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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Purpose, Policies, & Responsibilities

Page address: http://ahn.mnsu.edu/health/alcohol-drug/internshiphandbook/policies.html

Internship Purpose

Purpose of Alcohol and Drug Studies Internship Experience

The ADS Internship Experience has been designed to give each student a practical experience in the alcohol and drug studies field. The internship experience is a total of twelve semester credits (880 clock hours). During the internship experience, the student will be expected to:

  • Integrate and apply learning gained from the coursework
  • Further develop counseling skills through practical application
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Prepare chemical use assessments
  • Facilitate individual and group counseling
  • Participate in the entire continuum of care process
  • Develop knowledge of referral sources
  • Network with professionals in the field

The internship is intended to provide students with progressive responsibility during the course of the internship.  Interns are expected to gain experience in each of the Twelve Core Functions of alcohol and drug counselors which will assist them in professional growth and preparation as well as pursuit of professional credentialing.

Internship Policies

Prerequisites for Internship

  • Completion of all Alcohol and Drug Studies required core courses.
  • Admission to Alcohol and Drug Studies major or minor (successful completion of Alcohol and Drug Studies application and screening process).

Policies for Internship Site Selection

All internship sites must be approved by the ADS Coordinator prior to the student beginning the internship. Internship sites should meet the following criteria:

  • Be at an agency that provides alcohol and drug counseling services
  • Be supervised by a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) or a supervisor in another profession that is exempt under Minnesota Statutes
  • Be supervised by a professional with a minimum of two years of professional practice in the field
  • Provide the intern an opportunity to gain experience in each of the Twelve Core Functions

The full internship (880 hours) may be completed at one site if the site provides a truly diversified experience.  Otherwise, the internship may be split between two different sites (440 hours each) to allow for diversification of experience.  Any alternate arrangements must be pre-approved by the Alcohol and Drug Studies Internship Coordinator.

Policies and Procedures for Student Internship Supervision and Evaluation

Interns are accountable to two supervisors during the internship: the Internship Site Supervisor and the Alcohol and Drug Studies (ADS) Internship Coordinator. Ongoing quality feedback and supervision by an experienced and qualified professional is a crucial component of a useful learning experience.

Progress Reports and Evaluations

The Internship Site Supervisor will be asked to complete two Progress Reports and a Final Evaluation during the course of the internship. The supervision and evaluation process should be a developmental process. Accordingly, it is expected that the Internship Site Supervisor should review each of the completed forms with the Student Intern and provide them feedback. If this does not happen automatically, ask. It is your right to review and provide input for the Progress Reports and Final Evaluation. If you are refused the right to participate in this process, please contact the ADS Coordinator to report the matter.

Two Progress Reports and a Final Evaluation must be completed for each internship site.

  • Progress Report 1 should be completed in the beginning stages of the internship to establish a baseline of the Student Intern's skills (approximately 10 - 20% completion).
  • Progress Report 2 should be completed at the midpoint of the internship (approximately 50 - 60% completion).
  • The Final Evaluation should be completed once the Student Intern has finished the entirety of their hours (100% completion).

It is the Student Intern's responsibility to provide their supervisor with hard copies of the Progress Reports and Final Evalaluation.  The forms may be obtained from the Internship Handbook.

All Progress Reports and Final Evaluations should be mailed to the Alcohol and Drug Studies Internship Coordinator within a week of completing the form.

Policies for Successful Completion of the Internship

The following grading policies apply to the internship experience:

  • Pass (P): Student has successfully completed all requirements of the internship.
  • In Progress (IP): Student is making sufficient progress toward completing the internship and has negotiated a plan for completion with the ADS Internship Coordinator.
  • No Credit (NC): Student did not successfully complete the requirements of the internship. No credit is awarded for any clock hours or credit hours associated with the internship.

Unsatisfactory Progress Report, Final Evaluation, or Verification Form

Progress reports and a final evaluation (completed by the Site Supervisor) are used to evaluate the progress of the Student Intern during the course of their internship.  If the progress report or final evaluation is determined to be unsatisfactory, the ADS Internship Coordinator reserves the right to award a grade of No Credit for the internship experience.

If a Site Supervisor is unwilling to complete a Progress Report, Final Evaluation, or Verification Form due to concerns with the Student Intern's performance, the corresponding clock hours may not be counted and the ADS Internship Coordinator reserves the right to award a grade of No Credit for the internship experience.

Unsatisfactory Progress or Incompletion of Internship Due to Skills Deficiency

If there is a determination that the Student Intern has a skills deficiency that interferes with his or her ability to successfully complete the internship, the ADS Internship Coordinator will contact the Student Intern and Site Supervisor to discuss the concern. The ADS Internship Coordinator reserves the right to award a grade of No Credit for the internship experience. However, the ADS Internship Coordinator may work with the Student Intern and Site Supervisor to develop a plan (i.e. additional coursework or training, volunteerism, mentoring, etc.) to allow the Student Intern to complete his or her internship. If the Student Intern believes he/she has a skills deficiency that impairs his/her ability to function effectively as an intern, it is his/her obligation to notify the Site Supervisor and the ADS Internship Coordinator immediately. 

Unsatisfactory Progress or Incompletion of Internship Due to Personal Issues

It sometimes becomes apparent that a Student Intern's personal issues are interfering with his/her ability to effectively function as a professional.  If there is a determination that a Student Intern is unable to complete the internship due to personal issues (i.e. inability to maintain sobriety, mental health issues, family issues, etc.), the ADS Internship Coordinator will contact the Student Intern and Site Supervisor to discuss the concern. The ADS Internship Coordinator reserves the right to award a grade of No Credit for the internship experience. However, in compelling circumstances, the ADS Coordinator may work with the student to develop and appropriate alternative solution. Student Interns who are experiencing a personal issue which impairs their ability to function in their assigned roles may be encouraged to take a leave of absence from the internship while they pursue options to resolve the issue.  If the Student Intern believes he/she is experiencing a personal issue that impairs his/her ability to function effectively as an intern, it is his/her obligation to notify the Site Supervisor and the ADS Internship Coordinator.

Incompletion of Internship per Site Approval Form Agreement

In general, it is expected that Student Interns fulfill the terms of the internship agreed upon in the Site Approval Form.  Any changes to the Site Approval Form (i.e. early separation from the site, transferring to a different site, etc.) must be pre-approved by the ADS Internship Coordinator.  Making changes to the Site Approval Form without pre-approval from the ADS Internship Coordinator may result in a grade of No Credit.

Termination from Internship

If a Student Intern is terminated from his or her internship site, he or she will automatically be awarded a grade of No Credit unless otherwise negotiated with the ADS Internship Coordinator.

Policies and Procedures Regarding Internship Issues

Reporting Internship Issues

If you experience any issues at your internship site, it is your initial responsibility to express your concerns to your Site Supervisor. Your concerns should additionally be reported to the ADS Internship Coordinator. If the issue is significant, it should be reported to the ADS Internship Coordinator immediately.  Minor issues may be reported in the bi-weekly summary report.  Issues might include:

  • Not getting appropriate feedback and supervision
  • Being assigned responsibilities that are not commensurate with your skill and training
  • Experiencing ethical violations at your site
  • Not receiving a breadth of experiences consistent with the expectations of the internship
  • Theoretical and/or philosophical differences with your supervisor or other employees which compromise the integrity of the internship
  • Having a client file a grievance toward you
  • Being the victim of a crime in your role as an intern or having your safety compromised in any way

Internship Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Student Intern

The Student Intern must complete the following tasks prior to the internship.

  1. Schedule a Pre-Internship Meeting with the ADS Internship Coordinator at least one semester in advance of the internship.  Complete a Program Requirement Checklist at the Pre-Internship Meeting.
  2. Develop a resume to be used in interviewing at internship sites. Assistance may be obtained through the Career Development Center. 
  3. Research, contact, and interview at preferred internship sites.
  4. Select an internship site from the offers you receive, and notify the site you have accepted their offer.
  5. Complete a Site Approval Form with your internship site.
  6. Submit the original copy of the Site Approval Form to the ADS Internship Coordinator. Permission to register for HLTH 497/697 will not be granted until the Site Approval Form has been submitted.  Once permission to register is granted, register for 12 credits of HLTH 497/697.
  7. Prepare a Internship Goals Form.  Present your Internship Goals Form to your Site Supervisor to receive their approval.  Submit the Internship Goals Form to the ADS Internship Coordinator. Ideally, the form with be submitted before the internship begins, but must be submitted no later that two weeks after the beginning of the internship.
  8. Students are responsible for carrying their own liability insurance for the duration of the internship experience. Students will be required to carry professional liability insurance in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 each claim/$3,000,000 annual aggregate. Liability insurance is available through the Minnesota State University, Mankato Cashiers Office. Students shall submit a copy of their proof of coverage to the ADS Internship Coordinator prior to beginning the internship.
  9. Students are encouraged to carry their own health insurance.
  10. Students shall inquire to their internship site about any pre-requisites for the internship (i.e. vaccinations, background check, orientations, etc.) and complete them accordingly.
  11. Student shall verify with the ADS Internship Coordinator to determine if there is a current Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on file with their desired internship site.  If there is not a current MOA on file, one may be processed after the site is approved.  This process may take weeks to months to complete. A current MOA must be on file before the student begins the internship process.

The Student Intern must complete the following tasks during the internship.

  1. Email the ADS Coordinator on the first day of your internship to confirm that you have begun your hours
  2. Maintain a daily Journal (See Criteria Page)
  3. Maintain a daily Log of Hours (See Criteria Page)
  4. Submit a Bi-Weekly Summary Statement to the ADS Coordinator (See Criteria Page)
  5. Report any significant internship issues to the ADS Coordinator immediately
  6. Complete a minimum of 880 clock hours of internship experience
  7. Complete a minimum of 10 hours in each of the Core Functions
  8. Act as a responsible and reliable "employee" during the internship experience
  9. Act in accordance with ethical codes for alcohol and drug professionals
  10. Coordinate with the ADS Coordinator to schedule an Internship Site Visit (one site visit is required for each internship site)
  11. Follow up with Site Supervisor regarding timely completion of all paperwork (i.e. Progress Reports, Final Evaluation, and Verification Form)
  12. Maintain regular communication with the ADS Coordinator and check official university email account at least once per week.

The Student Intern must complete the following tasks upon completion of the internship. All final submissions must be submitted in printed form to the ADS Coordinator within two weeks of completing your clock hours.

  1. Email the ADS Internship Coordinator on the last day of your internship to confirm that you have completed your internship.
  2. Submit a Final Report for each internship site (See Criteria Page).
  3. Submit a comprehensive copy of your Log of Hours.
  4. Submit a final copy of your daily Journal.
  5. Submit an Internship Verification Form, completed in conjunction with the Site Supervisor.  An original copy is required.
  6. Submit an ADS Program Exit Evaluation (See Forms Page).

Responsibilities of Site Supervisor

The Site Supervisor is encouraged to provide a range of learning opportunities and experiences while giving constructive feedback to the student intern. Specific responsibilities of the Site Supervisor include:

  1. Assist the Student Intern in editing his or her Internship Goals Form to be consistent with opportunities available at the internship site.
  2. Sign and date the Internship Goals Form once they have been approved.  
  3. Assist the student in achieving established goals for the internship.
  4. Provide or coordinate supervision for the Student Intern (i.e. regular meeting times arranged to discuss progress and provide feedback). Supervision is expected to be active and consistent. A minimum of one hour of supervision for every 40 hours of practice is recommended.
  5. Complete a minimum of two Progress Reports. The first is to be completed toward the beginning of the internship. The second is to be completed at the midpoint of the internship.
  6. Complete a Final Evaluation that provides feedback on the total internship experience.
  7. Sign the Internship Verification form.
  8. Help arrange for phone conferences and communication with Student Intern as necessary.
  9. Be present for site visit meetings with the ADS Internship Coordinator regarding progress and evaluation of the Student Internship Experience.
  10. When necessary, serve as a facilitator for signing of the Minnesota State University, Mankato Internship Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by the participating internship site.

Responsibilities of the ADS Internship Coordinator

Although the Site Supervisor provides most direct supervision, the ADS Coordinator will:

  1. Conduct a Pre-Internship Orientation Meeting with each student entering the internship experience
  2. Review the Student Intern's draft resume
  3. Assist the Student Intern with site selection
  4. Review the Student Intern's Internship Goals Form
  5. Process the Internship Site Approval Form
  6. Send out a fully executed copy of the Site Approval Form to the Site Supervisor
  7. Review submitted Summary Statements, Logs of Hours, and Daily Journals and provide feedback as needed
  8. Be available for consultations with the Student Intern and Site Supervisor as needed
  9. Complete a site visit for each student (coordinated with the student's assistance) pending availability of resources
  10. Review all completed internship requirements and award a grade as appropriate