Internships provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the professional competence of the student in the application of knowledge and skills to the delivery of services. The purpose of the evaluation process is to help the student recognize progress made, identify strengths and weaknesses, and suggest possible ways to improve performance.
Principles of evaluation
In order to systematically and fairly evaluate the student, the following principles might be used as guidelines by the cooperating agency:
- Evaluation should focus on the specified responsibilities assigned to the student as outlined in the agency acceptance Form.
- Evaluation is a continuous process throughout the experience.
- Evaluation is directed toward the growth and development of the student as competent professional practitioners.
- Evaluation involves growth in self-appraisal and self-analysis.
- Evaluation is based upon specific, objective, and cumulative data.
- The final evaluation of the student is based on job performance, growth and improvement, and upon the student's potential as a professional practitioner.
Conferences in the evaluation process
To insure full benefits from the internship, the student and agency supervisor should hold formal and informal conferences throughout each assignment. Frequency of conferences will depend upon the type of assignment and the individual needs of the student. Daily informal conferences are highly desirable. The indirect learning which occurs during these contacts is important to understand the day-to-day operations of the agency and its programs. While informal contacts are important, formal conferences are essential to discuss many aspects of the programs and the student's responsibilities while on the job. It is expected that periodic conferences will be held between the student and his or her agency supervisor on a regular basis.
Students are to be formally evaluated by agency personnel on three occasions during the assignment using forms provided by the faculty supervisor:
- At the end of the internship
Mid-session evaluations should be accompanied by a formal conference between the agency supervisor and the student, so the student is aware of his or her progress. The final evaluation serves as an indication of the student's level of achievement at the culmination of the internship. Again, the student should have the opportunity to review the evaluation with the agency supervisor to gain insight relative to his or her performance and potential as a professional.
Grades for the internship
Students are expected to achieve a satisfactory level of performance throughout the practicum experience. An appropriate grade (mark) will be assigned by the faculty supervisor based on the following criteria:
- Job performance as evaluated by the agency supervisor.
- Job performance as evaluated by the faculty supervisor (site visits if possible).
- Quality and timeliness of required written reports submitted by the student as evaluated by the faculty supervisor.