Internship Learning Contracts
Tips for Drafting a Learning Contract
The Learning Contract includes statements of your goals, strategies for accomplishing the goals, methods of evaluating accomplishments, closing activities, and components of a final goal. Goals are usually broader statements, while strategies describe very specific activities or tasks. It is important that goals, strategies, and methods of evaluation be realistic, appropriate, meaningful, and measurable.
Think about developing a first draft of the contract and reviewing it with the site supervisor and faculty sponsor for suggestions before completing the final Learning Contract.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES Internship goals or objectives usually describe what you intend to learn through your internship. Be specific. Are you looking to improve or develop skills, expand knowledge of a specific field, apply particular knowledge? Are you interested in exploring a career interest and your own suitability for that career? Are you deciding upon a major or clarifying your direction for the remaining college years?
STRATEGIES What is your plan to achieve your goals? Will you have training? How many hours? Will you prepare by reading books, articles, professional journals related to the internship? Will you have an opportunity to interview staff about the careers they have chosen?
EVALUATION METHODS How will your progress regarding each objective be measured? How will you know and show others that you have achieved your learning objectives? Will you keep a journal? Will you keep records of your activities throughout the internship (e.g. reports or written materials you have prepared for the organization, notes on training sessions, staff meetings, feedback on your work)?
CLOSING Describe your final project/activity and factors completing the final grade. Will you summarize journal entries into a final statement of what you learned through the semester or term? Will your organize information gathered from the internship into a research project? Will you give a class presentation?
Adapted from: Macalaster College, Internship Program, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105