What is an internship learning contract?

Internships are meant to benefit both the employer and the intern. Although the beneficial components for the employer may be obvious, the knowledge and experience gained from the experience can be very useful to the intern as well. A way to help ensure that students will learn all they need to know during an internship is through an internship learning contract. An internship learning contract documents a student’s skills attained while at the internship. The learning contract is in place to guide the student to achieve direct learning goals. It is a great way to ensure that all parties are satisfied by the end of the internship. Here is a more detailed look at what an internship contract consists of.


Although the concept of an internship contract may seem a little confusing, the objective is simple; to be clear that the intern benefits through learning. There are three points of contact that make the contract stand; the student, the employer, and a faculty member who oversees the program at the student’s school. It is the duty of the employer to identify what is expected from the intern for the duration of the internship. Hours, dates, and credits need to be outlined and understood from the very beginning. The faculty member needs to ensure that the academic needs of the student are being met through the program. The student will be held accountable to hold up their end of the contract through hard work and dedication to the project.

Engineering Internship

Drafting and Execution

Drafting a good learning contract will determine the efficiency of the concept. Upon careful review of the job description of the internship, the student can then compile a list of learning objectives that they would like to achieve through the employer. Shooting for three to five objectives is a good rule of thumb to follow. The objectives should be specific, to the point, and relevant to the industry. It is best to incorporate strategies on how to meet these learning objectives. Allowing someone to observe the work that the student does on the job or sitting in on conferences and meetings are great ways to help achieve learning goals. The faculty member who is responsible for this internship learning contract should read and sign the contract once it is drafted. Maintaining regular contact with both the student and employer, the faculty member can keep track of exactly how the internship is progressing.


If the internship will be used for credit, grading the outcome of the program will be based on the initial contract. Allowing each learning objective to stand for a certain amount of credits is an easy way to grade the success of the internship. Data compiled from the employer, such as attendance and overall performance, should play a large role in the final grade. The student should also be assigned to write an essay defining the internship experience in their own words expounding on the experience gained; both professional and personal.

An internship contract is a staple for any internship program for credit. Want to find interns in Rhode Island?  Visit www.bridge.jobs to find eager aspirants for free!

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About bridge.jobs

Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

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