Independent Field Experience
Tailor Your UISRM Experience!
Gain experience tailored to your own career path by working with a collegiate, private, commercial or non-profit organization. The independent or self-initiated field experience is an agreement between the student and an approved sport, recreation or leisure focused organization of the student’s choice.
The Office of Field Experience assists students in identifying and qualifying opportunities. Follow the link to known internships that will qualify at the bottom of this page. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to make contact and arrangements directly with the partnering organization.
Earn one to nine credits during each field experience engagement. The number of semester hour credits are based on the number of field hours spent with the organization. 1 semester hour = 45 field hours.
Schedule: Field experience credits must be earned during the term in which they are registered. For example, if registering for summer semester credit, the hours worked must be worked primarily May – August.
Meeting: The student must meet with the Anna Jensen, Director of the Office of Field Experience, prior to registration, This is to ensure the organization and anticipated experience meet all necessary requirements for credit. Plans for field experience sometimes take several semesters so don't put this off.
Credits: During registration the student identifies number of credits based on the anticipated number of work hours over the semester. 1 semester hour = 45 field hours. This is a graded course with regular assignments, site visits and supervisor evaluations.
Registration: Students register for field experience credit during normal class registration but only after approval from the Office of Field Experience.
Q: What are the student’s responsibilities?
A: The student must complete paperwork including:
- experience goal setting & learning outcomes
- explanation of field experience opportunities
- field experience / work evaluations
- periodic meetings with the UI field experience coordinator
- guided reflections regarding the experience
- a final report & self-evaluation
Q: How do I know how many credits to register for?
A: That depends on the number of field experience hours you’ll be working. 45 field experience hours = 1 semester hour of credit. A student working 45 hours with a team, league office or agency could earn 1 semester hour of field experience credit. 405 hours are required to earn 9 s.h. You do not have to register credit for all hours worked, however. Students will often work many more hours than the minimum required for credit.
Q: Can I get paid by the organization where I'm doing my field experience?
A: Yes, the students can be paid a stipend or an hourly wage. It is important to remember, however, that it is common in the industry for internship experiences to be on a volunteer, unpaid basis.
Q: Can I still get credit for something I’m doing right now?
A: That depends on when you are reading this! If the semester registration deadline has already passed, you cannot retroactively earn credits. You can register for credit in the following semester, provided the experience is also ongoing and you have not already earned credit for experience with the same organization.
Q: Will my internship count for credit? How can I be sure?
A: When looking through positions to which you'd like to apply, consider which of your SRM coursework you'd draw on to complete the job duties. If you can't think of any, the likelihood of the position counting for credit is probably low. The best way to determine if something rises to the level of credit is to have the job description or list of responsibilities reviewed by the Office of Field Experience. Remember, "Coffee & copies, even for the Cubs, doesn't earn credit!"
Want to have a job description reviewed or still have questions? Contact Anna Jensen, Director, Office of Field Experience.