Internships and Independent Studies
A CLJ internship provides students with direct experiences that can better inform a decision to pursue a career in criminal justice or a related field. An internship can be a source of insight into the fit between a student and a particular career track. Learning about the field by actually doing some of the tasks it routinely requires of professionals can give students a better feel for a profession or occupation than will merely reading about it. Internships provide students with the opportunity to relate lessons learned in the classroom to actual, real-world situations, and in that sense an internship serves the mission of the university: to better teach students about the world that they will soon be entering as educated citizens. Internships can result in a student’s developing contacts among, and receiving mentoring and career advice from, professionals who are actually working in the field that is of interest to the student. Relationships with such professionals may prove to be of valuable assistance to the student. Finally, host organizations also benefit from the skills and different viewpoints contributed by internship participants.
Students accepted into an internship enroll in CLJ 395. The Internship course carries the following four benefits of participation:
- Students have an opportunity to determine the survival value of their ideas in a practical setting and to see how they want to pursue a career in criminal justice.
- Agencies have an opportunity to utilize assistance and to receive input from outside their scope of operation.
- The university has an opportunity to see how well students can apply their academically-learned concepts
- Ties are strengthened among UIC, criminal justice agencies, and the greater Chicago community.
Credit for internships offered as part of the Criminology, Law, and Justice curriculum is based on the academic relevance of the internship experience, rather than the sheer number of hours students spend in the work setting. Students have the responsibility of demonstrating that criminal justice related learning has taken place during the internship; faculty advisors in the department verify that the credits earned merit an academic rating and submit grades based on this standard. Participating agencies may be called on to provide brief evaluations at the mid-point and at the culmination of the semester to assist in this goal.
Internship programs should be continued as legitimate additions to criminal justice academic endeavors and preparation for future criminal justice professionals. Insight gained during exposure to criminal justice organizations has permitted interns to test concepts and techniques learned in the classroom. Criminal Justice agencies and the greater community will continue to benefit not only from strengthen ties with the university but also through the preparation of more practically-trained graduates who will become leaders in all aspects of the criminal justice field.
|Chicago Police Department||Chicago Justice Project|
|Illinois State Police||Office of Professional Standards|
|Mentoring Network for Juvenile Wards||Office of the Executive Inspector|
|Office of the State's Attorney||Urban Life Skills, New Life Center|
|UIC Police||Victim Witness Services|
|US Marshals Service||Chicago Appleseed|
|Illinois Department of Corrections||Chicago Youth Agency Partnership|
|Fitzgerald and Hursey LLC||Illinois Attorney General|
|Haymarket Center||SAFER Foundation|