You know you love history, but how can you apply that passion to a job? The best way to contemplate your future career is with hands-on experience through a service-learning internship for credit, which you can list on your resume and college transcript. Recent interns have considered the experience life changing, as they develop new goals and career ambitions while building their professional network.
The History Department offers opportunities for internships with a broad range of placements and projects, including museums, archives, historical societies, and public agencies. Our interns give tours, develop curricula, manage collections, build websites, transcribe archival materials, and much more! Interested students with a minimum 2.5 GPA who can offer 14 or more eight-hour days, typically during summer sessions, should contact the History Department Internship Coordinator, CHardy@wcupa.edu, regarding the application process and registration for AMS 415 or HIS 450.
Internship Policies and Procedures
An intern may earn 3 credits during a semester or summer session.
A 3-credit internship requires a student to perform assigned responsibilities at the cooperating internship site for no less than 120 hours. (This is the equivalent of an 8-hour day for each week of a 15-week academic semester).
Interns must be History majors with at least 80 earned credits and a minimum 2.5 grade point overall and in history. (The chair may make exceptions in special cases.)
Interested students should contact the department internship coordinator, CHardy@wcupa.edu, one semester prior to the semester in which they wish to intern.
Students must provide the internship coordinator a sample of their best historical writing and a resume for submission to prospective cooperating internship institutions.
The coordinator will review these materials and inform students if they qualify for an internship. Students denied an internship will receive reasons for the denial from the internship coordinator and suggestions for strengthening a future application.
The internship coordinator and student will work together to decide where to seek a placement, with either the student or coordinator making the initial contact.
To enable those who cannot afford the cost, the Department of History offers paid internships of $1,200 each for a limited number of students, and $500 to students completing internships whose work the Department of History has deemed meritorious. Both are funded by the Dr. Robert E. Drayer Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Working with a faculty internship supervisor agreed upon by the student and department internship coordinator, the student, faculty supervisor, and site supervisor will articulate internship responsibilities and activities. Requirement include:
a daily log, detailing the nature of the activities during the internship The internship coordinator will use this log, submitted on a schedule, to determine the intern's performance and to suggest changes to the internship assignments and responsibilities.
Consistent contact with the faculty internship supervisor, including regarding any significant changes to their activities or emerging problems.
On-site visit by the faculty supervisor
The student's grade will be based on:
the on-site supervisor's evaluation,
the student's internship report, describing and evaluating the nature of the internship experience,
a final project, based on the intern's work at the cooperating institution, agreed upon by the faculty supervisor and the student once the internship is underway.
the internship coordinator's on-site visit, and
supporting documentation, which can include materials the intern has worked on for the host institution, promotional materials for exhibits or projects to which the intern contributed, and other evidence of accomplishments.
Recent Internship Placements
In spring and summer 2016 the WCU Department of History placed a record-setting 14 undergraduates and 3 graduate students in internships at 16 different institutions, creating new partnerships with the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Independence Seaport Museum, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Pennhurst Memorial Coalition Archives, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Trappe Historical Society, and the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce. Our interns created finding aids for archives, led tours, conducted historical research for physical and virtual museum exhibits, and produced reports based on their own archival research. The excellent work of WCU’s history interns has not gone unnoticed. In summer 2017 we will have more opportunities than ever before. Students interested in an internship should contact Dr. Hardy.
Bernard Bronsberg, Community Action Agency of Delaware County, (Hardy) summer 2016.
Alexandra Lacey, Valley Forge National Historical Park, (Hardy) summer 2016.
Antonio Aloia, Trappe Historical Society, (Gimber) summer 2016.
Kara Fritz, Chester County Historical Society, (Smucker) summer 2016.
David Jones, Moravian Historical Society (Smucker) summer 2016.
Chris Mallee, Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, (Gimber) summer 2016.
Michael Misciagna, Penn Museum of Archeology (Fournier) summer 2016.
Kelsee Nodan (graduate), Philadelphia Museum of Art, (Smucker) summer 2016.
Chad Renner, Chads Ford Historical Society, (Gimber) summer 2016.
Richard Fontanet, Independence Seaport Museum, (Hardy) Spring 2016.
Melanie Pezdirtz, Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce, (Hardy) spring 2016.
Andrea Kuhn, (graduate) History of Oppression Project, Elwyn Inc., (Hardy) spring 2016.
John Smith III, Valley Forge National Historical Park, (Gimber) spring 2016.
Derek Duquette, History of Oppression Project/Pennhurst Memorial Coalition Archives, (Ruswick), spring 2016.
Melanie Pezdirtz, Special Collections, Harvey Green Library, (Kodosky) spring 2016.
Suzanne Irvin (graduate), American Helicopter Museum and Education Center, (Kodosky) spring 2016.
Antonio Aloia, Trappe Historical Society, 2017
Chris Mallee, Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, 2017
Pete Connolly, Speaking for Ourselves, 2017
Melanie Grear, Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce, 2017
Annmarie Geist, West Chester University Special Collections, 2017