Action Project

Title: The Improved Internship Experience
Version: 1
Institution: East Central College Status: Completed
Submitted: 2016-05-23 Category: 1 - Helping Students Learn

Planned project kickoff date: 2016-05-23
Target completion date: 2017-12-29
Actual completion date:

Project Detail

Briefly describe the project in less than 100 words. Be sure to identify the key organizational areas (departments, programs, divisions, units, etc.) and key organizational processes that this action project will affect, change, and/or improve.

The goal of The Improved Internship Experience project is to improve the credit internship experience for our students, faculty, employers and other stakeholder.  ECC will create uniform processes across programs; create a series of tools and materials that can be used by all as part of the uniform processes.  Further, the college seeks to ensure that all internship experiences require consistency in accountability, grading, assessment, review, and reporting. With these improvements, the college can ensure that the unique needs of particular programs are respected and that the requirement of the accrediting bodies of each program are incorporated.

Describe your institution�s reasons for initiating this action project now and for how long it should take to complete it. Why are this project and its goals high among your institution�s current priorities? Also, explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institution�s recent or soon-to-be submitted systems portfolio.

With an ever greater need to provide workforce preparation experiences as part of our programming, the college seeks to improve its processes related to internships, practicum, externships and pre-professional experiences. These on site experiences provide hands-on learning opportunities for students that make them more marketable and employable in today’s competitive job market. The Internship action project will incorporate best practices, and address the diverse approaches to internships of each program. The need to house these specifics in a series of documents and templates creates a sharing of best practices and understanding by the programs, the college, accreditors and other stakeholders.  With so many internships and similar experiences already part of our programs, much of the work has begun and makes a target goal of completion in a little over 18 months realistic.

List the project goals, milestones, and deliverables along with corresponding metrics, due dates, and other measures for assessing the progress for each goal. Be sure to include formal evaluations when the project progress will be reviewed.

            May - August 2016                Finalize goals and objectives; declare the action project.  Form the committee; start the preliminary work; draft the survey


            August - September 2016        Review, prioritize and finalize assignments to the committee; identify SP goals that are aligned; begin discussion of processes to be reinvented or    improved. Use back to school activities to gather current practices, materials, etc. from all the faculty affected.   


            October - December 2016        Survey all participating employers, use information gathered to formalize employer materials.  Gather course syllabi objectives; work with the divisions/departments on information gathering; ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the work.


            January – February 2017          Use spring BTSW to update the campus, draft student and employer handbook. Review various syllabi and start a draft of a common course syllabi.  Review names/types of employer based learning activities (i.e. internships, pre-professional experiences, etc.); review credit hour definitions and requirements.


            March – May 2017                  Review all draft materials.  Set a date for a summer workshop internship workshop to review and finalize materials.


            June - August 2017                Use start of the semester meetings to roll out the materials and processes created and improved.  Trial the materials in some of the fall activities.


            September – November 2017    Review feedback and revise documents, materials and processes as needed. Academic Council work as needed.   


            December 2017                     Report on project completion.

Describe how various members of the learning community will participate in this action project. Show the breadth of involvement by individuals and groups over the project�s duration.

See timeline above.  Project updates will be reported to the campus in Fall and Spring. Other work will involve many of the faculty and staff.

Describe how the institution will monitor project progress/success during, and at the completion of this project. Be sure to specifically state the measures that will be evaluated and when.

Academic Council will monitor the work and progress on the project.  The project chairs will regularly attend and update the group. 

When implemented, the work will be monitored by program advisory committees, program accreditors and internally, the Assessment committee as it reviews the results of student learning for improvement.

Describe the challenges that may be encountered in successfully completing the project or for institutionalizing the learning from the project�s goals.

Many of the programs have done things a particular way for a long time and making these improvements will require a change in their processes.  Getting buy-in from all those who are involved in these learning activities will be tedious and require patience as the work advances.  Also, many of the employers who provide these learning experiences have particular processes the will need to be respected.

Provide any additional information that the institution wishes for reviewers to understand regarding this action project.

No additional information is required.