Field Experience Program: Assignments
Field Experience Program: Reflective Responses
Students participating in summer internships through the Field Experience Program must complete three assignments over the course of their internship. These assignments, known as reflective responses, offer participants a structured way to reflect upon what they are learning through their internship experiences. Each reflective response will be reviewed by an ACSJL staff member who will offer comments and feedback.
All submitted assignments must meet the following requirements:
- Submit via email. Photo, audio, and other creative journals may accompany typed assignments.
- Word document or pdf file sent as attachment.
- Subject line of each email entry should read “FEP Reflective Response No. ___, (Your Name)”
- Each submission should have a length of approximately 500-750 words.
Your schedule of submission for three reflective responses will be given prior to the start of your internship. Each reflective response will be due on Monday by 5:00 pm EST via email to Hussain Turk. A member of the ACSJL staff will review all assignments. However, if at any time you have an issue that you wish to discuss with an ACSJL staff member, please contact Hussain Turk by phone (269) 337-7033 or by email.
Reflective Response #1 (Due on Monday of the second week of the internship)
During your first week, sit down with your supervisor to review the goals you and your supervisor each listed in your learning contract. These goals should lead to a set of specific learning objectives agreed upon by you and your supervisor. Together you should create a list of four to six objectives based on your previously determined goals. Your assignment should include your agreed-upon objectives, and for each objective, expanded answers to these questions:
- What do I want to learn or do?
- How does my personal or family history relate to the issues I am seeking to address in this internship? Why am I passionate about this work?
- What will success look like at the end of this internship for me and for this organization?
- What support will I need to be successful?
Reflective Response #2 (Due midway through your internship: if six-week internship, this is due Week 3; if twelve-week internship, this is due Week 6)
Social Justice Leadership centers the voices and experiences of the people most impacted by an injustice (structural inequality) in the leadership and architecture of the solution.
- Does the organization center the voices and experiences of the people most impacted in its leadership? How (staff, board, community advisory board, town meetings, surveys, etc.)?
- What is your role here—are you an ally? Are you impacted by this injustice? How does your relationship to this issue impact how and what you do in this work?
- What is your most important leadership lesson in this work so far?
Reflective Response #3: (due near the end of your internship)
Respond to one or more topics below or a topic of choice similar in scope. Should not be a record of daily tasks.
- Complete this sentence, "If I could change anything about the way things work at my internship organization, it would be..." as well as "If there was something that I could be sure never changed, it would be..."
- How are issues of diversity addressed at your organization?
- If it was up to you to redesign the organizational structure where you work, how would it look different?
- What stereotypes have you heard about this field, or professionals within the industry? And what, if any, flaws do you see in these perceptions?
- What contributions do you see interns making to this organization? Are there particular resources in place that hinder or facilitate your contributions?
- What would you state is the "higher purpose" for professionals in this field? How much do you see this vision playing into the day-to-day tasks of the professionals in your organization?
- What character traits/abilities are rewarded in your organization?
Reflective Response #4: (due after your internship is complete)
This final assignment should be more of a summary of your whole experience, reflecting back on the entire internship.
- Which of your initial learning goals were met/not met? Were they realistic? How would you change them now, at the end of your internship?
- Describe a time when you felt great about your work and a time when you felt bad about it, and reflect on what contributed to these different feelings. How did your expectations contribute to these feelings?
- Describe a workplace setting in which you felt comfortable, as well as one which challenged you to move outside your comfort zone, and offer possible reasons for your differing responses. Were your assumptions about the workplace challenged?
- How will you use what you've learned from this experience? How is this experience connected to your classes, extracurricular activities, and other dimensions of your K education?
- Did you meet people who could serve as possible mentors? What qualities do you admire about them? How might you remain connected with these new contacts?
- What advice would you give to younger students going into the career field you've explored through this experience?
- What observations have you made about this particular culture (workplace and/or living environment)? How have your encounters with this culture changed your perspective about yourself and this culture? Have you changed any of your preconceived ideas?