There is a firm Department expectation that—as an LA 495 (History) intern—you will work hard and responsibly for both your internship site supervisor and your academic supervisor. Experience in the writing of a primary source research paper is also highly advisable.
LA 495 (History) internships are one full academic term in duration (and must follow the start date and end date of the relevant PSU academic term). Per History Department policy, LA 495 (History) internship are worth three credits, without exception (and, irrespective of the number of internships in which a student has successfully completed, History 400-level credit can be only be awarded once).
Student interns are expected to devote between 10-12 hours a week—every week of the term—to the LA 495 (History) course, of which 7-8 hours a week should take place on-site of the internship institution.
SERVICE AT THE SITE-INSTITUTION
An important component of the LA 495 (History) course is service provided by the intern to the site-institution. This service can come in a wide variety of ways—the cataloguing of on-site materials and artifacts; exhibit design and development; institutional writing (such as crafting finding aids), to offer more prominent examples—and a key consideration here is that the intern, through his /her efforts, makes a discernible contribution to the site-institution. The internship site supervisor will set the intern’s service responsibilities and projects taking into consideration the institution’s needs and the intern’s interests, and with the input of History Department faculty.
REGULAR WEEKLY JOURNAL WRITING
The student intern is to do regular weekly journal writing of approximately 3-4 pages per week. These journal entries will detail the nature of the service work done by the intern and also serve as a venue for the intern to describe, discuss, and evaluate archival sources dealt with and research “leads” relevant to the crafting of the research paper. These journal entries are to be sent to the academic supervisor in regular installments.
PRIMARY SOURCE-BASED RESEARCH PAPER
student interns are required to write a 20 to 25 page academic, primary source-based research paper (a paper that relies heavily on making thoughtful use of archival materials (typically) housed in the internship site institution). Proper footnoting and a full bibliography and the use of relevant secondary sources are additional elements required for the research paper.
The academic supervisor will have some discretion in determining how this primary source-based research paper requirement is met.
The academic supervisor will determine the relative weight of each of these components in making up the intern’s final LA 495 (History) course grade.
Please note that, following your successful completion of the internship course, you should meet with Ben Whitesell, the History Department’s Academic Advisor, to double- check that your three 400-level History credits are duly recorded (Office number: 814-863-4121).