Evaluation of a Criminal Justice Internship Program: Why Do Students Take It and Does It Improve Career Preparedness?

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The internship program in the Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, is designed to help students: determine their career interests, learn factual and procedural information from practitioners, build relationships that facilitate career opportunities, and to smooth the school-work transition. The current study is an evaluation of this internship program and aimed to determine whether the program increased career preparedness. Surveys of students involved in the internship program were conducted at the beginning and end of the program. Students in other non-internship criminal justice courses completed a similar survey and serve as the comparison group. Results suggest that, relative to the non-internship group, some aspects of career preparedness improved for the interns. However, not all results were in the direction hypothesized. In particular, students' locus of control, for both internship and non-internship groups, became more external as students' perceptions that career choice was subject to luck and the influence of powerful others increased.



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