Academic Internships

Thank you for your interest in hosting a Titan as an academic intern. Academic Internships are a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application, training, and skills development in a professional setting. Academic internships give students opportunities to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide, train and evaluate talent.

Below you will find all the information you need to know to start hosting CSUF students for academic internships. You should read through this before you begin recruiting to ensure you know all the requirements and regulations.

 

Register to host CSUF students

Follow these steps to get started hosting our students.

  1. Read the information in the Employer/Site ManualPDF File Opens in new window to learn hosting requirements and how to plan and run an academic internship.
  2. Register and post by clicking Titan Connection.Opens in new window When the new window opens, click on the “Sign up and Post Job” button to complete the online forms.
  3. If you are offering an unpaid position you will receive an email requesting you to complete an online Learning Activity Placement Agreement. (Sample agreementPDF File Opens in new window )

The system also allows you to recruit students, and provides access to other resources offered by the CSUF Career Center.Opens in new window

IMPORTANT: We strongly advise you develop your internship position using the Internship Design WorksheetPDF File Opens in new window before proceeding to step 2 (provides more detailed instruction and minimizes risk of data loss due to connection issues or timing out).

Already registered? How to post a new position

Employers/sites with log in credentials may log in to the returning host pageOpens in new window to post a new position.

 

Recruiting International Students

Students from outside the U.S. studying at CSUF on an F-1 student visa may be eligible for academic internships if authorized by a CPT issued by the University. Work authorization details and procedures are outlined in the Host Organization Instructions.PDF File

 

Additional Information

Please also see the Employer/Site Manual.PDF File Opens in new window

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also see the Employer/Site Manual.PDF File Opens in new window

I am looking for help for my business. Can I hire an unpaid academic intern for this?

Academic internship duties may include assignments that support a business, but if that is the primary motivation for recruiting a student, then an unpaid internship is probably not right for you. For-profit organizations can only offer unpaid internships that are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Department of Labor, Fact Sheet #71 describes six parameters which, when met, allow an internship to be unpaid. At CSUF, we are concerned with ensuring our students receive learning experiences relevant to their academic majors, and are placed in safe work environments. In order for students to earn academic credit, employers should design the internship as a learning experience and be prepared to dedicate staff resources to train, teach, mentor, and guide the intern. If you wish to recruit an intern purely to help your business you should provide compensation of minimum wage or above, per State regulations.

I’ve decided who I am hiring. How do I ensure the student gets academic credit? Why do I need to post a position description if I don't want to recruit any other students?

In order for a student to receive for academic credit, the employer must be registered with us and the academic internship position must be approved in our system. Employers can choose whether a position is visible to students seeking opportunities: select your preference when filling out the posting form.

Timekeeping: How do I report a student has completed internship hours?

Interns are responsible for recording their hours and reporting them to their academic departments. They should provide you with a timesheet for your signature as verification of their hours. With instructor approval, students may submit a copy of your company's timekeeping record in lieu of our timesheet.

Home-based business: Can I host a student for an academic internship at my home-based business?

Academic Internships with home-based businesses can be approved under two circumstances:

1. Internships can be designed as Remote Internships if the students conduct their duties at a location other than the business address, such as the student's home or campus. Remote Internships must adhere to the following directives:

• Meetings between you (or your agents or employees) and interns should take place in a public setting (such as a coffee shop) or using teleconferencing (eg. Skype).
• Interns may commute to work at a public site such as an event location.
• Interns may conduct interviews or client visits provided they are accompanied by a representative of your organization. Interns may NOT conduct these activities alone or unsupervised at any time.

2. A site visit is conducted. However, site visits will only be conducted if the opportunity offered is sufficiently rare to warrant a site visit. A site visit is no guarantee of approval.

Can a student travel as part of an academic internship?

Yes. We welcome opportunities that allow students to travel to other parts of the United States for professional purposes. International travel is permitted if interns are covered with appropriate insurance while the travel occurs. Travel to attend conferences and other professional development opportunities is highly encouraged wherever possible.

How many hours does a student serve in an academic internship?

Most three-unit academic internship courses require students to serve 120 hours (40 per unit) over a 16-week semester. In some cases students can enroll in less than three units of internship credit, but this is not typical. Child and Adolescent Studies students complete two 60-hour practicums over two semesters. Contact CICE for requirements of the majors you are targeting for your recruitment.

Can interns drive as part of their academic internship duties?

CSUF students are permitted to drive as part of their duties for an academic internship or service-learning experience ONLY IF the host organization ensures sufficient personal injury, third-party and liability insurance is provided to cover the student while driving as part of their duties in an academic internship. You will be asked to affirm this when posting an academic internship position.

When to recruit: What is the best time to post my positions?

The best time to recruit is during the weeks just prior to the start of a semester. While these dates can differ during any calendar year, target early August (for fall), early December (for spring), and mid April (for summer).

How many students are too many to oversee?

We recommend limiting the number of positions at your site to three interns per supervising staff member during a semester. Requests for additional students will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the CICE staff, and will depend on the nature of the position and the number of hours scheduled for each intern.

I am looking for help for my business. Can I hire an unpaid academic intern?

If the primary objective for offering the internship is to secure assistance with normal business operations, then an unpaid internship is probably not right for you. For-profit organizations offering unpaid internships must comply with the 6-prong testOpens in new window of the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act. At CSUF, we are concerned with ensuring our students get thoughtfully designed learning experiences in safe work environments. Such internships should be designed as a learning experience that requires employers to expend resources through training, supervision, mentorship and guidance. If you wish to hire an intern purely to help your business you should provide compensation at or above minimum wage, per State regulations

I know who I'm hiring. How do I ensure the student gets academic credit?

Follow the usual steps above for registering and posting the position as outlined above. You have the option of indicating that the position is reserved for a particular student. Review the Approval Criteria and Requirements section above for compliance with all expectations.

Timekeeping: How do I report the student's hours?

Students are responsible for documenting their hours and submitting them to their instructor. You should be asked to sign the timesheet to verify the hours. Or, the employer's timekeeping documentation may be submitted in lieu of our timesheet (with instructor approval).

Home-based business: Can I host a student for an academic internship from my home?

Two circumstances are allowable for home-based internships.

Remote internship. The student's activities take place somewhere other than the home-based office, such as on campus. The following directives apply:

  • Meetings between the student and the employer/employees/agents should take place in a public setting (such as a coffee shop) or via teleconference (such as Skype).
  • The student may work at a public site such as an event location.
  • The student may conduct interviews or client visits provided he/she is accompanied by a representative of the employer. Students are not allowed to conduct such activities alone or unsupervised.

Site visit required. Home-based office worksites may be approved on rare occasions if the internship is sufficiently rare to warrant a visit; site visits are not a guarantee of position approval.

Can a student travel as part of an academic internship?

Yes. We welcome opportunities that allow students to travel to other parts of the U.S. for professional purposes. International travel also is permitted if the employer provides proper insurance for the student throughout the travel period. Travel to attend conferences and other professional development opportunities is highly encouraged wherever possible.

How many hours does a student commit to in an academic internship?

Most academic internship courses earn 3 units of credit, with 40 hours of service per unit (120 for the typical course); some exceptions for 1- or 2-unit courses exist. Child and Adolescent Studies students complete two 60-hour practicums over two semesters. Contact CICE for internship hours required for students in your target majors.

Can a student drive as part of their academic internship duties?

Yes, but it raises concerns about proper insurance coverage for business purposes. The student and employer should verify with the policy provider that coverage is appropriate (with necessary gap coverage if needed) to insure the student for personal injury, third-party and liability coverage while driving as part of the duties of the academic internship. You will be prompted to affirm this when completing the postion posting.

When to recruit: what is the best time to post my positions?

Prior to the start of the academic term. Consider posting positions in early August (for fall), early December (for intersession and spring), and mid-April (for summer). Semesters last for approx. 15 weeks, and academic internships should be scheduled to occur within these general dates:

  • Fall: end of August through early December
  • Intersession: end of December through January
  • Spring: late January through early May
  • Summer: late May through early August

Consult the University's academic calendar for specific start and end dates.

How many students are too many to oversee?

To ensure proper supervision, mentorship and training for each intern, we recommend a maximum of 3 per supervisor during a semester. CICE will consider requests for larger supervisory loads on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the position(s) and the number of hours scheduled for each intern.