Independent Learning

The Expeditions Independent Learning Program is an essential component of our mission to get students ready for life.  Instead of taking a traditional Expedition Year, students may apply for an Internship through an existing SPS partnership or work to find their own placement.

<== Just a few of the places that have hosted Summit Public School interns in the past.  We are constantly growing!

Internships for Students!


  • An Internship is a way of getting students on-the-job training in a specific professional job, for the sake of gaining work-experience and exploring potential careers.
  • Students who take an Internship next year will also take an Internship Class, to help them process what they are learning, share their experiences with others, and gain support working through the challenges of having a full-time job.


  • Students who experience the real "working world" before transitioning to college are more likely to be successful later in life.  It will give you a real world experience in a career of your choosing, so you can see what it is really like to be out of school and contributing in a different way on a day-by-day basis.  You will earn academic credit without even being at school!


  • For the most part, Internships are an opportunity for 12th graders.  Because 11th graders at our schools take a year-long course called "College Readiness," we recommend that they make their plans do complete an Internship during their 12th grade year.


  • Students have done everything from working at NASA, to media production, public relations, lab research, and construction work.  What you do at your placement will depend on the needs and priorities of your organization, and will be geared towards gaining real experience in the working world.
  • The criteria for finding a "good" internship is different for everybody.  Basically, ask yourself: Am I interested in the kind of work this place does?  Do I want to learn more about this career?  Is this in line with what I want to do in the future?  If the answer to one of these questions is "yes," you have probably found yourself a good placement.

  • A student participates in their Internship during the Expeditions dates for their particular school.  Find the dates for 2014-15 at each school site by scrolling to the calendars at the bottom of this page.
  • The specific hours is something you need to determine with your supervisor at your organization.  You might find yourself starting earlier or ending later.  Whatever agreement you come to with the Internship Coordinator and your site supervisor will work, as long as you hit at least 24 hours a week on site at your internship.


  • All students must formally apply for an Internship in the Spring of the year prior to interning.  The 2016-17 Internship application will be launched in April 2016 at five schools simultaneously:  Summit Prep, Everest, Tahoma, Rainier, and Shasta.
  • Should you receive an Internship, you will be required to meet with either Linda Stevenin or Kathryn Hopkins to receive a contract and solidify your placement.  You will be required to come to internship workshops at school the first and last day of Expeditions as well as work at your internship site in the days in between.  These total hours are the same amount of classroom-based instruction you would receive if you were in traditional Expedition courses.  

Important Notes

  • Interns are not paid as this is part of a course for school credit.  Many students have turned their Internships into part-time jobs after their Internship is over.
  • You are fully responsible for your transportation, getting yourself there and home.  This may include being dropped off, driving yourself, or taking public transportation. 
  • Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) must have provisions in their plan allowing for them to participate in Independent Study.


  • All students must formally apply for an Internship by completing the application - stay tuned!
  • Filling out the form does not mean you HAVE an Internship.  Rather, it is the first step in the process, and one of our Internship Coordinators will follow-up with you promptly to assess your readiness, interests, and together explore good fit placements.

Host an Intern!

Interest Form

If you would be interested in hosting a Summit Public Schools student intern at your organization, please fill THIS GOOGLE FORM.  One of our Internship Coordinators will respond to follow up.  SIGN UP NOW!

Why Host an Intern

  • Participating as a host organization provides an opportunity to cultivate students’ workplace skills and help them successfully navigate the adult work world. Students who have completed high school internships are more confident and are better prepared to make career decisions.
  • Organizations who host multiple interns concurrently find that students work collaboratively and solve problems with less mentor oversight. Intern Supervisor relationships often continue on past the completion of the internship.
  • Students are required to be at their internships for approximately 24 hours/week in two-week intervals throughout the school year for a total of eight weeks. See the attached calendar for this year’s schedule. Each student will work out a set schedule, objectives and sign a contract with their internship supervisor.
  • Each student is paired with a caring and motivated supervisor who understands and supports Summit Schools’ values and philosophy. The supervisor and the intern set a minimum of three goals for the internship, and work on a project proposal ensuring that students have meaningful work projects.
  • Students have worked on projects such as event and marketing, web design, recruitment, lab research, media production, networking, software and hardware support, and public relations.
  • The hours students work are flexible depending on your organization, though we ask that you commit to hosting a student for approximately 24 hours per week.  The days a student is in expeditions and available to intern is listed on the calendar below. If mutually agreed upon, students are welcome to work additional hours outside of this schedule.

Kathryn Hopkins,
Mar 7, 2017, 10:42 AM