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Purpose of Internship

The major focus of the RHS internship is on learning professional skills, abilities, and activities practiced in rehabilitation and human services settings where the focus is on helping clients develop psychosocial, physical, recreational, vocational/career, social, and/or independent living skills. Students will be involved in as many aspects of the RHS process as their academic training and variations in agency/facility functions and services permit.

Students should be able to demonstrate the following competencies at the end of the internship:

  1. Basic listening skills.
  2. Understanding ethical and legal issues related to RHS.
  3. Understanding of and ability to evaluate RHS assessments and reports.
  4. Awareness of how interpersonal and intrapersonal values and beliefs affect professional relationships.
  5. Advocacy skills that promote full client access to community services.
  6. Understanding and ability to function in RHS interdisciplinary teams.
  7. Assist in rehabilitation treatment planning.
  8. Locate and access community resources.
  9. Respond to supervision appropriately.
  10. Understand a variety of interview and communication techniques.


Internship settings can include public, private-non-profit, and for-profit RHS agencies and facilities such as rehabilitation hospitals, schools, mental health programs, group homes, community programs for persons with developmental disabilities, alcohol and other drug treatment programs, supported employment programs, programs for older people, correctional institutions, and children and youth service agencies.

From the student perspective, an internship assists with career development by providing real work experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop professional skills and competencies. During internships, students are provided with opportunities to apply what they learned in classes to actual practice. It is expected that students will also be challenged to examine how their attitudes, beliefs, and values influence the helping process.

From the agency/facility perspective, an internship provides a unique training experience designed to enhance the professional development and functioning of the student/supervisee. In accepting students as interns, the agency/facility representative recognizes that the internship is a learning process designed to promote professional growth of the supervisee.