Health and Human Performance

Students enrolled in this department’s internship course must complete one semester of work experience with a cooperating agency. Applications must be approved and liability insurance purchased before students may register for the course. This internship is intended to provide students with the opportunity to put educational theories and classroom skills into practice.


Contact: Dr. Deborah Gibson, 731-881-7311,; Dr. Todd Sherman, 731-881-7314,


Objectives of the internship

  • To apply theory in a practical environment
  • To further develop professional knowledge, skills, and abilities defined by appropriate professional organizations
  • To establish groundwork and provide networking for professional development and growth in a career
  • To further help students recognize their own strengths and weaknesses both personally and professionally
  • To facilitate students as they assess personal ambitions in their chosen field
  • To prepare students for employment or graduate education

General course objectives – The student will…

  • Create a professional resume while exploring important characteristics for job attainment
  • Value individual differences inherent within the setting, emphasizing ethnic and multicultural diversity
  • Apply psychomotor skills acquired in formal education to the tasks at the internship site
  • Apply cognitive skills acquired in formal education to the tasks at the internship site
  • Examine all areas of the work environment to broaden his or her scope of understanding of the organization
  • Utilize this opportunity to explore the professional environment and function as if in full time employment
  • Evaluation professional readiness through the acquisition and application of skills in the real world setting
  • Maintain a weekly log of hours using the PerfectForm available in Blackboard.

Site supervisors will evaluate each intern on the following criteria:

  1. Internship Knowledge - Consideration of the overall current knowledge in techniques, equipment, skills, procedures and/or materials to perform the job.
  2. Quality of Work - Consideration given to freedom from errors and mistakes, neatness, general quality of work and accuracy.
  3. Quantity of Work - Consideration given to actual accomplishment of work in relation to the expected outcome and speed of performance.
  4. Initiative - Consideration given to degree of self-motivation, making of constructive suggestions and contributing ideas, completion of given assignments.
  5. Ability to Learn - Consideration given to the speed at which an intern masters new methods and tasks, grasps concepts and explanations, retention and knowledge.
  6. Judgment - Consideration to degree in which intern shows good common sense and thinks while making decisions or before acting. Intern considers implications and consequences.
  7. Interpersonal Relations - Consideration of courtesy to public and coworkers, tactfulness, how the intern presents self, skills in work-group and interpersonal situations, proper interactions with supervisors.
  8. Professional Ethics - Consideration of ability to recognize moral dilemmas, awareness to ethics, applies rational decision making, takes care in making ethical decisions.
  9. Communication - Consideration of the degree to which the intern effectively expresses her/himself orally and in writing and use of technology. Professional tone with communication.
  10. Work Habits - Consideration of the degree to which intern's work habits exhibit neatness, safe working procedures, proper care and efficient use of equipment and supplies, punctuality, conformation to work schedule.
  11. Policy Compliance - Consideration of the degree to which intern accepts and follows organization policies and procedures.
  12. Personal Appearance - Consideration of the intern's neatness, hygiene and appropriateness of dress on the job.

The site supervisor uses the following scale to rate the intern: 4 = exceeds expectations, 3 = meets expectations, 2 = meets some but not all expectations, 1 - needs improvement, 0 not observed/not applicable. There are a total of 48 possible points. The percentage score will be entered into Blackboard. If a case exists where an item is not applicable, or not observed, the total possible points will be adjusted.


Internships should include the following features:

  • The intern is expected to have an opportunity to practice all the responsibilities of the professional environment as allowed by the supervisor.
  • The intern may be given a stipend for the internship experience, but it is not expected. If the internship is to be completed in a location where the student is simultaneously employed, the internship must provide him/her with a full range of work experiences outside their current scope of practice (i.e. not what they are currently doing in their job).
  • The internship experience should include general responsibilities of the environment, management and administration of the facilities, learning the programming software necessary for the job and general requirements of employment.
  • Where permitted, interns should observe, study and assist in carrying out the facility’s practices and policies, help design and implement program activities, help with facility maintenance and operation and assist with specialized duties of the supervisor or his/her co-workers.
  • The university internship coordinator will keep in touch in person, by phone, or email with the internship supervisor at least twice during the internship. Depending on the proximity, the internship coordinator may make personal visits to the internship site.

Characteristics of a host organization

  • The organization is expected to provide a helpful array of work experience for each intern, which will play a role in his/her professional development and growth.
  • The organization must have sufficient resources to supply the intern with a suitable experience.
  • The organization must employ the person who serves as the internship supervisor. It is expected that the supervisor is competent in fulfilling the objectives outlined below and be an employee who is committed to helping student interns develop and grow into professionals.

Responsibilities of the organization supervisor

  • To provide the organization’s communication between the university and organization employees.
  • To create a job environment to facilitate the intern’s growth and development in their responsibilities and duties.
  • After gaining approval for an internship program, to communicate the goals of the specific internship experience to the appropriate body, which has committed to the internship program.
  • To introduce the intern to the organization’s staff and assist the intern to have appropriate interaction with the staff.
  • To aid the intern in understanding their work duties and responsibilities as it correlates with the organization and its clients.
  • To outline the responsibilities of the intern and assist their development and growth by:
    • setting appropriate goals and objectives with the intern
    • meeting regularly to discuss operational methods, problems and leadership techniques and additional issues that will facilitate the intern in meeting his/her internship goals
    • keeping the intern up to date on all regulations and rules
    • assisting the intern in the selection of an appropriate internship project that would be beneficial to the agency
  • The intern will be evaluated by the internship supervisor through the following:
    • planned and unplanned meetings with the intern
    • planned meetings with the university internship coordinator via electronic means or in person
    • provide oral review and feedback of the intern’s work during the internship
    • completion of the mid-term and final evaluation forms and discussion with the intern
    • seventy percent of the internship grade is from the final evaluation of the internship supervisor

Responsibilities of university supervisor

  • To be accountable for the university’s communication end of the internship
  • To continue to update database of possible internship sites and supervisors to provide currency and the best opportunities for our interns when consulted about internship placement
  • To provide support and advice to the student
  • To oversee arrangements for and endorse internship contracts
  • To maintain lines of communication with the internship supervisor
  • To be available for consultation if necessary and act as a resource for the student and organization internship supervisor
  • To assess internship reports and the performance of the student – the final grade is given by the internship coordinator using the final evaluation of the organization’s internship supervisor and additional assignments completed by the student.

Responsibilities of student intern

  1. To select the placement of the internship site, establish initial communication with the organization, outline the internship agreement and gain final approval from the faculty internship coordinator for the internship experience
  2. Obtain the required professional liability insurance – go to click on Exercise Science/Wellness look for HPER 491 Internship for link to form (Insurance runs June 1 – May 31). Cost is $20.
  3. Students must complete all assignments and requirements by the dates assigned.

For a list of different internship types and areas of specialization, visit


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