Nonprofit Perspectives on Faculty Internships: An Underutilized Resource?

Authors

  • Jordan Weeding
  • Lori Lohman

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JNEL-2020-V10-I2-10428

Keywords:

faculty internship, faculty development, nonprofit organization, nonprofit staffing

Abstract

This study explores nonprofit interest in using faculty internships, as well as anticipated advantages and disadvantages, and expands upon existing literature. We used various personal and professional connections to find survey participants. A Midwestern State Council of Nonprofits distributed the anonymous online survey link within an issue of its email newsletter. A handful of in-person surveys were distributed at a nonprofit fair. Additionally, we reached out to personal and professional connections. Fifty respondents completed an anonymous Qualtrics survey. Respondents reacted favorably to the concept of faculty internships, noting the additional knowledge and academic perspective introduced by faculty. At the same time, concern was expressed about the temporary nature of the internship and about cost and training issues. Faculty internships are a useful way for college professors to gain significant industry experience or to keep up with developments in their fields. They can then use this knowledge to improve student learning. Nonprofits will thus be able to hire better-qualified graduates and may gain more visibility within their communities.

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Published

2020-03-23

Issue

Section

Invited Essay