For Sociology Majors/Family Studies 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.

Court System

Working with youth, adults, and families with a variety of legal issues and sometimes mental health issues as well. 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 courts system is broad and presents may opportunities. This is a very hands-on experience where the intern is directly involved with the 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.


Working with special needs or mentally and physically challenged students. These students may be children or adults.

  • Work alongside intervention and behavior specialists to assist students
  • Learn how to develop and carry out Individualized Education Plans (IEP)
  • Learn how to properly document interactions with students

As an intern in the school setting, you would be involved with the students in a more direct way, and on a more regular basis. The setting affords you the opportunity to see how to give attention to the student, and to see how the student benefits from multiple approaches and interventions.

Mental Health Facilities

Working with clients who have a mental health and/or alcohol or drug addiction diagnosis. These clients may be children, adolescents, or adults.

  • Work alongside counselors, case managers/CPST’s, and client advocates
  • Co-facilitate educational groups
  • Complete client intakes and other required paperwork
  • Help clients identify and implement healthy lifestyle habits
  • Help create wellness recovery action plans
  • Connect clients to community resources and services as needed

Experience in this setting provides the broadest exposure to clients with a variety of diagnoses and needs. This experience is very hands-on and will allow you to see how a mental health diagnosis impacts all aspects of a person’s life, attitude, physical health, and overall well-being.

Community Social Service Agencies

Working with individuals, children and/or families in need in a variety of settings such as shelters, drop-in centers, and community agencies. These clients may be victims of abuse, suffering from mental health or addiction issues, experiencing unemployment, or experiencing homelessness.

  • Work with case managers, client advocates, and professionals from other social service agencies
  • Complete client intakes and other required paperwork
  • Learn proper documentation
  • Learn how to appropriately interact with clients experiencing a variety of issues
  • Understand and assess client needs
  • Connect clients to community resources and services as needed

Experience in these, often non-profit community social service agencies, provide the intern with the opportunity to assist clients at their most basic level of need. This setting allows for a student who is interested in becoming a counselor or Licensed Social Worker to see how important it is for these basic needs to be met before a client can make further progress in their treatment or recovery plan.