the program into effect, provided they the proper support. The coordinator must have the trust and backing of the school and district's top administrators. Superintendents and principals can show their support for the program by discussing it in positive terms with the faculty, local business representatives, and community members. They also need to allot time to the coordinator to run the program.

NOTE: Remember, business generally takes place during regular work hours (typically Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). A teacher with classroom responsibilities during this time may have difficulty developing necessary partnerships and keeping appointments with business partners. Extra preparation time, some release from the school schedule, is necessary for this to take place. Try to schedule this time around the lunch period – business can be done at this time, and civic organizations (i.e., Rotary International, Lions Club, Soroptomists Club) also meet then, and can be a great resource for partnership development.

Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities

Each of the following are pivotal aspects of the Coordinator's position:

  • Identifying, recruiting, and orienting employer partners
  • Promoting the program to teachers, students, and parents
  • Recruitment and preparation of students for employer partners to interview
  • Organizing the Student Worksite Learning Plan, and other program policies and procedures
  • Monitoring the progress of both students and employers at the work site
  • Evaluating student interns
  • Working with teachers on curriculum to bolster the relevance of instruction as it pertains to internship,
  • Organizing a culminating activity and/or closing celebration
  • Reviewing and revising the program with employer partners.

Since this work is crucial for an internship program, let's look at each of these responsibilities in more depth. The coordinator should develop a timeline or action plan for putting each step into motion.

1. Identify, recruit, and orient business partners.

Although there are examples of programs that have been initiated by employers out of a need for better qualified employees, and often out of a sense of community involvement, this is the exception. More often, it is the responsibility of the Academy team, and specifically the Academy Internship Coordinator, to meet this need.

Before planning to recruit employers for participation in your program, four basic but pertinent questions should be addressed:

  • What will employers be asked to do?
  • Which employers will be targeted for recruitment?
  • Why should employers participate in your program?
  • How will employers be recruited?

Once these questions have been discussed, if not fully answered, you will be better prepared to complete this task successfully. The first question is of paramount importance, for if this is not clearly defined, it will be difficult to attract quality businesses as partners.

There are many ways employers can be useful to your Academy internship program (in addition to simply providing a workplace where students can gain experience). These include:

  • Input on workplace validity of the curriculum
  • Program policy development and decision making
  • Recruitment of other employers/partners
  • Screening/interviewing of program applicants
  • Creation of work-based staff development opportunities for teachers
  • Job shadowing and career exposure assistance
  • Development of work site learning plans
  • Evaluation of student interns
  • Authentic audience for student presentations

Internship programs can vary. A first step in recruiting employers is to define your goals, the intended focus and scope of your program? Is it to have every student participate, or only some. Do you want paid positions or unpaid ones? Is your intent simply to further career awareness among your students, or to provide a fully restructured applied learning environment? Job shadowing and brief and/or unpaid internships can provide a level of career awareness. A longer paid internship will achieve more. Will the level of involvement be the same for all students? To be unclear about your goals and the scope of your program is to risk looking unprepared when approaching employers. The better prepared you are, the more likely they will participate.

It is wise to seek the participation of representatives from all Academy stakeholders – teaching, administration, counseling, students, parents, and Steering Committee members – when addressing these questions of intent. Only then can you get a clear idea of the needs and desires of the community at large, and only then will you be able to count on stakeholder support for the decisions that are made. Ask yourself and your stakeholders the following questions, and make your decisions based on the responses:

  • How structured do your partners want this program to be?
  • How many students will be participating in the program? How many at each business?
  • Will internships be paid or unpaid?
  • Will internships take place during summer? After school? Weekends?
  • Are all potential interns willing to make a commitment to an internship?
  • Are all students going to participate in the internship program?

The answer to these questions may vary. You may wish to keep your program flexible – allow certain business partners to offer a one week, unpaid internship, while others develop a more elaborate program. Use the expertise of your Steering Committee and business partners to help make these determinations. If you allow the program to be responsive to the needs of your business partners and students, to be flexible rather than rigid, it will function more fluidly and with less conflict.

Once these decisions are made, it is responsibility of the coordinator to find employers willing to invest the time and resources needed to provide internship opportunities. Some local employers may already be working with your school in various contexts: cooperative education programs, technical high schools/programs, existing internship programs, or Academies. Your local Chamber of Commerce can be a wonderful resource. Another good source is local civic organizations: e.g., Rotary International, Soroptomists, Lions Clubs, and the like. These groups typically meet weekly or monthly, generally at lunchtime, and are often seeking guest speakers. Your principal, superintendent, and board members are likely to be members of the various groups in your community, and may be able to assist you in gaining introductions and/or arranging an opportunity to speak about your program and recruit business partners.

The next step is to develop a master list of prospective employers, with an address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, and contact person for each. You may wish to include a brief abstract (just a sentence or two) regarding the school's current or past relationship with that company and any other pertinent information. Another good step is to develop a brochure geared to the business community and do a mailing to the businesses on your list. Follow up the mailing with phone calls, inviting these potential partners to an informational meeting. This lets you meet with many business representatives at once, and lets them learn from each other and perhaps support each others' involvement. An aid to this endeavor is the site or district Career Counselor. These professionals will often have much of this information at their fingertips, and can be of tremendous assistance in accomplishing any tasks that require the help of the business community.

Another approach, often necessary with some employers, is to set up an appointment at the company to discuss your program. Be well prepared for this meeting. Have a clear agenda in mind. Your presentation should be concise and to the point. Bring a brochure geared to business partners, detailing your program. Know what you will need from these partners, tell them, and also include it in your brochure so they can peruse it at their convenience. Be specific about these needs, with a timeline. If possible, take an existing business partner to this meeting – this will add strength to your presentation, as he or she can detail the merits of your program. A member of your Steering Committee can also serve in this role.

Once you have secured the involvement of a core group of employers, you will probably need to meet with them again to review the specifics of the program and prepare them for implementation. This may be done on an individual basis, although again a group meeting saves time and assures that all participants receive the same information. It also provides a chance for them to share observations with each other, and to see themselves as an extended part of the Academy team. At this meeting cover student application and matchup plans, student dress and behavior expectations, evaluation and assessment plans, the student interview and selection schedule, planned monitoring visits, and future meetings. It is a good idea to bring copies of pertinent forms and documents, discussing them, and determining a timeline for their use during the internship period.

NOTES: 1) Be certain that partners know how to contact you. Frustration on the part of your partners can cause them to become ex-partners, and ex-partners can cause others to be disinclined to work with you. 2) The top person in the company will be most able to make decisions to help your program succeed. However, these people are often difficult to meet with. Try to get your superintendent involved in making these connections. CEO's will generally make time for other CEO's. The superintendent – your CEO – can often make this connection when others can't.

2. Promote the program to teachers, students, and parents.

It is important to generate excitement about the program at your school for it to be a success. As in many aspects of the Academy, you are dealing with what for some will be new and unusual ways of doing business, in what is often a very traditional structure. The unknown or misunderstood often breeds resentment and fear, and a failure to clarify your plans and purposes can create problems.

Once your program has been in existence for awhile, it will be its own public relations tool. That is, students, parents, teachers, and business partners who have participated and/or observed the program will provide testimonials and anecdotal evidence, and build momentum. As you begin your internship program, however, it is important to provide information not only to those you wish to recruit, but also to your colleagues at the high school. Take a little time at faculty meetings to apprise the staff of what you're doing. Hold informational meetings in the evening, and invite not only parents but interested community members. Invite the local newspaper and other media figures to report on business partner and student orientation meetings. Seek the aid of other teachers for help in recruitment. Ask your principal to show her/his support in a public way. To involve staff and community is to avoid the spread of misinformation and misgivings.

3. Select and prepare students for employer partners to interview.

Because you are developing a program within an Academy, presumably there is a career focus in which your students have an interest. It is now time to subdivide these interests into various aspects of the industry. Within each broad career field, there are many different jobs and career options. Through interest inventories and other similar tools, as well as the knowledge your team of teachers has about its clients, students can be ensured the best possible internship match, and good matches help your program flourish.

A useful step at this point is to develop an application form that will help you determine each student's interests, and review these with care (a sample can be found in the appendix). Discuss successful interview strategies in class, and conduct practice interviews. You can ask business partners to assist in this, as they are the professionals. Let students know that, just like in the real world of work, the process for placement will be competitive, and that business partners will interview and select their choice of interns. This “raises the bar” for students and takes some of the pressure off the coordinator.

  • Teachers may assist students in preparing for their interview by encouraging them to:
  • Participate in lessons on interview techniques
  • Participate in mock interviews
  • Prepare a resume and cover letter
  • Brainstorm possible questions and appropriate answers
  • Dress appropriately
  • Be prompt
  • Decline offered food or beverages
  • Be friendly and outgoing, but not to talk too much
  • Be concise and to the point
  • Arrive prepared to complete employment applications, and with all necessary paperwork
  • Thank the interviewer
  • Follow-up with a thank you note

4. Develop Student Worksite Learning Plans

The goals of a successful internship program are two-fold: to meet employers' expectations, and provide a quality educational experience for students. To meet these goals, work with the employer partner to develop a written work site plan. This plan should include what the student is expected to do on the job, and the assignments he or she must carry out to meet educational expectations. Because this is an internship it is important that it entail more than eight hours of filing or answering telephones each day. Students should learn about modern business practices, teamwork, job-specific skills, appropriate business behavior and dress, safety practices, and ethics. They should also be exposed to various aspects of the business, either through hands-on experience or observation. The Worksite Learning Plan serves in effect as a contract, spelling out the program purposes and responsibilities on both sides. A sample form for development of a Work Site Learning Plan is included in the appendix.

5. Monitor the progress of both students and employers at the work site .

After interns are placed with employers it is necessary to track their progress and their developing relationship with the partner business. Depending on the number of students placed, the coordinator may or may not be able to conduct these on-site checks alone. A plan should be developed that is acceptable to the business partner for regularly viewing the intern at work, and conducting a brief meeting with the intern and supervisor. In this way, potential problems may be circumvented, and the internship experience may be kept meaningful and productive. The person conducting the visitation should keep a journal of what they see, hear, and perceive about the student at work in order to answer any questions from parents or administrators, as well as to assist in the evaluation at the internship's conclusion. This monitoring can be done both formally and informally. Unannounced drop-ins can sometimes provide different insights to the student's experience than planned evaluative meetings.

6. Conduct endpoint evaluations of student interns.

The next step is to establish a process for evaluating students' internship experiences. This should include not only the concluding evaluation, but at least one benchmark assessment along the way (depending on the length of the internship). Evaluations should be based on written employer evaluations, the coordinator's assessment during monitoring of the intern, and completion of required assignments. Evaluation that's done well will give the intern a clear idea of skills that must be developed or augmented during the senior year. The evaluation should structured to be developmental and constructive rather than punitive. It is often helpful to have the students evaluate their own performance, after which a “gap analysis” can take place – places where the student's self-evaluation diverges broadly from that of her/his supervisor. Discussions of such gaps and be very instructive, including an analysis of the reasons for the different perceptions.

7. Work with key teachers on curriculum.

If teachers are familiar with what employees need to know and be able to do for success in the workplace, they can more effectively connect their classroom instruction to work site needs and competencies. The best way for this awareness to be developed is for Academy academic and technical teachers to participate in the internship program, particularly in site visits and evaluations. With the opportunity to view students at the work site, and discuss their needs, strengths, and weaknesses with intern supervisors, teachers become more aware of the activities at a modern work site. From this they can gain plan assignments and projects for the classroom to strengthen these areas. It may be useful for the coordinator to organize staff development training for the team. Assistance in curriculum development in general, and integrated curriculum projects in particular, are useful to connect the classroom with the work site.

8. Organize a culminating activity and/or closing celebration.

You may wish to recruit the help of parent volunteers and/or employer partners in planning a celebration of your internship accomplishments. However it is organized, it is important to celebrate your program's successes. School representatives, students, teachers, employer partners, and parents should all be invited.

This is a good opportunity for students to “stand and deliver” their accomplishments in front of a largely adult/professional audience. Students might be asked to develop a display documenting their internship experience, including their portfolio materials. They may be asked to give brief presentations of what they've accomplished. There can be a culminating awards ceremony, where certificates of completion are distributed (software that makes professional looking certificates is easy to find and inexpensive, and certificates look good on everyone's refrigerator!). Supervisor testimonials are important to the students and your program. It is a good idea to have these transcribed for future public relations use. However you choose to structure this event, it is a good opportunity for everyone involved to see the connection being made between school and work, and the importance of this connection. Of course refreshments are mandatory!

9. Review, evaluate, and revise the program with employer partners.

In business, this is usually called debriefing. It is important to find time shortly after the end of your internship period to meet with school officials and business partners to discuss what went well and what needs revision. Encourage all participants to be candid; it is not a failure to admit things weren't perfect. Valuable insights can be gained from business partners regarding curricular needs teachers might address, and the school may see ways employers can augment the workplace learning to expand student understanding of the connection between the two.

Information that comes from this meeting might be disseminated to critical school staff in order to better train students in workplace competencies school wide. Arrange with the principal to share these findings, and to help develop a plan to address these recommendations.

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Since internships are arranged to allow inexperienced young people to participate in the world of adult work, the coordinator and supervisor expectations for them should be clearly spelled out. Although student interns may serve some of the functions of an entry-level employee, he or she is at the site for other than simply pragmatic, “bottom line” business purposes. Interns need to be guided and educated in all aspects of the career field, and given the opportunity to experience practical applications of the academic and technical lessons they receive in the classroom. It is important for interns to reflect about the experiences and knowledge they acquire during their internship. At the same time, the tasks they perform should be rigorous and challenging, and they should be held accountable as responsible employees as well as inquisitive students.

Orientation for the Intern

Preparing the intern for this new experience should begin with an orientation to the program. The student and her/his parents need to understand the workings of the program, including what is expected from them, and what they can expect from the school and the work site. Prior to actual placement, the student should be comfortable with:

  • The length of the internship experience and the time commitment involved
  • The application requirements
  • The selection process
  • Safety requirements
  • Transportation requirements
  • Pay expectations
  • Educational expectations and requirements
  • Work performance expectations and requirements
  • All due dates
  • The evaluation process, including consequences for non-performance

This list may omit aspects of your program which are important for your interns to understand. As with all lists in this handbook, you can customize it to fit your own program. Once these expectations are understood to everyone's satisfaction, the student intern should be prepared for orientation to the workplace. This will require some policy determinations, and some development of your own brochures (e.g., for parents, students, and business partners) and forms (applications, evaluation forms, and contracts).

Adequate orientation to a new workplace is important for any employee. It is even more important for the intern, who may be experiencing his or her first exposure to the world of work. Not only does orientation help the intern adjust to this new position, it also his or her first impression – about the business organization in particular, and about working in general. If the employer's organization does not have an established orientation program, time should be made on the intern's first day for an adequate introduction to the business as a whole, and the particular department(s) in which the intern will work. If the employer does have their own orientation procedure, it may be necessary to augment it to fit the particular needs of a student intern. This orientation should include:

  • A tour of the workplace
  • Company goals and purposes
  • An introduction to the supervisor and co-workers
  • Company rules and procedures
  • Standards of conduct
  • Work hours
  • Safety issues

After an introduction to the organization, the intern should learn about the department in which he/she will be working. This is often conducted by the intern's supervisor, and is a good time for the intern to meet the co-workers with whom she/he will be most closely affiliated. The supervisor should discuss how the department fits into the organization, the work the department does, and expectations particular to that department. This may also be an appropriate time for the supervisor to begin intern training.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the orientation is a clearly outlined position description, and it is an important responsibility of the supervisor to clearly delineate these expectations in advance of the intern's first day in the position. For the young employee, it is helpful to describe the internship in terms of the specific tasks and skills that should be mastered by the end of the internship. It is a good idea to put these tasks and skills in writing for the intern. They can then be used as a tool for supervising and evaluating the intern's performance.

To prepare interns for the first day, the school site supervisor, coordinator, or classroom teachers should encourage students to generate a list of questions to ask employees at the work site. Not only will this increase the intern's understanding of the way the business functions, and what it's like to participate in the everyday world-of-work, but it also can serve as an icebreaker, helping the intern and employees to get through the sometimes uncomfortable early moments of their relationship. Questions don't have to be probing or in-depth, and students can help brainstorm the list as a group – in this way they will have ownership. They should write these down prior to their first visit to the job site. They are a helpful “security blanket,” particularly for those who are less outgoing. Some questions that could be useful:

  • What is an average workday like here?
  • What qualities/skills are important for success in your field?
  • Which aspects of your job do you like the most? The least?
  • How much education is necessary for your position?
  • When did you know this was what you wanted to do for a career?
  • What is the salary range for someone in your position?
  • How rapid is advancement in your field?
  • What did you learn in high school that has helped you in your career?

Student interns should be reminded that listening skills are important in any position. Don't just ask questions to kill time – really listen to the answers, and ask follow-up questions. Interns can then include what is learned from such questioning in their student journal. The classroom teacher can conduct a discussion or give a quiz based on the information gleaned from this Q & A process. The process can continue over time, allowing the learning to extend to the many different experiences the intern has at the job site. The classroom teacher may also gather important information from this process useful for planning future lessons.

For a more detailed look at the orientation process, see the Orientation Checklist included in the Appendix.

Keeping A Journal

Students should be required to keep a journal of their internship experience. At the end of each day, students should write a journal entry detailing their experiences that day. This may be kept in the form of a personal log, or as letters to the program coordinator or site supervisor. Entries might include:

  • What the student saw, heard, and noticed at the work site
  • Descriptions of what the intern did
  • Descriptions of what the intern saw others doing
  • What the intern found surprising, interesting, confusing, or exciting
  • What tasks were difficult or annoying
  • What tasks were stimulating, motivating, or enjoyable
  • A question to ask the supervisor when returning to the site

By putting quality time into the journal immediately after each day's work, the student will be better able to track themes inherent in the work, and paths for future exploration. The journal should be a part of the student's exit portfolio, and will aid in other aspects of the assessment process, such as developing work sample abstracts and a culminating presentation of their accomplishments.

Some programs choose to use a “Daily Log” form, which guides the student's journal keeping corresponding with educational and vocational competencies. A sample Daily Log is included in the Appendix.

Building A Portfolio

Students participating in an Academy should be encouraged to develop a portfolio giving tangible evidence of their learning and accomplishments. If you have used portfolios for student information gathering and assessment (self and teacher), you already know how well they support project-based and work-based learning. Portfolios are a collection of a student's work, and can include a variety of materials useful in charting his/her career exploration growth. They can also help in an assessment of the student's learning experience. Portfolios are typically individualized, letting students reflect their personality and creativity in the organization and “look,” while fulfilling program requirements.

Portfolios may be compiled over a long period of time, and used to chart the student's growth throughout their Academy experience, or they may be structured around the accomplishments of a single unit or project. In the case of internships, the portfolio should document the student's work-based learning experience, contain those materials which aided in being selected for the internship, and which might help guide the student in future job searches. This portfolio might stand alone or be integrated into the student's comprehensive portfolio.

In order to clarify requirements and expectations, as well as facilitate assessment, the student should be given a “Portfolio Checklist” at the outset of her/his internship experience. You may wish to use a point system for the portfolio to give students clear expectations about the value of each aspect of it. Some suggested elements:

  • A resume
  • A cover letter
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Completed self evaluation form
  • Completed supervisor's evaluation form
  • A generic employment application (containing references, experience, etc.)
  • Journal entries
  • A reflective essay
  • Work sample abstracts
  • A list of skills learned
  • Descriptions of projects engaged in or completed
  • Photos or other documentation of work

Students should package their portfolio in a professional manner. Once evaluated by the internship coordinator and/or Academy staff, it can be archived and/or returned to the student. A well-conceived and -produced portfolio can be an aid to students in the future.

NOTE: Portfolios make an excellent public relations tool for your program. They are geared to let your student show what they've learned, know, and can do. As such, they should be shared with your stakeholders whenever possible – send copies to district and site administrators and potential business partners. Use them as a recruitment tool for incoming Academy parents.

Student Evaluation of the Internship

It is important that the intern take time to evaluate his or her experience at the conclusion of the experience. Worthwhile learning can take place during this period of reflection, as the student mulls over the tasks they've performed, the working relationships that have developed, aspects of the career field which they find compelling or uninteresting, and their own ability to handle the job and its related responsibilities.

A student self-evaluation form should be used to draw out feelings on subjects related to their internship. This form should parallel the form completed by the intern's supervisor at the job site, so that differences of opinion between the two can be noted. This comparison of the perceptions of the supervisor and employee of the quality of work performed is sometimes called a “Gap Analysis.” It can lead to revelations about the way an employee views the job they are doing compared to the impression they have made on others. Human Resources specialists use Gap Analysis to help guide employees to become more aware of themselves as they are viewed by others, and to help them become more useful to the company. This is a tool which educators can use to bolster the work-readiness of interns. See the appendix of this handbook for a sample Student Evaluation form.

As noted previously, a reflective essay on the internship experience is a valuable learning tool for the intern, and should be a required part of the internship portfolio. While a self-evaluation form is useful for garnering responses to questions deemed important to the program coordinator and site supervisor, often the act of looking back on the experience and writing about it be both educational and cathartic. Some of the emotional lessons which derive from a youthful experience of this nature may be those which the student carries the longest, and can be teased out through the process of reflective writing. This will also reinforce the value of keeping a good internship journal, as it will prove helpful in reflecting on the experience and composing this essay.

Internship Supervisor Debriefing

It is helpful for internship supervisors to debrief interns following this experience. This provides another opportunity for students to reflect on lessons learned. Questions to be discussed can include: what went right or wrong? What experiences were valuable or less important? What could the intern have done to make the experience more valuable? The supervisor? The program coordinator? A list of expected learning outcomes can help in this discussion, providing evidence of competencies gained (or not). It is also useful to use both the student's and the supervisor's evaluation forms in this debriefing, and to do a gap analysis – as previously discussed – to reveal where there are variances in perception. Results of such debriefings are also useful to internship coordinators and Academy teachers, as they reveal strengths and weaknesses in the operation of the program and opportunities for future refinements.

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Employers who mentor want to
conduct both mentoring and daily
business operations really well.
-Cherie Ann Morrow

Most educators have heard businesspeople from their community complain about the quality of entry-level employees available to them. Generally the blame is placed on the American educational system, especially high schools, and on their teachers. Internships provide an opportunity for employers to do something about the problem, not just complain. It lets them join in a partnership with educators, working directly with teachers and students and playing a constructive role. It also gives them clearer insights into what high school students are like, first-hand experiences that are more instructive, and almost invariably more positive, than the images conveyed through the media. Since such students represent the future work force, such involvement can also help them plan their own hiring and training practices to be more effective. Many employers welcome the opportunity to provide Academy internships for these reasons.

Employers who participate in such internship programs usually quickly learn the benefits for students as well. Internships provide a way of helping students understand the relevance of what is taught in school. They provide a glimpse into the future, showing what it takes to be successful in the workplace. Without this connection many young people do not understand how to accept supervision, solve problems, work with others, act ethically, or perform the countless tasks of the modern workplace. Teachers are often unprepared to teach these lessons, removed as they are from the business world. Many teachers have never left the walls of the classroom, having gone directly from college preparation programs into their teaching careers. Yet a relatively small proportion of young people will work in education, and they need exposure beyond this narrow realm. Employers understand how the workplace functions and how it has changed, how the demands on businesses and workers are different than they once were. Consequently, they can play a vital role in the education of today's high school students.

The pertinent question is how to construct a program which allows students to receive a quality workplace experience, while simultaneously being beneficial to employers. On the high school side, students need to be prepared in advance, as detailed in the last section. Employers, particularly job supervisors, also need preparation. It is important to orient them to the purposes and practices of the internship and involve them in the identification of the internship positions to be offered. Preparation on the two sides comes together when students are matched to individual internships.

Matching Students to Internships

To ensure successful matches, employers should provide clear and specific information about the position(s) available. This can then be studied by the Coordinator, in conjunction with the student applications, to determine which students are most appropriate for interviews where. What are the job title, department, main tasks, required skills, associated training, and safety issues. How many hours/day are involved? Is the time flexible? How long does the position last? Is the position paid? If so, what is the rate of pay? Are other interns involved or is this a single position? What form of transportation is required/ available to get there? What interests on the student's part will match up well with this position? What are the central concerns of the supervisor? When will interviews be available, and how are they to be arranged? What does the potential intern need to bring to the interview? The more information that is provided in a clear and organized manner, the better the likelihood of a successful match.

By taking the time to answer such questions, the employer will wind up with students well matched to the positions available. This can make a huge difference in the success of the experience. There is a range of interest and talent in any high school or Academy, and finding the student who is right for the job is critical. Sometimes unwritten factors play a role, and need to be communicated in addition to the written description. Will this require a particularly intelligent student, or is the work basically routine. Someone particularly good at getting along with others, or is the work fairly solitary? Is a high level of responsibility or stress involved? Physical strength? Advanced computer skills? Endurance? Telephone skills? There are a host of factors that can be important, and the more that are recognized in advance the better the match is likely to be. Here are some more examples:

  • Where will the intern be working? Indoors or out? Standing or sitting? By themselves or with a team?
  • Will the intern be working with customers in a visible, front-line position? Consider communication skills, personality, and maturity.
  • How should the intern dress? Are uniforms required? Is appearance important? What standards are required? Consider hair, clothing, shoes, jewelry, and makeup. How about piercings? Hats?
  • Will the supervisor have time for training and feedback for the intern? How busy is this person? Does she or he have many other responsibilities so that ability to learn quickly and work independently are important?
  • What expectations do you have of an intern? Are you viewing this as a learning position or a source of serious work production? Consider how flexible you need to be when working with young people.

As discussed in the section “Student Roles and Responsibilities,” students will often come to interviews or initial days on the job primed with questions about the work site and career experience. It may be useful for those who will be in contact with interns to look over this list, think about potential questions, and formulate at least some answers in advance.

The Supervisor's Role

An important part of the internship program is teaching the attitudes and behaviors that employers are looking for in their workers, such as punctuality, teamwork, and conflict resolution. Although many organizations have such policies in place for their employees, it may be helpful for the student intern to have “common sense” workplace practices spelled out for them in order to avoid confusion. A sample “appropriate behavior” contract is included in the appendix of this handbook, and includes a variety of examples of appropriate workplace behavior, which may need to be emphasized for student employees.

The site supervisor's role is of utmost importance, as they are the main contact in the workplace. This responsibility can be both rewarding and challenging. In addition to being the primary contact for both the student and program coordinator, the supervisor will assign and explain projects and tasks, help the student develop good work habits, be a role model, and work with the coordinator to develop the work plan. Among the specific tasks usually required of the supervisor are:

  • Establishing work hours
  • Monitoring attendance
  • Ensuring compliance with workplace policies
  • Assigning work and monitoring performance
  • Providing training
  • Conducting performance evaluations
  • Providing encouragement and feedback
  • Helping the intern to feel comfortable with other employees
  • Establishing consequences if work or behavior is not up to par

As the supervisor provides training to the intern, certain methods are useful. “Hands on” learning is usually the most effective. Giving the intern instruction, letting him or her practice, and reviewing performance is an effective approach. The more the task is repeated, the more likely the skills will be retained. The following steps work for most people:

1. Preparation

  • Develop a training plan listing the tasks and skills required for the job
  • Decide when and how training will be accomplished
  • Decide who will conduct the training

2. Telling/Showing

  • Describe what should be done
  • Demonstrate how to do the task
  • Ask questions, check for understanding

3. Practice

  • Allow the intern to do the task
  • Correct errors
  • Ask the intern to describe what they are doing

4. Performance

  • Allow the intern to work on his/her own
  • Designate someone to provide assistance as needed
  • Check frequently for progress
  • Ask questions – require the intern to clarify
  • Provide feedback on performance

Careful supervision allows the supervisor or mentor to understand needs as they arise, and to correct problems. Over the course of the internship, you can move from the simple to the complex, and this should be reflected in the workplace training plan. Remember that these are student interns – a friendly, helpful attitude is the most effective way to help them learn. Keep in mind also that interns make mistakes; this is one of the ways in which students grow.

Some problems student interns may have in adjusting to the workplace are predictable, as are effective means of helping them through the difficulty. These include:

  • Working below potential: Provide specific feedback on how performance can be improved.
  • Not meeting established standards: Review of standards, and guidance on how to meet them.
  • Carelessness or negligence: Feedback on consequences of actions. Reach agreement on the need to improve and indicators of improvement.
  • Hard to get along with: Training and feedback on the importance of working as part of a team.
  • Inappropriate appearance, moodiness, etc.: Training and feedback on standards of conduct. Reach agreement on the need to improve and indicators of change.
  • Performing well, or beyond expectations: Good performance should be commended.

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The following requirements and prohibitions cover basic U. S. Department of Labor laws, and/or California Labor Laws. Restrictions vary from state to state, and where they differ within one location, the stricter law generally takes precedence. It would be wise to check with your state's Department of Labor, your school district legal department, existing workplace learning program coordinators, regional training centers, or others who may possess such knowledge. Please note that most of these laws apply to paid student employment as opposed to unpaid positions geared toward student enrichment. Additional information may be attained from the addresses and websites listed at the end of this section.

Labor Laws for Minors

  • All minors under 18 years old (including those working for parents) must have work permits.
  • Minors must meet mandatory school attendance laws in order to obtain work permits.
  • Work permits are required all year, not just when school is in session.
  • Work permits must be kept on file at the minor's work site.
  • Work permits state the maximum hours minors may work.
  • Work permits must be renewed at the start of each new school year, and at the time students obtain (or change) new jobs.
  • Public schools have the legal right to restrict or reduce the type of employment and/or the hours of work if the schoolwork or health of the minor is being impaired by the employment

Work Permits are not required for:

  • Occasional odd jobs at private homes
  • Newspaper sale or delivery
  • Self-employment
  • Agricultural or domestic work on property owned, operated, or controlled by the minor's parents.
  • Applications for Work Permits are available at each middle school and high school.
  • Employers must furnish each employee a separate or detachable itemized statement of deductions and hours worked at the time wages are paid.
  • All minors must be covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance, including minors employed by parents and minors employed by businesses operating from private residences.
  • When uniforms are required by the employer, such uniforms must be provided by the employer. “Uniforms” include apparel and/or accessories of distinctive color and design (i.e. company name imprinted on hats, shirts, etc.).

Hazardous Occupations
Minors under 18 years old may NOT be employed to work in the following occupations or with the following tools or machinery:

  • Motor vehicles – minors may not drive on any public highway. This does not prohibit a minor from driving on private property.
  • Power Driven Bakery Machines – includes dough mixer, batter mixer, bread divider, molding machine, bread slicing and wrapping, cookie or cracker machine.
  • Roofing operations
  • Power-driven woodworking machines
  • Exposure to radioactive substances
  • Power-driven hoisting apparatus – includes auto hoist, lift truck, fork lift, elevator, crane, derrick, etc.
  • Power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines.
  • Power-driven paper product machines.

Hours Minors are Allowed to Work:

Ages 16-17 (school in session)

  • 4 hours maximum, Monday to Thursday.
  • 8 hours maximum, Friday to Sunday.
  • 32 hours total per week (36 hours per week if enrolled in work experience).
  • 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., except
  • 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. if there is no school the following day.

Ages 16-17 (Summer/Vacation)

  • 8 hours max. per day, Monday-Sunday.
  • 48 hours total per week.
  • 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. any day of the week.

Ages 14-15 (School in session)

  • 3 hours max. per day, Monday-Friday.
  • 8 hours max. per day, Saturday-Sunday.
  • 18 hours total per week.
  • 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. any day of the week.

Ages 14-15 (Summer/Vacation)

  • 8 hours max. per day, Monday-Sunday.
  • 40 hours total per week.
  • 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. any day of the week.
  • Power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears.
  • Excavation operations – cannot work in trenches deeper than four feet deep.

Minors under 16 years of age may NOT be employed to work in the following occupations or with the following tools or machinery:

  • In or about a gas station dispensing gas or oil; courtesy service; car cleaning, washing, or polishing.
  • In the vicinity of moving machinery.
  • Selling or serving alcoholic beverages.
  • Building or construction work of any kind.
  • Delivering of goods from motor vehicles.
  • Public messenger service.
  • In a pool or billiards room.
  • Operating an auto or truck.
  • In the vicinity of explosives.
  • In or about moving equipment, aircraft or vessels.
  • Selling to passing motorists (i.e., newspapers, candy, flowers, etc.).
  • Selling door-to-door, unless specific conditions are met.

This is only a partial list. Contact U.S. Dept. of Labor for complete information.

U.S. Department of Labor
(310) 235-7352

California Department of Industrial Relations
(661) 395-2710

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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Following are a variety of forms which may be utilized in the development of your own internship program. These forms have been adapted from those developed and used by various programs, listed in the bibliography, to whom we owe a debt of thanks.


Internship Student Application

Name: ___________________________________________ Phone: _____________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

SSN: _______________________________________ DOB: ____________________________

Drivers License: ____yes ____no Number__________ Exp. ____________________________

Name of Parent or Gaurdian: _____________________________________________________

Grade level: _________________________ Expected Graduation Date: __________________

Present High School: ___________________________________________________________

Previous High School: __________________________________________________________

Extracurricular Activities (sports, drama, clubs, etc.):


Community or volunteer activities:


Special skills you possess and/or machines and equipment you can use:


Do you know how to type: _____yes _____no   Words per minute:_____________________

Do you have any computer experience: ______yes ______no

Nature of experience (classes taken, operating systems and software you're familiar with):



Total number of days absent from school this year:

Total number of tardies this year:


Employment History

List most recent employer first. Include volunteer work.

1. Name of Employer: __________________________________ Phone: ________________

    Address: __________________________________________________________________

    Immediate Supervisor: ______________________________________________________

    Type of work you did: _______________________________________________________

    Date first employed: _______________________ Date left: ________________________

    Wages or salary:___________________________________________________________

    Reason for leaving:_________________________________________________________

2. Name of Employer: __________________________________ Phone: ________________

    Address: __________________________________________________________________

    Immediate Supervisor: ______________________________________________________

    Type of work you did: _______________________________________________________

    Date first employed: _______________________ Date left: ________________________

    Wages or salary:___________________________________________________________

    Reason for leaving:_________________________________________________________

3. Name of Employer: __________________________________ Phone: ________________

    Address: __________________________________________________________________

    Immediate Supervisor: ______________________________________________________

    Type of work you did: _______________________________________________________

    Date first employed: _______________________ Date left: ________________________

    Wages or salary:___________________________________________________________

    Reason for leaving:_________________________________________________________

Please answer the following questions completely. This is an opportunity to display your written communication skills, so use complete sentences.

1. Why are you interested in working as a student intern?


2. What do you expect to gain from this internship?


3. What is the one thing you have done of which you are most proud?


4. List three things you do well right now.


5. List three things you would like to learn to do better.


6. What level of math are you currently taking? Do you like math? Why?


7. How do you feel about learning new skills?


8. Do you prefer to work alone or in a team? Why?


9.How do you feel about taking directions from other people?


10. Describe yourself in three words.


11. What was your grade point average last semester?
      If your GPA was below 2.0, explain why.


12. What goals have you set for yourself?


13. On a scale of 1-10, rate the importance of the following items.
      a rating of 1 means not very important, a 10 means very important.

      a. Your education _____
      b. A career _____
      c. A job _____
      d. Owning your own home _____
      e. Owning your own car _____
      f. How your friends see you _____
      g. How your family sees you _____
      h. Your hobbies _____
      i. Having a mentor _____

14. Pick one of the above items, and write a short essay to explain the
      rating you gave it (use the other side or a separate piece of paper).


Intern Standards of Conduct

I, ___________________________________, understand that as an intern at

_______________________________________ I will be required to follow the following

standards of appropriate workplace conduct while I am on the job:

  • I will be punctual and conscientious in the fulfillment of my commitment and duties
  • I will accept supervision graciously
  • I will conduct myself in a dignified, courteous, and considerate manner.
  • I will take any problems, criticisms, or suggestions to my supervisor.
  • I will follow all company policies and procedures (dress code, safety training, etc.)
  • I will always knock on closed doors.
  • I will not chew gum or eat food while working.
  • I will not bring friends to the work site.
  • I will not accept tips.
  • I will always notify my supervisor if I am not able to report for work.
  • I will only work when and where assigned.
  • I will refrain from loud talking and laughing.
  • I will not use company phones for personal calls.
  • I will not discuss race, religion, or politics with customers.

Interns are required to follow the same code of conduct as other members of the team. Always remember that you are representing our company to the public.

Signed:________________________________________ Date:__________________
                                 Intern's Signiature

Signed:________________________________________ Date:__________________
                              Supervisor's Signiature



Company Name Contact Name Telephone


    A. Primary Product/Service______________________________________________________

    B. Secondary Product/Service____________________________________________________


    A. Primary Product/Service______________________________________________________

    B. Secondary Product/Service____________________________________________________


    A. Primary Product/Service______________________________________________________

    B. Secondary Product/Service____________________________________________________


    A. Primary Product/Service______________________________________________________

    B. Secondary Product/Service____________________________________________________


    A. Primary Product/Service______________________________________________________

    B. Secondary Product/Service____________________________________________________





Time/Date of Orientation:_______________________________________________

I. Welcome and Introduction What it means to work at this company.
II. Workplace Tour ____ Overall tour of facility
____ Tour of work area
____ Fire extinguishers, fire escapes,exits, evacuation routes
____ Introduction to staff
III. Tour of Employee Facilities ____ Rest Rooms
____ Parking
____ Lunch Rooms
____ Telephones
____ Storage for personal belongings
IV. About The Company ____ Discussion of company structure
____ Key people in the company
____ Type of business, products, services
____ Who our customers are
____ Other branches or divisions
V. Department Specifics ____ Telephone Number and address
____ Explanation of work schedule
____ Location of time clock/sign-in
____ Attendance requirements
____ Working with other depts/employees
____ Hours
____ Break times
____ Lunch time
VI. Job Specific ____ Location of Necessary supplies
____ How to use phone/office equipment
____ Job description
____ Training plan
____ Evaluation procedures
VII. Safety Training ____ Stairwell/fire exits
____ Fire extinguishers
____ Special hazards
____ Accident prevention
VIII. Supervisor's Expectations ____ Dress code (hair, clothing, jewelry)
____ Performance expectations
____ Company culture (team work, service, values, etc.)
IX. Materials ____ Personnel handbook
____ Organization chart
____ Telephone directory
____ Security procedures



____________________________________ will permit ________________________________

from___________________________ High School to enter the workplace as an intern under

the supervision of ___________________________ for the purpose of gaining knowledge and

experience in the area of ___________________________ for approximately ______ hours

a week/day at ______ dollars per hour.

The following work site learning plan provides a description of each component of the work experience:

Tasks student will perform:


Skills required:


Work environment (schedule of rotation through major departments):


Work processes, technology, and equipment student will use or observe:


Safety precautions:


Dress code and behavior:


Additional comments:


Student's Signature: ______________________________ Date: ______________

Employer's Signature: _____________________________ Date: ______________

Coordinator's Signature: ___________________________ Date: ______________

Parent's Signature: _______________________________ Date: ______________



1. Hands-on activities are the best. Students learn by doing.

2. Give your student some sample job descriptors for yourself and others in your department.

3. Remember that shyness or false bravado is often used as a defense mechanism; don't take it personally.

4. Think of ways to have your student feel comfortable in a new and unfamiliar environment, e.g.:

  • Introduction to co-workers
  • Outline of how the first day will look
  • Location of restrooms

5. Use your student's name and make sure the student knows and remembers yours (supply your business card).

6. Set up an activity that creates a sense of independence, e.g.:

  • Have the student make a phone call for you to set up an appointment or research a topic.
  • Allow the student to follow a piece of paperwork through its normal cycle in your department.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt that requires the student to go to several locations to get some information for you.

7. Schedule a break for your student; eat lunch with them.

8. Most of all, have fun!


Daily Worksite Log

Name: _______________________________________ Date: ______________________

Company: ________________________________________________________________

At the end of each day, take a few minutes to reflect on and record what you have learned in response to the questions and statements here. The responses will help you develop your self-evaluation and portfolio. It is not necessary to respond to every statement or question every day, but you should be thorough in your completion of this form.

  1. What did you learn about yourself – your interests, aptitudes, strengths, and weaknesses?
  2. Describe the technology or equipment you used or observed being used.
  3. Give specific examples of mathematics or science concepts and skills you used or observed.
  4. Give an example of oral or written communication you used or observed being used.
  5. Describe a work activity you performed and the procedures you followed.
  6. Describe special instructions you received from your mentor or another employee.
  7. Describe any materials you had to read and interpret to complete an assigned work activity.
  8. Describe any initiative you took to learn something new.
  9. List a problem you solved or observed being solved, and tell how you or others arrived at a solution.
  10. Describe a meeting you attended, and list the decisions made or actions taken. What contributions did you make to the meeting? What happened as a result of the meeting?
  11. List something new you learned about the company and its opportunities for employees.

NOTE: You can use your responses to this form to guide the development of your exit portfolio.


Intern Assessment Form

Intern's Name:______________________________________________________________

Name of Company or Organization:_____________________________________________


Intern's Position or Assignment:_________________________________________________




1 2 3 4 5 6
Needs more training or education Performing below expectations Acceptable performance Above average performance Superior performance Not observed

Please use this scale to evaluate your intern's performance in the following areas:

1. General Workplace Performance  
  Attendance 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Appropriate dress 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Attitutde 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Work habits 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Acceptance of criticism 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Setting priorities 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Asks appropriate questions 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Self-motivated 1 2 3 4 5 6
2. Specific Job Assignment Performance  
  Sufficient knowledge to perform tasks 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Analytical skills 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Verbal skills 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Written skills 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Organizational skills 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Technical skills 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Meeting deadlines 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Completing tasks 1 2 3 4 5 6
3. Growth on the job  
  Development of new skills 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Knowledge of organization 1 2 3 4 5 6
  Contribution to the workplace 1 2 3 4 5 6
4. Briefly comment on the following questions
  What do you consider the major strengths of this intern?
  What areas need improvement?
  Other comments, commendations, or recommendations:


Student Internship Evaluation



Contact Person____________________________________________________________

Job Site__________________________________________________________________

Instructions: Answer the following questions concerning your internship experience. Please circle the correct response.

1. Were you able to participate in occupation(s) that interested you? YES NO
2. Did you have sufficient time to train? YES NO
3. Was there sufficient time at alternative work sites? YES NO
4. Would you recommend this job site for other students? YES NO
5. Are you still interested in this career field? YES NO
6. How did the internship relate to your previously expressed career interests?
7. How was the internship helpful to you?_______________________________________
8. What did you like best about the internship?___________________________________
9. What did you like least about the internship?___________________________________
10. What educational and career plans/goals must you make to pursue this field?
11. What are you overall feelings about the value of this internship?


Student Self Evaluation

Student's Name: ___________________________________ Date:_______________________

Work Site: ____________________________ Supervisor: _____________________________

First, write three facts you learned:




Describe your experience (use a separate sheet when necessary):

1. How did this internship influence you?


2. Would this site be beneficial for another student to visit or work?


3. Rate your internship by checking the appropriate level:

_____Excellent _____Above Average _____Average _____Below Average

4. What grade would you give yourself for your performance at the internship?

_____A _____B _____C _____D _____F

What three facts prove you deserve this grade?




5. What occurred during your internship that has relevance in your life?


6. At what part of your internship job were you most effective?


7. At what part of your internship job did you have the most trouble?


8. What do you wish you had known prior to beginning your internship?


9. What is the most important thing you learned during your internship?


10. Who was the most helpful/influential person you worked with at this company?
(write her/him a thank you note!)


11. Final thoughts on your internship experience?

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Following is a list of links which might prove useful when developing your career academy. Most of these sites include links to many more sites.

CA Partnership Academies: Focused primarily on funded Academies, this site is nevertheless a useful source for information. Contains a complete list of Academies in the golden state, listed by career focus.

LEED Sacramento: A non-profit school-to-career entity which links leaders from business, education, labor, and government. Many resources available through this excellent website.

NCEE: The National Center on Education and the Economy. Site provides guidance and materials on national standards and portfolio development. Materials available for sale.

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School-to-Career Work-based Learning Employer Handbook. San Diego Countywide Partnership of Business/Industry, Labor, Education, Government, Community. San Diego, CA.

Student Internships: A Handbook for Franchise Tax Board Supervisors and Managers. The Franchise Tax Board – Schools Partnership Program. Sacramento, CA.

Planning and Conducting Student Summer Internship Experiences. Southern Regional Education Board. Atlanta, GA.

Goldberger, Susan, and Richard Kazis and Mary Kathleen O'Flanagan. Learning Through Work: Designing and Implementing Quality Worksite Learning for High School Students. Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., 1994.

Doing Your Part as a Student Intern: A Handbook for Students. Buck Institute for Education, Novato, CA. Morrow, Cherie Ann. Worksite Mentoring Guidebook: Practical Help for Planning and

Implementing Quality Worksite Learning Experiences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State U P, 1999.

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