Newsletter: August 2020


Dear Friends,

As the summer of 2020 continues to throw college students and higher education professionals multiple curve balls in the form of a pandemic, growing protests over anti-Black violence, and uncertainties around the Fall semester, here at CCWT we have been trying to continue our work in ways that can support and inform our growing community.

As the widespread cancellation of internships disrupted many students’ and institutions’ plans in the Spring, we released a report about online internships and a literature review on what is known about their impacts on college students. In response to the fact that interest in work-based learning programs like internships continued in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also released The Internship Scorecard, which is new framework for evaluating internships on their purpose, quality and commitment to equitable access. More recently, one of our PhD students in counseling psychology – Kevon Williams – and his advisor Dr. Mindi Williams, wrote a policy brief on how employers and academic advisors can support Black interns.

These are examples of ways that we are striving to live up to the Center’s commitment to “applied” and publicly engaged scholarship. Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel one of our signature events – the Symposium on Internship Research – but in its place we’ve launched a webinar series where we chat with internship scholars from around the world. Please join our next webinars that will feature Carell Ocampo from the Australian National University (8/5 at 3pm CST) and Dr. Julie Lucero from the University of Nevada-Reno and Crystal Hedgebeth from the American Indian College Fund (8/26 at 11am CST).

We hope that this newsletter finds you well, and please don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the work of our Center as we head into the remainder of a year that none of us will easily forget.

Best wishes and stay safe,
Director Matthew Hora and the CCWT Team

New Report: The Internship Scorecard

While internships are widely praised and promoted as a “door opener” to opportunity, the impact of these work-based learning programs on students is complicated by the variability in how they are designed, implemented and experienced. Consequently, the field needs conceptual tools to distinguish internship programs from one another and to evaluate their efficacy, quality and commitment to equity. In this report we first review various frameworks that distinguish different types of work-based learning and internship programs, and then describe a new framework for distinguishing internships on the basis of purpose, quality and equity – The Internship Scorecard.

This new framework is designed for higher education professionals, funders, policymakers and employers so that they can – with more nuance and precision than is currently available – make distinctions between program types and begin to “score” programs at the individual-level or in the aggregate for entire institutions. An example of how the Internship Scorecard can be used in practice is provided, along with next steps for the analysis and improvement of college internship programs.

New Report: Supporting Black interns through vicarious racial trauma: Policy recommendations for employers and postsecondary institutions

In the wake of the 2020 protests demanding justice and equality for marginalized communities, Black undergraduates have continued to pursue and complete internships around the country. Recognizing the psychological tax the political and racial climate may bare for Black student interns, in addition to the unlikelihood of these protests being the last time students are forced to cope and heal while maintaining their academic and internship commitments, in this policy brief we address the question of: “What can host organizations do to support and protect Black student interns?” In this brief we sought to (1) increase awareness of issues facing Black student interns, and (2) provide specific actions that internship sites can take to support Black student interns. We reviewed prior literature on determinants of organizational support and correspondingly detailed practices that may best reduce the compound effects of vicarious racial trauma on Black student interns. Lastly, in this brief we aim to stimulate further examination of racial disparities within internship programs and areas where internships may fall short in supporting the development of Black student interns.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020
3pm CST

Special Guest: Carmella Ocampo (Australian National University)
The Role of Internship Participation and Conscientiousness in Developing Career Adaptability: A Five-Wave Growth Mixture Model Analysis 

In this webinar, CCWT’s Zi Chen will speak with Carmella Ocampo, the lead author of a new study on the impacts of internship participation on a widely studied psycho-social variable in vocational psychology—that of career adaptability—which refers to the psychological resources one has to deal with uncertain and evolving situations. Since our current moment of the COVID-19 pandemic and a looming recession will create such an uncertain and difficult situation for college graduates, understanding the experiences and resources that can help students develop these resources will be critically important.

Carmella Ocampo is a PhD Candidate in Organizational Behavior in the Research School of Management at the Australian National University. At the broad level, Carell studies how personality traits, emotional abilities, and social contexts support or stifle individual goal pursuit efforts in the context of work and careers.

Register for this free event

Wednesday, August 26, 2020,  11am CST (US)
Special Guests: Julie E. Lucero, University of Nevada, Reno; Special Guest: Crystal LoudHawk-Hedgepeth, American Indian College Fund

Internship Opportunities in Community and Tribal Colleges 

Join us for an informal conversation where Dr. Hora will talk with Julie and Crystal about Internship opportunities and characteristics, Career prep and readiness, and Tribal College social-economic structures.

Julie E. Lucero is an Assistant Professor, School of Community Health Sciences, and Director, Latino Research Center, at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research is grounded in the community based participatory approach to research. Directing her research is the expectation that research outcomes benefit the researched population through development and implementation of interventions, treatment, and/or policy.

Crystal LoudHawk-Hedgepeth, enrolled member of the Dine’ Nation, is a Research Associate at the American Indian College Fund, where is helps execute the College Fund’s systematic research initiatives with Tribal Colleges. Crystal has over ten years of research experience managing projects from clinical investigations to educational research.

Register for this free event

Watch previous webinars

Staff Spotlight: An Interview with Kevon Williams

What are you studying at UW-Madison and why?

I am a rising second-year post-BA PhD student in the Department of Counseling Psychology here at UW-Madison. I was originally born and raised in Inglewood, California and acquired my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2018. I pursued a PhD in Counseling Psychology to gain expertise in researching sociocultural determinants (e.g. social/cultural identity, social class, geopolitical variables, and historical/environmental trauma induced by systematic prejudice) that impacts the held perceptions, mental health, and education/career outlooks of populations of color. Acknowledging racial disparity within the field of psychology, including the lack of diversity of practitioners and treatment disparities, I also pursued Counseling Psychology to inspire diversity within the field. Moreover, I seek for my work to mend the sociocultural gap between the field of psychology and the Black/African American community that obstruct their seeking therapy and services.

If you could immediately transform one aspect of college-workforce transitions for students, what would it be?

If I can immediately transform one aspect of the college-workforce transition for students it would be the access to opportunity for marginalized students. While it is idealized that opportunity is equal across groups, factors encompassing access, including but not limited to education, demography (ie. socioeconomic status, gender, sexual identity, race, etc.), and local labor markets, and the psychosocial implications of those factors, vary and disproportionately affects opportunities for and the upward mobility of marginalized population.

What is one of your favorite summer pass times?

In my free time I enjoy exercising/hiking, drawing, watching tv/anime, playing video games, joking with friends, and traveling. Hopefully traveling is something we all are able to do sometime soon!

Kevon is a PhD student and Project Assistant for CCWT

CCWT Issues in the NewsAn article in the Washington Post on 7/8/20, “Corporate America is taking the internship online this summer. Some experiences can’t be replaced,” features CCWT Director Matthew Hora, who talks about benefits of internships that will be lost as they move online.


An article in the New York Times on 5/22/20, “Another casualty of the coronavirus: Summer internships,” features CCWT Director Matthew Hora on the challenges of online and virtual internships.

CCWT Director Matthew Hora also wrote an op-ed about 5 obstacles that stop many students from taking an internship.

CCWT Director Matthew Hora was quoted in USA Today regarding moving internships and the world of work to a virtual platform.

CCWT Director Matthew T. Hora and Zi Chen have received a grant of $145,000 from the National Science Foundation for “Investigating the Impact of Online Internships in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic” through Dec. 31, 2020.

The Center’s second paper from the College Internship Study was published in the International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, which is a journal based in Australia/NZ. The paper describes findings about the relationship between program structure and student outcomes from our first 3 study institutions.

CCWT Project Assistant Jared Colston is the lead author on a report about college closures that was released by New America.

CCWT Research Affiliate Dr. Mindi Thompson of UW-Madison’s Department of Counseling Psychology wrote an essay on helping faculty and instructors deal with mental health issues during the pandemic.

What We’re Reading

Jackson, D., Bridgstock, R. What actually works to enhance graduate employability? The relative value of curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular learning and paid work. High Educ (2020).

Ocampo, A. C. G., Reyes, M. L., Chen, Y., Restubog, S. L. D., Chih, Y. Y., Chua-Garcia, L., & Guan, P. (2020). The role of internship participation and conscientiousness in developing career adaptability: A five-wave growth mixture model analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 103426.

Smith, V. (2010). Enhancing employability: Human, cultural, and social capital in an era of turbulent unpredictability. Human relations, 63(2), 279-300.

To, W.M. and Lung, J.W.Y. (2020), “Factors influencing internship satisfaction among Chinese students”, Education + Training.

Xia, B. (2019). Precarious labour in waiting: Internships in the Chinese Internet industries. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 30(3), 382-399.