Why an Internship?
An internship experience affords students the opportunity to apply theories in a field of setting and develop "self-directed learning skills." Specifically, the internship experience offers students the following opportunities:
To provide students with a rich context for interpreting the theories and tools presented
in their public administration courses, and to provide them with an opportunity to
apply those theories and tools in a practical setting.
To better understand the mission, organizational structure and culture, chain of command, management styles, communication strategies, and problem-solving techniques of public agencies in general.
To enhance each intern's skill set, including writing, oral, technical, personnel, and other resume-building skills.
To provide students with public sector experience in order to better prepare them for future employment.
To contribute to the community by serving public agencies.
Who is required to complete an Internship?
An internship is required of all pre-service students. The internship requires a completion of 150 hours of work in a public or non-profit organization. The purpose of the internship is to provide students with practical and professional experience in their identified concentration. Students are exposed to the dynamics of organizations, and provided the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge acquired in their academic program. During the internship experience, students may also develop professional networks, which can aid them in their pursuit of employment and in their careers.
While serving in the internship students will identify and complete appropriate materials to include in the Internship electronic portfolio to be submitted during the Internship course (PA 6694). Each student intern will be evaluated by the responsible agency supervisor, and will also be given an opportunity to provide an evaluation of the Internship Site at the conclusion of the internship.
Internship placements will be developed in consultation with the Internship Director, Dr. Tammy Esteves, who must approve placement opportunities prior to the commencement of the Internship. You can contact Dr. Esteves via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone (407) 313-0799. Please see the MPA eQuad for more information.
How do I begin the Internship Process?
If it has been determined that a student is required to complete an internship, they should reach out to Dr. Esteves (see above). As Internship Director, Dr. Esteves will manage and supervise all internships, and will assist in the commencement of identifying an Internship, approving the Memorandum of Understanding, supervising the Internship experience and guiding students through the Internship Evaluation Process.
The MPA eQuad provides a wealth of information and materials to ensure that students successfully navigate through the internship process.
When Should I Enroll in PA 6694?
Students, due to work schedules or other obligations, may require more than one term to complete the 150-hour internship. Students who require more than one term to complete their internship may, with written approval of the Internship Counselor with whom the student shall be taking the PA 6694 course, begin their internship in a term, or more than one term, prior to registering for the internship course.
Students will register for the internship course only in the term in which they anticipate completing the 150-hour internship requirement. However, students may not enroll in the internship course without an approved internship and the subsequent commencement of the internship.
What if I have work experience? Can I be exempt from the Internship requirement?
The Troy University MPA program requires students to have one year of work experience in a paraprofessional, professional, technical, or supervisory position that involves relevant service to the profession. Students with less than one year of experience are required to complete PA 6694 Internship, a three-semester hour course based on the 150-hour internship.
Occasionally, students who are exempt from the internship requirement may still choose to complete an internship, especially if they are intending to pursue a career change.
What is an Internship Waiver and am I eligible?
Upon admission to the program, if a student feels they are eligible to have the internship waived they must complete the Internship Waiver Form and submit it to their faculty adviser. The adviser evaluates the applicant's place and location of employment, number of years employed, and position assigned to determine if an internship or internship waiver is appropriate.
Students not granted an internship waiver on initial admission but who acquire public administration work experience while enrolled in the MPA program may subsequently submit (or resubmit) an internship waiver by submitting an Internship Waiver Form (form can be found at: https://trojan.troy.edu/online/forms/index.html . This request can be submitted at any time up to two terms before graduation. As with the screening during the admission process, students must provide a detailed description of their work experience to be evaluated as appropriate by their MPA faculty adviser.
How are Internship Waivers Evaluated?
Acceptable experience for an internship waiver includes positions in nonprofit agencies or organizations contracting with public agencies; local, state, and federal government; and previous experience in military, law enforcement, corrections, public agencies, and nonprofit agencies and associations.
Secretarial and clerical experience may not qualify for a waiver if those positions are limited to routine office work, such as filing and answering the phones. Private sector professional experience such as in retail, service, real estate, financial, and manufacturing organizations will not qualify nor will previous internships undertaken for undergraduate or previous graduate degree programs.
Examples of Past Internship Organizations
- DeKalb County, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
- American Red Cross of Georgia West Central Georgia
- City of Cullman, Alabama
- Procurement Department, City of Gulfport, Mississippi
- MARS Community Development Corporation, Miami, Florida
- Atlanta, Georgia Habitat for Humanity
- Juvenile Probation Department, Birmingham, Alabama
- U.S. General Services Administration
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission