An Internship that Serves You

Whether you plan to become an elementary school or secondary school administrator, the internship for the master of arts in education (MAE) in educational administration and supervision will help you build your confidence by giving you experience in both environments. Our two-semester Principal Internship, also known as the building-level administrative internship, places you at both an elementary school and a middle school or high school.

Watch an informational video about the MAE internship that features Dr. Lori Boyland and Dr. Tracy Caddell.

Watch Now

The required EDAD 694 Principal Internship provides you with practical experience in learning the duties and responsibilities of the school principal. For two semesters (3 hours per semester), you will actively participate in the decision-making role of a school administrator.

Ultimately, the internship provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your educational leadership skills. The success that you experience during your internship can lead to positive recommendations for your future employment as a school administrator. 

On-level Semester

If you’re teaching at the elementary or secondary school level, you can do a semester in your workplace or elsewhere at your grade level of teaching. This is your “on-level” semester.

Off-level Semester

Your “off-level” semester would take you to a nearby school of a secondary level, either a middle school or secondary school. Grade levels and buildings other than your own are considered off-level. No matter the level you serve first, both elementary and secondary internships are required. For example, an elementary teacher would serve her on-level semester at the elementary where she is employed. The off-level internship would be at the district's high school to meet the secondary requirement.

The benefit of the two-semester Principal Internship is that for two full semesters you play an active decision-making role of a school administrator while working collaboratively with the building-level administrator. Meanwhile, you receive practical experience in applying the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards for principals and other administrators.

What do graduates say about their internship experiences?

Ceara Jackson“The internship gives you the opportunity to practice utilizing your leadership skills. It provides you the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them with the guidance of your mentors. Learning the different ways to be a leader is one thing, but putting those different skills and strategies to use in "real-life scenarios" takes learning to another level.”

— Ceara Jackson, Assistant Principal/Preschool Director
North Elementary, Danville, Indiana

Charla Chailland“For my building-level internship, I worked across two public schools. One served preschool through sixth-grade students; the other served seventh grade through 12-grade students. I collaborated with many stakeholders throughout the two-semester internship including students, teachers and staff, administrators, families, community partners, and on a few occasions, even the district.”

— Charla Chailland, ENL Shared-Site Teacher
Center for Inquiry Schools 2, 27, 70 and 84, Indianapolis, Indiana

The Principal Internship: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions and answers about the building-level administrative internship.

Early in your program, you should meet with your advisor to plan your program of studies. The internships (2 semesters: 3 hours per semester) are to be taken at the very end of your program of studies. You must receive prior approval before registering for EDAD 694.

To meet the prerequisite for the internship, you must have successfully completed five of the following seven courses:

  • EDAD 600
  • EDAD 630
  • EDAD 635
  • EDAD 650
  • EDAD 684
  • EDAD 686
  • EDAD 689

The required internship orientation sessions are held before you begin your internship. So, you should make contacts early. For example, if you plan to begin your internship during the fall semester, you should begin making arrangements no later than May 15. If you plan to begin your internship during a spring semester, you should begin this process no later than October 15. Note too that summer internships are available.

  1. If you meet the prerequisites cited above, contact the intern director, Dr. Tracy Caddell, via email to request permission to register.
  2. Upon being given approval to register, you will receive an internship packet of information via email. Directions and timelines will be included.

As an intern during the fall and spring semesters, you should plan at least eight (8) to ten (10) hours of contact time per week for your "on-level" semester, which is the semester you serve an internship in your own school or grade level of teaching experience. A minimum of 38 hours of contact time is required during your “off-level” internship semester. Summer hours are approximately 15 hours per week in a condensed format.

An off-level semester internship is served in another building and at other grade levels. For example, a high school English teacher would serve an on-level semester at the high school. The off-level internship would be in an elementary setting. Contact time consists of time on-site with the field supervisor, project preparation and implementation, seminars, journaling, and other participation requirements.

Most interns complete their on-level semester in their own schools and their off-level at a nearby school in their district. Because you are earning a principal’s license that covers grades P-12, it is strongly recommended that your internship experience span as many grade level settings as possible.

Yes. Most students work full-time while completing the internship. This presents challenging time management issues. You may want to plan to begin your internship during a semester when you have no extracurricular assignments, when you have a student teacher assigned to you, or when you can arrange your teaching schedules to include blocks of flexible time during the day.

Former students and Ball State supervisors recommend that you not take other courses during your internship since the internship is extremely time consuming. At most, you should schedule only one other course during an internship semester.

Requirements for the internship include three major leadership projects each semester, monthly journals, reflective essays, chat rooms, discussion boards, and other leadership experiences that you will gain at the school. Each internship project centers upon an ELCC standard. As a building-level intern, you must complete a Standard 1 project during your on-level semester and a comprehensive Standard 2 project either semester. You also must attend an orientation seminar on campus as you begin your internship.

A Ball State supervisor will be assigned to you. It is your responsibility to make arrangements for a field supervisor (a principal or assistant principal) to work with you at your internship school each semester. You should approach that person about being your field supervisor as soon as you have received the information packet and have reviewed the list of the field supervisor’s duties.

Please direct any other questions regarding your internship to Dr. Tracy Caddell.