- A study presented Sunday by Lauren Valentino, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate student, at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association suggested reluctance on the part of liberal arts colleges to award academic credit for internships--despite "extreme" pressure from students, parents and employers.
- Valentino's study concentrated primarily on schools in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, where 9 of 11 colleges participated by offering policy information and a relevant dean for interview.
- Of the nine schools, one bars credit for internships and the other eight offer extremely limited credit (a quarter of the credit for a traditional course) for them, and the deans report faculty beliefs that off-campus, non-academic work doesn't deserve credit as the main reason--backing up these sentiments with quotes like, "We're a liberal arts college, not a training center."
From the article:
DENVER - Recent federal regulations have raised questions about the legality of many unpaid internships, and have put pressure on employers either to pay interns or to be sure the work is closely tied to academic programs, ideally with credit awarded. For vocationally oriented programs, this is not a big conflict, as many such programs award credit for internships, and view internships as closely tied to the curriculum. But what about liberal arts colleges? A study presented here Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association suggests resistance to awarding credit for internships. ...