Internships are growing in their importance as a high-impact educational practice for college students and as an outcome indicator of industry partnerships. Although the need for internship outcome data is cited in multiple K-State 2025 plans, there has been no central assessment process to document when, where and with whom students are completing credit-bearing and co-curricular internships.
During the past 18 months a dynamic team representing Undergraduate Studies, Student Life, academic colleges, Information Technology Services, and other key stakeholders worked together to develop an efficient data collection and reporting process for K-State undergraduate student internships. The new process leverages existing technologies that will provide reliable metrics and next-generation evidence that can be shared both internally and externally.
The first step in the new process was to collect the data through the Wildcat Internships Survey, or WINS. The first survey was distributed to undergraduate students who have a primary major in: Architecture, Planning & Design, Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Human Ecology and Technology and Aviation. Students in agriculture or education did not receive a survey as these colleges have an alternative data collection process.
Students received access to the survey via a unique link in an email delivered to their K-State email address. They were then asked to answer a few questions about their internship experience(s) during the previous academic year. The survey took no more than five minutes to complete. Some colleges elected to utilize a KSIS enrollment hold to encourage student participation.
After the internship data has been collected, the results will be married with student data in KSIS to produce enterprise outcomes and trends via a user-friendly, visually-rich dashboard. A wide range of filters will provide valuable granularity for analyzing subsets of students.
Ultimately, learning more about internship experiences will help K-State students expand their connections with employers, provides academic advisors with internship ideas for students, strengthens university ties with industry, and demonstrates K-State’s commitment to the career readiness of its students.
For more information and updates on WINS, visit the Career Center website for the K-State Wildcat Internship Survey.
Written by Dr. Kerri Day Keller, Executive Director, K-State Career Center