The terms "internship" and "assistantship" are often used interchangeably. Generally, the term "assistantship" is used when referring to the work experience as a way to financially support a student. For example, the BGSU Graduate College will refer to assistantships when generating contracts and discussing financial aid.
The term "internship" is often used to mean the work experience as an educational experience, where a student learns "hands on" about an area of student affairs. For example, the CSP curriculum includes a required internship.
Because most students use their internships to support themselves during their time as full-time students, either term might be appropriate. HESA frequently uses "internship" in program documentation.
Completion of a two-year internship is a required part of the CSP program at BGSU unless you are working full-time in the field of higher education. Internships offer the opportunity to acquire valuable professional experience and skills and to apply what is being learned in the classroom.
The average salary is approximately $10,000 for an academic-year contract and varies by position. Live-in positions provide room and board. Approximately 35 internships are available each year in a variety of functional areas and institutional settings.
Types of Internships
The number and types of internships vary each year. However, every year a wide variety of internships are available in numerous functional areas such as:
- Academic Advising
- Alumni Affairs
- Campus Involvement
- Career Center
- Chapman Learning Community
- First Year Programs
- Greek Affairs
- Honors Program
- International Programs
- Judicial Affairs
- Leadership Development
- Multicultural Affairs
- Residence Life
- Service Learning
- SMART (Students of Color Mentoring, Aiding, Retaining, & Teaching)
- Student Activities
- Wellness Connection
Internships, along with elective practicum opportunities, provide an important experiential curriculum to the CSP program. The experiential curriculum complements the academic curriculum. Whereas the academic courses rely upon classroom techniques as the primary means for learning, the experiential curriculum uses field experience as its principal methodology. Field experience is gained through the required internship and through elective practicum opportunities.
The Practitioner Professional Skills Model
A key to planning, understanding, accounting for, and evaluating the various field experiences lies in an understanding of the Practitioner Professional Skills Model. This model is introduced to each student within the context of CSP 6890: Supervised Field Experience in College Student Personnel.
In general, the Professional Skills framework is used to describe and evaluate specific experiences and skills gained during the internship or practicum. An accumulated record of these experiences and skills gained throughout the two-year program becomes the foundation for a comprehensive Professional Competency Portfolio completed during enrollment in CSP 6050: Capstone Seminar. This record will be submitted to the internship supervisor for review in the form of an experiential learning summary statement.
Professional skills acquired through experiential learning:
- Conflict Mediation: promoting reconciliation, settlement, or compromise between parties who are experiencing incompatible or opposing needs or wishes.
- Group Dynamics: interacting effectively within small groups of people who have unifying relationships to each other.* Instruction/Programming: effectively imparting knowledge or information in educational contexts.* Interviewing: effectively gathering information from individuals through the use of formal interviews.
- Counseling: providing professional guidance to individuals using psychological methods.
- Advising: giving recommendations to others to help them make a decision or plan a course of conduct.
- Working Effectively with Diverse and/or Underrepresented Populations: working effectively with diverse subgroups of students, faculty and staff.
- Management: skillfully directing or implementing organizational tasks and responsibilities.
- Problem Solving: Analyzing problems from several perspectives, identifying and evaluating alternative solutions, and implementing selected solution(s).
- Self-Knowledge: understanding your own capabilities, character, feelings, or motivation, and how these affect your professional effectiveness.
- Supervision: critically watching, overseeing, or directing activities or a course of action in an organizational context.
- Utilizing Resources: creatively employing or applying appropriate resources (physical, personal, educational, etc.).
- Verbal Communication: verbally communicating information, ideas, and contrasting points of view in an effective and professional manner (including nonverbal forms of expression).
- Written Communication: effectively communicating information, ideas, and contrasting points of view in written form.
The basic framework of this model was developed by Dr. Leila Moore, a Visiting Associate Professor in the HESA Department at Bowling Green State University from 1985-87.