Expectations
Overview | Program Highlights | Requirements

Students

Attitude: The Senior Experience provides a unique learning experience which is highly dependent on your positive attitude and self-motivation. Internship requires commitment, integrity, and responsibility. Indicate what you can do and what you want to learn; ask questions; assess how you can contribute; and accept some routine and tedium as part of the internship process. In return, your internship will provide you with meaningful insights and rich learning opportunities. The benefits you reap will depend first and foremost on your initiative and dedication.

Attendance and Dependability: Your mentor has made a substantial commitment to you and the Academy and will provide you with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Your punctuality and dependability demonstrate respect and appreciation for your mentor's time and commitment. Regular weekly attendance during the academic year is required. Any excused absence must be reported to your mentor and the Academy as soon as possible prior to the scheduled visit. Although you are not required to attend your internship when school is closed, you are, nevertheless, obligated to notify your mentor of your excused absence prior to that date.

Transportation: Transportation to and from the internship is the sole responsibility of the student. Parental permission is required.

Appearance: Dress appropriately. Your mentor and your mentor's colleagues are the best examples of appropriate attire. Your appearance is a reflection of your judgment, self-respect, and professionalism. The self-discipline and self-regard you demonstrate by care for your appearance is a basic indication that you have the maturity to take on responsibility in a professional environment. You represent both the Academy and yourself. Make your mentor proud to be associated with you.

Learning Logs: Since record keeping is an essential skill, you are required to keep a careful record of your internship activities in the notebook assigned for this purpose. The learning log is a record of your activities and will help you to organize your thoughts about the internship. This record will be the guide for your progress report, reflection paper, and academic paper. It will also be the basis of documentation for any presentation or publication of your work.

Entries should include:f the date, activities performed, progress, and observations/findings/ results. You may also include personal comments about your experience, feelings about your participation, reflections on personal growth, strengths and weaknesses, skills developed, frustrating and satisfying experiences, interactions between you, your mentor and colleagues, impact of internship on your college and career plans. The Learning Logs are to be signed by your mentor on a weekly basis and submitted to the Senior Experience Coordinator for regular review.

Mentors

Role: The role of the mentor is highly individualized. Common characteristics of a successful mentor include:
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  • Involvement in the student's project
  • Willingness to serve as a role model in teaching the rituals, language, and expectations of the mentor's discipline/profession
  • Guidance of the student's project and introduction to the professional standards and processes acceptable to the discipline/profession
  • Commitment to developing the student's skills, knowledge and abilities
  • Enthusiasm towards the discipline/profession

    Mentors may include any professional who is in a position to provide mentorship opportunities to the student in his/her selected area of study. Because mentors often have multiple responsibilities, some implement a collaborative approach to mentorship. Colleagues and university graduate students, therefore, may also provide a variety of learning opportunities and perspectives that enrich the internship experience.

    Responsibility for Reporting Absence and/or Concerns: Mentors are requested to notify the school's main office if students are unexpectedly absent from their on-site visitation. Mentors should also notify the office if they will be unavailable for a scheduled visitation and cannot otherwise ensure appropriate guidance and supervision that day. The telephone number to call is (201) 343-6000, x2226 and/or x3379.

    Evaluation: Periodically, the Senior Experience Coordinator will attempt to informally assess the student's performance through on-site meetings with the mentor and by telephone and e-mail contact. At the end of the school year (or upon completion of the internship/project), the mentor is asked to evaluate the student's participation and performance, using the Mentor Evaluation Form. This feedback will be considered in the student's trimester and final grades.

    Students and Mentors

    Safety: Students and mentors share responsibility for taking precautions in working with equipment and materials to ensure the safety of the student and others at the placement site.

    Plan of Action: A written Plan of Action specifying the proposed internship activities/ project, process and responsibilities, is developed jointly by the student and mentor at the beginning of the internship. The plan is signed by the mentor, student, and the Senior Experience Coordinator and serves as a basis for evaluation. While the Plan of Action is instrumental in providing an initial direction to the internship, changes are anticipated over the course of the internship.