Student internships bridge research to real world problems
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to evaluate whether unstructured graduate student research internships conducted in collaboration with community agencies build capacity and knowledge for students and community.Design/methodology/approach - The paper reports the results of four semi-structured interviews and 20 pre- and post-internship surveys of students' perceptions of their internship activities; whether participation built research capacity in students and community resulted in the creation of new knowledge and promoted ongoing partnerships and relationships.Findings - Students reported generating concrete outcomes for community partners, the acquisition of new research and professional skills, plus an increased understanding of theoretical knowledge. Many students also maintained ongoing relationships with their organizational partners beyond the terms of their internship.Research limitations/implications - Limitations to this study are the relatively small sample size and reliance on self-report measures. Practical implications - The paper describes a model for student-community engagement that benefits both community and students.Research limitations/implications - Limitations to this study are the relatively small sample size and reliance on self-report measures.Practical implications - The paper describes a model for student-community engagement that benefits both community and students.
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