Asee peer logo

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

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Construction Engineering Advances II

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1127.1 - 8.1127.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Stuart Bernstein

Download Paper |

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


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.


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. 10.18260/1-2--12672

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015