SOCI 4540 Internship in Sociology FAQs

How do I apply for the internship?  Internship applications can be found on the department webpage at: click here for online application.

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When should I apply? Applications are due by midterm of the semester before the course is desired.  Students must have completed the majority of the prerequisite courses (3000, 3500, 3510, 3190 and 3200) to be eligible for the internship course.  One or two of these courses may be taken concurrently (the same time as) the internship. 

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When should I plan to take the internship course?  To make best use of the professional networks created, it makes best sense to do your internship close to when you intend (often the semester before) you graduate. 

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Do I need to find an internship site by myself?  No, the Sociology Practice and Internship Coordinator will make arrangements with an organization for your internship placement. Typically interns are placed at a site after consultation about their career goals with the coordinator.

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How many hours will I need to put in at my internship?  V.S.U.’s policy is that 150 hours offsite are required for each 3 credit hours awarded.

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How many credit hours is the internship course?  Students are required to do 3 credit hours of internship.  If desired, they may do up to 3 additional credit hours which would count as general electives.  An addition 50 hours onsite is added for each credit hour enrolled in over the required 3.

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Do I have to do my internship in Valdosta?  No, you can decide the location of your internship.  This usually depends where you would like to reside after you finish your degree and on your other class load for the semester you are doing your internship.

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Can I do my internship in Atlanta (New York City, Washington D.C., etc.)?  Yes, almost every semester, students do their internship outside of Lowndes County.  Typically, Atlanta and out of state internships take longer to arrange so if this is something you are interested in, you should begin discussing this with the Coordinator several semesters in advance.

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Who decides where I will do my internship?  You do. Each student, with the support and advice of the coordinator, decides where she/he would like to do his or her internship. No intern is placed at a site without the student’s agreement.

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How do I decide where to intern? Students are asked to think about their future career and education goals in picking an site. Internships can be developed that provide professional experience to increase the student’s marketability in a field or to allow a student to ‘try out’ an occupation or organization.  You can look at the Sociology Interns Gallery to see some of the organizations where Sociology Interns have worked recently.

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Do I have to pick a site from a list or where there have been soc interns before? No, every attempt will be made to match your career and educational goals with your site placement. While most of the interns each semester are placed at sites described in the Sociology Intern Gallery, new sites are developed most semesters as well.

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I work during the day, are there internships during the evening or weekends?   Yes, but your choices of a placement site will be limited. There a few placement sites with evening and weekend hours available.

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Will I get paid for my internship?  Being paid for an internship experience is not ruled out but most interns do not get paid for their internship experience. If being paid is essential to a successful internship experience, the best plan is to apply for a competitive internship position for an entire semester.  Students are able to meet their course obligations by participating in one of these programs.

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Is there any screening or background checks involved?  Many of the placement sites require interns to undergo criminal background checks.  These are low or no cost to the prospective intern. In addition, some sites require drug screens.

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Should I contact an organization to see if I can do my internship there?  No,  first contact with an organization will be made by the Sociology Practice and Internship Coordinator.  Many organizations have asked that students NOT contact them. Instead they prefer the initial contact to be contacted by the Sociology Practice and Internship Coordinator who will provide the student with contact information.

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How does the placement process work for sociology internships?  The first step is to complete the Application for the internship course by midterm of the semester prior to the internship experience.  The form can be found on the departmental webpage at:http://www.valdosta.edu/soc/forms/internship_appl.php.  Admitted students will be notified of the Orientation.  At the Orientation, initial paperwork will be completed and possible placement sites identified. The Coordinator then calls the placement sites to determine whether or not they are interested in an intern for the next semester. Finally, one the organization agrees to consider an intern for the semester, a Placement Interview is scheduled by the student at the proposed site to see if there is a mutually agreeable fit between the student’s and the site’s needs.

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What happens at the Orientation? Do I need to go? When is it?  Students who have been accepted into the internship course are expected to attend an orientation session which typically is scheduled a week or so after midterm.  At the Orientation, students will begin the process of deciding on an internship site and start the paperwork associated with the internship. 

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Can I do my internship where I work?  Doing your internship where you work is possible, provided an experience can be created that is separate from the regular responsibilities of your employment.  For example, if you work as a cashier at a large retail store, you might consider asking for an internship in their human resources department.  A current job description is required in this case. 

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Can I “try out” a placement site to see if I like it and switch to another if I don’t?  No, placement sites are not switched during the semester unless outside events or at risk factors make completion of the experience impossible.  Interns are counseled and supported in their efforts to improve the quality of their internship.

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I've volunteered ( interned, etc. ) in the past, can I count that experience as the internship class?   Typically, only internship experiences done in conjunction with the course, SOCI 4540, fill this curriculum requirement.  The class includes active supervision, discussion, and ongoing application of sociological knowledge to the internship experience that can not be reconstructed retrospectively. 

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What are the class requirements beyond the hours at the placement site? 
This course is graded on a Pass/Fail or S/U basis.  In addition to completing at least 150 hours (per 3 credit units) at field placement site, students are expected to:

  • Be given a largely positive evaluation from their field placement site supervisor.
  • Keep journals each week of internship activities.
  • Participate in discussions applying sociology to your internship.
  • Attend weekly supervision meetings.
  • Submit a flyer describing the internship experience at his/her placement site.

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