Internships & Community Engagement
Internships help build the foundation for our students’ careers. They increase students' chances of acquiring a job after graduation and of earning a higher starting salary.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), internships are a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. An important element that distinguishes an internship from a short-term job or volunteer position is that intentional “learning objectives” and mentoring are incorporated into the experience. This structure allows for a balance between the intern’s learning objectives and the specific work of an organization. During an internship, students have the chance to work alongside professionals in the real world, apply what they have learned in the classroom, make connections with local community members, develop relationships with professionals in the fields of their career interests, and potentially find a future employer.
Students who have previously completed a social science elective course whose themes are related to the mission and work of an agency in the local community are eligible to register for one of our variable-credit-hour internships courses -- SYA 4949: Sociological Internship or ISS 4940: ISS Internship -- which are graded on an S/U basis. The credits earned in the internship course can count toward the major (or minor, in the case of sociology) as long as the student hasn’t already taken the maximum number of credits permitted outside of regularly scheduled classes. (Students should consult with their advisor to make this determination).
Undergraduate students on the Tampa campus who would like to complete an unpaid internship with a local, non-profit community agency, and who would otherwise find it difficult financially to complete the internship are eligible to apply for Dixon's Posimoto Scholarship.
USF Sociology undergraduate alumna Tia Dixon (right) is Executive Director and founder of Posimoto—Changing Faces, a nonprofit mentoring program that provides positive encouragement and support to youth and their families.