Hands on Experience
The Family Science internship is a practical experience designed to integrate department and other coursework with a real-time work experience. In addition to a field placement, students are required to attend a weekly capstone seminar. Students in the seminar integrate classroom theory with their field placement and share work-related activities, broadening their exposure to work in the discipline of Family Science and their knowledge of specific career opportunities for FMSC graduates. The internship course is open to all FMSC majors who have completed FMSC330 and FMSC383 plus a minimum of six additional credits of FMSC coursework. All Family Science majors are required to complete an internship experience during their senior year.
Interns must work a minimum of 120 hours in the field and attend all seminars. The first meeting of the internship seminar will be held the first week of the semester during the day and time listed in the Schedule of Classes. Only university-approved excuses will be accepted for seminar absences. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the class meeting day and time.
Finding an Internship
Students are responsible for investigating, selecting, and securing their own internship placement. Your internship placement must be consistent with the FMSC major and your future career goals. Think about the kind of work you might like to try in preparation for your job after graduation, and consider the population(s) you would like to serve.
o Have you completed the prerequisite courses? What do you want to learn more about?
o How can you apply the knowledge you’ve learned in your classes to the internship you will be doing?
o What is your target client population (i.e., children/youth, elderly, disadvantaged, immigrants, etc.)?
o What fields of work seem the most interesting to you? (law, social services, counseling, family policies, etc.)
Students can pick up internship contracts in the main office, 1142 School of Public Health Building. There are strict deadlines for turning in completed contracts:
Spring Internship contract: Due December 1
Summer & Fall Internship contracts: Due the preceding May 1
If these deadlines fall on a non-business day, the last business day before the deadline applies.
Interested students may download a printed Internship Packet (Writeable PDF Form)
What Our Students Are Saying
Our students’ internships have given them the solid foundation of real-world experience they need to be successful in their careers, and we are pleased that they have so many positive things to say about their internships.
A few examples...
Rebecca Plotsker, The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
Family Science undergraduate Rebecca Plotsker recently completed her internship working with a juvenile probation officer through the Department of Juvenile Services at a local high school. She found her experience incredibly rewarding and discovered a new passion for working with this age group. Becky says, “You get to see how the court system works because part of the process in working with the kids on probation is that the court is involved, and that is an experience as well. Some of these kids will truly amaze you and melt your heart as you see them progress.”
For more information on the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, click here or call 410-230-3333 (Toll Free: 1-888-639-7499).
Caitlin Johnson, Sunrise Senior Living
As an activities specialist at Sunrise Senior Living adult care facility in the Metro area, Caitlin Johnson designed activities, coordinated events, oversaw entertainment, advocated resident needs, and engaged residents in experimental art therapy. The experience was an extremely gratifying one, as Caitlin helped residents improve their concentration, memory, coping abilities, self-awareness, and overall quality of life.
For more information on Sunrise Senior Living adult care, click here or call (703) 273-7500.
Juliana Plumb, Adoptions Together
Juliana Plumb now knows that emotional maturity, the ability to successfully balancing care, compassion, and professionalism, and understanding how to appreciate the associated pains and joys of the process are crucial components of successful adoption work. She discovered these essentials as an intern at Adoptions Together, a domestic and international adoption agency with five offices in the DC/ Baltimore vicinity.
For information about Adoptions Together, click here.
David A. Brown, Total Care Services, Inc.
“I [now] have a higher level of empathy for the population I serve,” says David Brown, who sings the praises of his internship with Total Care, Inc., a prominent DC-area agency dealing with the elderly and patients with mental retardation. Not only did David become certified in First Aid and Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation and Psychotropic Medication Administration while an intern, but he also improved his interpersonal communication skills, learned the basics of working in an office setting, and realized that this was the field in which he wants to pursue a career.
Colleen Barbieri, Counseling and Outreach Services, House of Ruth
As an intern with the Baxter Center for Family Safety and Support, an outreach clinic established by the House of Ruth, Colleen Barbieri learned about the different counseling options for women and children who have fallen victim to domestic violence. She also increased her understanding of various cultures, developed safety and self-protection plans for clients, and was trained to identify the emotional, psychological, sexual, and physical effects of domestic violence.
For more information about the House of Ruth, click here.
Natasha Prince, The Center for Young Children
Without fail, the Center for Young Children is always one of the most popular internship sites for Family Science students. For Natasha Prince, the biggest draw was the chance to become more understanding of preschool- and kindergarten-age children. She completed the semester better equipped to make major decisions regarding her career: she plans to counsel patients ages 10 and older.
For more information about The Center for Young Children, click here.