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To become more self-directed. Professional Development In choosing an internship site, you may have identified a potential career. Articulating specific career goals will aid you in testing out your aspirations. The goals can be specific for example, you want to pursue a career as a law enforcement officer.
They also may be general for example, you want to work in an agency that provides direct service to clients. For example, your goal may be to work in a legal agency to ascertain whether you want to go to law school. In setting objectives, you should work with both faculty and field supervisors to ensure that the objectives are realistic, attainable, and measurable. Once the learning objectives are agreed upon, your field supervisor can shape your internship experience, based on the tasks you need to complete as you work toward your goals. Your objectives are essential not only in determining your responsibilities at the internship site, but are used as a mechanism to assess your overall performance and as a basis for discussion during periodic supervisory meetings.
Some examples of objectives set to reach different types of goals will help clarify this process. A personal growth goal stated above was to overcome a lack of self-confidence in establishing new interpersonal relationships. While this is an important goal statement, no indication of how it will be achieved is included. What is necessary is a specific plan including tasks, situations that promote learning, and a means of assessment—in other words, objectives.
I will be meeting with several new people in my internship setting. After these meetings, I will assess how I felt, why I felt that way, and how I thought others perceived me. I will spend time discussing these situations with my advisor and field supervisor. The field supervisor may be able to tell me how others in the agency perceived me. I will continue this process with any new relationship I develop during my internship. I will keep a log in which I will write down my impressions throughout the semester. Learning tasks for a skill development goal might follow the format in this example.
He set the following learning objectives: 1. I will research several cases that one of the staff members is also researching. I will compare my research with his or hers, discussing areas in which I need to improve. I will request the opportunity to do legal research on my own and have it critiqued by my supervisor. I will continue to do as much legal research as possible for the remainder of my internship.
Knowledge acquisition goals require different tasks. This is illustrated by the following example. An intern wanted to learn more about suicide, as she was working in a setting where juveniles attempted to take their lives. She set these learning objectives: 1. I will review class notes on the subject. I will choose a list of readings, compiled with the help of my faculty and agency supervisors. I will meet with the staff psychologist to learn more about juveniles and suicide.
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In general, learning objectives for knowledge acquisition goals should include the following: 1. Become aware and informed about the topic. Analyze, synthesize, and generalize the readings and discussions. Take action or think about how you might act in specific situations Permaul, It is crucial that your agency supervisor knows what your goals are for your internship.
He or she should know whether they are realistic for that particular site. It is also important to have your supervisor sign off on them, that is, agree that your goals are reasonable and attainable. This will help you to determine whether your goals and learning tasks are realistic and attainable in your internship setting. While the exact assessment methodology will depend on the goal and its objectives, the following techniques may be helpful.
Written analysis. This can take the form of notes, a log, or a written memorandum to your faculty supervisor. Placing your thoughts on paper will force you to think through the experience and give you a historical perspective over the course of the internship. Chapter 6 discusses written documentation in detail.
Periodic feedback from others. You should discuss your progress in regular meetings with your faculty advisor and field supervisor, or in seminars with peers who are doing or have done internships. Based on the feedback, you may want to change your learning objectives or add new goals. Assessing your goals should be an ongoing process throughout your internship. In formulating your goals before you begin your internship, you will assess what you know, can do, or are; what you need to know, be able to do, or be; and what you want to know, do, or be.
During your internship, it is important to take stock periodically of where you are in terms of your goals. If you find you have accomplished several of them, it is time to determine others, so that the remainder of your internship will be worthwhile. If you are having trouble reaching your goals and find that your efforts to do so have stalled, you should discuss them with both your agency and faculty supervisors to decide what you can do to accomplish them or if you need to make modifications to them.
It may be that your supervisor will allow you to take on added responsibility so that you can attain your goals. Assessing your goals as you complete your internship is a crucial element of career development. You may find that you are in exactly the right line of work for you or that you need to explore other areas. After defining your goals, you must set specific and measurable learning objectives to help you achieve those goals and allow you to assess your progress. While it is important to define goals early in your internship experience, you should remain flexible.
That is, you should be prepared to modify your goals as you become more familiar with the workings of your agency. You may also want to add new goals during your experience. Setting goals and assessing your progress will be an important part of your professional development during this experience.
This process will help you develop professionally once you are employed in a criminal justice agency. Planning Your Internship 1. Based on your internship expectations, list specific goals in these areas: a. State at least two learning objectives for each of your goals so that you can assess your progress. Review your goals and objectives with your faculty and internship supervisors to ensure that they are appropriate and realistic.
Can they be accomplished in the semester within which you are interning? Write a summary of the discussion you and your internship supervisor have about your goals. You will be learning a new job, getting to know the staff, and learning about the structure of the agency. Although, compared to an employee, less will be expected of you and fewer demands will be made of you by the agency, you must be able to do two things at once: perform some duties as an involved member of the agency while maintaining the ability to examine, process, and analyze your experience objectively.
Interns begin in the observer role. Most interns then progress to a role that includes some limited participation in the activities of the agency along with continued observation. Whether an intern moves to the more responsible role of participant-observer depends on several factors, including his or her skills, the needs of the agency, the level of agency staffing, and the duration of the internship the number of hours per week as well as the number of weeks.
As an intern, you should never become solely a participant. Remember, you are there to learn. While in the position of observer, you may be able to move around the agency freely to learn about the entire operation. It is likely that you will be able to observe situations that outsiders cannot, will have access to confidential materials, and will have a legitimate reason to ask questions. These stages include: initial entry, a probationary period, a stage as a productive worker, and termination. In the business world, the stages an employee goes through are known as the socialization process.
They include anticipatory socialization, accommodation, and role management Gibson et al. The stages you are likely to experience are discussed in detail here to help you better understand the experience and allow you to anticipate the changes that will occur. Anticipatory Socialization Anticipatory socialization takes place before you begin your internship.
The primary purpose of these activities is to acquire information about the new organization. As you go through the process of procuring your internship, you will be learning as much as you can about the internship site. You will also form expectations about the organization and your role there.
Some may come from your faculty supervisor and from coursework you have completed. You need to be prepared, however, for the likelihood that all of your expectations will not be met. Initial Entry The entry period can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the intern orientation program and the amount of time you are spending at the agency per week. Interns generally have two initial feelings: they are excited about the internship and apprehensive about the unknown.
The agency supervisor will generally want you to become acquainted with the staff members and their duties, as well as the organizational structure and functions of the agency. You may be given material to read about the agency. Many students complain that they spend the first few days of their internship reading manuals, case files, and policies and procedures. Some well developed internship programs offer a structured orientation program designed to facilitate the initial entry.
This orientation process, whether it is just reading or other activities, provides a critical foundation for the next phase of the internship. The most important aspect of this stage is that you will see the agency through the eyes of an outsider, whether a client or an interested citizen. The role of observer begins the minute you enter the agency.
Care should be taken to record your first impressions, both positive and negative. The agency staff may have several reactions to you at this point, ranging from a warm welcome to ignoring you. While some of the agency staff may not openly greet you and may give you the impression that they see you as a marginal person or an intruder, you should not take it personally. Time will probably change their attitude, especially if you become a contributing member of the agency.
You are, however, bound to react to the way you are received by the agency personnel. The examples here show how differently students felt at the beginning of their internships. One student found that he was readily accepted by the staff because many of them had been interns. Several of the probation officers in the department have been required to complete practicum or internships themselves.
Because of this, I believe they have a better understanding of my purpose within the office. This is a benefit to interns like me because the members of the department realize that I am not there to report on their actions. Personnel who have completed internships also can better comprehend how an intern feels and what some of his concerns may be. A formal internship program may offer students a comfortable beginning.
It was wonderful that all of the interns got to spend the first week together. Though the sessions were sometimes overwhelming, and sometimes boring, we were all in it together, which made it more comfortable for all of us. We all became friends very quickly, almost like a trauma bond. There was so much information to take in, we really had to rely on each other to fill in the gaps. We ate together during our breaks, and we are looking forward to getting our specific assignments.
A student in a police agency was almost immediately treated as an unimportant observer. I felt that way when I first started and I also feel it is true in one way or another to at least one or two deputies in this department. Also, when I go to the scene of some incident, I am made to feel by others that I am not part of this agency. This student had to deal with the problems of marginality and intrusion. His early perception of not belonging in sensitive and confidential interactions with clients or of being in the way when a staff member was carrying out his duties led to feelings of intrusion.
This is not uncommon in internships. The feelings become less of a concern to interns as they become more involved in the workings of the agency and begin to be contributing members of it. With marginality, it is the staff member or members who feel that the intern is not able to contribute much to the agency. When the intern becomes aware of such feelings, he or she may feel in the way or as if he or she is a burden. Feelings of marginality are most apt to be fostered in an agency that has not had an intern before or one that has had a bad experience with an intern.
Feelings of marginality are often alleviated as the student takes on responsibilities at the agency. The important thing is not to let these few people affect your views of yourself or to outweigh the opinion others in the agency have of you. Finally, another student saw her problems as emanating from her own perceptions and thoughts. A lot of this problem lies within myself and my way of thinking. I feel it has taken a while to open up and be myself. It is not that people here make me feel uncomfortable.
I allow myself to feel this way.
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This is no longer my home or college environment. It is a big step for me—it is down to serious business. I have had a lot of anxiety and apprehension about it. Your supervisor will begin to allow you to observe situations as if you were an agency worker.
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Direct contact with clients in the assigned agency or other criminal justice agencies may begin. Attendance at a variety of professional meetings may now be open to you. During this period, your supervisor may begin to assign you tasks and will watch your performance carefully. A supervisor who develops confidence and trust in your performance will likely be willing to assign you more demanding tasks.
It is therefore critical that you complete any task assigned, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant, to the best of your ability and in a timely fashion. You should remember that a certain amount of drudgery comes with every job. A good rule of thumb is to observe what other workers in the agency do.
If your workload reflects the same percentage of copying, filing, and typing as other workers, then there is no cause for alarm. However, if you find you need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the constant lights of the copying machine, discuss the matter with your supervisor and your faculty advisor. The primary purpose of the internship is for you to learn. Interns are generally exposed to a whole array of new situations during the probationary period. At this stage in the internship, you may feel overwhelmed and confused.
The gap between the theoretical operation of the criminal justice system and the everyday workings of the agency will become evident. That in itself is confusing, but you also may begin to question your ability to perform the tasks the agency personnel perform. Do not expect to perform as well as experienced staff members.
As one student wrote: As an intern, I am not expected to know all the facets of the program and sometimes I have the feeling that I should know them and expect too much out of myself.
I have to be more understanding of myself and my role as a participant-observer. I need patience with myself in the learning process. It will take me time to absorb everything. This period offers you an excellent opportunity to ask questions. No one expects you to know everything about the agency, its clients, and the role it plays in the criminal justice system.
Most people will be happy to answer your questions and, in fact, this is one way of demonstrating an interest in the agency and what the staff is doing. It gives you the freedom to move around the office and meet a lot of people. The others in the office for the most part have been helpful and friendly.
Another advantage of the probationary period is that interns are apt to become more accepted in the agency. As I noted, this past week I have accomplished a lot along the lines of becoming accepted as an intern. I am sure I will stumble on other problems with my status as participant-observer, but I think I am over the hardest part.
While they are common to the internship experience, you will not necessarily experience all or any of them. One problem is mistrust of you by agency personnel. In response, they may be very careful about what they say around you. Time may help alleviate this problem, as coworkers realize that you are not repeating everything you hear or running to a supervisor with reports about them. Two interns commented on their problems with mistrust. When this happens, I get the feeling that they wish I was not around.
Not too many people like being watched by an outsider. The people in the office want all of us interns to think that they are doing a good job and are busy all the time. I think that this problem may last for some time until they trust me. I think both myself and the other employees have our guard up and all are careful of what we do and say. As a participant-observer working for the Department of Youth, I have faced some problems as an intern. This has happened a few times already and I can tell they are uneasy at times. I hope that with time this problem will correct itself and employees will look at me as one of them.
You may find that your age poses problems for you as well. The majority of the interns we have supervised have been in their early twenties. They are generally younger than the staff and either younger than the clients or very close in age to them. I also think that my age plays a role as a disadvantage. Just because a person is and looks younger than many people you come in contact with, they think less of you. This problem does not happen all the time, but I see this as a problem that will continue throughout my internship.
On the other hand, age can be an advantage when working with younger clients. They may be able to relate to you better because you are closer to their age, and they may not see you as just another authority figure. An intern described one such experience in the following manner.
A disadvantage of being a participant-observer is that you lack clout and credibility. For example, my supervisor asked me to call a witness to inform him that he was to be subpoenaed to appear in court. A few minutes after making the call, the man called back and asked for my supervisor. There is little you can do about a problem such as this, unless you interact with the client or agency on a regular basis. One problem you may encounter is that one faction or clique within your agency will try to draw you into their allegiance.
This may be tempting if you are feeling that you do not belong and are looking for support. We caution you, however, not to become aligned with any one group. What may appear to be a safe crew of people who offer you acceptance and support may turn out to be a limiting and confining group from which escape is difficult, if not impossible. Such affiliation can restrict your ability to experience the full range of opportunities available. You should make every effort to remain neutral in intra-agency conflicts.
If you find this is the case for you, you may want to consider an additional personal growth goal for your internship. The following comment exemplifies a student who had a problem with his personal style. One of my major problems in this department is my personality or personal style. I am a rather aggressive and straightforward person and this sometimes gets me into trouble.
I generally speak my feelings and often people get upset. It is going to be hard, but I will have to try to be less direct in what I say. As it is stated in our readings, I should be nonthreatening and attempt to be supportive. One final difficulty that you may face is losing sight of your role as an intern. As you move toward the third stage—productive worker— you will participate more and may forget that you should continue to be an observer. One intern summed up this dilemma as follows. While at present there are no serious problems or dilemmas that I am facing in my internship, there is one small problem that I do feel is worth mentioning.
While I do believe the only way to gain a full understanding of the operations of any office is to become involved in the day-to-day activities of that office, I also believe to become so immersed in the operations of the organization as to become a substitute for a full-time staff member will defeat the purpose of me being here, which is to learn. Although at this point in my internship I do not perceive this as a problem, I do think there is the possibility of a future conflict.
However, I think being cognitive of the potential conflict should, in itself, prevent any serious problems. Accommodation The accommodation stage of the socialization process encompasses both the initial entry and probationary stages discussed above. According to Gibson, Ivancevich, and Donnelly , there are four main activities in the accommodation stage: developing interpersonal relationships with other employees; learning what is expected of you; determining your role in the organization; and assessing how well you are performing.
As is evident from the student statements, at this stage, gaining acceptance of fellow workers and confidence in your ability to be successful in your internship is paramount. Productive Worker and Role Management By the time you have reached the productive worker stage, you will be expected to perform certain tasks and duties as an agency staff member with little or no direct supervision. Because you will have demonstrated your abilities and competencies to your supervisor, he or she will trust you to handle your assignments professionally.
As an intern, you may progress rapidly through the first two stages initial entry and probationary and find yourself confronted with the difficult challenges of the third stage before you are ready. On the other hand, you may never reach this stage. The amount of time you spend at the agency each week and your performance in the first two stages are the two major factors in determining how soon you will reach the productive worker stage if at all.
Some agency policies prohibit interns from undertaking the duties associated with this stage. The expectation of the role management stage is that you will experience conflict—between the demands of your work or internship life and home life and between your work group and others in the organization.
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It is unlikely that, as an intern, you will reach this stage. If you do, it is essential that you maintain your perspective Gibson et al. Your first observations were made as an outsider; now you will see things as an insider. You will probably see some discrepancies between the goals and objectives of the agency and its practices. The problems and limitations of the criminal justice system may also become evident. What is most important is that you do not lose your observer perspective. It affords you the opportunity to raise questions, define problems, and search for possible resolutions.
In order to maintain your perspective, you should discuss your experiences and feelings with your faculty supervisor and fellow interns, as well as read relevant literature and visit other agencies. Termination The termination process involves your separation from staff and clients. It is a time to reflect on your experience, assess yourself, and look to the next stage of your career. If you deal with clients, you should give them some warning that you are leaving and let them know that their cases will be transferred to another staff member.
Consult with your supervisor about the appropriate time to do so and about how the transition will occur. Your clients may react in a variety of ways, from being totally indifferent to being angry and hostile. The rapport you have built with your clients, the benefits they have received from the relationship, and their degree of dependence on you will all contribute to their responses.
While termination with the staff is likely to be easier, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, if you have been handling the cases of specific staff members, you should inform them of the status of the cases. Second, any unfinished projects or reports should be documented in such a way that others can complete them. You should use this period to assess your experience. See Chapter 12 for assessing the agency and yourself. You may have mixed feelings during this stage. You may feel that you are just beginning to function well in the agency and have so much more to learn, or you may be relieved that a difficult course is coming to an end.
Be prepared to experience a variety of feelings during this time. The end of your internship may have a deeper meaning for you, especially if your internship comes at the end of your college career. Many interns are ready to seek employment at the end of their internship. Whether or not this is true in your case, you should take this opportunity to explore career options with your agency and others and to request letters of recommendation.
See Chapter 14 for a detailed discussion of this topic. The issues and problems that arise in each stage are different and must be dealt with as they occur. Knowing that these are experiences faced by most interns will help you to understand and anticipate the changes. As you become more involved in the actual operations of the agency, you should take care to maintain the ability to examine your experience objectively.
Seek the support of your supervisors and peers in this regard. Your Role as an Intern 1. How did you prepare yourself for this internship? In going through anticipatory socialization, did you actively pursue information? From what sources? With whom did you discuss your internship? What did you find out that you had not expected? Describe how you felt during the initial entry and probationary periods. How did you deal with uncertainty and conflict?
As you make the transition to productive worker, what changes do you anticipate? What will you have to consider as you approach the termination of your internship? Discuss with your advisor the possible obstacles you might face at the various experiential stages of the internship. For most students, this is a new role, requiring different skills than those employed in the classroom. This chapter discusses some standard methodologies for describing, analyzing, and assessing your experience. These methods will help you to gain the most from your internship experience as well as assist you in written assignments.
Frankfort-Nachmias and Nachmias discuss the use of this method: The method of data collection most closely associated with contemporary field research is participant observation, whereby the investigator attempts to attain some kind of membership in or close attachment to the group that he or she wishes to study. Direct participation in the activities of the observed often entails learning the language, habits, work patterns, leisure activities, and other aspects. You may not realize it, but when you engage in any social interaction, you are acting as a participant observer. Refining your skills and systemizing your approach are essential to becoming an accomplished participant-observer.
You must first gain access to an agency or organization, because one must move from the position of outsider to one of an insider. The hurdle of initial entry one that most participant-observers face is generally resolved for you through your internship placement. Many researchers who perform field observations face the issue of what role they should take in the setting. Again, this issue is partially resolved for you, especially if the agency has had previous interns.
You have a defined role in the organization: an intern. Although this may mean different things to people inside and outside the organization, it still gives you a certain level of legitimacy in the organization. As an intern, you may be viewed with acceptance, indifference, suspicion, and in some cases hostility. You should not take this personally; rather, you should attempt to understand why your presence evokes different reactions from different people. After establishing your role, determine what you want to observe in depth and distinguish what is important from what is trivial.
Your attention may be focused by particular interests and goals you have, by assignments from your faculty supervisor, or by the tasks you perform at the agency. If you are required to write a final paper, the topic you choose may determine areas you want to explore. Once you have decided what you want to concentrate on, the next step is to gather the information you will need.
It is important to remember that observation, as a method of data collection, uses many techniques. It can take place in natural settings, which enable studying phenomena, such as learning, as they occur in real-life situations e. While the use of observation is determined by the state of knowledge about a general problem, the procedures used may be quite flexible FrankfortNachmias and Nachmias, It is very important before you begin your internship that you develop a methodology for recording your observations so that you can carefully record your initial impressions. The first data you collect will be through direct observation.
During the first few days of your internship you do not need to be focused on any particular topic; that is, you should record your impressions without regard to any particular issue or area. As you become a participantobserver and become more familiar with the setting and the people in it, you should begin to define specific areas that you want to document. Your first direct observations might include the following: 1.
A careful description of the physical environment, including such items as: the amount of space allocated to the agency, a layout of the rooms, colors employed in decorating, items on the walls, and the placement of the furniture. An assessment of the staff in the agency, including number of males and females and their positions, age distribution, racial composition, how different people dress, how status is exhibited, how space is allocated, types of positions in the agency, and who interacts with whom.
Your first impressions of the agency and the interactions you have with the staff, clients, and the public. The lobby is very large and dimly lighted. The lobby seems very cold and official in its appearance. An admittance window sits at one end of the lobby. Each person who wishes to enter the department further must be checked in by the receptionist. This window cuts the rest of the department away from the public who enter the lobby.
This system is excellent for security reasons, but it does tend to put a wall between the officers and the public. As you become more familiar with the setting, your observations should become more perceptive. You should begin to understand the workings of the agencies through hypotheses, ideas that others have shared with you, concepts you have read about or learned in a classroom environment, and even through hunches.
Such reflection adds meaning to your experience. As your internship progresses, your initial ideas should be further developed or rejected, based on the collection of additional data. Once you have decided what your focus will be in gathering information, you should apply a more refined approach to collecting data. Interviewing key staff members and clients in your agency may give you an in-depth understanding of specific issues or problems. Interviews are used by interns to collect information for particular assignments for instance, the legal basis of the agency, budget matters, the final project or to help them further understand an issue at hand.
The number of people to be interviewed and the degree of structure in the questioning format are dependent on the information required. The following is a recommended step-by-step process for developing and administering a good interview. This comprehensive text takes a models approach by presenting separate chapters on individual theorists and perspectives. Within this well-organized structure, Gredler offers meticulously accurate coverage of contemporary learning theories and their application to educational practice—including issues of readiness, motivation, problem-solving, and the social context for learning.
Learning and Instruction contains comprehensive coverage of all learning theory perspectives from behavioral to cognitive to social constructivist. Gredler's text takes a models approach by presenting separate chapters on individual theories and perspectives such as Piaget, Weiner, and Bandura. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Pearson. Condition: new. Seller Inventory think More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Pearson, Condition: New.
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