Why do an internship?
Internships are an integral part of the total educational experience of the Rehabilitation Services program. Through your internship, you will deepen your understanding of human behavior and enhance your skills for working with people with disabilities.
Do I get credit for the internship?
Your internship (REHB495) is worth 9 credit hours.
What is the time commitment?
Most internships require 450 hours of work at the internship site spread over the 15 weeks of the semester excluding finals week. That translates into working 30 hours per week.
If you want to become certified as an associate level behavior analyst, you must complete a 670 hour internship working under the supervision of one of the Behavior Analysis and Therapy faculty in the Rehabilitation Institute. This internship will be spread across two semesters and will require a time allocation of 24 hours a week. You are advised to enroll in 9 credits of REHB 495 during fall semester, and three credits during the following spring semester. You must meet with Dr. Jonathan Baker to plan your internship.
When do I complete the internship?
It will be completed after you have successfully finished all of your required REHB courses. Most students do their internships in the spring semester of their senior year. Occasionally students complete the internships in the fall semester. We do not offer internships in the summer.
Are there any special requirements to enroll in the internship?
To enroll for the internship, students must have senior standing, be admitted to the Rehabilitation Services major, and have an overall GPA of 2.25 as well as a GPA of 2.5 in their major coursework. Additionally, only one required rehabilitation course may be taken along with the internship. All other required rehabilitation courses must be completed before the internship semester.
Please note that some electives may be required depending on the type of internship you desire.
Do I have to find my own internship site?
No, we make the arrangements for your internship experience. We have a highly structured procedure for matching students with sites that reflect their interests and needs.
The semester prior to your internship placement, you will attend a group meeting with other students who will be doing their internship in the same semester. There are two purposes of the meeting. The first is to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as an internship student and the agency's rights and responsibilities. You will receive a manual explaining the entire internship experience. The second purpose is to determine your area of interest with respect to the internship placement. At this meeting, we provide students with a list of sites that have hosted students in the past. Students are welcome to suggest other sites as well.
After you have identified your interests and any special concerns (e.g., transportation), the placement process begins. The Internship Coordinator contacts the site you have indicated to determine agency interest in having an internship student for the coming semester. If the agency is willing to consider sponsoring a student, the Internship Coordinator will provide you with the name and phone number of the contact person at the agency. You will then call the contact person to set up an interview. After the interview, it is your responsibility to contact the Internship Coordinator to report the outcome of the meeting. If you and the agency agree to the placement, the Internship Coordinator will send a letter to the agency confirming the arrangement. A copy of the letter will be sent to you.
What if I don't know where I might want to do my internship?
You may not know where you would like to complete your internship when you begin the program. Don't worry about it yet. After you have taken the classes about specific disabilities and have made visits to various community agencies, you will probably begin to have an idea of what you would like to do on an internship. Additionally, each fall the Rehabilitation Institute and the School of Social Work host a “Field Fair.” Representatives from agencies all over southern Illinois set up booths in the Student Center for several hours. Students are encouraged to come anytime during this event to find out about the groups served by the agencies and the services offered. By the time students have taken the required classes and participated in Field Fair, they usually have an idea of what type of internship experience they would like.
Will I be able to do my internship at an agency in my hometown?
That depends on where you live. We provide supervision of all the internships our students complete. For that reason, all internship must be completed at agencies within about a 60 mile radius of Carbondale .
Do I have to do an internship if I have work experience in rehabilitation?
Yes. No exemptions will be allowed. Previous work experience in the field of rehabilitation will not be counted towards this requirement. You may receive academic credit for previous experience (see below), but you will not be exempt from the internship.
Can I receive credit for my previous work experience?
- Yes. You may be eligible to receive 3* hours of course credit in REHB 494 for previous work experience in the field of rehabilitation if you meet the criteria outlined below. These credit hours are elective hours and may not be substituted for required REHB courses.
- You must have a minimum of 150 hours of direct experience with people with disabilities in a paid or unpaid capacity. The job duties must relate directly to the provision of direct service to people with disabilities. Family experience, while valuable, is not recognized as independent work experience.
- You must provide verification of the experience in the form of a letter from the supervisor of the experience. The letter must document the number of hours of experience you had and list the job
- You must provide a typewritten description of the work experience to the Coordinator of Rehabilitation Services. The statement should (a) provide a summary of your duties and (b) present a rationale for why the experience is relevant and how it has contributed to your understanding of disability and disability issues. In other words, you should justify why the experience is worthy of academic credit. At a minimum, the summary should be one double-spaced typed page. If you are requesting more than 3 credit hours, your justification may need to be longer. Dr. Baker will review requests for over 3 credit hours.
* Students may request additional hours of credit. Such credit will be awarded to students who can document that their experiences provided them with increasing responsibilities in the field of rehabilitation. Two ways in which students may document this is through promotions or added job duties.