The NSCI survey was developed in 2018 and has undergone revisions and improvements based on the emergence of new research interests, cognitive interviewing with students, and psychometric testing.
Questions in the academic module elicit information about students’ academic pursuits and trajectories, which can provide important context for their pursuit (or not) of an internship. Questions focus on the main field of study for the student, their grade point average, whether they are enrolled as part-time or full-time student, whether they are currently attending college or are taking a break with plans to return, and so on.
In this module we ask about issues related to equitable access to internships, which is a core element of the Internship Scorecard. This module asks students who report not having taken an internship whether they had been interested in doing so, and if so, what obstacles they faced when pursuing an internship. This is a critical question related to equitable access and has been extensively studied by our team. In addition, we ask questions about whether internships have strong anti-discrimination policies and collect firsthand accounts of discriminatory behaviors.
Largely based on indicators of program quality from the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions ’s Internship Scorecard, this module includes key questions about the structure and format of the internship program: graduation requirements, for-credit status, duration, type of employer, industry and sector, compensation (paid/unpaid, hourly wages), level of support and mentorship they received from internship supervisors, and the nature of the tasks they performed on the job. Taken together, these variables provide a multi-dimensional account of the internship experience.
In addition, for those students who have not taken an internship but have had an undergraduate research or service-learning experience, we ask a set of questions about these programs.
In this module we inquire about the circumstances of students outside their academic programs, such as their employment status, parental income levels, and other indicators that provide key information about their socioeconomic and employment status. These variables provide important context regarding if and how an internship may feasibly fit into their lives.
This module includes questions about students’ gender and racial identity, age, first-generation student status, zip code of their high school, and other key demographic variables.
The final module of the NSCI captures variables that are considered to be key outcomes of an internship, including basic satisfaction with the experience, the students’ perception of the developmental value for both their academic and career pursuits, and whether the internship led to an employment opportunity.
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