Internship Best Practices


It is the mission of the Career and Talent Development team to provide timely information, resources and advice on the internship experience to the students, faculty, and staff of Radford University.

Career and Talent Development works with students, faculty, and staff in providing relevant information, resources and advice including: connecting with employers for the purpose of internship site development, subsequent promotion of developed sites to the students, faculty, and staff of the University, and continuous advisement on the application procedures for the internship experience.

Students may do credit or non-credit internships. Whether the internship is for credit or non-credit, Radford University Career Services supports the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) definition and criteria of an Internship.

NACE recommends the following definition:

“An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent." 

If the following criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.