Parker III, E. T., Kilgo, C. A., Sheets, J. K. E., & Pascarella, E. T. (2016). The differential effects of internship participation on end-of-fourth-year GPA by demographic and institutional characteristics. Journal of College Student Development, 57(1), 104-109.
Recent college graduates face more uncertainty in finding employment today than they have in the past (Spreen, 2013). Colleges and universities encourage students to participate in internships to increase their employment potential. Participation in internships is one of 10 practices that the Association of American Colleges and Universities has designated as “high-impact” for their promise in fostering engagement, persistence, and learning among undergraduate students (Brownell & Swaner, 2010; Kuh, 2008). Although no consensus for the definition of internship exists, O’Neill (2010) suggests that internships are generally experiential learning opportunities that include reflection, onsite guidance, and the ability to gain exposure to a career a student is considering in a real-world setting. Despite the rising popularity of internships and other high-impact practices in college curricula and cocurricula, until recently, little empirical research had been conducted to confirm anecdotal evidence suggesting the power of this educational experience for student learning (Brownell & Swaner, 2010).