Internship Program Information for Businesses and Organizations
The Department of Health Sciences and Administration is excited to work with local healthcare organizations in order to create strong professionals in the field through an internship experience focused on administration.
In the Department of Health Sciences and Administration, we strive to create talented future leaders in healthcare and public health administration. As an intern's mentor, you and your organization would assist in this goal by providing interns with experiential learning in a healthcare administration environment. Mentoring an intern is a great way to prepare future healthcare professionals for success while also giving back to the community.
What is an Internship?
For a student, an internship is an invaluable learning experience that helps identify career goals, gain knowledge, and be a productive member of an organization. For you, an internship is a great opportunity to mentor young professionals, play a direct role in creating the leaders of tomorrow, and reinforce the values of your organization. Internship opportunities can be paid or unpaid, but organizations should comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Potential internship locations are encouraged to talk to their Human Resources department to determine how internships work within the organization.
Commitment, Requirements, and Tuition Waiver Incentive Program
Mentors are asked to provide a minimum number of hours onsite with your organization. Your intern must complete the required number of hours within one semester. A typical semester lasts roughly 15 weeks, but mentors can choose to work with their intern for less than 15 weeks so long as they provide the required number of hours. Most organizations work with interns roughly 8-10 hours a week. Summer semesters are shorter than Fall/Spring so mentors are encouraged to plan accordingly.
|120 hours||180 hours|
Organizations interested in hosting an intern are asked to provide the following:
- The required number of onsite hours outlined in the chart above
- A direct supervisor/mentor to whom the intern will report
- An official start date and clear instructions on first day expectations
- A clear description of the intern's role
- Any necessary onboarding required by your organization (application process, orientation, required trainings, etc.)
The University of West Florida participates in a state-wide incentive program for Intern Supervisors that allows for fee waivers for courses at institutions within the State University System. Intern Supervisors who engage in direct supervision of at least one university intern for 300 contact hours, which may be accumulated over multiple semesters, are entitled to a waiver of tuition for a maximum of six (6) hours credit instructions (including credit through continuing education) during a single term at any state university. Please contact the Internship Coordinator for additional information.
Before an organization can host an intern, they will be asked to complete an affiliation agreement with the University of West Florida. This agreement allows mentors/supervisors and faculty to work closely to ensure the success of each intern. The affiliation agreement processing time may differ from organization to organization, so it is important to begin working on the agreement early. This paperwork only needs to be established once and may be renewed according to the organization’s discretion. The Internship Coordinator is happy to answer any additional questions regarding affiliation agreements.
The Internship Curriculum
In addition to completing an internship with your organization, interns are required to complete an online companion course (HSA 4941 Internship in Healthcare Administration). The goal of this class is to develop and understand a certain set of skills that will increase professional competencies in the following areas:
- Networking and Relationship Building
- Understanding Healthcare Industry Sectors
- Adhering to Organizational Norms/Culture
- Professional Communication
- Interpersonal Communication
- Receiving Criticism in the Workplace
- Conflict in the Workplace
- Cover Letter Construction
- Resume Construction
Mentors are not required to participate in the curriculum. However, as part of professional communication and development, mentors will be asked to complete a progress report on their intern.
Frequently Asked Questions for Organizations
What should I do if I am interested in hosting an intern?
If you or anyone in your organization is interested in being a mentor to an intern, please contact the Department of Health Sciences and Administration Internship Coordinator. Contact information is available at the bottom of this page. The Internship Coordinator will work closely with you to determine the best plan of action.
What is required of me as a mentor?
Interns report directly to their mentor, so it is your responsibility to ensure that the intern is aware of your expectations and their role within the organization. A mentor serves as a supervisor and guide for an intern while onsite. Internships should be viewed as a learning experience, but it is also important for a mentor to require professionalism from their intern. You will not only expose interns to industry experience and knowledge, but also help reinforce professional competencies. You will also be asked to complete a short progress report on your intern to ensure they know where they can grow and what they do well.
How many interns can my organization host?
The number of interns you host is up to you and your organization. The Internship Coordinator is happy to work with you to determine an appropriate number of interns for your location. Consider how many mentors you can provide and how many hours they have to dedicate to an intern. Our department strives to create quality internships that offer the intern the appropriate amount of support.
Am I required to participate as a mentor every semester?
No. You are welcome to determine what schedule works best for you. Mentors can participate in the program on an ongoing basis or choose to take certain semesters off. We are dedicated to making this experience just as invaluable to you as it is to our interns.
How many hours am I required to spend with my intern?
The level of student and the length of the semester in which you participate determine intern hours. Undergraduate-level students are required to complete 120 hours onsite and graduate-level students are required to complete 180 hours. Working with an intern over a traditional 15-week semester (Spring/Fall) results in roughly 8-10 hours a week for undergraduate-level and 12-14 hours a week for graduate-level. However, if you choose to work with a student during a summer semester, please note that the semester can last 8-13 weeks. Summer semester hours are 10-15 for undergraduate-level and 13-22 for graduate-level.
Am I required to host an intern for an entire semester?
Hours met is the most important requirement of our department. If an organization wants to host an intern for shorter than a semester, they must provide the required number of hours within their allotted timeframe. If considering this option, you are encouraged to discuss this with the Internship Coordinator.
Do I need to create any kind of curriculum or school-related assignments for the intern?
You are only responsible for determining what the intern will do while onsite. The Department of Health Sciences and Administration is responsible for any supporting curriculum that will take place outside of your organization. Please see the Internship Curriculum section above for more information.