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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Linking the Classroom to the Workplace: homework to real work

Dr Robert Petrausch.

This paper describes the role the PR educator must play in guiding students on their journey from the classroom to the workplace. Educators must structure the internship experience in a meaningful way to reinforce classroom learning. Seven characteristics of a successful internship program include:
(1) Academic Credit;
(2) Documented professional experience in the workplace;
(3) Site supervisor feedback;
(4) Experiential learning assignments;
(5) An advisory council;
(6) Career Services Support;
(7) Program Promotion.

In class activities can supplement the experiential learning activities of the internship. These include group projects such as creating a PR campaign, student-run public relations firms, web site design, community service projects, and computer simulations. Evaluative elements of the structured internship experience should be assigning grades, site supervisor performance review, interim reports, portfolios, and final paper. A well-coordinated and structured internship program is beneficial to students, PR educators, and employers. PR educators at colleges and universities can use internship program to showcase the talents of their students who succeed on the job.


Dr Robert Petrausch  (United States)
Assistant Professor

Iona College

Dr. Robert J. Petrausch is on the faculty of Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was chief communications officer for a Fortune 500 company and holds a doctorate degree in organizational learning from Columbia University.

  • Internships
  • Experiential Learning
  • Public Relations

(30 min Conference Paper, English)