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A discussion is beginning via the Internship-Net listserv on the definition of an internship. This is a basic need in our field. The definition would be one that we would use when speaking with students, faculty, administrators, employers, government officials, etc.
Michael True, Director of the Internship Center at Messiah College, has drafted a definition and is asking for feedback from internship professionals. After gathering feedback from the larger internship community, he will take the definition to the the National Society for Experiential Education’s (NSEE) Internship Special Interest Group for their feedback before submitting a formal proposal to both NSEE and CEIA (Cooperative Education & Internship Association).
Below is the first draft. Please email Michael True with comments or suggestions –

An Internship is a work experience related to a student’s major or career goal for which the student earns academic credit, or there is some other connection to the curriculum of a degree-granting, educational institution. It is supervised by a staff or faculty member of the educational institution and by an employee at the organization. The work experience may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, and primarily in an off-campus environment. A learning agenda must also be integrated into the experience to distinguish it from a volunteer position or job.