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Wellness Internship Handbook

Health Promotion and Wellness Degree

See also Intern Handbook in Adobe .PDF

Internship Deadlines

Application for Internship:

Spring Internship: October 26th

Fall Internship: April 26th

Summer Internship: January 30th

Application Requirements

  • Application form (Form F) with signatures
  • Resume
  • One page cover letter to accompany your resume
  • No application will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Student must meet with Internship supervisor prior to leaving campus.

We are in an age of preventive medicine and developing positive lifestyle habits. The Health Promotion and Wellness curriculum at Missouri Southern State University is aimed at providing the undergraduate student with entry-level skills and the knowledge necessary to function competently in a wide range of fitness and wellness employment opportunities. 

Graduates may seek professional opportunities in the following areas:

  • Hospital health promotion/wellness programs
  • Community health roles
  • Corporate or industrial fitness/wellness programs
  • Fitness clubs
  • Personal trainer/wellness consultant
  • Other health-related opportunities
  • Graduate school (exercise physiology, cardiac rehabilitation, nutrition)

Philosophy of the Internship

It is imperative that each Health Promotion and Wellness major gain extensive exposure to the professional field.  The internship experience is a catalyst to assist the student in relating textbook knowledge and classroom discussions with actual, practical job experience.  Most entry-level jobs in this profession are obtained through work experience.  An internship can help the student build professional experience, enhance a resume, and network with professionals in the field.   

The internship is considered an actual job:  the student should be prompt while fulfilling all time commitments and responsibilities.  Any appointments, whether it be personal, medical, or school-related, MUST be scheduled during the student’s free time, not during the time of scheduled internship hours.  Any such incidents or other inappropriate behaviors will be reported to the Internship Director for appropriate action, which can include student withdrawal from the course.   

This experience is the beginning of your professional career and should be approached with the utmost integrity.  You are a representative of Missouri Southern State University, the Kinesiology Department, and yourself.  Any occurrences of major misconduct (theft, assault, use of controlled substance in the workplace, etc.) or instances of willful violation of the organization, department or university will result in appropriate disciplinary actions by Missouri Southern State University, the College of Education, and/or the Dean of Students, the Kinesiology Department, and can result in a complete removal from the Health Promotion and Wellness program. 

Missouri Southern State University accepts no liability for health, accident or tort claims. Students should review and obtain insurance coverage that they deem appropriate and/or the cooperating agency may require.  Professional insurance should be a serious consideration through professional organizations or insurance agencies. 

Students should begin the application process no later than pre-enrollment the semester prior to the internship semester.  NO APPLICATIONS ARE ACCEPTED AFTER THE STATED DEADLINES.   This experience must be during the final semester of the student’s college career, after all coursework in the plan of study is completed.  It is often most successful if placed during the summer months.  During the 240-hour internship, a desired outcome is that the student will learn a wide array of skills from the agency.     

Objectives of the Internship

A. Student Objective of Internship

  1. An opportunity to learn by experience what it means to be a full-time health promotion and wellness professional. 
  2. An opportunity to expand his/her knowledge of the profession and personnel in the profession. 
  3.  An opportunity to observe, practice, and apply theory. 
  4. An opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection. 
  5. An opportunity to begin the transition from undergraduate student to a professional. 
  6. An opportunity to further his/her professional education under careful guidance of agency supervisor and Internship Director. 
  7.  An opportunity to expand and develop interpersonal workplace skills. 
  8. An opportunity to develop effective communication skills

B. University Objectives of Internship

  1. Improve the educational process and enlarge the scope of the curriculum.
  2. Provide a laboratory for application of theory.
  3. Provide continuing opportunity for evaluation of the student's needs, abilities, and progress leading to adjustments in curriculum.
  4. Provide an opportunity for faculty contact with professional practitioners.
  5. Provide an opportunity for continuing evaluation of the entire curriculum as well as the internship program.
  6. Increase the scope and influence of the Kinesiology department's services.

C. Agency Objectives of Internship

  1. Gives the agency an opportunity to share in the preparation of future professionals.
  2. Provides an opportunity to recruit trained workers and to evaluate prospective staff candidates for future employment.
  3. Provides a contact with educators in the field and assists in relating agency service to current theory and practice.
  4. Stimulates professional staff and strengthens in-service training programs.
  5. Provides an opportunity to experiment with variations in program due to additional staff.

Responsibilities of the University Student

  1. Satisfactorily completed the Health Promotion and Wellness course requirements with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for all university course work. If you do not meet the GPA requirement, you must submit written documentation to the Kinesiology Department Chair for the Kinesiology Admission and Retention Committee on your behalf.
  2. Complete application (Form F) with resume and one page cover letter. These must be typed and are due on or before the stated deadline. The student should also submit graduation paperwork and supply his/her Degree Works to the Internship Director. No application accepted after the deadline. 
  3. Select an agency to complete your Internship (preferably an agency, in which you hope to gain an entry-level position upon graduation). Contact the supervisor of the agency after receiving approval from the Internship Director. The internship candidate will place a phone call to the agency supervisor as well as a follow-up email. All correspondence is expected to be professional.
    Resume and one page cover letter should be submitted to the agency supervisor upon initial contact. All resumes and cover letters must be approved first by the Career Services Department and secondly by the Internship Director. Please provide yourself ample time to complete this process professionally.
  4. Meet with the Internship Director to inform him/her concerning the name of the agency, supervisor’s name, address, email address and phone number.
  5. After obtaining approval of the selected agency, complete Form F and return to the Internship Director.
  6. During your experience with the agency:
    1. Meet with the Internship Director prior to leaving for internship
    2. Dress appropriately for the occasion – Professional Attire
    3. Familiarize yourself with agency regulations (website, social media, etc.)
    4. Be non-critical of the agency’s philosophy, methods, and leadership.
    5. Meet the agency supervisor to develop goals/objectives for the internship experience.
    6. Consult the agency supervisor when confronted with problems.
    7. Conduct yourself in a positive manner as a representative of MSSU
    8. Inform agency supervisor in advance if you cannot attend during the agreed upon hours. Conduct yourself as an employee of the agency. 
    9. Contact the Internship Director with any concerns or problems that may arise at the internship site.
    10. Submit all paperwork (log sheets) to the Internship Director on Friday of each week (it is usually easiest to email this information to
  7. Fulfill all requirements for the KINE 491 course. (Forms GHI, and J)
    1. Complete all forms
    2. Complete Portfolio
    3. Complete a internship presentation or multi-media presentation of experience to The Faculty Committee and/or Practicum class or other upper division class

Responsibilities of the University Supervisor

  1. Review the “Responsibilities of the Student” handout with the student.
  2. Collect the appropriate forms from the student that are due prior to starting the internship.
  3. Act as advisor on student selection of agencies.
  4. Act as a liaison between the agency and student during the internship.
  5. Maximum distance: 60 Miles. If an in-person visit is not possible, the Internship Director will place at least one (1) phone call to the agency supervisor to inquire about the student’s progress with the agency. Visit the student and/or the agency supervisor in person at the internship site during the semester.
  6. During the visit, the Internship Director will:
    1. Answer any questions the student or supervisor may have concerning the internship.
    2. Determine the student’s progress in understanding the overall goals of the agency as well as specific tasks assigned to him/her.
    3. Ascertain the student’s attitude toward the agency and the field of Health Promotion and Wellness in general.
    4. Act as liaison between student and agency supervisor in transferring suggestions that may improve the experience for the student.
    5. Provide the supervisor with the necessary information and forms to adequately evaluate the student at the conclusion of his/her experience.
  7. Collect and evaluate all work submitted by the student.
  8. Provide the Registrar with the final student grade.
  9. Schedule the internship presentation to the departmental faculty and/or students 10. Express appropriate thanks to agency supervisors for their time and effort.

Responsibilities of the Agency Supervisor

  1. Be familiar with the philosophy of the Health Promotion and Wellness Internship.
  2. Complete FORM F and return to the student.
  3. Inform the student of all policies and regulations he/she must abide by during his/her time at the agency.
  4. During the student's experience, the greatest benefit could be obtained by him/her if he/she were able to experience as many of the following activities as it is feasible within the context of your agency:
    1. Orientation concerning the purposes, aims, and policies of the organization.
    2. Orientation concerning the policies of the agency.
    3. Face-to-face leadership opportunities in a variety of situations.
    4. Opportunities to talk with administrative officials of the organization.
    5. Orientation concerning budget practices.
    6. Opportunities to participate (or observe) in various planning aspects (programs, facilities, scheduling, evaluation, or management).
    7. Periodic evaluation sessions to point out individual strengths and/or weaknesses of the student during their face-to face tasks.
    8. Opportunities to observe supervisory techniques.
    9. Opportunities to attend general staff meetings, board meetings, and/or committee meetings.
    10. Any other experiences which may be unique to you specific agency and may be beneficial to the student.
  5. Establish goals with the student as to what will be accomplished. Gradually develop the student's responsibilities with the agency as you determine his/her capabilities.
  6. Inform the university instructor of student's progress and any suggestions which will facilitate the experience.
  7. Maintain a record of the number of clock hours the student spends at your agency.
  8. Acquaint the student with agency resources in the form of books, pamphlets, brochures, reports, etc., During the student's experience, he/she is required to compile a notebook/file of pertinent information concerning programming, scheduling, budget, facilities, personnel policies, and other information which will assist in the learning process.
  9. Mail Form I to the university instructor at the completion of the student's experience.
  10. Provide a letter grade for the student's performance.
     A = Excellent

     B = Good

     C = Fair

     D = Poor

     F = Unacceptable

Requirements of the Student

  1. Submit the Agency Acceptance Form (see FORM F) prior to the beginning of your internship experience.
  2. Submit Resume and appropriate cover letter to Internship Director when applying for MSSU Internship Program.
  3. Submit Resume and appropriate cover letter to Agency Supervisor. 
  4. Meet with a Internship Director prior to leaving campus.
  5. Submit goals and objectives to Internship Director.  These should be identified with the assistance of the agency supervisor.
  6. Submit weekly log (FORM G) containing a report of your daily experiences during your internship. Submit a log report following each week of work (on Fridays).
  7. Submit a three-page written report of the Internship Experience that summarizes what you learned as it applies to the Health Promotion and Wellness plan of study.  Due:  On day of Internship Presentations.
  8. Submit self-evaluation forms (FORM H) at midterm with final paperwork (120 hours) and with final paperwork.  
  9. Create a portfolio containing information and materials gathered while at the agency.  Approach this as if you are starting you own business.  What resource material from the agency would help you succeed in your own agency?  This may include information on programs, personnel, policies, financial procedures, maintenance practices, problem solving techniques, facility planning, suppliers, promotional materials, daily logs, sample class materials, etc.   Due:  On day of Internship Presentations (See Portfolio Page) 
  10. Successfully complete a minimum of 240 clock hours at the agency. The quantity and quality of these hours will be evaluated (FORM I) by the agency supervisor.  All requirements must be completed to pass the course.
  11. Prepare and present a formal internship presentation to a faculty committee and practicum students about your internship experience at an Exit Interview conducted at the conclusion of the internship semester (fall, spring, summer).  Subject to review, a student may submit a video to the faculty committee in lieu of an in-person presentation.  The presentation should include, but is not limited to: Description of Agency, job responsibilities, prior expectations, learning experiences, classes that provided the most preparation from your HP curriculum (be specific), future professional plans and takeaway moments. (Can use PowerPoint, Prezi or similar.) Time Limit:  15 Minutes.
  12. Submit an evaluation of your internship experience (FORM J).
  13. Write professional Thank You notes to all agency employees and supervisors. 

Form Information




Weekly Log


Internship Experience



Internship Evaluation

(To be completed by the Agency Supervisor)


Student Evaluation of Internship Experience

See also Intern Handbook in Adobe .PDF