Program Details

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


Internship dates for SHECP: June 6- August 4, 2019
Application Deadline:  January 15, 2019 


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

Application Process

  • Students will complete the online application and upload the application packet.   
  • Application packets will be evaluated by a committee
  • In cases where more information is needed, applicants will be invited to interview

The application packet includes:

  • Online application
    • Essay
    • Selection of three internships of interest
    • Resume (upload)
  • Additional information:
    • Campus Interview (when requested)
    • One letter of recommendation
      • Formal letter from a non-faculty member
        • Letters are to be e-mailed to
        • Letters are to be addressed to "Selection Committee Members"
        • Letters will be closely read by the selection committee and the agency.  Letters of recommendation should address the following areas with respect to the applicant:  
          • level of maturity
          • level of respect for diverse groups
          • responsibility 
          • level of adaptability to challenging environments

Placement Process 

  1. Student will receive an offer to participate in the program and then will begin the internship matching process with Fran Elrod.  
  2. Following a meeting with Ms. Elrod,  the student will be matched with an organization, balancing the student preferences with 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.
  3. Student and the agency contact person are notified of the internship match via email.
  4. The agency receives the student's resume and non-faculty letter of recommendation.
  5. 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, Ms. Elrod will place the intern in another agency, but it is unlikely it will be one of the 'top 3' previously identified.
  6. Once matched, the student develops and agency supervisor a Community Learning Agreement (CLA) in preparation for the internship. Completing the CLA reqires consultation with the supervisor and may evolve over time, as the needs of the organization shift. 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.  At Washington and Lee University, the summer internship is a 3-credit course (POV453) and required for the Minor.

Participation Requirements for POV 453:

  • Pre-orientation sessions sponsored by the Career Services Office and/or the Shepherd Program
  • Work session to develop a community learning agreement
  • 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)
  • Reflection exercises assigned during the internship 
  • Presentation- All interns will give a public 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.
  • Assess your internship via an on-line assessments from the SHECP and Shepherd Program offices.
  • 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.
  • Write to the internship donor. Students receive an email prompt from the University Development Office
  • Fall term defrief session
  • Fall term panel presentation to prospective interns