Purpose of the Internship
The purpose of an internship is for you to have a degree-related learning experience in a professional setting. Internships also provide you with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills acquired on campus in a professional setting, to learn from personal observation and synthesis, and to participate directly in problem-solving activities.
We believe that internships are mutually beneficial arrangements; you gain first-hand practical experiences while supervising organizations gain the assistance necessary to carry out essential projects or programs. Students may be paid for the internship experience although some internships do not offer compensation.
Qualifying for and Establishing an Internship
Download Internship Agreement Forms:
To qualify for an ENSP internship, the student must be in good academic standing with the University (i.e., not on probation) and a major in ENSP. These policies will be strictly adhered to in order to assure that only sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled students will be placed. A minimum level of related coursework is also required of any potential intern.
Internship opportunities are usually arranged by the student, or occasionally by ENSP faculty. Students who make their own arrangements directly must first consult with faculty to insure that internship policies and individual responsibilities are understood. All arrangements, including filling out and submitting the “Internship Agreement” form with appropriate signatures, must be completed before the internship begins. Internships can occur any time during the year, but academic credit is offered in the Fall or Spring semester.
Sample of Intern Field Sponsors
- Adventure Programs, Sonoma State University
- Association of Bay Area Governments
- Bodega Land Trust
- Burbank Housing
- California Public Utilities Commission
- CalTrans City of Santa Rosa
- Campus Sustainability
- City of Santa Rosa
- Codding Enterprises
- Cotati Creek Critters
- Environmental Discovery Center
- Environmental Traveling Companions
- Getaway Adventures
- Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation
- LEED Consulting
- Marin Agricultural Land Trust
- Marin County Community Development Program
- Marin County Open Space District
- Oakland Zoo
- Petaluma Bounty
- Petaluma City School Garden Program
- Point Reyes National Seashore, National Park Service
- San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
- Solar Design Solutions
- Solar Sonoma County
- Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign
- Sonoma County Waste Management
- Sonoma County Water Agency
- Sonoma Land Trust
- Sotoyome Resource Conservation District
- Small Business Energy Alliance
- Stellar Energy
- The California State Senate and Assembly
- The League of California Cities
- The Nature Conservancy
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Western Pacific Solar
- Yokayo Biofuels
Responsibilities of the Student Intern
- Consult with your faculty advisor before contacting your potential on-site supervisor.
- You do NOT register for an internship via PeopleSoft. You register by completing and submitting an Internship Agreement form. (These forms are available in the wall rack in the ENSP office or from Admissions and Records.) Forms must be complete before submission. This includes: the semester enrolled, class number (ENSP 499), the number of units (45 hrs/unit), your student ID number (not your social security number), and the signatures of your field supervisor and faculty advisor. We will obtain the signature of the Department Chair and School Dean. The form is due in the ENSP office well in advance of the Add/Drop deadline. Specific due dates for each semester will be announced on the website and by email.
- Adhere at all times to the policies and procedures of the organization where you are placed. Remember that you not only represent yourself, but also Sonoma State University and the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning. Professional quality work is expected.
- Keep a daily log of your hours worked and a brief description of your activities on the job.
- Submit a final written report to your faculty supervisor at the end of the intern experience. The final report should contain a written analysis of your experience (3-5 pages), samples of your work, your time log signed by your field supervisor, a letter of evaluation from your field supervisor, and anything else outlined on the “Internship Agreement” form.
Number of Units and Grading
One unit of credit will be given for 45 hours spent on the internship (the equivalent of three hours per week for one semester). Internships can be taken for a grade in some study plans, but typically they are offered on a credit/no credit basis only. All students are required to take at least four units to graduate, except students in the Planning Study Plan who must complete three units.
If you are starting your internship in the Fall and completing it in the Spring, you must also fill out a Request for an Incomplete Grade form. An incomplete will be given as a Fall grade, and a Change of Grade form will be completed by your advisor when the work has been satisfactorily completed. You have one year from the time the incomplete is given to complete the internship work for credit. Internship reports and associated materials are due before finals in the semester you wish to obtain credit.
So you can understand clearly the responsibility of others in this process, here is what’s expected of the Field Supervisor and Faculty Sponsor.
Responsibilities of the Field Supervisor
- Interview the prospective intern.
- Fill out Part A of the Internship Agreement form and sign.
- Supervise the intern throughout the internship, providing appropriate training.
- Contact the faculty sponsor if problems or concerns arise.
- Provide a written letter of evaluation at the conclusion of the internship.
Responsibilities of the Faculty Sponsor
- Fill out Part B of the Internship Agreement form and sign.
- Provide the criteria by which a credit/grade will be determined.
- Contact the field supervisor, as needed.
- Evaluate the work submitted and assign a grade.
For more information, please contact:
Department of Environmental Studies and Planning firstname.lastname@example.org Sonoma State University 707/664-2306 Rohnert Park, California 94928 www.sonoma.edu/ensp