Student-Employer Agreement

The Field Work Term is a vital component to the Bennington College curriculum, turning theory into practice as students explore connections between academic pursuits, personal interests, and the world of work. The College seeks to support students by providing a space for creating student-centered experiential learning opportunities that complement their respective fields of academic study. The Employer seeks to help train students with industry specific and general work-readiness skills. In consideration of the mutual goals of the student and the Employer, the requirements of Field Work Term are outlined below:

Students agree to:
  • Consult with their academic advisor to choose a FWT position connected to a their academic and professional goals.

  • Apply to positions by submitting cover letters, resumes, and other relevant application material that honestly represents your background and skills. Potential field work term sponsors have the right to verify all pertinent information regarding your candidacy at any point. Examples of misrepresentation include GPA inflation, exaggerated job responsibilities, and overstated foreign language competency.

  • Register all FWT internships with our office by the registration due date.

  • Complete at least 210 total hours of work during the scheduled FWT dates. (As outlined here, most students complete the full 210 hours through one internship (30 hours/week). As some students complete 140 hours through their internship (20 hours/week), and 70 hours through a supplemental unregistered job.)

  • Work the agreed upon hours according to a set schedule; be punctual and engaged at work. Additionally, foundational employer expectations such as clarity in communication, appropriate attire, taking the initiative, and dependability are important approaches to foster and refine during your FWT.

  • Perform the internship duties assigned; if duties are unclear, ask for clarification.

  • Proactively communicate with their supervisor and/or with the FWT office about any areas of concern.

  • Be reachable via the College email and phone in case of any issues that arise.

  • Submit a reflective self-assessment prior to completion of FWT.

  • Meet with the site supervisor to review their self-assessment and the employer’s evaluation prior to the completion of FWT.

These guidelines are not all-inclusive. They are intended to serve as a framework within which the FWT and career planning process should function, and as a standard of professionalism to be upheld. If you have any questions please call the Field Work Term and Career Development Office at 802-440-4321 or fwt@bennington.edu.

Employers agree to:
  • Conduct an interview or phone/Skype/online screening to determine readiness for the stated position.

  • Notify the student of selection prior to the registration deadline.

  • Clarify internship details and expectations with the student, including: job description, work schedules, internship duties, supervision structure, communication protocols, sick days, etc.

  • Abide by state internship compensation laws, if applicable. We ask employers to review state guidelines along with the Department of Labor’s standards for internship compensation. In many states, intern pay is recommended but not required. Students will be meeting the costs of Field Work Term on their own.

  • Adhere to state and federal non-discrimination policy in hiring and during the internship. The Employer will not discriminate on the basis  of age, sex, religious belief, race, color, national origin, physical handicap, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employer will maintain a work environment that is safe, supportive, inclusive, and respectful of the diversity of our students.

  • Provide necessary equipment, materials, and facilities to support the Field Work Term experience for the students.

  • Offer adequate training and supervision to ensure that the experience allows the student to achieve positive learning outcomes. In addition to ongoing daily feedback, supervisors typically arrange a regular weekly check-in time with their intern, to review tasks, answer questions, and offer learning feedback. In rare cases of remote supervision pre-approved by the Field Work Term office, students are expected to show a work log to the FWT office as well as to their supervisor, and to arrange regular check in meetings with their supervisor by phone/Skype/email.

  • Maintain a safe and productive working environment which will help foster professionalism and ethical workplace conduct. Additionally provide safety training for equipment, material, and facilities used during the Field Work Term experience when necessary.

  • Ensure compliance with Field Work Term hours, typically totalling 210, to allow students to complete the Field Work Term academic requirement. (While students are not required to keep a timesheet of their hours, we highly encourage them to do so on a template provided, and to ask their supervisors to sign off on it weekly.)

  • Designate a staff person to supervise, mentor and provide feedback to the student and serve as a liaison to the College. This person must be available by phone and email for contact with the College as needed.

  • Complete an online evaluation of student performance before the end of FWT and meet with your student to review your full evaluation. Your response will be added to their academic record for review by their faculty advisor, and incorporated into the student's overall Field Work Term assessment.

Termination

Any student or employer may terminate an internship at will by giving notice in writing to the Field Work Term Office. For employers, causes of termination may include: unsatisfactory performance, excessive absenteeism, or failure to meet basic agreed upon job requirements, or other violations of the terms above. For students, causes of termination may include: unsafe or uncomfortable work conditions, lack of adherence to non-discrimination policies, inadequate supervision structure, substantial deviation from the stated job description, or other violations of the terms above.