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ERIC Number: EJ1072289
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1082-1651
Instilling Success in an Internship Program: A Dietetic Case Study
Shows, Amy R.; Killough, Jill E.; Jackson, Samantha; Lui, Janet
Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, v107 n3 p50-54 2015
Educators in the field of family and consumer science (FCS) must be able to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills in students (Schumacher, 2014), and internships are one way to do so. Internships are formal programs that provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession. Interns are temporarily placed in unpaid, supervised work roles. Hands-on experience, including experiential learning and direct work experience, is one of the main purposes of an internship (Montgomery, 1999). Internships also help students develop marketable skills that are advantageous in today's competitive job market (Hurst, Thye, & Wise, 2014). In fact, among college graduates in entry-level positions, approximately 75% of those with internship experience are maintained by their employers after 1 year of employment (National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2014). This article presents a case study of a successful dietetic internship program at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. The Lamar University (LU) internship program (IP) begins building solidarity among interns prior to the actual start day. Within a month of being matched to the program, the director provides an electronic presentation to the new class. The purpose of this communication is twofold: (1) to provide a brief biographical sketch, photo, and contact information of each intern to the class; and (2) to invite the new internship class to the campus for a Greeting Meeting. Interns are encouraged to bring family members to this event. Approximately 8 weeks after the Greeting Meeting, the internship program begins with a 9-day orientation, affectionately (or not so affectionately) referred to by the interns as the IP boot camp. In this refresher crash course, numerous concepts learned earlier are reviewed with the interns to ensure they have mastered important concepts and are equipped to be successful on their first day of rotation. Since the inception of the LU internship, program graduates have been honored at an end-of-year ceremony. Program faculty, interns, and family members are invited, along with the Department Chair, College Dean, and University Provost. Preceptors, professionals who provide training and real-world experience throughout the internship (Wilson, 2001), also attend the ceremony. Prior to the event, interns nominate and vote upon an exceptional preceptor to be recognized during the ceremony as Outstanding Preceptor of the Year. This is one way to express gratitude to preceptors who have exemplified professionalism, mentorship, and service to the profession.
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. 400 North Columbus Street Suite 202, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-424-8080; Tel: 703-706-4600; Fax: 703-706-4663; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A