Communication Studies Internship Program
CMM498

Yokum 103, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Tel. (518) 564-2111 Fax (518) 564-2105


Student Handbook
(Last updated 1/14)


Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Area Supervisors & Contact Info
-Internships & Experiential Learning
-Internship Requirements
-Internship Types
-Prerequisite Courses
-Choosing an Agency
-Application Submission Dates and Information
-The Application Process
-Course Registration & Description
-Alumni Comments

Communication Studies Department Chairperson:
Shakuntala Rao
103B/202D Yokum Hall
564-4291
Shakuntala.Rao@plattsburgh.edu 

Area Supervisor - Audio-Radio & Digital Media Production
Tim Clukey
136E Yokum Hall
564-4290
clukeytj@plattsburgh.edu

Area Supervisor - Broadcast Journalism & TV-Video Production
Christine Johnson
108 Yokum Hall
564-4283
johnsocc@plattsburgh.edu

Area Supervisor - Communication Studies
Kirsten Isgro
202P
Yokum Hall
564-2407
isgrok@plattsburgh.edu

<Back to Top of Page>


Internships and Experiential Learning

An internship is an experiential learning activity in which a student gets practical experience that enhances his/her skills and knowledge.  When you intern, you work with industry professionals who serve as mentors and are invested in your progress. Although enhancement of skills is one benefit of an internship, an internship is about more than skill development.  An internship is a learning opportunity.  Because of this, the credits you earn for an internship are not earned because you have worked at an agency, but because you have engaged in a learning experience and revealed your knowledge to supervisors at the university and at the agency. Your knowledge will manifest itself in the projects you create and the tasks you complete at the agency, your professional performance at the internship site, and your written reflections in which you make connections between what you learn at the agency and what you learned in the classroom.  Along with the internship site supervisors and mentors, faculty members in the Communication Studies Department are an essential part of your internship experience.  Faculty members answer your questions and evaluate the various expressions of your knowledge. You, your faculty, and the agency supervisors work as a team to help make your Communication Internship a successful experience!

<Back to Top of Page>


Requirements

All students must meet requirements (in advance) to be approved for an internship.
To be approved as an intern:

   --Submit an application, cover letter, resumè, and Degree Works course listing at ANY time*
        *Note: students must receive approval before they are allowed to begin an internship opportunity.

To qualify you must:
   --Be a major in the Communication Studies Department
   --Complete 75 credits before the internship begins
   --Have earned a minimum Major GPA of 3.0
   --Have earned a minimum overall GPA of 2.75
   --Complete prereq courses with a B- (or better) before the start of the internship (see list below)
   --Acquire 2 Communication faculty recommendations
   --Properly submit the application materials (listed above)
 
Note—Communication Department Internship Committee reserves the right to take a student’s academic history into consideration during the decision-making process.

<Back to Top of Page>


Internship Types

 

Internships vary according to the number of hours you spend at an agency, the credits you earn, and your field of interest:  

Hours/Credits* at Agency: 
    12 credit internship (full time) = 36 hrs/wk for 14 weeks (500 hrs minimum)
      6 credit internship (part time) = 18 hrs/wk for 14 weeks (250 hrs minimum)
      3 credit internship (part time) = 9 hrs/wk for 14 weeks (125 hrs minimum)

Internship opportunities are regularly available for the Spring, Summer, & Fall semesters only.

*Please note that internship credits are general education elective credits. These credits do not count toward your major (although they are included in the calculation of your major GPA).

Area of Interest: Internship are available in 5 different areas of interest. Please select an internship opportunity based on your area of study:

Audio-Radio Production (supervisor, T. Clukey)
Broadcast Journalism (supervisor, C. Johnson)
Communication Studies (supervisor, K. Isgro)
Digital Media Production (supervisor, T. Clukey)

TV-Video Production (supervisor: C. Johnson)

<Back to Top of Page>


Prerequisite Courses

You must earn a "B-" or better in the prerequisite course(s) of the internship area(s) in which you are applying:

Audio-Radio Production:
  Requires a final grade of "B-" or better in any one of the following:
     -CMM428: Advanced Radio Production
     -CMM464: Digital Audio Recording Applications

Broadcast Journalism:
  Requires a final grade of "B-" or better in any one of the following:
    
-CMM458: Directing/Producing TV News
     -C
MM459: Advanced TV News Production

Communication Studies:
  Requires a final grade of "B-" or better in any one of the following:
    
-CMM416: Rhetorical Analysis
     -C
MM470: Organizational Communication

Digital Media/Multimedia/Web Design:
  Requires a final grade of "B-" or better in any one of the following:
    
-CMM424: Digital Animation Production
     -CMM434 Advanced Web Design

TV-Video Production:
  2 Requirements
     #1 Requires a final grade of "B-" or better in the following:
    
     -CMM375: TV Studio Production
     #2  Requires a final grade of "B-" or better in any one of the following:
          -CMM400: Producing the Documentary
          -CMM420: Non-Broadcast TV Production
          -CMM429: TV Field Acting & Production

<Back to Top of Page>


Choosing an Agency

There are 2 ways to select an agency:

1) Choose an established agency.
The Department of Communication Studies keeps a list of established agencies. These are agencies that have already completed Certificate of Insurance forms and may have already worked with interns from our department**.

Established Agency Listing.

2) Choose a new agency.
Sometimes students learn about an agency at which they’d like to intern. This may be an agency that does NOT have an agreement with the Communication Studies Department. Please discuss new agencies with your area supervisor prior to the internship application deadline. Due to NYS insurance requirements, the setup time with a new agency may take 3-6 months before you are eligible to attend**.
    
The internship committee reserves the right to decline a request to intern at a new agency if, after reviewing the above-mentioned materials, there are concerns about the agency. 
Please Note:
You cannot earn internship credit for current or past employment activities. An internship must be a new learning experience.  Also, you cannot intern at a family-owned site or a site at which a family member would be a supervisor. 

Some obvious factors that will likely play a role in determining your preferred internship agency include location, agency need, internship responsibilities, and your academic situation.  Other factors to consider may be level of competition for internship, size of agency, access to equipment, or agency application requirements.

Some agencies are large enough that they have their own internship offices from which all correspondence from PSU is sent.  Many organizations in New York City operate this way.  Often, these agencies have their own application deadlines, application forms to complete, application fees, and requirements.  It is possible that you will need to apply directly to the agency before you apply to the Department of Communication (or vice-versa).  In these cases, you must go through two separate application processes for the internship you desire.  It is possible that you will meet the agency’s requirements but not the requirements set forth by the Communication Studies Department.  You must meet the Department’s requirements to earn credit through the Communication Studies Department.  It is possible that the internship committee will approve you for an internship at an agency but that the agency does not choose you to be an intern.  When this happens it tends to be when students want internships with large organizations where competition for internships is intense. Please be aware that it can take a long time to get in contact with appropriate individuals at some agencies, particularly large agencies.

**Please note that ALL internship agencies must have Certificate of Insurance paperwork on file with SUNY Plattsburgh before ANY internship can occur. This paperwork only has to be filed once every 5 years. First time (new) agencies may take as long as 6 months to complete this process. No students are allowed to begin their internship until this paperwork is completed and on file. (This means that already established agencies are ready-to-go. New agencies may not complete the paperwork in time for your to complete your graduation schedule.) This insurance requirement is a SUNY mandate and may not be changed/altered due to legal requirements/obligations.

<Back to Top of Page>


Application Submission Dates & Information

There are two options regarding application submissions:

1) Applications may be submitted for pre-approval at any time (once you have successfully met all enrollment requirements listed above).
The Internship Committee will review any application that is submitted for pre-approval. Candidates will be notified within two weeks of their application submission.

2) Applications may be submitted for specific agency opportunities up to 2 weeks before the agencies' deadline.
The Internship Committee will review any application that is submitted for a specific agency opportunity. To maximize the potential success of being selected by the agency, the Internship Committee must have the application for review 2 weeks prior to the deadline imposed by the specific agency.
Although agency deadlines vary widely, the Communication Studies Department Internship Committee has adopted the following schedule for internship applications. Applications submitted beyond these dates will be considered late applications and reviewed accordingly.

Due Date Schedule:
          October 15th for Spring Internships
          March 15th for Summer & Fall Internships

Where do I get the application?
    
Download the application here - Communication Internship Application

Where do the applications get submitted?

All applications and supporting documents need to be properly completed and dropped off to the Department of Communication Studies secretary, Carol Laporte in Yokum 103.  

<Back to Top of Page>


Application Process

1. Complete the Communication Internship Application (as soon as your are eligible)
     Download the application here - Communication Internship Application

2. Select an internship agency

3. Submit application, letter, resumè, & degree works profile report

4. Wait for approval letter / notification (within 2 weeks of submission).
     (If you are denied, you may have the option of re-applying after you meet all the qualifications.)

5. Update your resumè and cover letter (work with the Career Development Center) to maximize your selection by the agency you're applying to.

6. Apply to the agency. Follow their requirements/procedures.

7. Interview with the agency.

8. Upon agency approval, notify your internship supervisor**.

9. The Communication Department internship supervisor will coordinate the development of your learning contract with the internship agency.

10. You register for the internship course.

11. You fulfill your hourly work obligations with the agency.

12. While at the agency, you submit a weekly journal to your communication internship supervisor.

13. At completion of the internship, your communication supervisor acquires your final evaluation from the agency site supervisor.

14. You and your communication supervisor review your final evaluation and your final grade is submitted for the course.

**Please note that ALL internship agencies must have Certificate of Insurance paperwork on file with SUNY Plattsburgh before ANY internship can occur. This paperwork only has to be filed once every 5 years. First time agencies may take as long as 6 months to complete this process. No students are allowed to begin their internship until this paperwork is completed and on file. (This means that already established agencies are ready-to-go. New agencies may not complete the paperwork on time for the student's graduation schedule.) This insurance requirement is a SUNY mandate and may not be changed/altered due to legal requirements/obligations.

 

<Back to Top of Page>


Course Registration & Description

If you are approved for an internship, you must register for the course.  Part-time interns enroll in CMM498A (6 credits) and full-time interns enroll in CMM498B (12 credits). 

Keep in mind that, although you may register for the course after approval from the Professional Internship in Communication course committee, a learning contract should be constructed and signed by you, the site supervisor, and your area supervisor before the internship begins.

Your final internship course grade will be based on:

--Evaluations from site supervisor
--Y
our journal entries

Although evaluations from your internship supervisor are taken into consideration when determining your final grade, your site supervisor does not assign grades - only your faculty supervisor will determine your final grade in the course.

Additionally, full-time interns may be asked to submit a portfolio of their work--or deliver a presentation at the end of the semester.  This presentation will be open to faculty and students interested in learning about your internship experience.

<Back to Top of Page>


What have alumni said about their internships through the Communication Studies Department?

“It completely changed my life.  [A professor] talked me into it and I wouldn’t be here today without my internship”

“I had one internship at a radio station.  It was a good experience and made me realize what I did and did not want to do in the future”

 “My internship is the main reason I’m working in TV—best thing I ever did”

“I interned with NBC.  It was an INVALUABLE experience”

“Some tasks I do regularly today, I was taught in my internship”

“The internship gave me hands-on experience to develop my sense of professionalism”

<Back to Top of Page>