Undergraduate Internships: Conflicting Interests

David Greene


Internships are becoming an important component in undergraduate programs across a wide range of disciplines. Escalating financial and scheduling conflicts have been found to force students to make difficult decisions regarding participation. This mixed methods case study was conducted in a human services undergraduate program that requires a 450-clock hour internship. It was hypothesized that a majority of students would recommend either a shorter internship, or elimination of the requirement entirely. The opposite was found. A significant majority (X2 [2, n = 86] = 47.53, p < .001) believed that the 450-clock hour internship was the appropriate length. This was consistent for females and non-traditional students, two at-risk groups for financial and scheduling conflicts. Qualitative responses suggested that students found successful ways to address the financial and scheduling concerns. This study provides support that students believe in the benefits of internship, even when facing financial and scheduling conflicts. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v6i2.14880


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