Internship Overview

Students must complete one-to-two guided internships as part of the Higher Education Leadership Masters Program. An internship typically lasts one semester or the equivalent of 150 hours of work on a supervised project. Campus offices and/or personnel are excited to work with Higher Education and Student Affairs interns to envision and develop experiences tailored to the future career aspirations of those students. Interns should keep in mind, however, that the experience is as fulfilling as the efforts they put into integrating learned theories with the assigned duties. Faculty encourage students to engage in an established internship experience or to develop and seek approval for a new internship opportunity with any on-campus department or external institution.

The successful student intern will:

  • Apply theory to student affairs work

  • Recognize and learn to work with campus culture

  • Establish a professional network

  • Develop personal outlook on student affairs

  • Understand professional responsibilities

Higher Education Leadership student talking with a VSU HESA professional.


Students should secure internships at least six weeks prior to the semester they wish to engage in the experience. The advanced planning ensures that the student, site supervisor and faculty advisor are sufficiently prepared, which often leads to a more meaningful experience for everyone involved. Prior to the start of the semester, the student and his or her site supervisor should collaborate to define a project, timeline, work schedule and expectations. Use the following checklist to prepare for internship experiences:

  1. Identify a person willing to serve as a site supervisor.
  2. Contact this potential supervisor and set up an initial meeting.
  3. Meet with the potential site supervisor to discuss internship parameters and mutual expectations. Come to the meeting with project ideas and goals. Parameters include but are not limited to start and end date of the internship, daily duties, office hours, and/or project completion criteria.
  4. Following the initial meeting, complete both the Internship Agreement Form, outlining all parameters discussed, and the Internship Expectations Form.
  5. Meet with the site supervisor to review the documents and obtain his or her signature. Review the Responsibilitiesdocuments (Internship Student and Site Supervisor) together.
  6. Submit signed copies to the faculty internship coordinator.Students should submit all paperwork by the end of the semester PRIOR to the internship (e.g. submit paperwork for Summer internships by end of Spring semester).
  7. Following approval from the faculty internship coordinator, register for the appropriate internship class (LEAD 7921 or LEAD 7922).
  8. Begin your internship on the specified date.
  9. Complete the all academic requirements of the internship course and all responsibilities of the internship experience as agreed.
  10. Schedule an exit interview with your site supervisor to review the Internship Agreement Form. Provide the site supervisor with a copy of the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form to complete and review with you during the exit interview.
  11. Complete the Self Evaluation of Internship Form and submit all documentation as outlined in the internship course.