For Sociology Majors/Criminal Justice Track

The purpose of an undergraduate internship is to expose students to the professional work environment. Students will have the opportunity to see what is being done in the field on a daily basis, connect with other professionals and begin to understand how coursework can be applied to clients and patients.

The following information may be helpful to you as you decide the professional setting in which to complete your internship.

Police Departments

Working with the entire community to enforce laws, maintain order, and educate citizens.

  • Work with and observe other law enforcement officers
  • Assist with community education and engagement
  • Learn proper documentation
  • Appear in court as needed, as a representative of the police department

Experience in this setting can be unpredictable depending upon the size of the community and its police department. While you may have the opportunity to engage in community education activities, like attending schools, safe driving and driving sober events, etc., your experience "in the field" may be limited if it is determined to be too dangerous.

Stark County Sheriff’s Department

Working with the entire community to enforce laws, maintain order, and educate citizens.

  • Work alongside other law enforcement officers and Sheriff’s Department personnel
  • Learn the duties and responsibilities of all units within the department
  • Learn proper documentation
  • Appear in court as needed, as a representative of the Sheriff’s Department

Experience in this setting is much broader because the service area is the entire county. In this setting, you will see the administrative as well as the community service side of the department, which means you will experience inmate processing and booking, learn how to work in the dispatch center, make rounds in the jail, and have the chance to go out on patrol with another officer.

Court System

Working with youth, adults, and families with a variety of legal issues. These clients may also suffer from mental illness. When working with young people in the court system, their offense can be serious.

  • Work alongside family advocates, probation officers, and other court employees
  • Learn the process of the court system
  • Advocate for youth and families
  • Learn expected behavior for the court room, and for interacting with the judge and other court personnel
  • Sit in on court proceedings and hearings

Experience in the court system is broad and presents many opportunities. This is a very hands-on experience where the intern is directly involved with clients, often times having a small case load. You would have the chance to spend a good amount of time in court learning details of the profession, networking with other professionals, and getting comfortable speaking to lawyers, prosecutors, probation officers, and judges.

Federal Level Agencies

Working with all levels of law enforcement and with individuals before and after incarceration.

  • Shadow other federal agents
  • Sit in on court proceedings and hearings
  • Learn aspects of the federal system like booking, processing, etc.
  • Learn how services are set up for persons following their release from prison

Experience at the federal level can sound very prestigious, and it is very good experience. However, actual exposure to the field is very limited because of danger and liability. Interns at the federal level often see what happens after the more dangerous work of apprehending a fugitive is completed. This is a highly competitive internship placement, and only a very small percentage of interns are accepted. This is a setting that allows an intern to get a glimpse into what is expected of federal level field agents and workers.