Why Choose the UMSL Anthropology and Archaeology Program?
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The objective of the Department of Anthropology internship program is to acquaint students with the work of research libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions in order to enhancethe students' knowledge of sources, research methodologies, institutional cultures, and work environments. An important benefit of such a program is to expose the student to applications of research and methodologies discovered during the normal academic process. Possibly, the internship could spark a student's interest in applied studies and lead to further formal education in those areas.
Any professor within the Department of Anthropology (the academic advisor) may be the liaison with a sponsoring institution and will collaborate with the intern's institutional supervisor, who is assigned by the institution. The course of study and training should be devised and agreed upon by all of the involved parties: the student, the academic advisor, and the institutional supervisor. The student may register for one to three hours of credit (as agreed upon by the potential intern, the institutional supervisor, and the academic supervisor) which will be applicable to his or her course program. The precise skills he or she learns will vary with the kind of project chosen.
Internships sponsored through the department will be for credit, which requires that the student sign up for course credit during the semester during which the internship will take place. Four course options are available: Anthro 325: Internship in Cultural Anthropology; Anthro 326: Internship in Archaeology; Anthro 327: Internship in Folklore; and Anthro 328: Internship in Museum Studies. Although, for programmatic purposes, specific professors may be officially assigned to each course in the semester course schedule, students may in fact take any of these courses under any of Anthropology's professors of their choosing, subject to the professor's agreement. Internship courses may be taken for up to three credit hours, although more hours may be granted in exceptional instances. In order to protect the character and intent of the students' liberal education, most students should take only one internship course. Students wishing to take more than one internship should approach their advisor and then the chair and argue their case.
The following procedure is suggested:
1) Prior to course registration, any student interested in performing an internship should contact a professor to discuss his or her interests. Likewise, any professor who has identified a student as someone who would benefit from an internship should approach the student and suggest the possibility of an internship. The student should contact the departmental internship coordinator to discuss potential institutions offering internships appropriate to that student's interests and talents. The internship coordinator should also recommend an appropriate faculty advisor for the student, based on the focus of the internship.
2) The student should contact the institution in which he or she would be interested in interning. The student should set up an appointment to talk to the appropriate staff member of that institution to discuss an internship possibility. If a mutual agreement is reached between the student and the institution, the student should then contact the faculty advisor who will serve as the academic supervisor and set up a meeting to discuss the internship. At this point, if the student is comfortable the internship will go through, he or she should sign up for the course.
3) A meeting (or telephone conference, when adequate) should be arranged between the academic supervisor and the appropriate cultural institution supervisor, who together should discuss the student and his or her interest in an internship and the appropriate tasks, duties, and assignments expected of the student. Both the institutional supervisor and the academic advisor should recognize the relative nature of different kinds of work and work cultures and should agree upon hours of expected work accordingly, using as a standard three hours a week for every credit hour taken. Emphatically, the work schedule must enrich the student's education while providing critical applied skills.
4) As a minimum academic requirement, the Department of Anthropology requires that the student maintain through any internship an academic journal logging research, observations, activities, assignments, and all other relevant scholarly work relating to the internship. Other academic products may be required by the academic advisor as assigned. The Department of Anthropology strongly recommends that the student be allowed free time comprising at least the last week of the internship to execute any structured academic assignments, such as a research paper, report, or exhibit.
5) Soon after the academic advisor and the institutional supervisor meet and agree on the conditions of the internship, the student and the institutional supervisor should then meet, agree on the project, and establish the work schedule. The academic advisor, the institutional supervisor, and the student must all agree to the project description and to the work schedule.
6) Based on the mutually agreed upon understanding of the work schedule, assignments, and responsibilities of the internship, the student should complete a form that includes a brief description of the project and details of expected work to be performed, which must be signed by the student, the institutional supervisor, and the academic supervisor; all three parties should keep a copy of the signed project description. This will serve as a de facto contract to ensure that all parties mutually acknowledge the work and conditions of the internship.
7) During the internship, the academic supervisor and the institutional supervisor ideally would consult one another on an agreed upon schedule to monitor the student's progress.
8) At the end of the term it is suggested that: a) the student submits to the academic advisor (and the institutional supervisor, if that is the mutual agreement) the journal kept during the internship, as well as any other relevant scholarly material the academic advisor may have assigned (the completed assignment at the end may vary according to the nature of the project or the desires of either supervisor); and b) the institutional supervisor writes a short letter to the academic supervisor in which he or she evaluates the student's performance.
Once you have understood these guidelines and have decided that you both qualify for and wish to apply for an internship opportunity, please go to the Intern Application Form, which you can print from the Internet.
If you wish to discuss internship opportunities further, Dr. Sheilah Clarke Ekong