INTERNSHIP Information for Central Washington University
for Geography Undergraduates and Resource Management Graduate Students
taken for credits as GEOG 290 or GEOG 490 or REM 590 CO-OP Education (Internship)


No one in Geography is out beating the bushes obtaining internships for students.  Nor are we regularly searching internship lists and trying to match positions to students.  The responsibility for finding an internship is the student’s.  The faculty members will always be on the lookout for possibilities and will notify you or Career Development Services about opportunities.  Your first step is to get your email address added to the list Nancy Hultquist distributes.  Just send your email address with a request to to be added to the "jobslist" mailing list.  Your second step is to look at the listings and postings in Barge 202.  Geography gets many flyers and places them on the job bulletin board across from the faculty mailboxes in Lind Hall.  You cannot be assured the one you may want and need will be there.

Most importantly, a student should network with family and friends for the job desired.  If an internship does not exist in your preferred agency, then make an appointment with the director and ask if there is a possibility of an internship.  You have to try to make these things happen.  Get out on the Web page for Career Development Services and check with Barge 202.   You need to visit their web site:  and click on students and then on student handbook to get information on filling out the Learning Agreement.  The Learning Agreement is a binding contract for the work.  The Learning Agreement is also available as a Word Document and can be downloaded from the web address:      (Copy & paste this into your web browser and then download the form).
Get it and I will be happy to help you through it.

Assuming you wish to have an internship this summer, your paperwork will likely be handled by Nancy Hultquist, who is attached to this course as a summer work assignment; however, if you choose to work with someone else as an advisor, you certainly may.  You may have a paid position or an unpaid one.  You may arrange for your own internship or find one through the Career Development Services office.  Credits are assessed at the rates for the quarter, with summer credits being higher normally than the costs for the other three quarters.  Graduate students pay a higher fee than undergraduates do.  Remember, if you are a graduating senior and wish to participate for credits, you should consider being graduated in August, rather than June.  You can still "walk" in June ceremonies.  Some graduate schools will allow a student to transfer in perhaps as many as 8 approved credits toward a master’s degree.

TAKE THE INITIATIVE: go to Barge 202, Career Development Services and check out their
library and the options available to you.
Career Development Services is the place at CWU which oversees (and registers students for) the quarterly internships for all students.  You will be on a contract issued through this office in cooperation with your academic advisor, your employer, your department head, and the University Career Development Services Department representative.  If you network and find your own job, but you need help setting it up, please ask Nancy for help, or get an Employer's Coop Booklet (from Barge 202) and take it to your find.

SUMMER INTERNSHIPS (occasionally other quarters)
The Department of Geography and Land Studies internship program is operational year-round, but usually the summer is the most active period.  Students register for variable quarter-hour credits according to the amount of effort and tasks.  This is usually assigned as one credit for every 40 hours of work throughout the entire period of service.  It is possible to set up internships with a 2-quarter duration.  This work is graded as satisfactory or unsatisfactory, not with a letter grade.

FINANCES.  The University does not pay interns.  Some agencies provide funds on an hourly basis. Paid internships are best because the student has to pay for the registration and credits.  But, there are some agencies that just do not have money to pay interns, yet they provide excellent experiences.  Several such agencies are located in Ellensburg, WA.

HOST AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.  An organization that accepts an intern is responsible for:

1) attempting to integrate that student into the organization's activities;

2) providing supervision for the student during the internship;

3) planning a range of activities for the student;

4) helping the student fill in the back of the Learning Agreement with a summary of the proposed activities;

5) providing the opportunity for visitation by the University faculty advisor, if geographical distance and time permits; and,

                    6) participating in an evaluation of the student at the close of the field experience.

INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITY.  By accepting an internship the student agrees to:

1) abide by the rules and regulations of the host agency;

2) keep all matters confidential as designated by the host organization;

3) maintain a professional demeanor during the internship;

4) maintain contact with the University faculty advisor as specified in the contract; and

5) meet the academic requirements of the contract (The Learning Agreement).

ADVISOR'S RESPONSIBILITIES.  The advisor will: 1) explain the program to student’s supervisor when needed or be represented by a Career Development Services staff member;

2) maintain contact with the host and student by e-mail, telephone, and/or in person;

3) arrange a visit to observe the student's performance and meet with the student's supervisor at the host agency, if possible, and

4) be available to help solve any problems that may arise during the internship.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS.  There are very important academic requirements in any internship.  Briefly, they include the following and are specified in the student’s Learning Agreement, a binding contract: 1) maintaining a daily journal;

2) sending a copy of the daily log/journal weekly to the advisor (email required), and

3) presenting a written final evaluation report with pictures (jpegs) if possible.

The log/journal consists of a daily log of activities, plus comments on those activities, as well as questions raised during the time a student is working in the field.  The evaluation report considers the student's experience, but is not a summary of those experiences; it should be related to the original contract's goals/objectives and proposed tasks (on the Learning Agreement Form).

GRADING AND EVALUATION.  The internship course is set up to receive a S(atisfactory) or U(nsatisfactory) grade only.  The grade is based on the academic requirements and on the evaluation of the intern's performance completed by the on-site supervisor.  The University provides a form for this purpose send directly to the on-site intern supervisor.

NUMBER OF CREDITS.  Generally, if the internship is clearly related to the academic program being followed in Geography or in Resource Management, 10 credits may be applied toward degree major requirements, but not all 10 may be used for someone doing a 45 cr.  major.  This decision is approved in consultation with the student, with the advisor and finally approved by the department head.  The credits allowed on a degree by the University are higher that the number which may be directly applied to the major requirement in Geography.   A student may accumulate 20 cr. of Co-op Education experience for their degree, but never more than 12 cr. during a summer session.  Undergraduates may take more credits, but graduate students are limited in total to eight credits (by the Graduate College).

TO VIEW PAST INTERNS AND SEE THEIR REPORTS.  Please following the urls below.

CONTACT PERSON.  Internship Coordinator: Nancy B. Hultquist, Professor of Geography, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7420; voice mail 509-963-3571, FAX 509-963-1047; cell is available upon request; e-mail with clear SUBJECT line, or:    During the summer the Department Chair:  James Huckabay, Geography, CWU, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7420 is also available through the secretary, Marilyn Mason, at 509-963-1188.