FAQ - Internships

The following list is designed to provide answers to many of the common questions regarding the requirements of the Health Promotion Internship at Weber State University.
Do I pay tuition for internship credits?
YES. Internships count as part of the credit hours necessary for graduation, thus a student must be enrolled and pay all tuition and fees (i.e., cost of transportation to the internship site, materials, etc.) required for these credit hours during the internship experience.
How and when should I contact the Health Promotion faculty about an internship?
Members of the Health Promotion faculty, as well as the Internship Coordinator, have several resources for finding an internship. Staying in close contact with them during your Junior and Senior years is recommended as you will be more aware of the internship opportunities available to you. Once you think you have a potential internship opportunity, contact a Health Promotion faculty member, or the Internship Coordinator, to discuss the objectives and goals of the internship as well as the job description. The internship must be approved and the paper work MUST be filled out before starting the internship.
What should I consider when selecting an internship?

  • What do I want to learn from the internship?
  • What skills do I have, and how can I contribute to an agency?
  • Is it located in a community with which I am already somewhat familiar?
  • Is it located where I might be able to stay with friends or relatives to reduce costs?
  • Is the environment of the site, and travel to and from the site, safe?
  • Does the internship represent the type of setting where I would eventually like to be employed?
  •  Is it located in a community large enough to likely contain significant employment options into which I might network?
  • Is it located in an area of the country where I would like to live?

Where can I find an internship?
Potential internship opportunities and agencies available:

  • Talk with the Health Promotion faculty or the Internship Coordinator about available internships.
  •  Visit the Health Promotion website to see a list of potential internship opportunities:  http://www.weber.edu/healthpromotion/internshipopportunities.html
  • Talk to previous students/classmates about their internship experiences.
  • Call agencies or organizations and ask about available opportunities.
  • Connect with any volunteer agency, local or state health department, etc. where previous volunteer experience has been given.

What advice is available for contacting agencies to inquire about internships?

  • First, brainstorm a list of agencies where you would like to do an internship.
  • Next, find the name and contact information of the program manager or director.  Heather Hunter, the Internship Coordinator, may be able to assist you with this (heatherhunter@weber.edu). 
  • Call or e-mail this person, and set up an appointment to meet with him/her in person to discuss potential internships.
  •  Before meeting with this person, do some background research to learn more about the agency, what they do, who they serve, etc.
  • During the interview, articulate: what you want to learn in your internship, what your skills are, and how you can contribute to their agency. Also be prepared to discuss possible learning objectives (see Form B of the Internship Contract) that relate to the field of Health Promotion.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to contact agencies. By this time they may already have interns hired. Start exploring options for internships at least 2-3 months before you want to start.

What is an appropriate internship?
For an internship to be approved, the agency and internship learning objectives must:

  • Be related to Health Promotion (i.e., one or more of the Responsibilities and Competencies for Health Education Specialists - http://www.nchec.org/credentialing/responsibilities/). 
  • Incorporate community health methods, such as: 
  • health education (i.e. presentations, conferences, classes etc.)
  • health communication
  • planning
  • surveillance/epidemiology
  • policy/advocacy
  • social marketing
  • community mobilization/empowerment
  • coalition building
  • health counseling/screenings/behavior modification
  • evaluation (either process, impact, or outcome)

IMPORTANT NOTE: A health promotion internship must involve responsibilities that directly relate to the field of health promotion and should reflect the Responsibilities and Competencies of a Health Education Specialist.  More information on this can be found at http://www.nchec.org/credentialing/responsibilities/.  Health Promotion students will NOT receive HLTH 4860 credit for simply observing or shadowing practitioners or providers, nor will students receive credit retroactively for prior experience.

What are learning objectives, and how do I go about writing objectives for my internship experience and personal objectives for myself?
You are required to develop and list your learning objectives on Form B of the Internship Contract.  Objectives should be related to one or more of the Responsibilities and Competencies for Health Education Specialists and written in the SMART format (for more information on this, see http://www.iom.edu/About-IOM/Making-a-Difference/Community-Outreach/~/media/Files/About%20the%20IOM/SmartBites/Planning/P1%20SMART%20Objectives.ashx). 
What does the University require me to do before I officially start my internship?
In order to avoid liability risks, the Health Promotion Program requires that all interns fill out the necessary forms prior to starting an internship; otherwise the time put in will not count. In order to do this, make an appointment with your on-site internship supervisor at his/her agency prior to your starting date to fill out Forms A-C of the Internship Contract. The forms may be scanned/e-mailed or given directly to the Internship Coordinator, Heather Hunter,  (heatherhunter@weber.edu).
Please note, you cannot receive HLTH 4860 credit retrospectively (i.e., for work that you have already completed).
What happens if there needs to be a change in my internship?
Students are expected to accept internship positions with a seriousness of purpose and to perform their work accurately and responsibly. If the work performance does not meet the established reasonable standards, the internship provider is not obligated to continue the student’s internship.
Discharge may be for one of several nondiscriminatory reasons such as:

  • unsatisfactory performance
  • incompetence
  • irregular attendance
  • inability to perform expected tasks
  • habitual tardiness
  • unsatisfactory attitude
  • improper behavior
  • lack of dependability
  • damaging relationships between the agency and its partners, etc.

The circumstances that might lead to a student being discharged would be carefully documented and reviewed by the Health Promotion Program Director, and Internship Coordinator. As a safeguard for all parties, the case might be referred to the Department Chair, Dean, and if deemed appropriate, legal counsel.
Should you find yourself terminated without ample warning, you should follow these instructions. Immediately communicate with the Health Promotion Program Director, and Internship Coordinator. When you speak with the Internship Coordinator, be prepared with the following information:

  • Your city and state location
  • The name of the agency with whom you are interning
  • Your immediate internship supervisor’s name
  • The office telephone number and e-mail of your on-site supervisor
  • A full written explanation of the possible reasons for the impending or immediate termination

The Internship Coordinator reserves the right to contact the internship supervisor to check on student progress, solve problems, determine value of internship, provide input, explain expectations, etc.

Can I receive compensation from my internship site while also receiving HLTH 4860 credit?
Yes, with the following limitation - if a student is completing his/her internship at his/her place of employment, the internship responsibilities must be above and beyond normal work duties (i.e., a student cannot receive HLTH 4860 credit for completing taks that are already part of his/her job description at work).

Some internship sites do provide a small amount of compensation or a stipend for completing internship responsibilities, and this is acceptable.