Internships can help education students boost their careers. They are distinct from student teaching, which is a common requirement in education degree programs. Student teaching practice is built into the curriculum and assigned by the college of education. Internships for education majors, however, give students more flexibility. Internships are voluntary and at the discretion of individual students, allowing them to further their studies within their areas of interest.
Why Complete an Internship in Education?
Completing an internship in education allows students who are pursuing a degree in education to put what they have learned in their coursework into practice. Internships for education majors also look good on resumes after graduation. Completing an internship shows future employers that you are serious about your education career and willing to go above and beyond to hone your practice.
Participating in an education internship also reveals the many career possibilities available to an education degree graduate. While working in an internship role, a student meets new people and can network with others who have already earned an education degree. These people can become mentors or connections to the education world.
Applying for an Internship in Education
Some internships for education majors may require applicants to have already completed certain courses toward their degree. Other internships may require applicants who are already certificated teachers. These internships cannot be completed until after earning an education degree. When applying to an internship, be sure to read the requirements carefully. Some internships may require a certain GPA, be paid or unpaid, or take place during the school year rather than the summer. Many teacher preparation programs allow you to specialize in certain age groups, environments or subject areas.
Academic counselors within the College of Education can help students determine which internship options are best for them. Students should start researching internship opportunities early in their degree program. Starting early can help students discover what types of internships are available and what they will need to accomplish to be a viable candidate.
Internships for Education Degree Students
1. Government Agencies
Education students interested in policy and administration may be able to find internship work with government agencies, including local or state departments of education. Students can also look for internships at the federal level, with the U.S. Department of Education. Some departments of education may hire interns for paid work. Other interns work with government agencies to learn how education policy is written and implemented.
2. School-Based Internships
Most school-based internships in the United States are student teaching positions built into the coursework that leads to an education degree. However, there are some opportunities for individuals to work as interns at both the primary and the secondary level. Internships for education majors interested in becoming teachers may include working as classroom instructional assistants and learning from master practitioners. Those interested in going into administration may be able to work alongside principals and vice principals to develop school leadership skills. Working in a school as an intern may require specific credentials. Interns may also need to pass a background check to allow them direct contact with students.
3. Nonprofit Organizations
In the United States, organizations like AmeriCorps place interns in schools for a variety of teaching assignments. Interns who work with school-based nonprofits may work alongside teachers during the school day or run after-school programs. In addition, nonprofits may place education interns in such environments as juvenile prisons, homeless shelters or hospice care.
4. Post-Secondary Internships
Education majors who want to complete an internship at their university may be able to find a role in a range of departments. Some post-secondary interns work directly with professors or department heads to learn more about how to teach at the college level. Other university-based interns may work in financial aid or student affairs to deepen their familiarity with the inner workings of a university.
5. Public Policy Internships
Education students who are interested in both government internships and nonprofit internships may want to research public policy internships. Public policy brings the community and the government together. Public policy organizations create actions and laws that affect students and educators at the local, state and federal levels.
If you are interested in earning your education degree at Grand Canyon University, contact the College of Education today. In the course of your education degree program, you will experience student teaching and have opportunities to complete specialized internships that interest you.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.