What are Internship Programs?

Internship programs allow students to perform on-the-job training in a sports-related organization based upon their desired future careers. The Academy has certain requirements that interns must meet to ensure students are taught by knowledgeable and experienced persons.

Internship Opportunities

Are you looking for internship programs? Below are a list of current opportunities for students.

View Current Opportunities

Students at all degree levels must be in full-standing status to register for a internship. Before beginning the process, students must read the Internship Handbook.

Internship Process

  1. Student selects a intern and internship site, following the requirements found in the Internship Handbook.
  2. Student and intern develop a minimum of five learning objectives, again following the format found in the Internship Handbook. Each learning objective must be measurable, written in active tense, and if possible, encompass a task from each course in the student’s program of study. Each objective must list the objective, its measurement tool (what will measure the accomplishment of the objective), and the expected outcome of the objective.
  3. Student submits the required forms (Appendix A from the Handbook, the intern’s resume*, and the learning objectives) to the Internship Office.
  4. If intern meets required criteria, a resident faculty member is assigned as a Internship Advisor, and this faculty member will review the learning objectives. Once the objectives have been approved, and the file signed by the Dean of Academic Affairs, the student will be notified that he/she can now register and pay for the internship.
  5. Internship hours may only be accrued after the student has officially registered and paid the tuition for the internship course.

*The intern’s resume must list the highest degree attained. All interns are required to have at least a graduate degree plus five years’ experience in the profession. If intern does not have the required graduate degree, but has many years of experience, the student can request an exception by providing justification for his/her selection of intern. For further information about the Exception process, contact the Internship Office.

Internship Experience

The student’s internship experience is designed to provide actual, in-the-field training within the sports profession. In addition, the internship can help build a professional network. Progression through the internship is documented as follows:

  • Students have one year from the date of registration to complete the required number of internship hours.
  • During the internship, each month the student must submit a brief report summarizing internship activities and listing the number of hours accrued for that month. These monthly reports represent 33% of the student’s grade.
  • With the first monthly report, the student must submit a photograph of him/herself with the intern; an action photograph is preferred.
  • Each month, the intern must submit a brief monthly evaluation of the student’s progress and attest to the hours worked.
  • After the required number of hours is complete, the student will write a comprehensive paper in APA format about the experience. This paper represents 33% of the grade.

Refer to the Internship Handbook for details on how to structure the final paper, but briefly, it should be 12-20 pages in length and formatted according to APA rules. The student must list each learning objective and how it was achieved. The student must also provide an analysis of whether the internship prepared him/her for future employment.

  • Also, after the required hours are complete, the Intern will submit a final comprehensive evaluation of the student’s performance. This evaluation represents 33% of the student’s grade.
  • To complete the internship experience, the Internship Advisor will conduct an oral interview with the student via phone. This interview represents 1% of the student’s grade. At this time, the student must also complete an end-of-course survey.
  • Internship grades are recorded as Pass/Fail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students are responsible for locating their own internship opportunities. This is much the same as job hunting, i.e., sending out letters and resumes, making calls and “selling” one’s talents to an organization. As long as the intern meets the required criteria, the site itself really doesn’t matter; however, the Academy discourages conducting internships at a student’s place of gainful employment. The Academy can provide assistance in helping the student locate a suitable internship, if necessary. Students can start the process by doing an Internet search of desired sport-related positions, such as “athletic director positions in or near [city, state]”

The internship can be paid or unpaid; it is totally up to the interning organization.

The internship is tailored to each student’s and organization’s needs. The student and the intern compile a list of Learning Objectives (job duties) based upon the organizational tasks to be performed, as well as what the student desires to learn. It is important that these contain at least one task related to each course studied, so that the student gets a well-rounded internship experience.

The student works a specified number of hours toward achieving the Learning Objectives. Progress is tracked daily and reported to the internship office monthly by the student and the intern. After the hours are fulfilled, the student writes a comprehensive report about the experience, and the intern completes a more detailed performance evaluation. The internship advisor, who is assigned at the beginning of the program, will then conduct an interview with the student by phone about his/her internship experience. The student can then list this on-the-job training on his/her resume.

The student is given a year in which to complete the internship, but can complete it as early as desired, depending on the student’s schedule and how much time can be devoted to the project. The average is between four to eight months for most students.

We discourage students from setting up internships with their current employers. However, we do make exceptions in certain situations. Students must prove that their internship duties are separate from their daily duties, and interns cannot be their gainfully employed supervisors.

If the proposed intern does not have the required degree, the student should locate another intern who does have the required degree. When that is not possible, if the intern has many years of experience, is well-known, or if the sport organization itself has a well-known reputation, it may be acceptable. The student can seek approval under our “Einstein Theory” which requires the student to write a “Request for Exception” letter to the Dean of Academic Affairs giving justification for the intern’s approval.

Nearly 60% of Academy students who have completed their internships during the past 12 months have received significant interest from the intern’s organization in hiring them to a full time position.