Table of Contents


The Human Development and Family Science (H.D.F.S.) Internship Manual is a guide for students enrolled in the internship classes in the department. The manual includes course policies and requirements that must be followed for successful completion of H.D.F.S. internships. Students are expected to carefully read through the manual prior to beginning their internships and follow course expectations outlined in the manual. H.D.F.S. internships are designed to provide students the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge and skills in real-world experiential settings. Towards this end, the department has arranged a wide range of internship sites in local settings to provide students with opportunities and experiences that prepare them for future careers in the field of human development, family processes and related disciplines. 

H.D.F.S. students are expected to complete a total of 7 credits of internship experiences to fulfill their undergraduate program requirements. Students are generally expected to complete their internships during their junior and senior years. 

The H.D.F.S. internship courses include: 

  • H.F.S. 391: Introduction to Internship Experience (1 Credit) 

  • H.F.S. 492: Child Internship or H.F.S. 493: Youth and Family Internship (3 Credits) 

  • H.F.S. 494: H.D.F.S. Capstone Internship (3 Credits) 

The internship experience is intended to provide students an experience related to, but not identical to their desired career path with respect to human development and family processes fields. The Department does not guarantee an exact match between student employment aims and available internship sites. The available H.D.F.S. internship sites provide experiences that will prepare students for their subsequent professional positions and ambitions. 

Each of the internship courses include their specific learning objectives that are included in the syllabus for each course. All H.D.F.S. students are expected to enroll in H.F.S. 391 in their junior year and in the semester prior to taking either H.F.S. 492 or H.F.S. 493. Students interested in working with young children and at early childhood centers can enroll in H.F.S. 492, which will include a semester long placement at the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School at Syracuse University or similar educational settings. Students interested in working with school age youth and families in broader community settings could enroll in H.F.S. 493. The semester following completion of H.F.S. 492/H.F.S. 493, students will enroll in H.F.S. 494 which will include a Capstone Project. Decisions as to when to enroll in the internship courses should be made in consultation with your H.D.F.S. faculty advisor and H.D.F.S. Internship Coordinator. 

Internship Skill Development 

By way of engaging in coursework and experiences in the internship placement organization, students are expected to develop professional skills and competencies that include the following: 

  • Demonstrate prevention, intervention, and/or evaluation skills 
  • The use of effective interpersonal skills (e.g. deep listening, establishing rapport, self- awareness, etc.). 
  • Practice effective professional skills (e.g. accountability, goal-orientation, reliability, collaboration, etc.) 
  • Engage in effective oral and written communication. 
  • Seek supervision appropriately and receive and use feedback. 
  • Adhere to relevant ethical codes of conduct. 

Internship Course Descriptions 

H.F.S. 391-Introduction to Internship Experience 

This eight-week online course is the first course in the internship sequence and is designed to familiarize students with important knowledge that will prepare them to begin an H.D.F.S. internship experience in a subsequent semester. Students will obtain and demonstrate this knowledge by reading assigned articles, participating in discussions, submitting short assessment activities, creating a cover letter and resume and submitting the formal H.D.F.S. Internship Application. In addition, students will identify potential internships and complete the interview process for selected organizations. All documents and tasks that need to be completed in the process of securing an internship will be completed in this course. Permission to register for the appropriate internship course (H.F.S. 492 or H.F.S. 493) will be given only after students have fulfilled these requirements in H.F.S. 391. 

H.F.S. 492-Child Internship 

This course is designed to give students knowledge and experience working with young children in an early childhood setting. Each student is a student teacher in an early childhood classroom at the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School or other early education facilities. Students participate in a weekly seminar and 90 hours of experiential learning in the lab school. The weekly seminar allows the instructor and other students enrolled in the course to make connections between theory and practice in the early childhood classroom. Students reflect upon the teacher-child relations, peer relationships and diversity of ability as well as culture as they relate to early childhood experiences. 

H.F.S. 493-Youth and Family Internship 

This course is designed to be an active learning experience supported by a weekly seminar group discussion and application of academic knowledge in an internship site. Students complete 90 hours of experiential learning in an affiliated internship organization and develop learning objectives focused on the development of professionalism, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, integration of research and practical human service application. In addition, students will create an applied research project proposal complete with literature review. The H.F.S. 493 course will culminate with a proposal and presentation offering of the project that will be completed in H.F.S. 494: H.D.F.S. Capstone Internship

H.F.S. 494-H.D.F.S. Capstone Internship 

This course is the culminating internship that provides a more in-depth fieldwork experience based on the foundation established in H.F.S. 492 (Child Internship) and H.F.S. 493 (Youth and Family Internship). Students complete 90 hours of experiential learning in an affiliated organization with continued focus on deepening the understanding of the human development and family science field, learning how to assess current practices, understanding problem analysis and needs assessment, planning, designing and tracking interventions, calculating the costs and value of intervention. Students will complete a capstone applied research project that includes a paper, poster and digital presentation. 

Please Note: 

Each student in an internship placement is required and expected to arrange an internship schedule in consultation with the site supervisor. The specific days and hours of the schedule should be based on student learning objectives and the organization’s needs and resources. The required 90 hours experiential learning must be completed within the semester of registration. Students must complete both the coursework and the required 90-hour experiential learning in the same semester. 

Internship Placement Sites 

Local Internships 

Syracuse University has affiliation agreements with over 100 local and regional organizations that provide services to children, youth and families across diverse contexts. Information on these organizations will be reviewed with the Internship Coordinator during the first internship course, H.F.S. 391: Introduction to Internship Experience. Most internships obtained by H.D.F.S. students are local and within Onondaga County. A list of some of your affiliated organizations can be found here: H.D.F.S. Experiential Learning page 

National and International Internships 

We also encourage students to pursue national and international internships. Students who would like to complete their internships at national and international human service or non-governmental organizations should meet with the Internship Coordinator at least (one academic year) prior to enrolling in H.F.S. 492, H.F.S. 493 or H.F.S. 494. At the time of the meeting with the Internship Coordinator a determination of the appropriateness of the internship site and the ability to initiate an affiliation agreement with Syracuse University will be discussed and a decision made on whether the internship can be pursued for the required internship course or as an elective course. H.D.F.S. students may currently complete H.F.S. 493 in London, England and can earn from 1-3 elective credits for an internship in any of the Syracuse University Study Abroad programs. Further information about internships abroad can be found here Syracuse University Study Abroad website

Timeline for Affiliation Agreement Process 

If a student is interested in interning at an agency at a location with whom Falk College in Syracuse University does not have an Affiliation Agreement with, the student must meet with the Internship Coordinator to determine the appropriateness of the internship opportunity and to initiate the affiliation process. An institutional affiliation agreement must be secured in order for the site to be approved and before a student can begin the internship hours. 

It is the student’s responsibility to contact and meet with the Internship Coordinator and provide the specific site information prior to the following deadlines: 

  • April 15 for internships to be completed in the Fall semester. 
  • September 15 for internships to be completed in the Spring semester. 
  • February 15 for internships to be completed in the Summer semesters. 

Eligibility and Registration for Internship Courses 

Registration for each of the internship courses is by “permission of instructor” only. Students eligible for registration for internship courses: 

  • Are designated as junior or senior-level status (earned a minimum of 61 credits applicable to the H.D.F.S. major) 

  • Have met with their faculty advisor and determined a plan for completing internship courses 

Prior to enrollment in H.F.S. 391 students should have: 

  • Successfully completed H.F.S. 201: Family Development and H.F.S. 202: Development of Children. 
  • Students may complete H.F.S. 201 or H.F.S. 202 as a co-requisite with H.F.S. 391 by permission of instructor only. 

Prior to enrollment in H.F.S. 492 students should have: 

  • Successfully completed H.F.S. 391: Introduction to the Internship Experience. 
  • Completed the “Application for Field Placement” as a component of H.F.S. 391 
  • Completed all pre-requisite paperwork and trainings as determined by New York State Office of Children and Family Services (O.C.F.S.). 

Note: H.F.S. 335: Issues and Perspectives in Early Childhood Education must be taken as a co-prerequisite with H.F.S. 492. 

Prior to enrollment in H.F.S. 493 students should have: 

  • Successfully completed H.F.S. 391: Introduction to the Internship Experience. 
  • Completed the “Application for Field Placement” as a component of H.F.S. 391. 

Prior to enrollment in H.F.S. 494 students should have: 

  • Successfully completed H.F.S. 492: Child Internship or H.F.S. 493: Youth and Family Internship. 

Note: Students may complete both of their internships at the same agency with the prior approval of the Internship Coordinator and agency but must take on different roles and tasks in each internship experience. 

Special Eligibility Conditions: 

Felony Convictions and Unprofessional Conduct 

Having a felony conviction or sanctions for unprofessional conduct may impact potential for obtaining an internship (required for graduation). Students should meet with the Internship Coordinator as early as possible to discuss options for completing the required internship courses. 

Employment-Based Field Placement 

Students may be able to use their place of employment as an internship site with university and agency permission but must be able to meet internship requirements and must identify themselves as an intern and not an employee, during internship hours. Planning for this occurs in H.F.S. 391 and must be planned well in advance of the first internship. 

Internship Registration Process 

Step 1: Make an appointment to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your eligibility for H.F.S. 391, your interests and your semester schedule. 

Step 2: During the advising and registration period, email Kathy Rainone, Administrative Assistant at to request permission to enroll in H.F.S. 391. Within your email, include the following information: 

  • Your full name 
  • Your S.U.I.D. number 
  • Status (junior or senior student) 
  • The semester you wish to enroll in H.F.S. 391 

Step 3: After verifying your eligibility to enroll in H.F.S. 391, you will receive an email from Kathy Rainone with permission to register and a course number code. 

Step 4: Students will receive permission to register for H.F.S. 492 and H.F.S. 493 upon successful completion of H.F.S. 391. The Internship Coordinator will confirm the H.F.S. 391 grade at the end of the course and provide the permission to register. 

Step 5: Students wishing to enroll in H.F.S. Capstone Internship must contact the Internship Coordinator directly during the advising and registration period to receive permission to register for the internship course. 

Student Requirements and Agency Responsibilities 

Professional Conduct 

Students should always perform to their best ability and will be expected to perform a specific set of tasks in the internship experience. There will be new information and practices that are encountered and working to understand them will impact performance in the internship. The context of the internship may be different from others that students have experienced; students should get to know the rules and behaviors that govern their internship site. These will include knowing how to address staff and clients (e.g. first names, last names, etc.), how to dress to project a professional image, and knowing what technology is allowed and when it is appropriate to use it. 

An important aspect of professional conduct is respect. Respect is a culturally and context driven concept that students will be expected to learn and apply in the internship setting. Engaging in a “professional” context requires certain behaviors that each student must demonstrate such as: 

  • Showing up on time for internship hours 
  • Calling supervisor when expected to be late or unable to be at the internship 
  • Looking and behaving like a “professional” 

Students will learn about and demonstrate proficiency in professional and ethical behavior in H.F.S. 391. 

Basic Internship Requirements for Students: 

  • Complete a minimum of 90 clock hours of fieldwork in each internship course across the full semester (approximately 15 weeks)
  • Participate in weekly online internship seminars and submit required assignments. 
  • Maintain a timesheet of clock hours and submit the signed timesheet on the respective due dates in the semester. A copy of the timesheet is located at the end of this manual. 
  • Ensure that your site supervisor submits your performance evaluation at the end of the semester. A copy of the performance evaluation form is located at the end of this manual. 
  • Adhere to the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals and/or the N.A.E.Y.C. Code of Ethical Behavior and Statement of Commitment and follow agency policies and procedures. 
  • Inform the Internship Coordinator and site supervisor immediately of any ethical or safety concerns. 
  • Identify yourself clearly as an intern during internship hours. 

Basic Responsibilities for Site Supervisors: 

  • Syracuse University must have an Affiliation Agreement with the agency. If an Agreement is not already in place, S.U. will send one for the C.E.O. to sign and return. This Agreement must be completed for a student to be eligible for an internship with the agency. This Agreement is in addition to the individual student’s learning agreement.
  • Review and sign the student’s Learning Agreement. 
  • Review the semester start and end dates with a student during the first week of the internship. For liability reasons, students may not collect internship hours prior to the start of the semester. 
  • Discuss scheduling to ensure the student will be able to complete their hours by the end of the semester. 
  • If the agency requires background check/information, coordinate this directly with the student. 
  • Orient the student to agency policies, procedures, staff, etc. 
  • Provide regular supervision and additional consultation as needed. 
  • Coordinate student assignments based on student readiness for new tasks. 
  • Provide an environment of opportunity and feedback to promote student skill development. 
  • Communicate promptly with the Internship Coordinator in the event of any problems. 
  • Complete the Internship Mid-Term and/or Final Performance Evaluation in the semester the student is placed in the agency. The ratings and feedback on this form will contribute to determining the student’s internship grade. 

Responsibilities of Internship Coordinator 

  • Develop internship opportunities through contacts in research, practice and service activities. 
  • Arrange for placement of students with agencies congruent with student career and/or academic interests, and ability level. 
  • Assist students with writing learning objectives. 
  • Serve as a liaison among the student, the internship site and academic advisor. 
  • Conduct initial internship site visit and meeting with site supervisor and student. Follow up and additional site visits conducted as necessary. 
  • Meet or communicate with the student intern throughout planning and placement to facilitate a successful and productive placement experience. 
  • Evaluate students’ attainment of internship objectives. 
  • Grade student coursework and capstone projects. 
  • Instruct internship courses. 

Internship Placement Information 

Student Disability and Accommodation in Field 

Syracuse University complies with federal and state laws that affect qualified persons with disabilities. Students with disabilities who may need accommodation in the field placement are strongly encouraged to talk with their academic Faculty Advisor and Internship Coordinator. Students are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services at Syracuse University. Reasonable accommodations that facilitate the performance of a student with a disability will be explored with the student and Internship Coordinator in the agency setting. 

Student Safety 

There are inherent risks for students engaged in the study of the profession in community settings. A student should not be required to engage or to remain in assignments or at placements in which s/he feels physically at risk. Students should contact the Internship Coordinator to facilitate exploration of the concerns and to seek a mutually satisfying resolution with student and internship agency. 

Site Visits 

A site visit will be scheduled in H.F.S. 493 and H.F.S. 494 that will include the student and site supervisor in an effort to assess the quality and experience of the internship activities and learning environment. The Internship Coordinator will observe the student at the site and meet with the site supervisor during the scheduled visit. Visits are scheduled at times that are convenient for both the student, the site supervisor, and the agency. The site visit will last approximately two hours. Additional site visits will occur dependent on issues that arise during the internship. 


Students must provide their own transportation to and from their internship placement. Students are responsible for incurred costs related to parking and driving to and from the internship placement agency. The Mary Ann Shaw Center offers transportation services for registered students. Information can be found one the Shaw Center Request Transportation page

If permitted by the internship agency, students may use agency vehicles to perform duties related to their internship experience. Students must follow the agency policies and procedures when using agency vehicles. Students are responsible to verify that the agency has appropriate insurance coverage of the student and the agency vehicles when the student uses an agency vehicle to perform agency duties or activities during their internship experience hours. 


Internship courses are traditionally graded; students will earn a grade between A-F based on their performance in coursework and completion of internship hours. Students must complete both coursework and the required internship hours in the same semester and at one internship site. The Internship Coordinator facilitates the seminar and grades student coursework; the internship site supervisor provides weekly supervision, time checks, midterm evaluation and final evaluation of student performance. The Internship Coordinator meets with each student and consults the student’s site supervisor during the course to determine student performance and progress in areas identified in the midterm evaluation. The final grade is composed of coursework grading, time sheet verification of hours completed and supervisor midterm and final evaluations of student performance.

Incomplete Grade 

Students who do not complete the required coursework and/or internship hours during the semester of enrollment will fail the course. Students may only petition for an incomplete grade in extenuating circumstances and should first discuss their situation with their Site Supervisor and their Internship Coordinator to determine if a solid rationale exists for an incomplete grade. If such exists, students will develop a plan for the completion of the outstanding coursework and/or hours in consultation with the Site Supervisor and the Internship Coordinator. An Incomplete Grade form must be completed and signed by the Internship Coordinator, The H.D.F.S. Department Chair and the Assistant Dean of Student Services. Final approval of this form rests with the Associate Dean of Student Services and is not guaranteed to be approved. In the case that the Assistant Dean of Student Services does not approve the Incomplete Grade form, the student will fail the course and need to take it again in a future semester. 

What to do if issues arise 

  • Student and supervisor should communicate problems to the Internship Coordinator immediately by email and/or phone call. Efforts will be made to resolve problems collaboratively as part of the training and supervision process. 
  • The agency and/or University may request that a student’s internship be terminated by submitting a written explanation that documents the concerns that led to the request. 
  • If a student is terminated from an internship or does not pass an internship (received an F) for any reason, the Internship Coordinator will meet with the student, faculty advisor and department chair to determine whether and/or when a student may be eligible to re-apply for an internship. 

If you have any questions, or in the event of a problem, please contact Kathy Rainone at the H.D.F.S. office at 315-443-1715 or email her at


Internship Forms

Writing Measurable Objectives

The internship experience should be guided by measurable objectives that are formed in consultation with the organization supervisor and approved by the faculty sponsor. 

An objective is a statement defining a desired outcome. The use of action verbs will provide a description of expected action to be achieved by the student. In all situations, begin the objective with an action verb that will clearly describe the nature of the expected outcome. 

Include only one task or situation per objective. An objective should denote measurable outcomes. Read each objective and ask yourself if it meets the criteria below. 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Relates to concepts of Human Development and Family Science 


The following is a list of sample objectives that are appropriate for many HDFS placements. In some cases, the objectives from this list may be simply revised to reflect a specific situation. In other cases, entirely different objectives will be needed: 

  • Understand and explain the organizational structure of the agency. 
  • Analyze demographic characteristics of a subgroup of the population. 
  • Arrange/coordinate workshops or conferences. 
  • Assist clients; (indicate in what specific ways/areas.) 
  • Complete surveys needed by the organization. 
  • Demonstrate ability to manage time efficiently. 
  • Describe services offered by the organization. 
  • Edit and/or revise existing educational materials. 
  • Exhibit skill interacting with clients; (indicate specific skills.) 
  • Assess the managerial style of assigned supervisor. 
  • Participate in seminars, staff meetings, etc. 
  • Plan/prepare data about users of the service(s). 
  • Research specifically assigned topics. 
  • Write clear reports, letters, newsletters. 
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