Portfolios and Professional Development
Professional development is an integral part of digital communications. Digital communications students in all concentrations must design, develop, and present in the spring of their sophomore year a portfolio of their work (DCOM 099). Portfolio preparation is infused throughout all years of the digital communications curriculum and successfully passing the portfolio presentation is a prerequisite both for the required internship and for graduation.
An internship is a practical and professional work experience that allows students to participate in the operations of business, industry, education, government or not-for-profit organizations. Internships provide students with opportunities to integrate their classroom learning with on-the-job experiences and to test practical applications of their liberal arts education in a variety of settings.
To be eligible for an internship sponsored by an academic department or program, a student generally will have junior or senior standing. Students must request and receive permission from departmental chair or program directors to enroll in internships. The student must also enlist a faculty internship supervisor from the department sponsoring the internship and an on-site internship supervisor from the internship location.
Application forms for internships are available in the office of the registrar or here. The application form shall be completed by the student and approved by the student’s academic advisor, faculty internship supervisor, on-site internship supervisor, and department chair prior to registration.
For each semester hour of credit, the intern should invest at least 45 hours of time at the internship location. Academic departments and programs establish other specific criteria and procedures for internships. In addition to the practical on-site experience, internships have an academic component that may include readings, reports, journals, seminars and/or faculty conferences. A student may enroll for 1–12 credit hours of internship during any one semester. A student may use a maximum of 12 credit hours of internship to meet graduation requirements. All internships have a course number of 400.
Internships play a large role in Digital Communications. Students who declare digiCOM as their major will be required to take at least three credits of internship, which is pass/fail. The requirements for the internship are:
- a Portfolio of work performed during internship,
- a short reflection piece (500-750 words or one video of similar length) describing how they applied principles, methods or ideas from specific classes in the major,
- a journal detailing their activities and log of hours time mailed weekly to the faculty advisor,
- a time log (spreadsheet listing hours and tasks), and
- an internship evaluation form filled out by onsite supervisor
Since its origination in 2002, Digital Communications students have interned in the following areas:
- journalist intern for a regional newspapers
- instructional design intern for the website of a public television affiliate
- public relations intern
- graphic design intern
- trade management intern for an international chocolate corporation
- web commerce and promotions
- usability and info design intern for a national supplier of agricultural supplies
- intern responsible for web-site design and development
- e-marketing intern for a metropolitan online restaurant and activities guide
- webmaster for an international law firm
- network and IT support intern for a law firm
- help desk and support intern for public Radio/TV station
- many PR/Advertising/New Media interns (creative and account management) for agencies and in-house marketing departments