The School of Foreign Service will offer a one-credit, pass-fail course next semester that will grant academic credit to SFS students who hold internships.

This course, which is aimed toward juniors and seniors but will also be open to sophomores, will be taught by Associate Dean Emily Zenick.

“The class is intended to provide an academic framework to support students in setting goals for their internship and in reflecting upon the experience as it relates to their academic and career goals,” the course description states.

Similar courses stressing the connection between internships and academics already exist in the McDonough School of Business and the College.

“The SFS decided at the end of the summer that we needed to come up with our own class,” Zenick said. “The [MSB] and the College have similar classes, and we wanted to articulate the connection between work done during an internship and a student’s academics and major.”

The class will be based on Blackboard and will be capped at a size of 20 students. Qualified students must work in an internship for a minimum total of 75 hours during the academic term in which the course is offered.

Total class time will add up to about five hours a week of supplemental work, group reflection discussions and meetings with the course convener. Additionally, students will be assigned 20 to 25 pages of reading a week, complete consistent blog posts and assignments and choose a book to read in its entirety throughout the course.

“[The course will] bring individual students’ reflection and an integration of experiences to get them to think strategically about how their internship was related to the major they studied in addition to classes and long-term research,” Zenick said.
SFS Academic Council President Megan Murday (SFS ’15) helped develop the program and worked closely with the deans’ office in charge.

“It’s a fantastic program,” Murday said. “It directly addresses the need of students to tie professional experiences to academic experiences.”

Murday and Zenick both emphasized the importance of the course for some international students who, dependent on visa status, need academic credit from their school to participate in certain internships.

Additionally, they highlighted the importance of Georgetown providing support for students who choose to do internships while they are enrolled in the university and how imperative it is for students to have as complete an internship experience as is possible.

“The one-credit course is a much-needed option for SFS students,” SFS Academic Council Senior Representative Annie Kennelly (SFS ’15) wrote in an email, “Not only does it encourage students to gain experience in the professional world, but it also opens up additional opportunities for certain internships that require students to receive academic credit for their work.”

Some of the reading for the class will be slightly unconventional, according to Zenick.

“Students really don’t read these kinds of books,” Zenick said. “They are self-development texts that will help students understand themselves and the stage that they are at in life.”

Murday said that this course recognizes internships as fundamental in educating the whole person.

“I hope that this signals broader encouragement and support for students that want to have internships while in school here,” Murday said. “An internship is fundamental when looking at educating the whole person, and it’s a great experience that you can bring back to the classroom.”

The course also aims to provide students in internships with the tools necessary to engage their employers and fellow colleagues, help them develop skills that will narrow their area of focus and give them the resources to translate their work into future opportunities.

Kennelly said that this course challenges the assumed boundary between Georgetown classrooms and the world outside.

“Georgetown is a forward-thinking university that really emphasizes a focus on the whole person, and this one-credit internship program will give students the opportunity to understand how to erase those boundaries and see Georgetown as an integral part of every aspect of their lives,” Kennelly wrote.

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