Students majoring in Sustainable Food and Farming in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture are encouraged to gain practical experience related to their career path by participating in an internship/practicum. UMass students are allowed to count up to 18 credits of (STOCKSCH 198, 298, 398, or 498) internship (practicum) classes toward the 120 needed to graduate.
While most majors allow some practicum credits to be counted as electives, Sustainable Food and Farming recognizes practicum credits as a central component of your education and counts them toward major requirements.
The first step toward an internship is finding one that fits your educational and career goals. We maintain a list of search engines to local, national and international internships on our “Finding Good Work” page. Another source of information for local internships is the Sustainable Food and Farming Facebook Group. Finally, our faculty and students have created a list of “recommended” internships” based on their previous experience. Check them out!
Finding an internship is your responsibility. You may do an internship during the semester (generally 1-3 credits) while taking classes or make a commitment to an internship during the summer (for up to 9 credits) or the full spring or fall semesters (for up to 12 credits). Registration for summer internships is through the Division of Continuing and Professional Education and cost $200 per credit.
Once you have identified a potential internship, you need to fill out a simple contract with the SFF Internship Coordinator, Renee Ciulla. Practicum classes may be taken pass/fail but a letter (A, B, C, etc.) grade is required for internships to be counted toward your major. Often students make a commitment to post a weekly blog as partial evidence of their learning for a grade. You can see examples of student blogs from past internships on our “Student and Alumni Blog” page.
The number of credits earned on the internship will be determined by Renee Ciulla but are generally based on a time commitment as follows:
- Part-time internships during the fall/spring semester: one credit = approximately 3 hours per week over the semester (some weeks may be more than 3 and others less but the total should be 35 to 40 hours per credit) up to 12 max.
- During the summer; one credit = approximately 35-40 hours/credit up to 9 max.
When you are ready to discuss an internship, please contact Renee Ciulla for an appointment either in person or by telephone. Your grade will be awarded upon completion of the requirements of internship as outlined in the following…
The Stockbridge School of Agriculture values Levi Stockbridge’s motto of “learn by doing“. If the only skills you learn in college are to write term papers and take tests, well….. you are not going to be prepared for the world after college.
Independent Study – an exploration of a topic of interest that adds value to your education. Generally includes library research and personal interviews with experts. The result of the study is an academic product that may be graded by a faculty sponsor.
Internship – this is an experiential learning opportunity that contributes to your educational or career goals. It may also include library research and/or personal interviews with experts but more often is focused on a work experience. The grade is based on feedback from an on site supervised as well as an academic product and/or report.
Practicum – another word for internship.
Apprenticeship – generally this is an internship experience in which the student will pay the instructor a fee for instruction and guidance.
Courses offered by Stockbridge
STOCKSCH 198, 298, 398,and 398B are practicum (or internship or apprenticeship) courses that may be taken for 1-18 credits.
STOCKSCH 196, 296, 396, 496, and 596 are independent study courses that may be taken for 1-6 credits.
If you are ready to sign up for an internship, you may contact Internship Coordinator, Renee Ciulla at; firstname.lastname@example.org. She will ask you for a brief description of your internship and to read and return the contract at Internship Guidelines.
If you have more questions about your options, please contact Dr. John M. Gerber.