Internship Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to register for internship?
You must have completed at least 90 credits toward your degree prior to registering for RPTM 495A - Internship. We also strongly suggest that you have completed the core courses in the RPTM major including RPTM 101, 120, 236, 277, 356, 433W and 410. Internship agencies will be expecting you to have basic skills and knowledge from those core courses. You must also have completed your 300 points of Student Engagement Experience and have passed RPTM 394 with a C or better. A minimum 2.0 GPA is required to be in the major and to register for RPTM 495A.
What are the requirements to select an internship agency?
The agency must provide recreation, park, tourism or event planning services. Working closely with the RPTM Academic Advisor and the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator, students should select an agency that meets his/her career goals. The job description for your internship should reflect the skills and knowledge of RPTM. Agencies that are primarily retail, food and beverage or provide services that fall outside of the parameters of RPTM would not be appropriate for an RPTM internship. If you have questions if an agency is appropriate, check with the RPTM Academic Advisor or RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator.
Do I really have to pay tuition if I’m not going to be on campus taking classes?
RPTM 495A is a required course to earn a degree in RPTM. Even though you may be off campus and working full-time on-site at a recreation service agency, you are still working closely with a faculty member, submitting academic papers and projects and earning academic credit. RPTM 495A is a 12 credit, full-time, academic experience with faculty supervisor so students are required to pay full-time tuition for the semester that they are enrolled.
What is meant by full-time?
RPTM 495A is a 12 credit course. Students are expected to maintain full-time hours for 12 weeks. Agencies may ask that a student commit to more weeks and/or hours per week. Events, holiday programming, team schedules, etc. on-site sometimes require students to work more than 40 hours in a given week. The minimum is 35-40 hours per week over 12 weeks.
I’m having a hard time finding an internship agency, what should I do?
You should make an appointment to meet with the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator. She can help you identify goals, make connections with agencies, refer you to websites and reach out to agencies where students have successfully completed internships in the past.
I found an Internship agency, now what do I do?
- Establish your start and end dates with your agency.
- Make an appointment to submit your materials in person to the RPTM undergraduate coordinator. These include:
- Internship Site Selection Form using the form on the website. Please type in your information and print it out for submission.
- 300-points of Student Engagement Experience
- Documentation of completion/current certification in CPR and First Aid
- A copy of your academic audit demonstrating that you have at least a 2.0 GPA and have earned a C or better in RPTM 394
- Sit back, relax and get ready to SHINE in your field!
Where can I get the forms I need to fill out?
Go to 701 Ford Building and ask the RPTM Student Services Assistant, Lori Coup, or go to the Internship Handbook & Forms page on the RPTM Internship Website.
How do I know my start and end dates for internship?
Most students start internship on the first day of classes. However, we are willing to work with students if their internship agency asks you to start early or later than the first day of classes. It’s important to note that if you start AFTER the first day of classes, it may impact your plans for graduation if you are planning to complete your degree during your last semester. Grades for internship must be turned in on the last day of classes for that semester. If your agency is asking you to start late or continue after the last day of classes, your grade in RPTM 495A may be deferred which would potentially defer your graduation plan. Please make an appointment to see the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator if you have questions about your start and end dates.
I got a better offer. What if I want to change my internship agency after I submitted my paperwork?
After the signed paperwork is submitted to the Department’s Internship staff assistant, the student will be expected to fulfill his/her commitment to the chosen internship agency. In the event that a student wishes to change an internship site after submitting an approved internship site selection form, the student must make that change prior to the internship deadline and only with approval of the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator.
What if I miss the deadline to submit my paperwork?
Students who miss the deadline for internship will not be permitted to register for RPTM 495A and will be encouraged to prepare for the next available semester. Internship is a highly independent learning opportunity. Students who rush to pick an agency or aren’t prepared to complete their internship generally do not do well. Students should begin the process of selection and completion of pre-requisites such as 300-points of Student Engagement Experience and registration for CPR/FIRST AID classes well in advance of the deadline.
What if the agency will not be able to tell me if I have the internship prior to the internship deadline date?
Extensions are not generally granted beyond the deadline to submit paperwork for internship. If you are having difficulty finding an internship agency or securing the pre-internship materials by the deadline, please make an appointment to see the Undergraduate Coordinator.
What if my agency asks me for an affiliate agreement?
Contact the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator who will take the appropriate action to ensure that your agency becomes affiliated,if required by the agency.
How and when will I know who my Penn State faculty supervisor is?
Faculty Supervisors are assigned after all students have submitted materials and we have a sense of how many students are enrolled in RPTM 495A for that semester. You will know who your supervisor will be prior to leaving Penn State. When you arrive at your Internship site, there will be a packet of information that was sent by the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator via email to your agency supervisor. This packet includes evaluation forms, etc. All of these forms are also available on the internship website.
I got to my internship site and forgot my Internship Handbook. What do I do?
You can print the Internship Handbook from Internship Handbook & Forms page of the RPTM Internship Website or contact ProCopy in State College, PA and request that a bound copy be sent to you. ProCopy can be reached by calling (814) 231-1256 (ask for the RPTM 394 learning packet).
I still have questions. How can I reach the RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator?
The RPTM Undergraduate Coordinator is Patty Kleban. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 814-865-1851 to make an appointment to see her in the Ford Building.