An evaluation of students´ Internship experience in the Lifelong & Continuing Education Department of the University of Lagos
The practical experience gained during Internship is vital to the production of a well-rounded university graduate and a required skill set in any profession. The study evaluated the Internship experience in the Department using mixed method involving qualitative and quantitative techniques. Five research questions were raised and answered using the questionnaire and Focus Group Discussion. The study Purposively sampled 300-Level students in the Department of Lifelong and Continuing Education of the University of Lagos, who were taking the course (ADE 325) on Internship (for two consecutive sessions), to establish opinions and students reaction to the conduct of Internship in the Department. All the students for the two Sessions were used for the study, making 125 in all. Data were administered and collected immediately during the final class of the course, thus retrieval rate was 100%. Themes treated in the FGD sessions included level of satisfaction with the course generally, choice of student placement as well as challenges faced. Data gathered were analyzed using simple percentages and Mean Scores for student responses to the questionnaire items. The FGD portion was treated with Thematic Analysis. Findings revealed a consensus, as all the respondents agreed that internship was beneficial, it was also unanimously noted that the time spent outside for the Internship was grossly inadequate for meaningful gain. Challenges include the timing interference with academic work, and funding was another issue. It was suggested that the timing of the Internship be urgently reviewed in the Department and to explore the possibility of giving the students a stipend to facilitate the experience. Having students who have experienced the practical aspect of their profession produces more confident and resourceful graduates who will contribute meaningfully to national development.