DEVELOPMENT OF A HANDBOOK FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS
The Problem. Many of us are familiar with the high rate of teenage unemployment. Experts in the field of career education indicate that a lack of "bridges" between school life and the world of work contributes to this problem. Career internships are one way to create these bridges. Internships give students experience in areas of career interest to them. For example, they allows a student to test the dream of being a photographer against the reality of hours in the darkroom.^ Many teachers and administrators have considered using internships to expand their career training programs for students in all tracks (business, academic, and vocational). Problems may arise when they attempt to put these concepts into practice. Some programs never get off the ground. Others never realize their potential. An effective internship program must come forth with answers to these three questions: (1) What are realistic objectives for the program? (2) What are workable methods of implementation? (3) What are effective methods of evaluation for the program as well as for the students in the program? Since the study used the case study method, there is another question: Is there enough commonality in the three different case studies and the literature to create a basis for meaningful generalizations for program practice?^ The Design. In order to come up with answers to these questions, the following methods were employed: (1) The literature on internship programs, including the history of these programs, was evaluated. (2) Three sites where internship programs exist were selected. These sites were visted on numerous occasions. Interviews with program staff, students and cooperating employers were conducted.^ The Results. Relating to the general questions posed above, the following findings are evident: (1) It is possible, through case studies and examination of the literature to establish principles that can inform a wise selection of program objectives. (2) Through an examination of the case studies and the literature, common practices do exist that are helpful to those interested in starting an internship program or modifying an existing program. The generalizations on program management in the model are the result, in part, of this congregation of common practice. (3) While methods for evaluation differ from case to case, an analysis of the various methods did make the suggestions for an evaluation system easier. (4) An additional important finding of this study is the development of the program variables (strength of the student, the placement and the program). (5) This study results in a detailed model for the establishment, running and evaluation of career internship programs. This model program is complete with a handbook for starting and running such a program as well as three work books to be used in the teaching component of the program.^ Conclusion. Through the use of the model developed in this study, it is hoped that successful and effective programs will be easier to achieve. ^
STEVEN JAY GROSS,
"DEVELOPMENT OF A HANDBOOK FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS"
(January 1, 1980).
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