Internship Procedures and Requirements

The leadership internship will occur in the second year of the program and will carry six (6) hours of graduate credit. The purpose will be to complement the other program experiences with a rigorous, high quality administrative practice experience that will contribute to the education of future change agents in Virginia. Creative and personalized approaches within the general internship paradigm will be encouraged.

  1. The internship will be guided by the following procedures and principles:
  2. The internship will take place after the first year of residency. It will occur throughout the second academic year.
  3. Multiple placement experiences can be proposed. Settings will be selected based on how well the settings provide sound leadership and administrative practice and how well total placement situations can contribute to the overall understanding of effective leadership.
  4. Intern placements must be approved by the student's internship supervisor and the Coordinator of the Doctoral Program. Interns may be employed by the school district in which they are interning; however, the placement must be with a mentor who has district-wide responsibilities.
  5. Internships must be carefully planned. Students will present a request for an internship placement during the summer of their first year of study. Internship proposals must be approved by the student's advisor, and filed with the Coordinator of the Doctoral Program by July 1 of each year. This due date will provide the opportunity for the university supervisor to meet with the intern's site mentor, discuss the proposal, and finalize the agreement.
  6. Students must maintain reflective journals that will provide a comprehensive analytical assessment of administrative practices and processes observed throughout the internship experience.
  7. All interns must attend formal monthly seminars to explore and articulate knowledge gained from the internship experience. Additionally, individual conferences will be held at the internship site.
    In all instances, interns will be required to examine the experiences of the internship in a deliberative and critical manner. The focus will be on performance as well as on the opportunities for deliberation and reflection with local mentors, university faculty, and other students.
  8. Interns will be required to complete an inquiry project that will make the internship reflective as well as experiential. Formal presentations of the results of inquiry projects will be required during scheduled seminars.
  9. Evaluation of internship experiences will be based on (a) journals, (b) results from site visits, (c) seminar participation, (d) conferences with the internship supervisor and site-based mentors, (e) self-evaluations, and (f) inquiry projects.
  10. The internship supervisor will provide leadership, guidance, collegial support and advocacy for interns and facilitate a process for assessing their experiences. Faculty will encourage the process of experiential learning, self-direction, and realistic self-appraisal.
  11. The internship will be a rigorous apprenticeship. The faculty regards the process of deliberation and reflection as essential in transforming experiences into understanding. Interns will do more than “shadow” the professional activities of the cooperating practitioners. Time for reflection and discussion with the doctoral faculty, other interns, and the mentor will be an integral part of the internship.
  12. The internship experiences for doctoral students in Educational Administration and Supervision will be designed to personalize and individualize their “theory into practice” professional goals. Since the students will possess a great range of previous experiences, state endorsement levels, and professional goals, they will be expected to recommend their own placements. They will be assisted by their university internship advisor.