All course information is listed within this syllabus.

TURF 295: Internship (3 credits). Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including fieldwork, practical experiences, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

Prerequisite: prior approval of proposed assignment by the instructor.

Instructor

Instructor for TURF 295

David R. Huff
Professor of Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics

210 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802

E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

Educational/Professional Background

  • Ph.D. in Genetics, U.C. Davis, 1988
  • M.S. in Genetics, U.C. Davis, 1983
  • B.S. in Crop & Soils Sciences, Michigan State, 1980
  • Associate Professor, Penn State, 2000-present
  • Assistant Professor, Penn State, 1994-2000

Research Interests

As Penn State's turfgrass breeder, my program performs basic and applied genetics on a wide range of grass species including many native to North America. My lab routinely uses DNA markers, flow cytometry, and cytology as aids to sort through the complex genomes of these grasses during the breeding process. In addition, we also use these techniques to identify genetic boundaries (either discrete or overlapping) at the level of populations for both commercial cultivars and endemic natives. In the area of crop improvement, we focus on enhancing tolerance or resistance to several biotic and abiotic stresses. For our perennial grasses, these include, wear tolerance, persistence, disease, and extreme temperatures (both heat and cold). Finally, we are performing a range of genomic investigations on the reproductive biology of these grasses including such systems as apomixis and dioecy.

Course Overview

TURF 295: Internship is a cooperative educational program between the Turfgrass Science major in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University and approved employers who furnish facilities and instruction that help students acquire the skills and knowledge needed in their chosen vocation.

Internship Benefits

Student Can:

  • Gain an understanding of the relationship between classroom theory and practical application
  • Test career objectives realistically
  • Develop professional work habits
  • Improve interpersonal relations
  • Become acquainted with people employed in professional occupations
  • Prepare for a smooth transition into full-time employment
  • Earn funds to partially support college education
  • Retain student status while learning on the job

Employer Can:

  • Establish a pool of potential employees who have demonstrated their abilities
  • Educate highly motivated students
  • Benefit from an introduction of fresh, new ideas
  • Get an efficient training program
  • Send goodwill ambassadors back to campus

College of Agricultural Sciences Can:

  • Receive student feedback, which can affect curriculum change
  • Reinforce positive relationships with the business community
  • Increase rapport with community interests and encourage community support for University programs
  • Demonstrate the College's concern and support in the individuality of the student

Operational Principles of the Internship

The student internship concept practiced at The Pennsylvania State University's College of Agricultural Sciences adheres to the following operational and philosophical principles:

  1. That each student intern shall have well-defined work activities that are regarded as worthwhile by the cooperating agency with whom the student intern is affiliated, the intern, and the faculty adviser.
  2. That each student intern shall develop specific learning objectives that can be readily identified and reviewed periodically throughout the work period.
  3. That each student intern shall be supported by an academic adviser and a cooperating agency representative. The roles of these support persons are to assist with task identification, learning objectives, carrying out of the task, counseling the student, and carrying through with ideas and projects initiated.
  4. That each student intern contract as an independent agent with the cooperating agency to do the work and pursue the learning objectives.
  5. That regular meetings will be scheduled to permit student-to-agency supervisor and student-to-adviser feedback and accountability.
  6. That each student intern assesses the worth of the internship experience, produce a final report.

Responsibilities of the Principal Participants

Student

Assisted by the academic adviser, the student seeks outplacement opportunities for the internship program. The student creates a résumé, writes a cover letter, arranges for the job interviews, and procures an appropriate employment site. On approval of the employment site by the course adviser, the student develops a "Plan for Internship." A signed copy of this plan must be submitted to the course adviser's office.

While participating in the internship program, the student is expected to:

  1. Work a minimum of 40 hours per week for the duration of the internship experience.
  2. Complete the tasks and activities outlined in "Step 1: Planning for Your Internship."
  3. Conform with the normal work hours of the cooperating firm or volunteer agency, including overtime when requested.
  4. Support the employer, keep the employer's business confidential, and work for the employer's best interests.
  5. Request prior permission from the employer for any leave periods.
  6. Submit a final report at the mutually agreed upon time.

Adviser (Instructor)

The adviser serves as the coordinator for TURF 295: Internship. The adviser assists the student in developing the "Internship Plan" and reviews the plan to determine whether the planned internship:

  1. Is an academically relevant component of the learning process that is appropriate for University credit.
  2. Involves initiative, creative opportunities, meaningful responsibilities, and assignment in contrast to routine or continuously repetitive activities.
  3. Provides the student a learning experience and the exposure needed to understand the opportunities, functions, and responsibilities of various Turf Science disciplines.
  4. Includes appropriate supervision and direction by qualified and interested persons. The adviser, the student, and an agency representative collaborate in the processing of the internship agreement. At the end of each semester, the adviser calculates the final grade for TURF 295.

The adviser maintains regular contact with the agency supervisor in determining the nature of the work and evaluating the student's progress. The final report is submitted during the following semester (or the last week of the internship if the student is graduating that semester). This report must focus on the work experience and its relation to the student's academic objective.

Advisers may recommend internship placement opportunities for students. However, arrangements for such internships are to be initiated by the students. The job must be approved by the adviser following the submission of documentation to justify the cooperation of an agency in providing the internship supervision.

The adviser is expected to determine whether an internship is consistent with the student's career objectives and contributes to their academic program.

Cooperating Agency

A representative of the agency approved to supervise an intern will interview the student prior to his/her enrollment in the course. The agency is asked to provide a work description and/or schedule of the intern's anticipated activities, experiences, and responsibilities during the entire internship period. The final approval for registration is made by the course adviser.

When agency representatives select a student for an internship program, they are expected to provide a variety of educational experiences for the intern, and a program sufficiently flexible to permit the intern involvement on specific projects. The agency assigns a specific individual the responsibility for supervision of the intern. Regular reviews of the intern's performance are expected. The agency supervisor and the intern collaborate in the preparation of a final report to be submitted to the course adviser. Further, the agency supervisor completes an evaluation form appraising the student's performance. The form is forwarded to the course adviser.

The cooperating agency may provide wages, reimbursement for travel, or other remuneration arrangements while the student is doing the internship. These arrangements are to be agreed upon by the cooperating agency and the student.

Course Objectives

  • Provide students an opportunity for an off-campus learning experience relevant to their academic program.
  • Permit students to explore their personal interests in depth.
  • Assist students to establish career goals related to their specific interests and professional aspirations.
  • Increase student motivation for their chosen field by integrating classroom instruction with planned and supervised practical experience.
  • Prepare students for employment in a turfgrass occupation through professional field experience.
  • Enable students to identify courses needed to prepare for their career goals.

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Grading Policy

Grading Criteria
Requirement Weight
Internship Plan and Questionnaire 20%
Daily Log and Weekly Progress Reports 20%
Final Report 30%
Supervisor's Evaluation 30%
TOTAL: 100%
Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage
A 100% – 94%
A- < 94% – 90%
B+ < 90% – 87%
B < 87% – 84%
B- < 84% – 80%
C+ < 80% – 77%
C < 77% – 70%
D < 70% – 60%
F < 60%

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on the World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the Internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the Internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the Internet.

Accessibility Information

  • Accessibility statement for Canvas.

Netiquette

The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Support Services

As a World Campus student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the World Campus Student Services page for more information.

If you experience technology problems of any kind in Canvas, please select the Help icon and select "Report a Canvas Problem," "Chat with Support," or "Call Support." It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Vague descriptions of a problem only delay assistance. Try to include information such as: the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Penn State Policies

Log-In Policy

Students are expected to log-in regularly to keep up-to-date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures and the Code of Conduct).

Read the Academic Integrity Guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's Academic Integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity at the Report Bias webpage.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week)
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week)
Mental Health Services

(814) 863-0395
(877) 229-6400
Text LIONS to 741741

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources Web site.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.