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Field Experience

 

Overview
Each undergraduate student must complete two field experiences (two credits each) related in some way to the advancement of the cause of liberty by preparing students to develop leadership in shaping either government or public opinion. Whether in the public or private sector, these internships must be carried out in or have impact in the spheres of law, government, politics; elementary, secondary or higher education; mass media, journalism, communications, public relations or the philanthropic work of charitable organizations. They should also provide substantial work in administrative, research, office, strategic planning or technical capacities. They must also rise to the dignity and purpose of the mission of the University.

George Wythe University has established relationships with a number of organizations, businesses and government officials in order to arrange internships (field experiences) for students. These may include substantive jobs, volunteer work, etc.

Off-campus students will most often need to arrange their own internships independently by following the requirements for proposing internships. Students may use this list of internship opportunities to assist them.

Application
The student must enroll in a Field Experience class and the internship must be approved in advance by GWU administration. To apply for a pre-approved GWU internship, students are required to complete the following:

  1. GWU Online Internship Application - Complete and submit electronically
  2. Submit a resume
  3. Interview with GWU administration
  4. Interview with the internship provider
  5. If accepted by the internship provider, register for LD2390 (first Field Experience) or LD3590 (second Field Experience) and pay associated tuition if necessary.  

Eligibility
Applicants must be in good academic standing. Students should have completed at least 30 hours of university coursework before participating in an internship for credit. However, other exceptional students may be considered as recommended by the faculty and administration.

Retroactive Credit
No credit will be given retroactive of or after the field experience work has started.

Nature of the Work Experience
Internships must be relevant to influence and leadership in shaping public policy (government) or public opinion (mass media/public relations, education). Work assignments should be substantive and expose students to the organization’s management and operations. The field experience must involve the student in those processes unique to the area of influence. Credit may not be received for experiences in which more than one third of the internship duties involve clerical work, i.e. filing, photocopying, errands, and other menial tasks.

For students interning for a political campaign or volunteer organization, it is important that the work assignments allow the student to observe and work with the organization's management, strategy, fundraising, media relations and supervision of volunteers. Credit will not be granted for students who are only working as volunteers at a low level in the organization's structure.

Credit and Grading
Students register for 2 credit hours per internship. Internships usually last one semester or summer, and must include a minimum of 100 hours during the enrolled period. This equates to roughly 8 to 10 hours per week, but often more, depending on the provider's needs and objectives. Extending an internship to span over a second term is permissible depending on calendering circumstances. Contact the registrar for details.

Academic credit is obtained by fulfilling a successful internship, receiving a positive supervisor evaluation, and submitting a comprehensive report detailing setbacks, accomplishments, principles applied, lessons learned, and how the experience gained will be applied in one's continued studies and future plans toward shaping government or public opinion (society and culture) while moving the cause of liberty.

Work assignments must include engagement that will substantially increase the student's understanding of the inner workings of the field of influence. All credit is letter-graded. Participating students should avoid the mistaken assumption that internship credit is an "easy A," resulting from just having done a good job in the internship. The academic report submitted for the credit has a major impact on the final grade, is carefully read, and expected to be of the highest quality.

Faculty Supervision
Students will be assigned to a member of the faculty who will be responsible for supervising and evaluating the internship report written by the student. The supervising faculty member will monitor the internship as well and determine the final grade for the credit.

The faculty member will confirm the internship with the intern provider at its beginning, monitor it, send an evaluation form to the provider at the end of the internship, and collect the completed form.

 

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Learn about the GWU Off-Campus programs: Online Studies, Extension Courses and Statesmanship Seminars

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