Role of Faculty Sponsors
Every student who participates in an academic internship experience at Berea asks
two faculty members to serve as Faculty Sponsors (undergraduate research internships only require one faculty sponsor).
The Primary Faculty Sponsor oversees the academic direction and integrity of the learning experience, and should be a faculty member in the program that is granting credit. (A staff member with advanced degrees who is knowledgeable of the field may serve as a sponsor, in collaboration with a faculty member serving in the role of Secondary Faculty Sponsor.) The primary sponsor will be expected to:
- Meet with the student to discuss and help plan the internship; encourage the student to attend one of the Internship Basics sessions offered by the Office
of Internships to clarify the process for receiving credit and funding.
- Consider the organization and review the proposed internship description to ensure the experience has sufficient merit.
- Review and approve the student’s Internship Proposal, making additional assignments and/or specifying revisions as appropriate.
- Oversee the student’s progress during the internship; read journals throughout
the term and provide timely feedback.
- Contact the internship site supervisor periodically; an early check-in (1-2 weeks after the start of the internship) is important, followed by another check-in around mid-term, and additionally as needed.
- Review the student’s paper and any other assignments.
- Schedule and attend the student’s presentation during the fall semester
- Assess the learning and assign a grade, based on parameters specified in the Internship Proposal (by the last day of fall semester classes for summer internships).
The Secondary Faculty Sponsor serves as a second reader and confers with the primary sponsor as needed/requested and also approves the Internship Proposal. It is not required that the secondary sponsor be a faculty member in the program granting credit, although that is often the case. Should the primary sponsor become unable to complete his or her duties, the secondary sponsor would be expected to assume those responsibilities. (A staff member with advanced degrees who is knowledgeable of the field may serve as the Secondary Sponsor, in collaboration with a faculty member serving in the role of Primary Faculty Sponsor.)
Benefits to Serving as a Faculty Sponsor (as identified by other faculty sponsors)
- Able to network with professionals who are immersed in the day-to-day realities
of the profession
- Can learn from the students’ research and/or experience
- Students return to the classroom with new insights and heightened interest in the subject matter – more “engaged”