Internships for Academic Credit (IACs)
An internship is defined as “a paid or unpaid, closely monitored, highly structured, strategic, well defined, project-related program that provides professional work experience outside of the classroom environment. An internship merges academic, personal development and career exploration in one.”
An internship for academic credit (IAC) is an internship for which a student receives course credit.
Both the learning plan (LP) and the participation guidelines (PG) are required for all IAC students.
For more details, visit the Internship for Academic Credit website.
Contact the S4 Support team (email@example.com) for any questions.
- Learning Plan (LP)
The Learning Plan is an agreement between the student and the instructor of record for the internship units. The LP ensures that the student has clear and achievable learning objectives and helps all parties see the connections between the internship and the student’s foundational coursework within the department.
All SJSU Learning Plans must contain the basic components listed below. Beyond that, departments may add additional components and/or format the LP as they like.
- Student’s name and contact information
- Student’s emergency contact information
- Name of the internship organization
- Name and contact information of primary contact person at the organization
- Brief description of the student’s proposed internship duties
- Student’s learning objectives
- Number of internship hours that the student commits to completing
- Start/end dates
- Student signature
- Faculty signature
- Signature of student’s supervisor at the organization (strongly recommended)
- Participation Guidelines (PG)
The Participation Guidelines (PG) page apprises students of their rights and responsibilities while engaged in their IAC, and includes information on professional conduct, health and safety, and what to do in case of harassment, discrimination, injury, and/or illness.
The PG page is effectively a waiver of liability. When properly signed by the participating student, the PG page indemnifies both the internship organization and SJSU from liability.
All SJSU Learning Plans must include the Participation Guidelines as the final page.
The PG page cannot be changed or modified in any way; rather, it must be an exact copy of the SJSU Participation Guidelines template.
- Procedures for Learning Plan & Participation Guidelines
The internship course or program instructor gives a copy of LP and PG to each student to complete, whether electronic or hard copy (instructor’s choice).
The student completes the LP and PG and returns them to the instructor.
The instructor reviews the LP and PG to ensure that they are complete and correct. If they are not, then they should be returned to the student to revise.
Once satisfactorily completed, the instructor and the student both retain copies of the LP and PG, whether electronic or hard copy.
The LP and PG are kept by the instructor for five years, after which time they can be disposed of according to SJSU’s information security guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the SJSU academic internship policy?
At SJSU, an internship for academic credit is an internship for which a student receives course credit.
An internship for academic credit is “a paid or unpaid, closely monitored, highly structured, strategic, well-defined, project-related program that provides professional work experience outside of the classroom environment for students; it merges academic, personal development and career exploration in one."
The SJSU policy on academic internship is laid out in S16-14 [pdf]. This policy, written in compliance with EO 1064, stipulates that departments and/or colleges running internships for academic credit must secure a University Organization Agreement (UOA) from the organization where the internship is taking place (if the internship is at a non-SJSU organization); and that students doing IACs need to complete both a Learning Plan and the Participation Guidelines.
- What are the circumstances under which a University Organization Agreement (UOA) is
A UOA is needed any time any SJSU student is doing an unpaid internship with an off-campus organization, SJSU auxiliaries (Associated Students, Student Union, etc.), and, SJSU affiliated departments/organizations that is getting academic credit (i.e. units) for that internship.
What are the circumstances under which a UOA is not needed?
A UOA is not needed under the following circumstances:
- A paid internship
- A student is doing an internship, but is not enrolled in any course or units associated with that internship (i.e., the internship is not for academic credit).
- The internship for academic credit is with a non-auxiliary SJSU department/organization. (In this case, only the New Partner Proposal form needs to be submitted.)
- The internship for academic credit is classified as a teacher preparation placement,
or a clinical placement, such as those for nursing, counseling, physical therapy or
occupational therapy. (Clinical and teaching placements require a different agreement
than the UOA because they have other types of liabilities to consider.)
In all other cases, an active UOA is required for each partner organization hosting an internship for academic credit.
How are internship placements determined?
SJSU departments use different approaches — or a combination of approaches — towards placing students in internships for academic credit. In some departments, students are responsible for finding and securing their own internships. Other departments have arrangements with specific organizations and place their students in preselected sites. Overall, it is the instructor (in cooperation with other departmental personnel, as determined by that department) who determines what internships may count for course credit.
All internship placement sites (except for non-auxiliary SJSU departments/organizations) must have a University Organization Agreement (UOA) approved before students can enroll an internship course and begin the internship.
- Step by Step Guides
- SJSU Career Center
Resources on resumes and cover letters, interviewing, career planning, etc.
Hosts events connecting students with employers.
Proprietary database contains thousands of jobs and internships.
Staff will assist any organizations interested in developing internships.
Staff will help faculty fielding internship requests from (new) organizations.
- SJSU Contracts and Procurement Services
Has sole authority on the contents of the UOA.
Handles all requests by organizations for changes/modifications to the UOA.
Organizations requiring modifications to the UOA must submit a request in writing (email acceptable) to the S4 team. The requested changes will be submitted to a Contract Analyst in SJSU Strategic Sourcing - Contracts & Procurement Services by using an one-dollar requisition with the Supplier NO $ Value option to generate a Purchase Order. A Contract Analyst will work directly with the organization to modify the UOA. Once the UOA has been modified and signed by SJSU and the organization, the placement site will be published on SJS4. The student can then enroll in the internship course and log internship hours in SJS4.
- SJSU Office of Equal Opportunity (EO)
Investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment, or injury occurring while students/faculty are engaged in any SJSU-affiliated learning activity. EO Office website.
- S4 Database