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COURSE NUMBER: ENVS 490
COURSE TITLE: Internship
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr Harry Spaling and Nancy Burford
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 0 - hrs sem 3 - hrs lab 0) Pass/Fail
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A 13-week placement in the workplace, normally between years three and four. Student interns, with University College assistance, will be placed in government, industry or nongovernment agencies to apply their environmental skills and gain valuable employment experience. Students are eligible for an environmental internship if they have satisfactorily completed an interview with the Director of the Environmental Studies Program to assess progress in their program of study, ascertain preparation and readiness for an internship, and evaluate ability and commitment to completion of year four of the degree program.

Prerequisites/Corequisites: Admission to year four of ENVS program with an overall GPA of 2.50
COURSE OUTLINE: The following information will help you understand the objectives and expectations for ENVS 490. The goal of this course is to help you further develop the skills and have the experience necessary to meet your career goals.  This is a practical course and the objectives and requirements for the course are shaped to meet these goals. 

1.    Meetings that will require your attendance: 
  • Three Internship information meetings:  1 meeting in the fall, 1 meeting prior to spring break and 1 meeting in April
  • Director/Academic advisor meeting: You will meet with the Director/Academic Advisor to assess academic standing for admission to ENVS 490.
  • Internship Program Coordinator:  In the fall, you will be required to meet with the internship program coordinator to discuss career goals/personal inventory, submit your most current resume, and have ongoing interaction with the program coordinator for direction through the pre-internship process.  Please note, although the internship program coordinator will support you in your job searches, it is not the responsibility of the coordinator to find the job.
  • Job searches:  You will be required to submit your resume/e-mail to job registries in the fall and track job postings as they become available.  The internship program coordinator will provide support to you as you do your job searches and applications for jobs and will guide you through the internship process. 
2.    A Partnership  -  An internship is a three-way partnership between the student, the host agency and the University. Your success in this course will take the combined efforts of all three partners. There are other primary expectations that the University has of each intern – (1) Strength Quest - essay  (2) a summer journal (3) internship evaluation completed at end of internship (4) Strength Quest – summary.

3.    Evaluations - The evaluation of your internship will involve three contributors: your internship coordinator, your supervisor and an evaluation written by yourself at the completion of your internship.  

Summer: Sometime during the course the summer the Internship Program Coordinator will contact your supervisor and arrange for either a site visit or conference phone call to discuss your progress. During that conversation they will discuss the following items: relations to others, ability to learn, promptness & dependability, communication skill, accuracy of work, progress in specific work-related skills.  The Internship Program Coordinator will review your summer journal and prior to that, your first Strength Quest reflections assignment (usually completed in April-May).

Upon completion of internship evaluation: Your supervisor will be requested to provide a written evaluation at the end of the summer. The Internship Program Coordinator will review the journal contents at the end of the internship term and will return to student. (After the journal has been reviewed, the journal will then be returned to student). The completion of this evaluation process will constitute completion of the ENVS 490 requirement and grade will be assigned based on recommendation of Internship Program Coordinator (Pass/Fail). 

4.    Strength Quest Assignment - Students must purchase the book Strengths Quest (Donald Clifton, Edward Anderson and Laurie Schreiner.  New York: Gallup; or e-book) and complete  the Clifton Strengths finder.  This book is available at the King’s Bookstore or an electronic version is available at:   http://www.strengthsquest.com/schoolaccess/  

Before you begin your internship you will need to write a 500 word (2 page double spaced approx.) reflection describing the strengths identified in your strength finder evaluation and your plan allowing your strengths to enhance your internship.  This reflection should be emailed to Nancy Burford - nancy.burford@kingsu.ca,  prior to the beginning of your internship, as the findings will be then integrated into your journal entries.

As you include reflections on your strengths in your journal reflections, questions you could ask yourself include: “At what point in this week were you able to put your strengths to work to solve a problem? How did that feel?” or “When in the past have you felt at you have performed at your best (which environments, job opportunities, or situations)?”  (You will be required to do a Strength Quest summary assignment at the end of your internship.)
This assignment is due no later then 30 days after you have begun your internship. We strongly encourage you to do this assignment prior to your summer internship work.

5.    The Journal - A hand written or typed * (see below) summer journal, with entries made weekly, is required of each student. The purpose of the journal is to aid you in reflecting on your professional experience and your strengths. It records your growing awareness of issues and the skills needed in your field of endeavor. During the mid-term evaluation we want to see your journal, and to discuss with you any additions or changes that might be made. You may document your internship with photos, drawings etc. as well. (Currently we have a fall intern photo show which ask students to contribute 5-10 photos each.)

* If you are choosing to type your journal, we ask you to email a copy, to the Internship Coordinator prior to the summer internship visit. 

The journal can take any form that you feel is appropriate to your internship. However, we do require a minimum of one entry each week, minimum of 13 entries.

We suggest that you consider the following questions, as a guideline to content. The journal should be reflective in nature, and not just a narrative account of meetings, dates, and people contacted. Here are some suggestions for things you might reflect on:

Some Suggestions for ENVS Internship journal entries:
  • Before you begin:
    • What do I hope to accomplish in this job?
    • Why do I want to learn these particular skills?
  • Each Week:
    • What did I want to learn this week?
    • How am I going to learn this new skill, task, or duty? 
    • What resources (materials, information, people) are available to me to meet this challenge?
    • How can I (or did I ) demonstrate what I’ve learned this week?
    • Am I meeting deadlines, being accurate, enjoying my work, contacting people, prioritizing assignments? 
  • Summing Up Each Month (end of month weekly entry):
    • Review your experience, so far.  How has the internship served my objectives and expectations?
    • Did your position meet your expectations?
    • How did your understanding of or the nature of the position change?
    • What particular skills did you learn or employ?
6.    Final Strength Quest summary:
You will need to write a 500 word paper (2 page double spaced approx.). Include answering some or all the following questions and add your own thoughts as well:
  • How did you use your strengths as revealed in the Clifton Strength Finders test in your internship?
  • How did you further develop your strengths through the internship?
  • How do you plan to continue to use and develop your strengths in the future?


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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