Internship Resources for Faculty & Staff

What is an internship? 

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

Credit-bearing internship process 

Credit-bearing internships at NAU are a partnership between the internship host site, student intern, and NAU departmental internship coordinator or faculty member. This tri-lateral partnership supports a successful internship experience for all by articulating clear expectations, supporting process compliance, and focusing on the intern’s roles as student and learner. View the general process for credit-bearing internships at NAU. 

Criteria for credit-bearing internships
To ensure that an experience - whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually - is educational, and thus eligible to be considered an internship, all the following criteria must be met:
  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Affiliation agreements are required

Affiliation agreements are required between an internship host site and NAU for all credit-bearing internships, paid or unpaid. Universal standard affiliation agreements are valid for five (5) years, unless otherwise stated, and can be used for many students in a variety of internships at that internship site during the course of the agreement. The departmental internship coordinator should initiate the universal affiliation agreement on behalf of NAU when working with a student participating in an internship, fieldwork, or clinical experience.

Steps to initiate affiliation agreements
  1. Download the Universal NAU Affiliation Agreement (PDF or Word) and save it to your computer.
  2. Fill out blank fields including facility name, address, discussed term length, and university contact information. *Note: It is recommended that a general departmental email address and PO Box is included for NAU as the specific contact can often change over the course of the agreement term.
  3. Send the affiliation agreement to the internship host site to be signed by an authorized signer.
  4. Once signed by host site, send the agreement to be signed by dean-level authorized signer (or designee) for your college, department, or program.
  5. Send fully executed affiliation agreement with all signatures to to be added to central database.


Non-Standard Agreements

In the event that the internship host site wishes to deviate from the stipulations in the standard Affiliation Agreement, the agreement will need to go through the non-standard process. Please fill out the Contract Signature Request form completely and send it to Contracting and Purchasing at with a copy of the editable agreement and/or suggested changes.

Other paperwork

In addition to Affiliation Agreements, other forms from NAU's Contracts, Insurance, & Claims department may apply to your credit-bearing fieldwork/internship activities:

  •   Acknowledgement of Risk - Mandatory Programs forms are required for those who are required to attend a field trip as part of a class/credit-bearing experience (i.e. a hike into the Grand Canyon for class).
  •   Assumption of Risk - Voluntary Programs forms are required for those who are electing to attend a field trip or activity (i.e. a hike into the Grand Canyon as part of a voluntary Outdoor Adventures weekend social trip).
  •   Volunteer Registration forms are required for those who are volunteering to help with a class (i.e. helping with the class but not getting paid or getting credits for helping).

State Authorization Information 

NAU may need to be legally authorized by the state's higher education agency to place students in an experiential activity in certain states outside of Arizona. More information about state authorization and the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) can be viewed on NAU's State Authorization website 

International Opportunities

If you working with a student who is doing an internship/fieldwork/clinical placement abroad for academic credit, please follow the same process to have the organization sign an affiliation agreement. In addition, the student will need to register with NAU Education Abroad and complete the risk and release paperwork.

If a student wishes to travel to a country with a current travel warning, ask the student to contact NAU Education Abroad to investigate further.

International organizations reaching out to recruit NAU students should be directed to the NAU Education Abroad team for review.

Questions? Contact, International Internships Coordinator.

Additional Resources

Evaluation Templates
Below are recommended templates that can be used as is or adjusted as needed. Just remember that evaluations need to offer questions or prompts that allow for thoughtful and critical evaluation of the student's perceptions and work, and provide information that can be built upon to strengthen the learning experience.

Intern Self-Evaluation
Supervisor Performance Evaluation 

Have questions?

For more information about internships or help navigating the internship and experiential learning system at NAU, contact NAU's Internship Coordinator at