An internship is your opportunity to get work experience in a professional setting of your choice.
The internship is one of the most valuable educational experiences you will have. Associate students are required to complete a 240-hour internship and baccalaureate students are required to complete a 480-hour internship in their final semester.
- Assist you in gaining pre-professional experience
- Establish an entry-level professional identity in the human services field
- Enhance your appeal to potential employers
- Develop your professional skills
- Help to determine the client population with which you wish to work
- Gain knowledge of the human service system
- Establish professional contacts for future employment
- Build your resume with professional experience
Approximately 60% of the 2012 college graduates who took part in paid internships received at least one job offer, according to the results of a new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. (NACE) Although, now the main focus of the internship, many students are offered permanent employment after a successful internship experience.
It is possible to choose internship agencies or organizations from among those previously used by the department or you may identify new sites.
Many students choose work with children in a variety of settings, while others prefer areas in drug and alcohol, mental health, adult and juvenile probation, or aging services.
- Child and Adolescent Services Internships
- Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Internships
- Adult, Juvenile Probation, Forensic Internships
- Elder Services Internships
- Other Social Service Agencies
The Internship Program Overview (15 credits).
The internship can be completed during either the fall or spring semesters. It is one full semester spent working as a professional in a setting of your choice. Generally you will work as a full-time professional (a minimum of 32 hours a week) for the semester. You will enroll as a full-time student and pay tuition for the registered 12 credits of required HDFS 495C and HDFS 402 coursework.
No exceptions are made in this sequence. It is required that you schedule HDFS 401 ONE semester before your internship.
SEMESTER 1 (Next to last semester)
HDFS 401 (three credits) - Project Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
The first in the series of internship courses and should be taken one semester before your internship. HDFS 401 is offered fall and spring semesters. Usually you will begin the internship process in the first half of your senior year.
The primary goal of this course is to prepare you for a successful undergraduate internship in your professional area of interest. In this course you will:
- Develop your résumé
- Job search techniques
- Research possible internship sites
- Interview at, at least 2 agencies
- Plan a project that you could potentially carry out in HDFS 495C, with the emphasis on evaluation.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kinds of people or families do I want to help?
- What kinds of problems am I interested in resolving?
- What type of agency or organization do I want to work for during my internship?
- What kind of professional experience do I want?
- How will this internship experience fit into my short-term plans after I earn my degree?
- Do I want to do my internship in a particular geographical area?
- What am I looking for in an internship supervisor?
SEMESTER 2 (Final semester)
Written permission to register for HDFS 495C and HDFS 402 is provided after all internship paperwork is complete, submitted and the internship and site has been formally approved by the HDFS Field Coordinator.
In addition, students need to be Penn State Scranton HDFS majors (this will show on the degree audit as "HFSCC LSHS") in order to register for HDFS 495C and 402 and course registration must be COMPLETE before they begin any form of internship hours.
- HDFS 495C (eight credits) Internship: Advanced Practicum, 480 hours
Interns work 32- 35 hours weekly for 15 weeks to complete the required total of 480 hours, one semester internship experience. Its focus is experiential learning accompanied by intensive supervision, provided by an on-site supervisor, as well as Penn State Faculty-based instruction and mentoring. HDFS 495C is taken concurrently with HDFS 402.
- HDFS 402 (four credits) Internship Seminar
Meets on campus once a week. Assignments will be based on information and experience gathered at your internship. Interns find that the active reflection and processing of the internship experiences and the supportive community of fellow interns make this class both enjoyable and invaluable.
Contact Dr. Janet Ann Melnick, [email protected], 570-963-2674 with all HDFS internship questions.