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national study on college internships

The National Survey of College Internships (NSCI)

Request to join the National Survey for College Internships

The National Survey of College Internships flyer PDF

Introducing a new national study on college internships

CCWT is excited to announce a new national study of internships -  the National Survey of College Internships (NSCI) – that will officially launch in the Fall of 2021. The NSCI addresses the growing international interest in internships and related forms of work-based learning (WBL), which are widely seen as “high-impact practices” (HIPs) that contribute to students’ academic, social and career success. However, no rigorous national studies on internships exist that focus on issues of access, program structure and student outcomes. In addition, few colleges or universities have the data infrastructure to closely track and understand their students’ experiences with internships, which is essential for supporting faculty, career services professionals, and campus leaderships’ data-based decisions about how to improve internships. 

The NSCI survey includes information on: (1) student demographics, (2) structure of their internship (e.g., length, compensation, credit-bearing status, in-person or online), (3) internship supervision and mentoring, (4) internship tasks, (5) satisfaction with internship, and (6) impact of internship on skills, career development and academic development.

For more information about our survey methodology please see our Research Instruments page.

Why should my campus participate in the NSCI?

The NSCI will provide your campus with high-quality, detailed data on your students’ experiences with internships that can be used to assess overall participation in this HIP, establish a baseline for the long-term tracking of student participation and program quality, and to support data driven decision-making for program improvement. Study results are analyzed with an eye towards diversity, equity and inclusion, with a focus on how colleges and universities can provide internships for working students, low-income students, students from minoritized populations, and first-generation students. For students who have not taken an internship but had wanted to, there are also questions about the obstacles they experienced while seeking a position, as documenting these problems with access to internships is a critical issue facing the field. In addition, questions regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing efforts for racial justice and equity are included in the survey.

Each participating institution will receive customized and prompt service by CCWT staff, and two deliverables: (1) a customized summary report that includes summaries of students’ survey responses, a brief analysis of the regional internship labor market, and recommendations for program improvement, and (2) a password-protected interactive data dashboard so that you can explore the data on your own. 

With these fine-grained data on internships in hand, your college or university can be among the first in the nation to begin building a dataset on internships that can guide your planning and assessment decisions on these critical work-based learning experiences. 

Timing, pricing and administration

The NSCI will officially launch in October of 2021, with registration open now until May 31, 2021. Pricing for Early Adopters in the inaugural year of the NSCI will be:

Undergraduate Enrollment NSCI Price
Under 5,000 students $1,750
5,000 to 10,000 students $2,250
10,000-15,000 students $2,750
15,000-20,000 students $3,250
20,000 + students $3,750

We also anticipate capping participation in the first administration of the NSCI at approximately 120 institutions, with additional capacity available in coming years, so sign up now! The NSCI will be administered each year thereafter every fall, with data reports and dashboards provided to participating institutions in early 2022, which will help inform campus decision-making just before the spring “internship season” as well as the next academic year.

How can I sign up for the inaugural Fall 2021 administration of the survey?

If you are interested in participating in the inaugural NSCI please fill out the form below.  If you have any additional questions please contact CCWT Program Manager Amy Rivera at: arivera3@wisc.edu.