Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lower the cost of internship credits

This week I sent a letter to Dan Cronin, assistant dean for administration and
director of finance and personnel for the Columbian College. I sent him an email describing a campaign to lower the cost of internship credits at GW that Lucy Ross and I are pursuing. I wrote,
Lucy and I have decided to start a campaign focused on lowering the cost of credits for internships.
Basically at this point in the process we are trying to gather information from as many sources as possible regarding whether or not this is a reasonable goal.

While Cronin did not turn out to be the correct contact (I should have gotten in touch with the Dean, and he was kind enough to forward my email along), he brought my attention to an alternative when he wrote:
It was my understanding that Columbian College and most of the other colleges have a zero credit internship course that students can register for in the summer that has a $0 tuition charge. Are you aware of this option -- CCAS 154, Elective Internship?

But this option seems even worse than paying for credits. Essentially this entails receiving zero compensation for work. Not only are you receiving zero monetary compensation, but you are also receiving zero college credit. And please don't tell me that you are earning experience. Yes, this is true. But if you are a productive and valued employee of a company, your contributions should be rewarded with compensation.

All we are asking is that extraneous charges for internship credits be dropped. Interns do not take up classroom space on campus, they do not demand nearly as much attention from faculty, and they require little effort on the part of registrar's office because they find the internship and do not need to be fit into full classes.

Of course, there are costs that make sense. For example, there is a significant amount of processing that goes into translating an internship into college credit. In addition, students receiving three credits for an internship are provided with an advisor who assigns work, supervises progress, and grades a final paper detailing the experience. These are perfectly acceptable charges.

Our argument is against charging the same amount for a student utilizing the University's full range of resources for a class and a student working for an organization off campus who is utilizing a smaller percentage of the University's resources.

Please join our Facebook group to learn more about the cause and help make a difference!

No comments: