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Internship in Educational Leadership Studies

(6 credit hours)

Internship in Educational Leadership Studies is a full-time practical experience for a minimum of ten weeks and is normally undertaken after or near the completion of course work. The purpose of an internship is to provide a graduate student with a breadth and depth of experience in a practical setting.

Course Goals

It is intended that the internship will provide opportunities for:

  1. the development of personal and professional competencies for each intern based on perceived needs, previous experiences, and career plans;
  2. practical experiences that serve to highlight the theoretical and pedagogical aspects under study in the program; and
  3. the development of a creative and reflective perspective given the stated goals of the intern, the nature of the setting, the specific placement, and field supervisor's exchanges on knowledge of subject matter, and /instructional/leadership competence.


The internship will culminate in a report which must meet the requirements of academic rigor and be written and presented in accord with the most recent edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. The average length of an internship report would be thirty-five (35) pages or 8,750 words.

The report will be evaluated by the University Supervisor and the Field Supervisor.

Arranging the Internship

1. To arrange for a University Supervisor, a graduate student has several options. The student may arrange a meeting with a Faculty member with expertise in the area of study to inquire about the prospect of working with that individual and to negotiate an interesting plan for an internship. Alternatively, a meeting may be arranged with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, to discuss options and potential supervisor. The ultimate responsibility to confirm an appropriate supervisor is that of the student. It is a responsibility to be undertaken when a student feels ready to do so.

2. When a graduate student and a faculty member have agreed to work together, each has a responsibility to the other. Failure by the student to maintain contact with the University Supervisor(s) for more than a three-month period may terminate the agreement. No student should approach a faculty member with a proposal in hand and expect carte blanche approval. No faculty member should have a student's proposal for more than two weeks without an informed response. The best internship plan is one that is thought about, planned for, and decided upon by the graduate student, the University Supervisor(s), and in due course, the Field Supervisor (if the internship necessitates working with a field-based person).

3. To arrange for the Field Supervisor(s), you and your University Supervisor must consider specific criteria:

  • an internship must be undertaken in a setting separate and distinct from an intern's place of employment; and
  • an internship must be undertaken with an experienced professional working in the student's area of specialization and who has at least a Master's Degree.

Together you may decide upon a Field Supervisor(s) and make a recommendation to the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs. The name, address, and complete contact information must accompany the recommendation. Upon approval of the recommendation by the Faculty, the Field Supervisor will be appointed.

4. If the internship requires the student to work in the field (school, hospital, clinic, or agency), you and your University Supervisor may have to consider the following:

  • permission to have access to a school, hospital, clinic, or agency must be requested well in advance in order to allow time for approval;
  • some school boards stipulate three deadlines: September 15 for a fall placement; January 15 for a winter placement; and March 15 for a spring placement. A copy of the internship proposal may be requested for examination and approval; and
  • if a school board, school, clinic, or agency has concerns about the proposal, these may be expressed to the student and revisions for ethical and professional reasons may be necessary.

Please Note: All arrangements for supervision must be approved by the Associate Dean who will consult with the University Supervisor(s) and arrange for registration in the course.

Proposal Stage

5. A written preliminary proposal for the internship must be submitted by the graduate student to the University Supervisor(s) prior to the initiation of the internship. Students should submit only the best work possible in a thorough and professional manner even when it is only a draft. The proposal shall include the following:

  • a rationale for the internship and choice of setting, including the academic and career goals of the intern, relevant prerequisite experience, and the objectives proposed;
  • a specification of the creative and reflective research objectives of the internship; and
  • an identification and description of the activities intended to meet the internship objectives.

The internship proposal shall be contextualized within current pedagogical and theoretical literature and relevant to the intern's goals (citations, references, and other relevant inclusions shall be in accord with the most recent APA Guidelines).

6. Immediately upon arrival at the internship setting, the Field Supervisor(s) should be given a copy of the graduate student's preliminary proposal. The next two weeks in an intern's placement should be a time to develop rapport and to become familiar with the setting and demands of the placement. During this time, there should be a discussion of the preliminary proposal with the Field Supervisor(s) and subsequent refinement of goals, possibilities, and activities relevant for the creative and reflective research component. The Field Supervisor should be given another opportunity to comment prior to submission of the finalized proposal to the University Supervisor(s).

Students must behave in a professional manner at all times in their internship setting. Matters of confidentiality pertaining to the internship setting must not be discussed outside the setting.

After discussions about and revisions to the proposal have been completed and deemed acceptable by the University Supervisor(s), a copy of the approved internship proposal should be filed with the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs.

Please Note: The more thorough and clear your proposal, the more thorough and clear your internship.


Ethical Considerations

7. The fundamental principles of ethics, integrity, and professionalism must pertain, regardless of the route taken for completion of the requirements of a Master's program.

The University must abide by the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans in the conduct of research and scholarship. Any research or scholarship involving human subjects must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) prior to the conduct of the work. A copy of the guidelines for research involving human subjects, may be obtained from the MUN Office of Research or

Please note: In the case of an internship, it may not be necessary to seek ethics approval unless the objectives or processes of the internship require investigation involving human subjects for the internship report.

Students have a duty to maintain integrity and professionalism in all their work. Under the doctrine of fair use, students must acknowledge the work of others; paraphrase accurately to ensure the intent of the work(s) of others; represent the work of others in an honest and thorough manner; and be vigilant and guard against plagiarism.

Please Note: Ethics approval is a statement that the work proposed meets the guidelines established. It is not an approval of methodology, procedures, or practices proposed.


Completion of the Internship

8. Responsibility for the ongoing supervision and completion of the internship rests with both the graduate student and University Supervisor(s); nevertheless, the internship and report are the student's work.

The University Supervisor(s) accepts responsibility to advise and guide in the selection and refinement of the topic; the scope and significance of topic to be developed; the analysis and synthesis of the research on the topic; the generalizations and specifics of the topic; the coherence and consistency of the ideas; the design and development of the product; and the preparation of the internship report.

9. Graduate students should be cognizant of the need for many drafts before an internship report is thorough and finessed enough to be considered finished. During the process of creating the product and internship report, students should make appointments to meet with course University Supervisor(s) and provide, at least two weeks in advance of an appointment, a copy of the work to be read or examined. Students have every right to expect an informed response to draft sections of their ongoing internship work normally within two weeks. A University Supervisor has every right to require any reasonable rewrites of the internship within an agreed upon time frame; to require it to be produced/written in accord with APA Guidelines; and to require it to be consistent with the guidelines for submission outlined in this syllabus.


Evaluation Process

10. When the University Supervisor and the candidate agree that the report is completed, the University Supervisor will select and contact the second evaluator, who may be the Field Supervisor or another qualified person. Together the two evaluators shall assign a grad of Pass (PAS) or Fail (FAL).


Submission of the Final Report

11. If it is determined that revisions or changes are required, the University Supervisor(s) will oversee the satisfactory completion of the changes. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to deliver a copy of the final internship report to the Office of the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.