The Henry "Hank" Lacayo Institute (HLI) Internship Program: Evaluation of the Most Critical Interns from 2013-2016

Responses from 151 CI student interns who completed the semester-long HLI Internship between spring 2013 and fall 2016 were reviewed and analyzed. Of this number, 87 students completed the optional end-of-semester evaluation: a return rate of 57%. Of the 57% who completed the evaluation, feedback from 58% of the interns stated that there were issues that kept them from feeling fulfilled by the experience and prepared for a career. The end-of-semester evaluation included four main sections asking interns to (a) rate their preparation for the internship; (b) provide information regarding internship expectations; (c) evaluate the site placement; and (d) discuss the value of the internship. The end-of-semester evaluation used a mixed methods process of qualitative and quantitative questions, and the data clustered into themes. Based on the analysis of the data, a program modification is identified and proposed with the expectation that there will be higher overall ratings across the internship program for the coming cohorts. By analyzing the data, it is this researcher’s goal to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the internship as it is now and address areas of concern with a program modification so that the program continues to meet the programmatic aims as well as the students’ educational/career goals. The findings from this project will be meaningful to future site employers, future students, faculty, and program stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of internships. This project will be useful for program directors, campus administrators, and faculty to understand the need for periodic program review.