Education in health care management can be incomplete without significant work experience and contact with the health care industry. Therefore, HCM majors are required to complete an internship of 7.5 weeks or more in a structured health care setting as part of their degree coursework. A student's internship experiences are linked to their academic courses through periodic contact with a faculty advisor and through an analytical management report.
Internships in the health care industry augment classroom learning. Working under direct supervision of an approved preceptor, the intern assumes varying levels of responsibility for tasks and assignments throughout the internship. Often, our interns are assigned important projects because of their preparation. After graduation, a number of our graduates have been employed by their internship organization or leveraged their internship contacts to help them secure employment.
It is recommended that students participate in the internship program during the summer between the junior and senior year -- this way, experience and knowledge gained during the internship guides the senior year of study. The higher level business and health care management courses are enhanced when the student can relate 'real-world' observations gained through the internship. The internship should also provide an important foundation for job-seeking during the senior year -- enhancing awareness of careeer options. Students receive six semester hours of academic credit for successfully completing the internship, through enrollment in HCM 3900 during the summer session.
Below is an overview of the internship process:
- Professional Development I & II (HCM 3800 & 3810) are designed to assist the student with the internship process.
- Beginning in the fall semester preceding the summer internship placement, the student should identify what type of organization they desire for their internship. The program director is available to help students identify opportunities.
- The student is responsible for setting up interviews with prospective internship sites and preceptors.
- Once the potential preceptor offers and the student accepts the internship, the program director must approve the internship placement.
- The preceptor and student mutually agree on dates of the internship, recognizing that the student must complete at least 300 worked hours to fulfill the internship requirements.
- Both the university and the preceptor's organization enter into an internship agreement. This agreement is provided by the program director. It is the responsibility of the student to have this agreement signed by both parties.
- During the internship, faculty advisors will conduct telephone inquiries and site visits (for internship sites within 300 miles of App State Boone) with both preceptor and student to verify adequate performance.
- The preceptor provides a written evaluation of the student intern's performance.
- The student intern is responsible for a written analytical report of their experiences and contributions to the organization, learning obtained and their observations of the health care industry.
- The internship is graded 'satisfactory' or 'unsatisfactory' by the faculty advisor, based on preceptor evaluations and the written report.