School of Education News

Journal of Education and Work publishes paper on internships from UW-Madison’s Hora, Parrott, Her

January 15, 2020

The UK-based Journal of Education and Work recently published a paper from UW-Madison's Matt Hora, Emily Parrott, and Pa Her that examines how students conceptualize internships.

Hora, the lead author, is an assistant professor of adult and higher education in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies, and is the director of the Center for College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT), which is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Parrott, one of the co-authors, recently received her Ph.D. from the university’s School of Human Ecology, where she researched college students’ postsecondary educational experiences. Her is currently working towards her Ph.D. with the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology. She focuses on the experiences of students of color in higher education.

The paper it titled, "How do students conceptualize the college internship experience? Towards a student-centered approach to designing and implementing internships” It focuses on how students conceptualize this poorly understood topic at a time when internships are being praised as "high-impact" practices. This inhibits the voices of students from being included in employability discourse and considerations of program design.

Hora, Parrott, and Her found that representations of internship programs were often inconsistent with student accounts of those programs. They also found that students frequently used utilitarian terms, such as "learning' or "connections," when discussing internships. 

The scholars concluded that students’ insights concerning internships are important to consider while reframing employability concerns to include student perspectives and experiences. 

Read the paper here.

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