Home | About | Undergraduate | Graduate | Prospective | Current | Athletics | Alumni | Faculty/Staff



Internship/Co-op Course Policy and Syllabus
Dr. V.J. Brown, Jr. and Prof. Tom Patterson

I. Introduction

The Sociology Program - Criminal Justice concentration requires internship experiences and highly recommends the internship for students who are majoring in the traditional Sociology program. Internships enrich a college education by enabling the student to integrate theory and practice. In addition, prospective employers are likely to view internships as a form of employment experience. The co-op course is the same structurally as the internship course, however, the enrollment procedure is different and the student can be paid while participating in the course.

II. Learning Objectives

  1. Academic-Cognitive Learning Objectives
    1. To demonstrate the capacity to utilize the fundamental concepts of sociology and/or criminal justice (i.e., culture, social structure, social status, social roles, social processes, social change, due process, probable cause, etc.), and to analyze and increase the student's understanding of the social organization in which they are working.
    2. To demonstrate an ability to do organizational analysis of the work site, utilizing the analytical framework(s) from a variety of textbooks from the courses in Sociology or Criminal Justice that they have so far completed in the program.
    3. To demonstrate a capacity to compare and contrast the relative merits of at least two different major theoretical orientations (i.e., functionalism, conflict, symbolic interaction) in explaining the "way things are" with regard to the organization.
    4. To demonstrate an ability to utilize/apply the theories and concepts from the previously taken Sociology and Criminal Justice courses to the issues and problems which the organization is attempting to address in its mission and with its resources.
  2. Skills Development Learning Objectives
    1. To demonstrate an ability to utilize and apply at least one research skill in the analysis of a problem/issue of importance to the organization or department where the student is placed or working.
    2. To increase the capacity to utilize the quantitative and qualitative research skills of Sociology as a way to critically analyze and think about the organizational environment and the problems/issues that the organization or department focuses upon.
    3. To demonstrate an ability to identify the appropriate and/or needed data in a given situation and the ability to collect the data.
  3. Personal Learning Objectives
    1. To increase a student's understanding of the options which Sociology and/or Criminal Justice offer them for careers as well as for their personal lives.

III. Requirements

  1. Terms of Agreement
    1. Participants must meet agency or organization policies and requirements. For example: a background check may be mandated by the agency or organization for all interns and co-op students to determine their qualifications.
    2. Participant tasks and activities will be determined by the agency or organization supervisor. The participant must comply with these requirements unless there are legitimate reasons not to do so. The legitimacy of such refusal will be determined by the Sociology and/or Criminal Justice faculty.
  2. Participant Hours
    1. The three-hour course will require a minimum of 120 hours of internship/co-op participation in an agency or organization recognized and approved by the faculty. Such recognition will be based on the relevance of the activities of such agency or organization to the course content of the Sociology - Criminal Justice curriculum.
    2. A participant's schedule will be arranged and determined by the student and the Sociology faculty. This schedule is, however, subject to the approval of the concerned agency or organization.
    3. There will be an introductory meeting as well as two or three meetings during the semester, which will be scheduled during the first meeting. Each student and three placements will be introduced to the class at the first meeting. At these semester meetings students will give reports on the organization they are serving during their internships. There will be a final oral report at the end of the semester.
  3. Student Evaluations

    The student's final grade for the course will be based on:

    1. The quality of a daily log kept by the student throughout the internship or co-op.
    2. A written evaluation of the student's activities submitted to the Sociology faculty academic supervisors by the site supervisor.
    3. A student may be penalized for failing to keep the scheduled time for internship participation without informing the site supervisor and Sociology faculty supervisor at least one day in advance. The legitimacy of the excuse will be determined by the Sociology faculty.
    4. All interns will be required to present their daily log entries to other Sociology students and faculty at a time designated during the semester. The discussion should reflect the program objectives outlined in the previous sections of this document and the integration of knowledge from the text.


Department of Sociology and Geography | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, West Virginia | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5135 | 800-344-5231