Guidelines for Student Internships
- Ensure that the internship activities are of a caliber that would be expected of an upper division major course at CSU, Chico. This includes evaluating the biological concepts underlying the internship project as well as verifying that the laboratory/field activities are challenging and enhance the student's practical experience in how biology is done.
- Ensure that the internship will provide learning experiences in biology that the student would not normally receive at CSU, Chico.
- Meet with the student to describe the student responsibilities (see below), requirements of lab notebooks, field logs, reporting, etc. Make sure the conditions, including periodic evaluation, of the internship are understood by the student. (Give the student a copy of "Faculty and Student Responsibilities".)
- Confer with the student's supervisor and agree on the scope and conditions of the project, the student's responsibilities and how evaluation of the student will be conducted. Ideally this would be done before the student embarks on the internship. However, in cases such as NIH internships where the nature of the project and the supervisor is not known in advance, contact with the supervisor should be made as early in the semester as possible.
- During the internship, confer with the student and the student's supervisor by telephone or e-mail at least monthly for the purpose of evaluating the student's progress and dealing with any issues that may arise.
- After the internship is over, (1) require that the student submit his/her notebook/log and a paper describing the accomplishments of the internship (see Student Responsibilities below) and (2) meet with the student to discuss his/her experiences. This discussion should include assessing the educational value of the intern's experience and the company/agency's and supervisor's suitability to direct and support future interns.
- Provide the department secretary with a descriptive title of the internship project which can be added to the student's transcript.
- During all contacts with the internship company/agency, conduct yourself as a representative of the Department of the Biological Sciences, CSU, Chico.
- If the subject of the internship project is known beforehand, prepare yourself by reading on the subject from book or journal sources, printed material from the company/agency, talks with CSU, Chico faculty and any other sources. If the subject is not known, learn what you can about the company/ agency, its purpose and goals, research interests, and recent activities using the resources described above.
- When on internship, notify your faculty sponsor of the name and phone number of your supervisor as soon as possible (if this was not done beforehand).
- Actively participate in the activities of the internship.
- Keep a notebook or log of your activities during the internship. It should include purpose, materials and methods, raw data, calculations, and conclusions of any experiments you perform or are substantially part of, field observations, notes to yourself on how to use particular equipment, sampling methods, etc. and anything else your faculty sponsor requires.
- Upon your return to CSU, Chico, meet with your faculty sponsor. In addition to wanting to know about your experiences he/she will want to know your opinions of the company/agency, e.g., Did they encourage you? Did they give you challenging things to do? Would you recommend that other students have internships with that company/agency?
- Give your faculty sponsor your notebook/log to review. If you are not allowed to take it from the company/agency, copy as much of it as possible.
- Submit to your faculty sponsor a well written paper describing your activities on the internship. Follow his/her instructions, but a general format might include
- Title of the project in which you were involved
- Names of your supervisor and others engaged in the project
- The purpose of the overall project
- The purpose of your part of the project and how it fit in with the overall project
- Materials and methods of your project (how it was done)
- Specific results (data) of your project and general results of the overall project
- Discussion of the significance of the results of your project and how they supported (or didn't support) the overall project goals.