Advising for Summer & Academic Year Internships

From Dr. John Senior

March 24, 2020

Dear Faculty, Colleagues and Students,

I hope you all are doing well and navigating our remote learning experience successfully so far. As we approach course registration time, I am writing with some guidance about the summer and academic year internship programs.

  • Bottom line: Students should register now for a full course load for the fall term without the internship component. As we get more information about the public health situation for the summer and fall, we can add internship work later.
  • Summer internships: We anticipate that the University will offer guidance about summer programming sometime this week. Until then, we will not know for certain what our options will be in terms of summer internship placements. We will likely need to make adjustments to the summer program, perhaps even limiting summer internship work to internship placements where students can work remotely. I am working with our internship partners now to identify possibilities for remote internship work. I’ll offer further advice once we know more about University policies shaping summer programming at Wake Forest.
  • Summer internship funding: Some of you applied for School of Divinity funding to support summer internship placement. We are still aiming to distribute this funding if we have a functioning summer internship program. That will depend on how the summer program shapes up, as described above.
  • Summer Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE): Students who have applied to summer CPE programs should be in touch with their directors about their plans for the summer, with an awareness that those programs will very likely be making modifications to their curricula, and may even be canceling them altogether.
  • Academic year internship placements: The COVID-19 situation may extend beyond the summer into the fall and may similarly impact academic year internship placements. My plan is to delay organizing these placements until we have more information in mid- to late-summer about the public health situation. We can organize academic year internship placements in July and August if conditions will support them.

I want to emphasize that students will not be penalized, in terms of their progress towards finishing their Master of Divinity degree, for not being able to complete an internship requirement in the conventional format, due to the COVID-19 situation. We will work to make accommodations as the situation is clarified.

In terms of fall course registration, students should register for a full course load, minus the internship course, for now. We will return to the summer and academic year internship question once we know more about University policy relating to COVID-19.

Thanks, and please let me know if you have any questions.