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Academic oversight is critical to value of unpaid internships

Re “Ruling could bring end to unpaid internships” (Business, June 14): It would be unfortunate indeed if college students were no longer eligible for unpaid internships. As a retired coordinator and assistant director of an academic internship program, in which students received full semester credit, at the University of Rhode Island, I have first-hand knowledge of the benefits of such an experience.

However, the critical issue is supervision at the college level and a designated on-site supervisor to insure that the experience is, in fact, a learning, not just a work, experience. Our students were required to have an individualized learning contract in place signed by the student, on-site supervisor, and a faculty adviser who also provided insight to the experience.

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Perhaps this is a wake-up call for the academic portion to be required as part of an unpaid internship.

Lynn Gaulin

North Attleborough

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