The internship enables doctoral students to enrich leadership capacity in the context of an advanced professional setting or applied scholarly project. In the internship, doctoral students integrate theoretical and practical knowledge, while gaining new leadership skills that serve an organization or community.

A doctoral internship can take place in a variety of settings, based on a student's professional interests. Students may not, however, propose an internship that overlaps with their current professional work. In other words, an internship must involve professional engagement in a setting different and distinguished from the job requirements of the student's current professional role.

An internship earning 3 credit hours should involve approximately 150-300 hours of student involvement over the course of the semester, including background reading, work time on site, coordination meetings, and reflective writing. Some students may pursue a two-semester internship to receive 6 credit hours and involving 150-300 hours of student involvement each semester (300-600 hours total).

Internship Planning & Proposal

  • Minimum 3 Months Before Start Date: Doctoral students must carefully plan an internship, in collaboration with an on-site supervisor and faculty internship advisor. Students should begin conversations with an on-site supervisor and/or internship advisor at least 3 months in advance of beginning the internship in order to clarify desired outcomes as well as expectations for the daily work of the internship.
  • Minimum 1 Month Before Start Date: Students should submit an internship proposal (DOCX, 330 KB) to the Doctoral Program Director at least one month before the beginning of the internship.
  • Minimum 10 Days Before Start Date: Students should submit an internship contract (PDF, 257 KB) at least 10 days before the start of the academic semester in which the internship is to be completed. Internship proposals submitted after the first class day of the semester will not be accepted for registration in that semester.

**PLEASE NOTE: Students will only be registered for an internship once the internship proposal and internship contract have been approved by the site mentor, internship advisor, and Doctoral Program Director. Internship proposals submitted after the first day of the semester will not be accepted for registration in that semester.

Supervision and Assessment

The Doctoral Program Director or a qualified designee of the Doctoral Program serves as the internship advisor. The internship advisor provides leadership, guidance, collegial support, and advocacy for interns as they facilitate a process of applying knowledge gained in course work. The internship advisor will encourage experiential learning, self-direction, and realistic self-appraisal while making every effort to foster positive relationships between the intern and the on-site mentor. The Doctoral Program Director will consult with the internship advisor on the status and progress the internship. After the completion of the internship, the internship advisor will complete an Internship Portfolio Assessment Form (PDF, 176 KB) and well as the Internship Rubric (PDF, 50 KB).

The internship is also under the supervision of an on-site mentor. The on-site mentor will complete a formative assessment of the internship by completing the Internship Evaluation Form at the conclusion of the semester-long internship.

Internship Portfolio

During the internship, students will compile an internship portfolio that contributes to reflection on their internship experiences. The portfolio will serve to inform the faculty advisor of the activities, concerns, and highlights of the internship and provides students with a record of their journey. The portfolio should include the following:

  1. A signed copy of the internship proposal
  2. A reflective journal
  3. A log of internship activities, including attendance at seminars, meetings, conferences, and hours worked
  4. Copies of any products or materials created during the experience (event flyers, reports, meeting notes, etc.)
  5. Completed mentor evaluation form
  6. A written reflective summary including:
    • Narrative summary of internship activities, outcomes and obstacles in relation to your learning goals.
    • A critical reflection about the impact of the internship on your professional/leadership capabilities.
    • An overall self-assessment of your learning and progress during the internship including thoughts about follow up activity and/or a second semester of an internship.


Pre-Internship Planning Forms

Post-Internship Assessment Forms

Examples of Past Internships

Last Name

First Name



Topic Focus

Baines-SmithCourtney21High Country Local First & ASU Child Development Center"Lettuce Learn" Gardens
BumgarnerJames15ASU Reading ClinicThe practicum class
ElrodDavid19Appalachian StateHPC 5543 Co-Teaching
FendleyJaci20Appalachian StatePublic School Partnership
GrubbJodi17Ashe Co. High SchoolTransition plans for youth disabilities
GuelzowDiane16Appalachian StateOutreach for New Opportunity School for Women 
HensonJohn20Appalachian StateLiving History Galleries
HoneycuttMelanie16Surry CountyMedia and Technology
JoynerDeborah20Morganton Day SchoolWebsite Development
LentzAlice18Caldwell Community CollegeStudy Skills class instruction
MikusaMelanie20Lees McRae CollegeHigher Ed. Teaching
MillerJennifer20California State UniversityStudent Affairs
MitchellJustin19Iredell-Statesville SchoolsCurriculum and Instruction
MooreCarol19Lenoir Rhyne UniversityKids in College (KIC) 
PlatoKatrina20Reich College of Ed.Expressive Arts Open Studio
Roberts-CooperCathy19Appalachian StateSophomore Year Experience
SchmaussStacy18Yadkin RiverkeeperCommunity outreach
SmileyShari Lynn20Appalachian StateReading Clinic Tutoring/Lessons
VinesNora18Alleghany High SchoolNCQUEST grant, evaluation

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