POV 453 - Shepherd Summer Internship Syllabus

Course Description

Pass/fail basis only. Prerequisites: POV 101, POV 103 or POL 215 and successful application. Eight-week summer internship working with individuals and communities. Supervised work with agencies in business and economic development, community organizing, education, environmental advocacy, health care, law, religious ministry, and social services that engage impoverished persons and communities. Eight weeks of full-time work is preceded by an orientation to prepare the interns and followed by a closing conference for interns to reflect critically on what they have learned. W&L students work with students from other participating colleges. Students keep journals reflecting on their work. Financial support is available; in rare instances the Shepherd Program director may approve other internship programs to meet this requirement, but approval must be in advance with special conditions and stipulations. This course may not be repeated, but students who complete POV 453 may apply for a different second internship and receive recognition without credit for POV 450. Pickett, Staff.

To receive academic credit for the internship, students must satisfy the following requirements

Student Learning Outcomes

Students in this course will apply coursework to field-work in order to:

  • Comprehend poverty as a complex moral and social problem;
  • Analyze, criticize, and evaluate arguments about poverty;
  • Collaborate respectfully with community-based partners or other appropriate actors to address poverty;
  • Engage directly in and with communities in ways that recognize the value of each person.


Prerequisite courses are POV 101 or POL 215 for international internships. Entry into POV 453 is competitive and
requires a written application and interview. Application information is available online at http://go.wlu.edu/sip.

  • Attendance to orientation activities scheduled in the Winter Term;
  • Attendance and participation in the opening and closing conferences;
  • Full-time work during designated internship dates 


  • Attend pre-departure sessions during Winter Term;
  • Submit a community learning agreement;
  • Written reflection prior to departure
  • Two small group video discussions during the internship;
  • Written reflection following the intenrship;
  • Closing conference presentation and participation (domestic interns only)
  • Program assessments (SHECP and W&L Shepherd Office)
  • Donor letter submitted to the University Development Office
  • Debrief session during Fall Term
  • Public panel session during Fall Term
  • Encouraged: Profile for the website and other publications; OR an article for the SHECP Consortium newsletter;

All writing assignments are emailed to Fran Elrod, elrodf@wlu.edu.