Student Internship Policy

Reference Number: S17-278
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Presidential Approval Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017

Policy #:                                                                                         S17-278

                                                                                                      Supersedes:                              N/A

                                                                                                      Senate Approval:            04/18/2017

                                                                                                      Presidential Approval:     04/24/2017

                                                                                                      Effective:                        06/01/2017

                                                                                                      Last Review:                  Spring/2017

                                                                                                      Next Review:                  Spring/2022


Student Internship Policy



Pursuant to Executive Order 1064, the following student internship policy provides centralized definitions, procedural guidelines (e.g., internship planning, placement assessment, site visits, placement and orientation) that are consistent with risk management and other related policies, an oversight committee, and review process.


Key Words

Internship, student, EO 1064, community service learning



Field Trip and Internship Risk Management Task Force, Educational Policies Council


Responsible Unit

The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Operations (AVP AAO) is delegated the responsibility for the development, implementation and maintenance of the student internship policy and associated procedures, and to ensure there is a means for future review of the policy that is updated and communicated to faculty and staff at appropriate intervals. The Student Internship Policy Board is chaired by the AVP AAO and assists the AVP AAO in the implementation and review of the SF State student internship policy.








·   Summary of revision (section reference)







I.      Background

On September 9, 2011, the California State University Office of the Chancellor issued Executive Order 1064 (EO 1064) concerning Student Internships. EO 1064 states “each campus is required to develop, implement, maintain and publish a student internship policy governing internships where the university makes the placement.” In Fall 2011 a task force was formed to generate recommendations for a student internship policy based on EO 1064 and risk management concerns. Below is the result of consultation and best practices.


II.     Purpose

This policy establishes guidelines for campus student internships and delegates responsibility for implementation to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Operations.


Where possible, any policies concerning student internships should be built upon existing policies and practices at the University, especially in areas which have effectively and efficiently addressed issues of risk management. Given that SF State has developed and implemented two highly successful programs of risk management, the first for community service learning and the second for study abroad, the Student Internship Policy is constructed to maximize the use of institutional knowledge and existing processes in these areas. This principle is reflected throughout the remainder of this directive.

III.    Internships and Risk Management


EO 1064 defines an internship as a formal agreement which:


Integrates the student’s academic study with practical experience in a cooperating organization. It is an [on campus or] off-campus activity designed to serve educational purposes by offering experience in a service learning, business, non-profit, or government setting. For the purpose of this executive order “internship” does not include teacher preparation placements or clinical placements such as for nursing, counseling, physical therapy or occupational therapy. The internship Site is the organization at which the internship takes place.

This policy will be applied to all on-campus internships


At SF State there are four types of internships consistent with this definition. These are: (a) community service learning, (b) academic internships, (c) prerequisite service, and (d) study abroad

A.    Community Service Learning (CSL) – this type of internship and its associated risk management policies and procedures are managed by the SF State Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) and follow existing policies and procedures established by CSL.


B.    Academic internships – are characterized by whether or not they earn academic credit. An internship (or externship) is on-the-job experience at an on or off-campus work setting directly related to career interests and major field of study. It is a paid or volunteer work experience that is supervised; where you learn about the demands and requirements of a profession and industry under the direction of intentional learning goals. Academic Internships earn academic credit while career Internships do not earn academic credit. Internships which are taken for academic credit require tuition payment in the same way as any course. There is no charge for internships not taken for academic credit. Risk management policies used for Community Service Learning will be applied in full to all academic internships.


Career internships are not subject to this policy, and SF State’s Career Center and related programs will continue to act as facilitators for providing information on career internships to students and alumni; however, the University will assume no responsibility for these placements. Students may pursue them on their own and they will not receive academic credit.


C.    Prerequisite Service – some university programs require matriculated students to perform community service prior to enrollment in subsequent major courses. Required community service performed as a SF State student, though it does not earn academic credit, is covered by this Student Internship Policy because it is a mandated requirement of the program. In many cases, matriculated students perform part of this service over the summer months in locations both local and distant, including out-of-state placements. Students who complete prerequisite service prior to matriculation at SF State will not be held to these requirements.


D.    Study Abroad – international experiences (including internships) are managed by existing policies and procedures established by the College of Extended Learning (CEL), Office of International Programs (OIP), and/or SF State Travel and Risk Management offices.


The Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) in consultation with departments and the Campus Risk Manager will develop procedures, minimum requirements, and applicable form templates, consistent with existing policies and best practices, for the following internship components:


A.    Internship Planning

1.     A compliant course syllabus (Academic Senate Policy S15-257)

2.     Awarding of academic credit by the home department or college;

3.     Accommodation plan for students with special needs (if applicable);

4.     Emergency response plan;

5.     Student compensation (if applicable); and

6.     A formal agreement between the sponsoring organization and the university

B.    Placement Assessment – evaluation of internship site

C.    Internship Site Visits – conducted prior to initial student placement and annually thereafter

D.    Placement and Orientation – the following items are required to be addressed:

1.     Expectations, health and safety instructions, and emergency contacts

2.     Student emergency contact form to be completed. If the internship placement is not required as part of the student’s academic program, the student must complete the liability waiver form (see Executive Order 1051);

3.     Learning agreement form signed by student, internship site supervisor, and university representative.

E.    Annual Review

Departments will be responsible for adhering to this policy and all established internship procedures, and submit all required documents/forms. Departments and ICCE will be required to keep a copy of all required documents for a period of 7 years with electronic copies being permissible.

IV.   Student Internship and Field Trip Policy Committee

The purpose of the Committee is to:

·         Implement both Student Internship and Field Trip Policies

·         Develop appropriate internal controls to ensure policy compliance

·         Review student internship and field trip policies and practices, and provide recommendations for any necessary changes

·         Provide an annual report to the office of the Provost. The report shall include a review of current year’s activity, trends, issues and initiatives.

·         Hear challenges to existing policy, and when appropriate recommend exceptions to policy


The Committee consists of the following members:

·         AVP Academic Affairs Operations (Chair)

·         Dean, Division of Graduate Studies or designee

·         Dean, Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning or designee

·         Two (2) College Associate Deans selected by Provost

·         Campus Risk Manager or designee

·         Director, Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) or designee

·         Director of Procurement or designee

·         Two (2) faculty or staff members, appointed by the Academic Senate to staggered three year terms, chosen from departments with required internships


The Committee should meet at least once per semester with an annual report to the Provost due in June each year.


V.    Document Retention

SF State will retain documents related to each internship consistent with system wide and campus document retention guidelines (see Executive Order 1031). Information retained includes the instructional agenda, name and contact information for the internship site, student information, and executed liability waiver be retained together after the conclusion of the semester/quarter during which the internship took place. Electronic copies of the documents are permissible.


VI.   Implementation

The Internship Policy Committee is to be formed fall 2017 and all established procedures and associated forms are to be developed and approved fall 2017 with communication and distribution of procedures and associated forms spring 18. This policy shall be in effect fall 2018 for all courses offering internships, and shall be subject to review and revision at the time the Student Internship Policy Committee submits its annual report to the Provost. A review of this policy by EPC will be required every three years. 

Policy Document: S17-278