Program Details

Timeline | Eligibility | Application Process | Placement Process | Program Requirements |


Internship dates: June 3 - August 1, 2016
Application Deadline: January 15, 2016
Interviews for Connolly & Morrison interns: Last week in January
Interviews for general Shepherd interns: First week in February


  • Successfully complete the poverty introductory course, or other approved course.     
  • Applicants are current first years, sophomores or juniors. Seniors are not eligible.
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA 

Application Process

Students will complete the online application and upload the application packet.  

The application packet includes:

  • Online application
    • Essay
    • Selection of three internships of interest
    • Resume (upload)
  • Additional information required off-line:
    • Campus Interview
    • One letter of recommendation
      • Letters are e-mailed directly to
      • Letters are to be addressed to "Interview Committee Members"
      • Letters may address academic competency, level of maturity, opinion regarding readiness for a challenging, independent, professional learning experience

Placement Process 

  1. With exception to Connolly and Morrison interns, student will receive an offer to participate in the program and then will begin the internship matching process.  Students accepted as Connolly or Morrison interns will be matched with an organization upon acceptance to the program.
  2. Student applying for a Shepherd general internship will schedule a meeting with the Fran Elrod to discuss the internships indicated on the application, as well as other areas of interest.
  3. Fran will match the student with an organization, balancing the student preferences taking into account commitments to organizations in different geographic regions and housing limitations. It is worth noting that there are varying degrees of difficulty among internships and some placements prefer rising seniors or students with specific academic training.
  4. All student (Connolly, Morrison, and Shepherd general) and the agency contact person are notified of the match via email.
  5. The agency receives the student's resume and letter of recommendation.
  6. The student initiates a phone interview with the agency and both parties confirm the placement is a good match. If it is not a good match, Fran Elrod will place the intern in another agency, but it is unlikely it will be one of the 'top 3' previously identified.
  7. Once matched, the student develops with the agency supervisor a Community Learning Agreement (CLA) in preparation for the internship. The CLA becomes a pre-assessment tool and is revisited at the conclusion of the internship as a post-assessment.

Program Requirements

SHECP and the Shepherd Program at W&L endeavor to create opportunities that maximize learning opportunities over the summer. The internship is an important piece, but not the only piece of your experience this summer.

Requirements for all SHECP participants:

  • Full participation in the opening and closing conferences.
  • Work full-time during designated internship dates (more than three days of absence is not acceptable, excluding national holidays)
  • ‘Budget Challenge' - Commit to abiding by the $14/day budget for food, entertainment, and commuting expenses. This is an important part of the immersion experience. Consequently, this is not the summer to live in a city so you can shop, eat out, and go to concerts.
  • Presentation- All interns take part in a panel discussion presentation at the Closing Conference
  • Mid-summer check-in - Participate in conference call or meeting with a SHECP supervisor and interns in your geographic location for a check in mid-summer.
  • Write a synopsis of summer experience to share with next year's interns
    • Address the following points:
      • Part I: What substantive lesson(s) did you learn from your internship experience?
      • Part II: What practical matters about the city, living arrangements, etc. are important for next year's interns to know?
  • This will be available for review to students considering an internship in the following year
  • Assess your internship experience by participating in an on-line survey, and, if desired, responding to an email prompt.
  • Interns are strongly encouraged to:
    • Keep a journal about their experience (some schools require)
    • Submit an informative essay about their internship and what they learned about poverty and themselves to the Consortium Program Director for review and possible posting on the SHECP website.

Additional requirements for Washington and Lee students

  • Pre-orientation sessions sponsored by the Career Services Office and/or the Shepherd Program
  • Online reflections (5 entries; 1-2 double-spaced pages each)
  • Photo reflection: In one or two images, capture what is personally and internally most challenging (difficult, gut wrenching) about your experience and what has been a positive surprise (a beauty you had not expected to encounter)
  • Fall-term presentations to prospective interns