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Roles and Responsibilities

Student Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Develop a schedule with the Site Supervisor to meet the required number of hours for internship. For Fall and Spring semester, the minimum number of hours is 600. For Summer semester and because of Penn State’s academic schedule, the minimum number of hours is 520. If students must miss days at their internship site because of weather or sick days they should consult with the Site Supervisor to make up the missed hours. Students who miss three or more days during the internship should notify the Internship Coordinator in the event there is need to make up missed hours.
  2. Treat internship as a professional commitment. Although still a student, the Site Supervisor and other staff will perceive the student’s role as similar to that of an employee. As such, demonstrating good work habits, being receptive to supervision, and following through on assigned work are key elements of this commitment.
  3. Observe and follow agency/facility procedures, policies, and regulations.
  4. Ask for assistance and supervision when needed.
  5. Attend conferences, staff meetings, counseling sessions, and other learning experiences assigned by the Site Supervisor.
  6. Inform the Site Supervisor of work-related difficulties and challenges.
  7. Complete daily logs and post them to the Canvas course site the end of each week for the Internship Coordinator to review. Copies of all forms will be posted on Canvas.
  8. Participate in weekly supervision (minimum 1 hour) with a qualified Site Supervisor.
  9. Keep detailed records including:
    1. Total number hours spent at internship site.
    2. Supervisory meetings (individual and group, if relevant).
    3. Attendance at agency/facility conferences and in-service training programs.
    4. Copies of all forms (e.g., Internship Application, liability insurance, evaluations).

Internship Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Review and approve the Internship Application.
  2. If needed, prepare students for the internship experience.
  3. Assist students in using supervision effectively.
  4. If needed, help students refine internship goals.
  5. Address problems and concerns that may develop between student and Site Supervisors.
  6. Assess students’ progress and professional behavior, and provide feedback to students at mid-semester and final semester evaluation.
  7. If necessary, assist students with integrating knowledge and theory with fieldwork.
  8. Develop and maintain field instruction program.
  9. Monitor student progress via weekly reports, phone conversations, evaluation reports, and, when necessary, site visits.
  10. Be available for consultation should questions or problems arise.

The Internship Coordinator will contact the Site Supervisor three times over the course of the semester: at the beginning of the semester (within the first two weeks), at midterm, and before final evaluations are due (last two weeks of the semester). The Internship Coordinator will visit agency/facility sites only on a case-by-case basis as needed. 

Site Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Provide an opportunity for internship experience in a professional setting.
  2. Provide orientation to the student, explaining agency/facility mission and goals, services, and policies and procedures.
  3. Provide student with opportunities to observe relevant aspects of agency/facility services.
  4. Provide opportunities to integrate knowledge and practice new skills.
  5. Provide opportunities for case recording and reporting.
  6. Provide opportunities for interactions with clients.
  7. Provide individual student supervision at least 1 hour per week.
  8. Model professional and ethical competence and conduct.
  9. Stay current on the number of internship hours the student has completed.
  10. Inform student of strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas needing improvement during mid-semester and final evaluations.
  11. Complete mid-semester and final evaluations with the student in a timely manner.
  12. Communicate any concerns about the student’s internship experience to Internship Coordinator.

Students are required to obtain a minimum of one hour of individual supervision per week. Site supervisors will focus on the following main skill areas during supervision.

  • Case management skills: These refer to case recording and case documentation procedures relevant to the internship site and making case presentations at team meetings.
  • Human services and rehabilitation delivery systems skills: These include knowledge of community resources and services provided by the agency/facility as well as other local resources designed to address client needs.
  • Professional skills: These are skills related to work performance inside and outside of the client relationship and include respecting confidentiality, behaving professionally, and demonstrating consistently strong work behaviors, as well as being able to work effectively with colleagues.

To promote intern professional development, Site Supervisors may take on different roles including teacher, counselor, and consultant. In the teacher role the supervisor is responsible for presenting what the student needs to do and learn, providing specific instruction as to how the student intern should respond or act. The counselor role allows the supervisor to focus on the interpersonal or intrapersonal dynamics of the student. In this role, the supervisor may ask the student to explore feelings or reactions with regard to client and/or supervisor interactions. At times, this role can be uncomfortable to students as it often raises issues regarding student beliefs and worldviews, but in no way does the supervisor actually function as the student’s personal counselor. Finally, as a consultant the supervisor encourages the student to think independently and trust his/her own insights. As the student progresses during internship, supervisors may use one or several roles to promote professional development and growth.