Personal and Professional Development Through Internship Engagement


Experiential education has been an integral part of human history, beginning in ancient communities with the need to survive, and continuing to the twenty-first century need to develop and enhance skills for success as a professional. In previous centuries, children were taught vocational skills by parents. When children became interested in other vocations, apprenticeship programs began (Woodward et al., 2012). Continuing in this tradition, universities are providing students with opportunities to gain personal and professional skills through civic engagement (Sweitzer & King, 2009).

The Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program and Youth Development (YD) program at Indiana University have taken seriously the need for students to have experiential learning opportunities. Our department determined that there was a need to assist students in making the connection between college studies and careers though high- impact learning practices (Kuh, 2008). An academic internship was seen as a vital component of the student’s success upon graduation and was incorporated into the curriculum.

M.K. Schmidt (*)

Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA © The Author(s) 2017

T. Newman, A. Schmitt (eds.), Field-Based Learning in Family Life Education, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-39874-7_5

Creating and growing the internship program has been a successful experience for our students and faculty. This chapter will describe the implementation and academic requirements of our internship program as well as the decision to add a pre-internship experience in the form of service-learning to our professional preparation course. The concluding thoughts will discuss the challenges and successes of implementing these programs.

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