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The Effect Of Construction Related Internships On Academic Studies: Is It Positive Or Negative

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Conference

2003 Annual Conference

Location

Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Construction Engineering Advances II

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

8.1127.1 - 8.1127.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/12672

Download Count

10

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Paper Authors

author page

Stuart Bernstein

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1621

The Effect of Construction Related Internships on Academic Studies: Is It Positive or Negative?

Stuart Bernstein

Construction Systems University of Nebraska

Abstract

Is there more pressure to succeed in the field, placed upon the student, by peers and employers, than there is to exceed in the classroom?

This is a pilot study to determine whether or not students’ attitudes towards their education change once they have spent time working as interns (for this paper, internships refer to any construction related work experience, including paid, non-paid, part time, and summer positions.) A source of concern is that students are concentrating more on their internships than on their studies, and that they believe the course work is inconsequential to their success. Many construction related programs encourage or mandate internships prior to graduation, and it is proposed to study whether this has any effect on the students’ behavior toward their studies as they progress. Another issue is the continuation of the internships into the semester while the student is attempting to handle a full course load. Which becomes more important; work or school? If the student feels, or has been told, they have a position waiting for them upon graduation will they attempt to excel at their course work, or will they settle for merely graduating?

It is planned to study the positive and negative effects of internships starting with the Construction Systems students at the University of Nebraska and eventually including students in construction related departments across the country. A survey will elicit responses on their history and opinions of their internships and their academics. The study should eventually include exit interviews with graduating seniors. In addition, alumni should be interviewed to elicit their opinions on the effect of their internships and their education on their careers.

Introduction

This paper was intended to discover whether student internships have a positive or negative effect on the attitudes of construction students toward their studies. There is an overwhelming agreement among academicians and those in the industry that student internships provide valuable training and experience for the students. This study was designed to find out if there is an attitude among students, who have spent a great deal of time working as interns, that earning top grades is no longer as important as simply graduating, and whether the information being taught to them is

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Bernstein, S. (2003, June), The Effect Of Construction Related Internships On Academic Studies: Is It Positive Or Negative Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12672

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