ECO faculty and staff are committed to creating and sustaining mutually-beneficial partnerships.
If you are thinking about hosting an intern, this page can answer some of your initial questions. The Community Partner Liaison can help you further assess alignment of organizational goals and student learning abilities. Contact us to learn more.
What is the purpose of the ECO Internship?
The ECO internship provides the opportunity for organizations and students to work together to accomplish priority services or projects to benefit communities.
What are typical internship projects?
The daily work of an ECO intern is intended to primarily meet the needs of organizations and the communities they serve. Ideally, internship projects should find a mutually-beneficial balance between organizational needs and student skills and learning goals.
Intern projects encapsulate a wide range of possibilities, from teaching or after school program administration, to developing curricula or training materials.
All internship positions should provide opportunities for students to demonstrate growth, not mastery, in the following areas:
Equitable Community Engagement
- Identify the capabilities of individuals, organizations and the community, through as asset-based or strengths-based lens.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the history and cultural perspectives of the community and partner organization.
- Articulate a couple organizational and institutional structures that impact equity and diversity outcomes. Connect inequalities in education to their roots and/or connections in larger society.
- Understand the impact identity and privilege have on community work, as well understanding that individual identity intersects with other identities to impact community work, both within organizations as well as in larger community settings.
- Understand the connection between individual actions and systems change.
Equitable Teaching and Learning
- Demonstrate strong listening and observation skills.
- Identify knowledge centers in the community, and at various levels of power/authority.
- Identify structures and systems of learning in the community context, including documenting, measuring and assessing learning in multiple settings.
- Lead a small group, differentiating goals and teaching strategies based on group needs/skills.
- Recognize how inequities in the larger ecological context contribute to educational inequities.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how positionality, privilege and intersectionality are shaped by society, and how they affect identities.
- Articulate an example of your ability to analyze issues from multiple perspectives and see the impact of different actions/paths/patterns on different constituencies.
- Contribute to the leadership capacity of someone else.
- Demonstrate ability to initiate and respond to feedback based on professional goals, as well as growth of self-growth in understanding personal biases.
- Articulate the difference between equity knowledge and equity skills.
How are student interns selected?
The ECO internship application process was co-created with the community to give organizations a high degree of authority in deciding whether an intern meets the needs of their organization. This process mimics a traditional job placement process:
- Organizations post internship positions, including a desciption of the work, as well as required and desired skills;
- Students apply to a couple positions with their resume, cover letter and video;
- Organizations may choose to interview candidates (optional);
- Organizations decide on an intern(s), if appropriate.
What is the student time commitment and how flexible is the timing of the internship?
The majority of ECO students intern October through the end of May, however, a small number of students intern April to December.
All students intern approximately 10-15 hours per week for 25 weeks.
When do we need to decide to host an intern?
Positions are posted in September for October-May internships, and in February for April-December internships.
ECO has several supports to maximize the benefit and reduce the burden of hosting an intern.
1. ECO Community Partner Liaison
The ECO Community Partner Liaison is dedicated to building relationships, communicating organizational needs and assisting partners in developing internship positions that are beneficial to the organization as well as appropriate for student learning goals.
The Community Partner Liaison also serves as the primary contact for questions and concerns.
2. Internship Seminar
While students are working in community organizations they attend a weekly capstone seminar to:
- Promote reflection on their internship experience
- Reflect on their personal identity and its impact on relationship building within the context of the community
- Scaffold students’ professional development and promote student-initated problem solving
3. Collaboration with the Carlson Center
The ECO Community Partner Liaison collaborates closely with the Carlson Center for Leadership and Public Service to improve coordination of community-based programs across the UW campus, utilize shared infrastructure and disseminate best practices.
4. Community Advisory Board
The community voice is a valued component of program decision-making. The Community Advisory Board advises ECO faculty and staff to ensure our commitment to community and equity. We invite you to join us!