Guidelines for the Academic Project

In order to complete the internship experience, it is necessary to make connections between the work done in the field and the lessons learned in the classroom. The mechanism for achieving that goal is the academic project. The project is most commonly a small reflection paper, although alternatives such as a scrapbook, video or other options are encouraged. The project is negotiated between student and the internship coordinator. If a paper is chosen, the length of the paper depends on the number of hours of academic credit. For example, a three-to-five-page paper is required for a three-credit experience. Smaller papers are required for one or two credit hours, and a longer paper would be required for an internship for credit beyond three hours.

This project is designed to make connections between the intern’s professional experiences and lessons learned in the classroom. For this reason, the project requires research and documentation of sources used for the project. Papers must reference a book (class textbooks are fine) or scholarly journal articles. No "Time," "Newsweek," "FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin" or similar news or trade publications are allowed. Full bibliographic citation is required, preferably in American Political Science Association style.

The final project will be due at noon on the last day of exams. If a paper is chosen, it can be turned in as a Microsoft Word file to an email.

The project must be decently crafted, i.e., such that a grade of "C" or better would be merited. Papers full of typographical, grammar and usage errors or misspelled words will not receive a passing grade. The internship coordinator will gladly review rough drafts if they are turned in at least two weeks before the due date. If rough drafts are of sufficient quality, then no further work will be required. If not, revisions will be required. Individuals who choose not to turn in a rough draft will pass or fail based on the quality of the project as completed. No pass or incomplete will be given, regardless of the quality of the work done at the work site, if the project does not earn a passing grade.