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Thank you for your interest in hiring an SVA student as an intern. An internship is an opportunity for our students to benefit from your professional guidance while giving them real workplace experience, and is an effective way for employers to determine if a student might be a good candidate for future opportunities with your organization. Each year, more than 300 SVA students successfully complete a paid or unpaid internship for credit and receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from their employers.

As a reminder, according to state and federal labor laws, the primary purpose of an unpaid internship is for the student to gain practical learning experience and not for the employer to benefit from the student’s labor. More information about intern compensation can be found in the Compensation and Department of Labor Standards section of this guide.

Please review the following information on how to participate in the SVA Internship for Credit Program.

Download the Employer Guide to Internships.

Employer Criteria and Requirements

When the School of Visual Arts is petitioned for an intern, the following criteria must be met in order to receive consideration for the College’s Internship for Credit Program.

Employers must agree to provide the following:

  • Commitment to employ interns for 150 hours, falling within the College’s semester period.  If the internship requires more than 150 hours of work, we encourage you to designate this a paid internship.
  • Internship which begins and ends within the SVA semester.
  • Internship that applies directly to a student's field of study, fulfilling relevant career objectives.
  • Designated creative supervisor, qualified in the area of the student's major, who gives counsel, advisement and career guidance.
  • In-house creative participation in a hands-on learning environment where the student regularly interacts with staff and/or clients.
  • Dedicated on-site workspace and computer if needed to accomplish the work.  The employer may NOT require the student to provide her or his own computer or software, or to work remotely from their home, personal studio or SVA facilities.
  • Orientation outlining duties, company policies and conduct, safety protocols and training.
  • Be prepared to provide proof of current Workers' Compensation insurance.
To hire a student as an intern for credit, employers must:
  • Complete the Internship Agreement Form by the appropriate enrollment deadline.
  • Work with the intern to identify their specific learning goals for the semester.
  • Provide hands-on learning opportunities and guidance to help the intern meet their learning goals.
  • Complete a mid-term evaluation of the intern's performance to help keep them on track in meeting learning goals.
  • Ensure intern has logged hours properly and sign their weekly Attendance Record.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with SVA Career Development, especially if any questions, concerns or problems arise with the intern.
  • Complete a final evaluation and share any suggestions for improving the program or communications between the College, students and employers.
Important Dates and Deadlines

Internships must be completed in the same academic semester in which the student seeks to receive academic credit. The internship MUST begin on or after the start of the semester (January 12, 2015) and end before or on the last day of the semester (May 4, 2015). The spring 2015 deadline for students to register for credit is Thursday, January 22, 2015.

Selecting and Hiring Your Intern

After you have selected an intern, the student will provide you with an Internship Agreement Form to complete. After the form has been approved by an SVA Career Development staff member, the student will complete the registration process and, once the semester begins, they may begin the internship.

Please note that students may NOT begin an internship until they, their employer and representatives from SVA Career Development and Academic Advising have each signed the Agreement Form and the student has officially registered for the internship for credit course.

Intern Hours

To earn credit, SVA students must complete a total of 150 hours within the semester start and end dates.  Students should not be asked to work more hours than those specified on the Internship Agreement Form or to work beyond the SVA academic semester.  Employers who want a student to continue working with their company after the internship ends are encouraged to consider offering a paid opportunity.  Note that international students participating in internships are not legally eligible to work beyond the dates specified on their Internship Agreement and CPT Forms.

Compensation and Department of Labor Standards

The Career Development office strongly encourages internship employers to pay an hourly wage, or if this is not possible, to offer a stipend or scholarship for travel and meals.  To be considered a paid internship, the compensation must be equal to or greater than the $8.00/hour minimum wage required in New York state.  If the stipend or scholarship does not meet this minimum requirement, the internship is considered unpaid.  

Unpaid internships should offer a daily stipend to cover travel and meal expenses.  To offer an unpaid internship, you must review and abide by the New York State Department of Labor Internship Standards and the US Department of Labor Internship Standards before hiring an intern from SVA.  A major point in these laws is that the primary purpose of the internship is for the student to gain practical learning experience and not for the employer to benefit from the student's labor.  The SVA Internship Agreement Form requires that you certify having reviewed these documents.

Information on these laws is available for download by visiting these sites:
Internship Programs Under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act
New York State Department of Labor: Wage Requirements for Interns in For-Profit Businesses
New York State Department of Labor: Wage Requirements for Interns in Not-for-Profit Businesses

Workers' Compensation Laws

Employers in New York State are required by law to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all interns, unpaid and paid.  It is not necessary to add individual intern names to the policy.  

For full details, please visit this site:
New York State Workers’ Compensation Coverage

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