Assessing the Internship Experience: Practical Application of Knowledge to Support ProgramLearning Outcomes

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Cothren, Courtney; Buchanan, Kirsty; McMurry, Monica
Fashion Business; Fashion Design
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Today fashion internships are under more scrutiny than ever from the U.S. Department of Labor. While the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees to be paid, there are exceptions when an intern is receiving an educational experience. The specifics of that experience, however, are not well defined for fashion firms, and some doubt the worth of internships (Bellafante, 2012). Despite the controversy, an internship experience featuring substantive work remains an important stepping-stone for the student pursuing a career in fashion. Fashion firms offer experiences to students that cannot be recreated in the classroom. Evaluation of the skills displayed during the internship experience, if measured properly, can be an important assessment tool for fashion programs.