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General Overview of SUNY Brockport’s Exercise Science Program

The Exercise Science Major is one of only 18 programs in the country that is both accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and endorsed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

In the Exercise Science program, students will gain a detailed understanding of the physiological responses to exercise. They will have both academic and active learning experiences that will teach them to design and implement exercise programs for a wide breadth of populations.

  • PEP 458 - Internship in Exercise Science is taken once the student has completed all required PES/PEP courses with a grade of a C or better. In order to submit an application for the internship course, and complete the internship, the student must have an in-major Brockport GPA ≥ 2.75
    The internship is required and designed to enable students to utilize their classroom, practicum, and laboratory experiences in clinical settings, health organizations, the fitness industry, and sport organizations.

An internship course, like any other course, must contribute to the achievement of the program’s learning outcomes in alignment with those of the institution.

The internship syllabus provides an overview of the course to students. 

Internship Objectives

The Internship in Exercise Science is intended for students to observe and gain practical experience in a professional environment in which they plan to work as a career. Students are required to complete 6 credits (320 hours) of internship before graduation.  The internship offers opportunities for students to:

  • apply theory in a practical environment
  • further develop professional knowledge, skills, and abilities defined for each major by appropriate professional organizations
  • establish groundwork and provide networking for professional development and growth in a career
  • further help students recognize their own strengths and weaknesses both personally and professionally
  • facilitate students as they assess personal ambitions in their chosen field
  • prepare students for employment or graduate education

Internship Site Features

  • The intern is expected to have an opportunity to practice all the responsibilities of the professional environment as allowed by the supervisor.
  • The intern may be given a stipend for the internship experience, but it is not expected. If the internship is to be completed in a location where the student is simultaneously employed the internship must provide him/her with a full range of work experiences outside their current scope of practice, i.e. not what they are currently doing in their job.
  • The internship experience should include general responsibilities of the environment, management and administration of the facilities, learning the programming software necessary for the job, and general requirements of employment.
  • Where permitted, interns should observe, study and assist in carrying out the facility’s practices and policies, help design and implement program activities, help with facility maintenance and operation, and assist with specialized duties of the supervisor or his/her coworkers.
  • The Internship Coordinator will keep in touch in person, by phone, through email and Blackboard with the internship supervisor at least twice during the internship. The Internship Coordinator may visit if the internship is within the greater Rochester area and may conduct a video conference the site if it is outside the greater Rochester area.

Site Selection

A good internship site will provide the student with practical experience in the student’s area of academic or career interest, thereby contributing to achievement of the learning outcomes of the course. The site’s personnel should provide initial orientation, mentoring and guidance to the student as part of the student’s internship. The Internship Coordinator will work with students to find internship sites and site supervisors suitable to the student’s goals and the department’s academic criteria.

There are several ways to locate acceptable internship sites:

  • The faculty or academic department internship coordinator may use professional contacts to solicit internships at appropriate sites.
  • Potential internship sites may be requested to submit a description of their activities, and the proposed duties and qualifications for the intern.
  • Students may be asked to take responsibility for researching, identifying and finding possible internship opportunities. This activity will help students to identify their own career goals and the manner in which they may best be achieved, and it will also help students learn career preparation skills that will be useful after graduation. Students may seek such internships through organizations already listed by the college or propose an internship site found through faculty advice, professional acquaintance, Internet research or other contacts. All internship opportunities must be reviewed and approved by the Internship Coordinator prior to course registration.

Student Eligibility and Preparation for All Internships

To be eligible for an internship, students must meet all institutional and degree requirements.  The Exercise Science requirements include:

  • Meeting with the Internship Coordinator to discuss selection of a site for the internship during the semester prior to enrollment in PEP 458.  This includes attending the mandatory internship informational meeting and participating in any necessary communication afterward to secure adequate placement
  • Completion of all required departmental courses in the Exercise Science Major, with grades of C or better in each course and a major GPA of ≥2.50 (entry prior to Fall 2015) or a major GPA of ≥2.75 (entry Fall 2015 to current);
  • Completion of an Internship Application (see Appendix A for example of the application; also on the Exercise Science Internship website).

Student preparation for internship application should include development of materials and experiences such as the following:

  • cover letter
  • résumé
  • mock interviews
  • research to acquire advanced knowledge of each internship site to determine best placement

Prior to commencement of the internship, special information will be given to students about workplace safety, including situations that might be defined as harassment and/or hostile work environments. Students will be instructed to report concerns about a potentially hostile work environment to the Internship Coordinator, who will have knowledge about appropriate reactions to such reports. The campus should determine, and faculty and students should know the proper channels to use to report or ask about questionable conditions during an internship. (See syllabus)

Guidelines for Internship Site Supervisors

General Organization Expectations

  • The organization is expected to provide a helpful illustration of work experience for each intern, which will play a role in his/her professional development and growth.
  • The organization must have sufficient resources to supply the intern with a suitable experience.
  • The organization must employ the person who serves as the internship/volunteer supervisor. It is expected that the supervisor is competent in fulfilling the objectives outlined below and be an employee who is committed to helping student interns develop and grow into professionals.

Internship Supervisor Responsibilities

  • To provide the organization’s communication between SUNY Brockport and organization employees.
  • To create a job environment to facilitate the intern’s growth and development in their responsibilities and duties.
  • After gaining approval for an internship program, to communicate the goals of the specific internship experience to the appropriate body, which has committed to the internship program.
  • To introduce the intern and the internship opportunity to the organization’s staff and assist the intern to have appropriate interaction with the staff.
  • To aid the intern in understanding their work duties and responsibilities as it correlates with the organization and its clients.
  • To outline the responsibilities of the intern and assist their development and growth by:
    • Setting appropriate goals and objectives with the intern.
    • Meeting regularly to discuss operational methods, problems, and leadership techniques and additional issues that will facilitate the intern in meeting his/her internship goals.
    • Keeping the intern up to date on all regulations and rules.

Internship Coordinator Responsibilities

  • To be accountable for the university’s communication end of the internship.
  • To continue to update possible internship sites and supervisors to provide currency and the best opportunities for our interns when consulting about internship placement.
  • To provide support and advice to the student.
  • To oversee arrangements for and endorse internship contracts.
  • To maintain the lines of communication with the internship supervisor.
  • To be available for consultation if necessary and act as a resource individual for the student and organization internship supervisor.
  • To assess internship reports and the performance of the student - the final grade is given by the Internship Coordinator using the final evaluation of the organization’s internship supervisor and journals and reflections and other assignments completed by the student.

Intern Responsibilities

  • To select the placement of the internship site, establish initial communication with the organization, and gain final approval from the Internship Coordinator for the internship experience.  
  • Students must complete all assignments and requirements by the dates assigned.
  • Students must check in to their Blackboard account daily for updated communication and to ensure they are completing all requirements for successful completion of the internship.

Professionalism

As an intern on or off-campus, you not only represent yourself, but also the Exercise Science Major, the Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Physical Education Department and SUNY Brockport.  Professionalism should be a top priority from the time you begin your internship search through your last day at your internship. 

Professionalism includes being on time, dressing appropriately, and showing respect to those around you at all times.  Your level of professionalism will shine through beginning with the very first contact you make with a potential site supervisor.  Ultimately, how well you present yourself will be reflected in your final grade.

Below are some tips you can reference to enhance your professionalism skills:

  • Be respectful in all communications, face-to-face, on the phone, and/or via email.  This includes, but is not limited to, addressing people formally until you’ve been instructed otherwise. (ie. Dr./Mr./Mrs./Ms/Coach, etc.)
  • Always be on time.  If necessary, communicate a change in plans.
  • Dress professionally.  You should ask your supervisor what appropriate dress is for the site.
  • Develop a good relationship with your supervisor and co-workers.  Be a good listener, take feedback graciously and implement immediately.  Be a team player.
  • Project confidence, not arrogance.  Remember that you are the newest member of the facility.  Being an active listener who shows enthusiasm for learning the ropes will go a long way with your co-workers and allow you to learn as much as you can about this new experience.
  • Limit your personal screen time.  Familiarize yourself with any policies regarding cell phone use during your shift.  Keep your phone off and out of sight unless you’ve been given permission otherwise.  Stay engaged in your tasks and environment to maximize your internship experience and exhibit a high level of professionalism.
  • Show gratitude in your experiences.  It is respectful to follow up interviews and final internship experiences with hand-written notes of thanks.  The relationships you build with your co-workers, fellow interns, and supervisor(s) will likely carry you on to the next phase of your career and beyond.  Many people stay in touch for years after an internship.

Internship Course Syllabus/Procedures

PEP 458 – Internship in Exercise Science, Course Syllabus

Internship Coordinator: Amanda L. Shearer, M.S., C-CEP, ashearer@brockport.edu, (585) 395-2011

Course Description: PEP 458, Internship in Exercise Science, is offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer of each academic year.  The internship is a 15 week (full semester), 22-hour per week, 320 hour total time commitment for each student.  If completed over the summer, it is a more condensed 12 week, 27-hour per week, 320 hour total time commitment.  This internship carries a 6 credit course load.

The main purpose of the internship in the Exercise Science Major is to offer students an opportunity to use the knowledge, skills and abilities attained in the courses of the professional program and practicum and apply them in a field experience.  These experiences take place at agencies such as hospitals, cardiac rehabilitation programs, and research programs at universities, strength & conditioning programs at universities, and community and corporate fitness settings.  The internship experience allows the student to expand his or her professional knowledge through the interactions with the internship site personnel, clients, and others in the field.          

The student is ultimately responsible for the location of the internship site. The internship coordinator has much contact information that can assist in this process, depending on location and type of internship.  Once the student finds a site that he or she deems a good match for his or her educational interest, a meeting with the internship coordinator should be arranged to ensure that the internship site is, to the best of the internship coordinator’s determination, a worthy internship location.  The student arranges an interview with the potential site supervisor, and establishes goals and responsibilities for the experience.  This is conducted at each individual site, as the goals and responsibilities will vary with the internship site. The internship coordinator can provide input into the goals and responsibilities established for each student if necessary.  The internship coordinator can assist the student in identifying professional and career objectives, clarifying learning objectives and assisting in the identification of the type of appropriate internship site.  The internship site has a chance to assess a potential employee and give current employees additional leadership experience as they mentor the interning student.  An affiliation agreement between SUNY Brockport and the internship site must be established prior to the student beginning the internship.  The Internship Coordinator works with the contract specialists to assist in this process. 

The intern student is required to keep a journal during the internship experience.  The purpose of this assignment is to have the student reflect on the intern experience. This is an opportunity for the student to describe what was done, what was learned, and to place the experiences within the context of the intern site agency.  Each journal entry should be made upon completion of each day at the internship site.  There is no suggested length, and a short paragraph per entry is often adequate.  With each entry of the day should be the number of hours you completed that day, thus allowing you to keep track of, and document, your hours.  The intern will also be required to write a summary report at the conclusion of the internship.  The intern student should think creatively about his/her contribution to the profession and the professional value of the intern placement.

Course Prerequisites: 

  • Meet with the Internship Coordinator to discuss selection of a site for the internship, in the semester prior to enrollment in PEP 458.  This includes the mandatory internship informational meeting and any necessary communication after to secure adequate placement.
  • Completion of all required departmental courses in the Exercise Science Major, with grades of C or better in each course and a Major GPA of at least 2.50 or 2.75 (entry Fall 2015 to present). 
  • Completion of an Internship Application (found on SUNY Brockport website under Exercise Science Major – Internship).

Evaluation

  1. Supervisor Evaluation/Site Visit — 50%
  2. Culminating Project — 20%
  3. Journal/Blackboard Discussions — 10%
  4. Reflective Summary Report — 20%
  5. Online graduate survey — Not graded, but required
  6. Employer information survey — Not graded, but required
  1. Supervisor Evaluation/Site Visit - The supervisor will evaluate the intern at midterm and following completion of the internship.  The evaluations will be emailed directly to the supervisor from the coordinator.  The Internship Coordinator may arrange an observatory site visit to the site at least once during the semester for those interns placed in the greater Rochester/Buffalo areas.  If the intern is placed outside a reasonable travel distance, the Internship Coordinator will arrange for a virtual visit via Skype or similar method.  There will be forthcoming information regarding site visits on Blackboard.
  2. Culminating Project – The intern will complete a project depending on the goals and responsibilities of the intern at their specific site.  Please refer to the specific requirements for this project on Blackboard.
  3. Journal/Blackboard Discussions – The intern will submit an electronic journal at the end of the internship. Each journal entry should be made at the completion of each day at the internship site.  A short paragraph is adequate and describes what was accomplished that day. The report includes the activities participated in, and the activities observed.  Each day should also include the number of hours completed, thus allowing you to track your progress.  Furthermore, the intern is required to participate in discussions posted by the coordinator on Blackboard.  These discussions will foster communication and reflection amongst all interns and provide a platform for learning about various experiences.
  4. Reflective Summary Report - A summary report of 4-7 pages, double-spaced, paragraph format should be submitted to the Internship Coordinator at the completion of the internship experience.  Topics to address are; your primary learning experiences, special project(s), case study, comments on how to improve the practicum process, improve the university process, and the agency process. This report also needs to be reflective.  Along these lines, the intern will answer the following questions: How did this experience change you as a person?  Reflect upon how this experience confirmed or changed how you perceive this profession.  
  5. Online graduate survey and Employer Contact Information Survey – Prior to receiving your grade, you must complete an online survey about your experiences as a Brockport exercise science major, etc.  This will provide us with valuable information about our program and also your future career goals, etc.   You will receive more details about this via e-mail during your internship.  You will also need to complete a short survey about any current job that you might have such that we have employer information for accreditation.  You will get these surveys at some point during the internship and an e-mail explanation.  If the surveys are not completed by the end of the term the intern is registered for, the intern will receive an incomplete for a grade.

Title IX: Gender discrimination and sexual harassment are prohibited in class. Title IX legislation requires the College to provide gender equity in all areas of campus life. If you or someone you know has experienced gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault, we encourage you to seek assistance and to report the incident through resources available at www.brockport.edu/titleix/index.html. Confidential assistance is available at Hazen Center for Integrated Care. For these and other regulations governing campus life, please see all of our Student Polices at www.brockport.edu/policies/index.php.

Appendices

Appendix A: Internship Application

Appendix B: Checklist & Timeline

Appendix C: Email Templates

Appendix D: Internship Settings

Last Updated 7/23/21