SDICCCA Faculty Internship Program: Training Tomorrow’s Community College Professionals
The San Diego & Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association (SDICCCA) has teamed with San Diego State University since 1994 to build an internship program that has trained hundreds of prospective professors, counselors and librarians to work in the California Community Colleges system.
The SDICCCA Faculty Internship Program, which also includes Mt. San Jacinto Community College in southwestern Riverside County, places San Diego State University graduate students on a community college campus to work with a mentor in securing invaluable on-the-job experience. Dozens of graduate students take part in the project each year, and roughly half are offered teaching, counseling or library positions when their one-year internships are completed.
San Diego State University provides the coursework through its College of Extended Studies. Participating community colleges provide the on-the-job work experience. Most of the interns have just completed their graduate work or are in the final year of a master’s degree program. Others are mid-career professionals looking for a career change.
The program is managed by a Steering Committee that comprises one campus coordinator from each of the participating colleges. A San Diego State University Program Coordinator leads the Steering Committee, oversees training sessions for interns, and works with both mentors and interns to ensure that a rewarding learning experience takes place for them.
SDICCCA’s goals include:
- Introducing interns to the community college environment and community college student population.
- Arranging successful mentoring relationships that support the development of interns and mentors as master counseling or classroom faculty members.
- Training interns by emphasizing assessment of student learning outcomes, strategies for providing students with basic skills, and strategies to engage a diverse population of adult learners in the learning process.
- Describing effective job-search techniques to interns, as well as addressing important issues regarding community college policy and decision making.
- Nurturing the highest levels of integrity and ethics in every aspect of the intern’s professional life.
- Creating a database of current and former interns to enable participating community colleges to recruit for part-time and full-time faculty positions.
SDICCCA was formed as a model of cooperation among public institutions of higher education in San Diego and Imperial counties. The aim of this organization is to identify issues of concern and to implement mutually-beneficial programs and projects in the region. The support of the SDICCCA presidents has been invaluable in contributing to the success of this internship program.