An internship is a service-learning educational experience. A student intern provides a service to the industrial host organization. In providing this service, you learn about your major field of academic interest. Student internships:

  • Enhance and supplement formal academic instruction.
  • Earn academic credit.
  • Promote the student's personal development and professional preparation.

An internship worthy of academic credit may be:

  •  A "project"oriented internship,  you have a defined project to completed in a specified length of time.
  •  A "participant-observer" oriented internship, you learn through some combination of participation and observation at least a portion of the organization's work.

Whatever the orientation, you will be exposed to the overall operations of the organization and in some depth, to one aspect of the organization's operation.

The organization has final selection and approval of the intern or interns whom they wish to accept in the internship program.

Objectives

The internship is designed to give you actual experience working in a computer oriented organization and an awareness of the organization's position in the community. Regarding the organization, the intern should understand:

  1. The organization's philosophy and goals in relation to the services it provides to the community.
  2. The administrative structure of the organization, both as it is formally organized and as it actually appears.
  3. The organization's role in providing computer services or products.
  4. Why the organization exists, who serves it, etc.
  5. The effect of limited resources and other restrictions on the organization's functioning.

Organization and Department Responsibilities

The staff of the Computer Science Department realizes that the internship program must adapt to the organization's primary functions. Additionally, an effective internship program will be realized only when the Department and the participating organization work together to develop a meaningful educational experience.

The relationship between the organization and the Department denotes one of the mutual responsibility to ensure that all participants work toward common goals.

Department Responsibilities

Primary responsibility for the educational experience rests with USD's Computer Science Department. The Department will:

  1. Provide the organization with the necessary information regarding the prospective intern.
  2. Provide necessary consultation and support for carrying out the educational program.
  3. Screen intern applicants to determine successful completion of academic prerequisites deemed essential for entry into the program.
  4. Consult with the intern during the internship.
  5. Actively seek feedback from the participating organization concerning the program's merits and limitations with an emphasis on future program improvement.

Role of the Faculty Supervisor

The Department Chair or designee will be responsible for liaison activity between the Computer Science Department, the intern and the organization.

Participating Organization Responsibilities

Principle responsibilities of the organization to the student include:

  1. Preparation of organization's staff pending arrival of the student.
  2. Conference with the student to plan activities during the internship.
  3. Presentation of an overview of the organization's purposes, policies, administration, program and facilities.
  4. Informing the student of regulations with which he/she must comply.
  5. Presentation of the student to organization staff as a co-worker and in a manner to insure his or her status.
  6. Orientation of the student to the community, including political, economic and social characteristics.
  7. Assignment of work, beginning with observation and minor responsibilities, adding more as the student's abilities permit.
  8. Presentation of criticisms in a constructive and objective manner.
  9. Regularly scheduled conferences with the student.
  10. Evaluation of the student's internship work and experiences, forwarding this report to:

Dr. Quoc-Nam Tran, Chair
Computer Science Department
Arts & Sciences 202
University of South Dakota
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390

Whenever possible, the organization will be responsible for providing the student intern with a stipend for the internship.

Intern Responsibilities

The initial responsibility rests with you to complete and submit an application letter for internship to the Computer Science Department. Please email the chair, QuocNam.Tran@usd.edu and cc the secretary, Nancy.Reemts@usd.edu with your request.

The intern's general responsibilities to the organization include:

  1. To secure an internship work agreement with the organization.
  2. To become familiar with the regulations and philosophies of the organization.
  3. To plan thoroughly for all assignments. 
  4. To follow dress codes if any for the organization.
  5. To notify supervisor well in advance in case of absence. 
  6. To be tactful, courteous and respectful to all personnel involved. 
  7. To use discretion at all times in the internship. 
  8. To consult with the supervisor when confronted with problems.

Curriculum Prerequisites

  1. Undergraduate Students: To be eligible for an internship a student must have an overall grade point average of 2.7 or above. The grade point in computer science courses must be 3.0 or above. In addition, at least 16 hours of Computer Science core courses must be completed prior to the internship. This must include: CSC 150 (Computer Science I), CSC 250 (Computer Science II), CSC 324 (Machine Organization) and CSC 350 (Data Structures and Algorithms).
  2. Graduate Students: To be eligible for an internship a student must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above. In addition, at least 9 hours of Computer Science core courses at the 700 level must be completed prior to the internship.

The Internship

Interns are encouraged to seek out their own internships with an organization involved in computer related work. This builds credibility with the organization on the part of the student and can enhance his or her chances of interning in the desired agency. However, all internships for academic credit must be approved by the Computer Science Department.

  1. Undergraduate Internships: The length of a three (3) credit hour internship is three hundred and twenty (320) hours, normally working in eight (8) forty (40) hour weeks or blocks. In case the internship is carried longer than eight weeks, it is the intern's responsibility to break it into forty (40) hour blocks for the purpose of weekly reports.
  2. A maximum of three (3) hours of internship may be applied toward the computer science elective hours.
  3. Graduate Internships: The Graduate Internship A&S-594 credit is for tracking purposes only and will not be counted toward the degree’s requirements.

Internships Procedures

Weekly Reports

  1. Weekly reports will be submitted after each 40 hour block has been completed. The weekly report is an ongoing record of work during the week including a description of duties and experiences in performing them. Thoughts about the internship should be reflected in terms of the objectives discussed in the objectives section. Weekly reports should be in the form of a thoughtful, reflective diary.
  2. The weekly report is an invaluable input for the intern's supervisor in evaluating the internship.

Final Report

To receive credit for the internship, you must complete a final paper and provide an oral presentation. The paper must include the following:

  • Review and evaluation of the type of work performed by you and persons in similar positions, including:
    1. Type of work
    2. Number of people performing the work
    3. Workload
    4. Cost
    5. Major successes
    6. Major problems
    7. Alternate ways to do the work
  • Analysis of the host organization, including:
    1. Organization
    2. Manpower
    3. Workload
    4. Cost
    5. Major successes
    6. Major problems
    7. Alternate ways to do the work
  • Final reports should indicate how the intern was received by the organization and whether future placement of an intern with the organization is recommended.
  • Final reports should NOT:
    1. Mention individuals by name
    2. Reflect attacks on personalities

Final Grade

The internship will be graded on a pass-fail, rather than a letter grade basis. Satisfactory completion of the internship will be recognized with a grade of "S". (Credit, but no grade).