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What is an Independent Internship?

Summer internships sought and secured by students who identify and apply for opportunities particularly suited to their individual professional aspirations are known as "Independent Internships" within the CCPD's Field Experience Program.

Many great internships opportunities are posted externally by corporations or community organizations; others evolve out of a mentoring relationship between a current student and a Guild member or other professional. Opportunities are also posted in the CCPD's K-Connect database: internships offered by alumni professionals (outside of the K-Internship program), internships referred to the CCPD by alumni and friends of the College, and internships seeking current K student applicants based on past students' performances. There are thousands of internship opportunities out there, and our staff can suggest ways to focus your search.

Unpaid Independent Internships

A student who has independently secured an unpaid internship may choose to apply for stipend funding (granted according to the FEP sliding scale) by completing the I Want to Participate in the FEP with Grant Proposal, which is activated on Thursday of tenth week, winter quarter (3/13/14). The deadline to apply for grant funding is 2:00 PM on the Friday of third week, spring quarter. The highly competitive grant selection process, sliding scale, and disbursement of grants is coordinated through the CCPD; all questions and inquiries should be directed to

      Local Organizations Eligibility Exception:

  • Local organizations hosting a Community Building Intern are not eligible to host additional interns during the same summer through the Field Experience Program. Students who independently secure internships with CBI host organizations are therefore not eligible to participate in the Field Experience Program.
  • Because the MJUSCCE has a long history of relationship-based work in the greater Kalamazoo community, and because Community Building Internships include local opportunities in alignment with MJUSCCE priorities, the Field Experience Program will support Community Building Interns as its exclusive avenue for students to conduct summer internships with local non-profit organizations. In other words, internships with local non-profit organizations which are not Community Building Internships are not eligible for the Field Experience Program. Occasionally, at the discretion of the CCPD and MJUSCCE, a student-secured internship with a local non-profit may be designated a Community Building Internship if the student and site supervisor understand and agree to meet the requirements of the CBI thread of the Field Experience Program. Inquiries about such a designation should be directed to Alison Geist, Director of the MJUSCCE.

Paid Independent Internships

Students who independently secured paid internships, as well as students who secure unpaid internships and do not seek FEP grant funding, are nonetheless highly encouraged to participate in the Field Experience Program and can do so by completing the I Want to Participate in the FEP without Grant Proposal form which is also activated on Thursday of tenth week, winter quarter.

International Independent Internships

Students who independently secure international internships may also apply for a Beeler Grant through the Center for International Programs.

Before completing the grant proposal or electing to participate in the Field Experience Program, please review the Independent Internship Timeline/Deadlines. You must participate in the FEP in order to receive all of the following benefits:

Benefits of Independent Internships

There are many benefits to participating in an Independent Internship, including:

  • Official Transcript Notation (both paid and unpaid Independent Internships are eligible)
  • Stipend to help with expenses (only unpaid Independent Internships are eligible)

Requirements of Independent Internships

To participate in FEP Independent Internships, a student must:

  • Be a current first-year, sophomore, or junior, when applying.
  • Identify an experience that meets the minimum Field Experience Program requirements:
    • Be a minimum of 6 weeks in duration and a total of 192 hours for one opportunity conducted during the non-enrolled summer months.
  • Complete the appropriate "I Want to Participate" (with grant proposal / without grant proposal) form by selecting the appropriate link provided above and complete the program requirements:
    • Learning Contract—Must be completed with your internship supervisor in order to mutually establish goals for your skill development, learning, and contribution to the organization during your internship.
    • Online Orientation—Must be completed by Friday, June 6, 2014.
    • Reflective Responses—Three assignments that must be submitted throughout your internship for review by a CCPD staff member.
      • Allow the use of your Reflective Responses as CCPD resources for future interns and/or promotional pieces. We reserve the right to use your name.
    • Final Field Experience Program Evaluation—Submitted at the conclusion of your internship.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Career and Professional Development for assistance by calling 269-337-7183 or emailing