Early childhood internships encourage students to master best practice when working with diverse groups of children and their families. Each student must successfully complete an internship in order to apply to earn the early childhood credentials including a two year Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Certificate of Early Childhood Education. The early childhood internship is meant to be a capstone experience for each student providing an enjoyable learning relationship between an instructor, a site mentor (called a coordinating site teacher), and the student. The course outcomes provide an opportunity for students to be able to apply concepts learned in classes. The course outcomes are based on the community college standards for quality created by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accrediting and advocacy organization. Typically, the internship is taken during one of the last two semesters prior to graduation.
Summer, Spring and Fall Internships
(Note: Courses are offered only when minimum enrollment is reached.) The summer semester internship course is scheduled for approximately 8 to 10 weeks. The fall and spring internship course is approximately 14 weeks. Each student must complete a minimum of 275 clock hours of approved field experience regardless of which session the student chooses. This may be an issue for students who plan to work or volunteer in programs part-time. General guidelines for the minimum number of clock hours needed to be earned on a weekly basis include:
- Fall/Spring (a minimum of 14 weeks): 275 / 14 weeks or 20 clock hours a week*
- Summer (a minimum of 8 weeks): 275 / 8 weeks or 35 clock hours a week*
*Students are accountable for any clock hours lost due to illness or other types of absenteeism during the internship. Hours may vary depending on length of class.
The Nature of an Early Childhood Internship
Each student selects a site based on guidelines which are provided by the KCC Early Childhood and Teacher Education office (ECTE). Students are required to teach children a minimum number of hours even if they are working in an administrative position. Students with questions on this aspect of the internship and guidelines for sites should contact the KCC Early Childhood and Teacher Education office for an appointment.
Important Note for bachelor-level students who attend Miller College or similar institutions:
If you intend to use the KCC course ECE 221 Early Childhood Internship towards the completion of the State of Michigan Department of Education Early Childhood and Elementary Education student teaching requirements, it is recommend you:
A) Complete the internship in a state-licensed child care program with children under age 5 years.
B) Review your choice of setting with the bachelor-level institution in which you are currently enrolled or plan to transfer in advance of applying with the ECTE Department for an internship.
Students must receive Department Approval to take this course. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “C”. These courses are: ECE 201, ECE 210, ECE 215, ECE 224, ECE 232, ECE 233, and ENGL 151. Students must meet the ECE Program Information Guidelines and must successfully pass a criminal background check. .
Important Note for bachelor-level students who attend Miller College:
You will need to complete: ECE 210, ECE 215, ECE 232, ECE 233, and ENGL 151 with a C or higher prior to applying for the KCC ECE Internship. It is expected you will have a current teaching certification or have completed at least 60 credit hours towards your bachelor-level degree prior to applying for the KCC internship course.
Note: The KCC ECTE Office reserves the right to not accept intern student candidates who cannot pass legal State of Michigan licensing regulations for child care centers, group or registered home care providers, and for school employees or volunteers.
Final Program Review
Each student needs to schedule a final program review (does not replace graduation audit completed by the Kellogg Community College Registrar’s office) with the Early Childhood and Teacher Education Office. Students can make an appointment to complete the final program review by contacting the ECTE office at: 269.965.3931, ext. 2109, or by emailing the office at: firstname.lastname@example.org. At this appointment, each student will be given a form packet which is used to demonstrate the student’s intent to register for an internship (more information about the form packet can be found below). The following schedule guides the scheduling of final program reviews which take place in the semester PRIOR to when a student would like an internship:
If you desire an internship in the:
- Fall semester: Your program review should take place in December through April. The deadline for application for Fall is May 1st.
- Spring semester: Your program review should take place in July through September. The deadline for application for Spring is October 1st.
- Summer semester: Your program review should take place in October through February. The deadline for Summer is March 1st.
Please note that there may be a limited number of seats available for this course. Each student is responsible for notifying the ECTE office during the timeline listed above; however, if a student misses this schedule, he or she should still contact the office immediately.
Locating a Site to Complete Internship
A) Read the Kellogg Community College Early Childhood Education (ECE) Internship Guidelines PRIOR to selecting a field experience site. Contact the ECTE office or the Internship Faculty Instructor to receive permission to use the field experience site. The office has a letter you may use to introduce the internship to potential sites. If you desire the letter, please notify the office. If you need suggestions for potential sites, please contact the ECTE office for an appointment.
B) Once the site has been approved by the ECTE Director or the Faculty Instructor, you may contact the site to discuss further details. You will need to review the guidelines with the site and obtain a signature from the Site Director on the Site Permission form. Once the Site has given you written permission to participate bring the Site Permission form to the ECTE Director or to the Faculty Instructor to obtain final permission to register for the course (more information on the form packet is below).
Registering for the ECE 221 Early Childhood Internship Course
You must register in person for this course unless you have made arrangements with the Early Childhood office. This course will always show zero seats available due to the nature of the course. You cannot register online for this course. Each student and coordinating site teacher must meet internship guidelines. The Program reserves the right to not give approval to register to any student who violates the KCC Code of Conduct within the last five years and who does meet Program Guidelines (including students convicted of felonies or those unable to pass health requirements as outlined by State mandates). Students must meet course prerequisites unless a waiver is granted by the Director of ECTE.
A course seat is reserved for a student once the completed packet is approved through the ECTE office and as long as seats are available. Incomplete packets will not be considered to fill a seat. Course seats are reserved for two weeks after the start date of the registration date for the semester. For example, if you are applying for a Fall semester internship course, and Fall registration begins on May 21st; your seat will be held for 14 days from May 21st. Seats are filled on a first come first serve basis. The exception is for summer semesters. The seat will be held for 7 days.
All communication is time sensitive and sent to the student email account. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her student email account on a regular basis. The ECTE office is not responsible for messages left on voice mail systems. Please contact the ECTE office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with questions or concerns.
Any change in placement information, including the unsuccessful completion of prerequisites courses, may force the ECTE office to withdraw you from the internship course. Every effort will be made to assist students in this situation to enable them to move their internship to the next semester for which they qualify.
During the graduation review, each student will be given a form packet which asks the student to declare the intent to register for the internship. The packet is made up of three forms:
Intent to Register form
Coordinating Site Teacher Credentials (guidelines)
Site Permission Form (guidelines)
Portfolio and Field Experience Completion
During the internship course, each student will complete a portfolio demonstrating mastery of the NAEYC standards based on the collection of information each has created throughout his or her education career in the ECE Program. Any questions regarding the portfolio can be directed to Jamie Bishop, Early Childhood Education Professor, or Ann Miller, Education Program Specialist, in the ECTE office. Students must complete the portfolio in order to pass the internship course. Students must complete the minimum number of clock hours of field experience in order to successfully pass the internship course (Grade of C or higher).
Students must attend every scheduled session or risk being academically withdrawn. For more information on course attendance contact the ECTE office. If you are unable to attend every session, you should seek advising with the ECTE office PRIOR to registering.
We hope you enjoy your internship and look forward to hearing from you!