This course, Environ 397: Academic Foundations for Environmental Internships, provides students with an academic foundation for completing an experiential learning opportunity that advances their overall undergraduate education. It ensures that students commencing a professional internship have established a clear research agenda associated with that work and have built in a strong academic component that draws the internship experience into their course of study.
This academic foundations course must be taken the term before starting the internship. This course is currently only offered in the fall and winter terms, so students should plan their course selections accordingly. Students do NOT need to secure an internship before enrolling in this course.
This course is intended as a 1-credit prerequisite to the existing 3-credit PitE internship course, ENVIRON 398. In providing a means for students to translate vaguely defined interests into real-world opportunities for research and/or employment, the course may prove valuable to a broader group of students preparing for a variety of post-undergraduate options.
Please visit the LSA Course Guide for more information about Environ 397.
While PitE can help students with their internship search, it is the student's responsibility for researching and securing an internship. Internships do not necessarily have to be in Ann Arbor. In fact, many students complete internships away from campus: some even intern abroad! Declared students should make an appointment to see an advisor for information and resources for finding an internship.
Internships must meet the following criteria:
- Be environmentally-oriented,
- Involve at least 160 hours of work during a period of at least 4 weeks,
- Allow students to interact with multiple stakeholder groups (e.g. policy makers, researchers, community volunteers, etc.), and
- Be approved by the Program Coordinator before starting the internship
PitE's Internships/Jobs Wordpress Site
PitE maintains this social media page to help current students and recent graduates find internship and job opportunities. This site also include postings for funding, volunteer, research, and sometimes graduate programs. This page is updated with postings received by PitE from employers and former internship hosts. Students are encouraged to check this page throughout the year.
Students will need to identify an instructor who will help them create the academic framework around the internship and evaluate this academic work for a grade at the end of the internship. This instructor is known as the Faculty Advisor. The faculty advisor should be familiar with the field of study through which the student is interning, and should be a PitE faculty associate, lecturer or joint faculty member. GSIs cannot serve as Faculty Advisors for Environ 398. The faculty advisor issues the grade for Environ 398.
When approaching an instructor about possibly being a faculty advisor, be prepared to answer these questions:
- What is your internship about, and what interests you about this internship?
- Why are you doing this internship and what do you hope to gain from it?
Students must enroll in Environ 398 for 3 credits to earn academic credit for an internship.
Environ 398 Pre-Requisites:
- Be a declared PitE major or minor.
- Have completed at least two terms of study at the University of Michigan or equivalent campus.
- Be in good academic standing, including a minimum 2.0 G.P.A.
- Have completed Environ 397 (1 credit) PRIOR to starting an internship. This course, Environ 397, is offered during the fall and winter terms only, so students interested in starting a summer internship will need to plan according to take this course.
- Have secured a pre-approved internship.
- Have commitment from a faculty advisor prior to starting the internship.
- Submit the 398 course syllabus and internship contract to Jaime Langdon (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Receive an override to enroll in Environ 398.
These forms must be completed in order to enroll in Environ 398:
1. Submit the Statement of Understanding (Word doc.)
Before starting the internship, students must complete and submit this form to Jaime Langdon via email or in the PitE office.
2. Complete the Internship Contract (Word doc.)
Once the student has secured an internship, the student must complete the Environ 398 Internship Contract with his/her Internship Supervisor. This is an agreement that outlines the student's responsibilities and how his/her work contributes to the overall goal of the organization. The student and Internship Supervisor must also agree on what type of supervision will be provided.
3. Complete the Course Syllabus (Word doc.)
After contacting a potential faculty advisor, the student must meet with the advisor to complete the Environ 398 Course Syllabus. The student will outline his/her objective for completing the internship, and explain how this experience meets academic goals. Together, the student and faculty advisor will agree on the academic requirements (e.g. paper topics, format, due date).
All three forms are required for approval, and must be submitted to the PitE Office (or emailed to email@example.com) BEFORE starting the internship.
Internships NOT approved prior to starting them are not eligible for credit.
Communicate with your Faculty Advisor
Students should also keep in regular contact with their faculty advisors throughout the duration of the internship. Students can use email, telephone, skype and even chat to keep in touch, when in person meetings are not possible. Students should also be submitting journal entries and/or field notes to their faculty advisor according to the timelines outlined in the Environ 398 Course Syllabus. Faculty advisors are available to provide feedback on the academic work, and can often provide feedback on the norms of working in a particular industry.
Mid-term and Final Evaluations
PitE seeks feedback from internship supervisors about student interns. PitE advisors will send both the mid-term evaluation and final evaluation forms to the internship supervisor at the midpoint and end of the internship. These evaluations may be factored into the student's grade for Environ 398, and must be submitted in order to receive a passing grade.
Contact PitE Regarding Any Changes to Your Internship
It is the student's responsibility to contact a PitE advisor immediately if s/he encounters any significant changes in communication, supervision, or assigned tasks while on the internship. Any significant changes could either enhance the experience, or render the internship ineligible to meet practical experience requirement.
Student Summary (Word Doc.)
Students should submit their Student Summary Form to the PitE office by the date outlined below. PitE reviews these summary forms in order to better advise students on internships for the next year, and make improvements to the internship program.
Submitting Academic Work
Students should submit their final work to the PitE Practical Experience Coordinator. Once this work and any remaining work has been received, this will be sent to the faculty advisor for final grading.
Preparing your Presentation
Students should start preparing materials for the final presentation. All Environ 398 enrollees will give a three to five minute presentation during the Environ 397 course during the fall or winter term after completing the internship.
This course is graded on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis. A passing grade will be awarded only upon successful performance and timely submission of the:
- Environ 398 Course Syllabus Contract
- Internship Contract
- Midterm Evaluation
- Final Evaluation
- Student’s Internship Summary Form
- Academic work submitted to faculty advisor
- Delivery of a short presentation (see Environ 398 Course Syllabus for details)
This document outlines Environ 398 and contains forms needed to get an internship approved.