Internships play an important role in a university curriculum because they allow students to gain practical experience and explore possible career paths. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the summer internship experience from the students’ perspective to determine whether they achieved course learning outcomes. We objectively examined the course evaluations from students who completed their summer internships within a recreation and leisure studies program. Student responses (n = 29) to the 14 self-appraisal items in their course evaluation were the central focus of data analysis. Our primary research question was, “In what KSA [knowledge, skills, attitudes] areas do students perceive the greatest improvements as a result of the summer internship experience?” To answer this question, measures of central tendency were calculated for each self-appraisal item in the course evaluation. Overall mean scores were high; for 13 of the 14 items, mean scores were above 4.3 (on a 5-point Likert scale). Students reported strongest agreement with statements regarding the responsibilities of being a professional, time management, leadership, and the shaping of future career goals. Our secondary research question was, “Is there a correlation between self-appraisal scores and students’ evaluations of their sponsoring agency?” To answer this question, a correlation analysis was conducted. A statistically significant positive correlation (r =.672, p =.000) was found between self-appraisal scores and students’ evaluations of their internship supervisors, suggesting that internship supervisors play an important role when it comes to helping students achieve learning outcomes and improve their professional competencies.


internship programs, college students, recreation, tourism, internship supervisors

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.