Department of Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management

Internship FAQ’s

How many hours are required for the internship?

The internship is a full time 12-unit internship. As such it is a minimum of 560 hours, and a minimum of 14 weeks. There is some flexibility in hours per week. But it all must add up to the minimum of 560 hours and 14 weeks.

How do I find an agency?

The semester prior to the internship, students are required to take a one-unit pre-internship class called Internship Preparation. In it, the internship coordinator helps students to navigate the process of looking for an agency/site, and provides opportunities for connections with professionals. It is not an exhaustive list of connections. Most of the effort to find an internship rests on the responsibility of the student. However, the internship coordinator provides a great deal of support.

What are the requirements for assignments during the internship?

Interns write Goals and Objectives for their intern agency supervisor, have an evaluation meeting with their agency supervisor, write a narrative describing their experience and produce evidence of a project. All assignments are listed in the Handbook.

Is the internship paid or unpaid?

This is dependent upon the policy of the agency where the student is interning. Many agencies will offer a paid internship in the form of salary or hourly wages. And others will provide monetary support in the form of a stipend, room and board or other benefits. Students will also qualify for financial aid because they are still considered full time students.

What is the purpose of the internship?

The internship is the last 12 units of a 120-unit degree. It is a requirement of the National Recreation and Parks Association for any nationally accredited program, and therefore a requirement to obtain a degree in Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management at CSU Chico. In addition, students gain many advantages from and internship as opposed to spending their last 12 units in a classroom. Among those advantages are the following:

  • Gaining experience in their field of interest, and increasing their professional knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Integrating theory learned in the classroom with practice in their professional field.
  • Gaining an understanding and appreciation of the policies, planning, operations, and responsibilities of the profession.
  • Developing skills in human relations and interpersonal communication in a professional environment.
  • Developing a professional understanding and attitude toward their work.
  • Obtaining information which can be used to make choices in relation to future jobs, areas of specialization, and/or future study in their field.
  • Improving their professional competencies based on self-identified strengths and weaknesses identified during the internship experience.
  • Experiencing an environment for reflection on their professional development, career objectives, and academic goals.
  • Becoming aware of current trends, issues, and challenges in the profession.
  • Benefitting the internship site by creating knowledge.

What are the classes I take for the internship?

The semester prior to the internship a student signs up for RHPM 584 - Internship Preparation & Internship Seminar, and RHPM 589 - Internship in Parks/Recreation/Hospitality.

Students receive course credit for their internship learning experience through three courses, which are included in the core courses required for graduation:

  • RHPM 584: Internship Preparation (taken the semester before the internship); and
  • RHPM 589: Internship in Parks, Recreation, and/or Hospitality

How soon can I start my internship? And what is the last possible date to begin?

The internship is typically done the last semester after the completion of all academic course work. Interns can start counting hours the first day of the semester of the internship, as long as all paperwork as been completed. All internships must be secured by census date of the semester of the internship – typically Friday of the fourth week of classes.