Resources for Internship Coordinators

Preparing Students for Internships
Working with Organizations
Affiliation Agreements
More Information

Preparing Students for Internships

Based on feedback from employers on the preparedness of students, many internship coordinators require students to complete CAPE Job Search Workshops and/or to meet with a counselor to review their resume and/or cover letter as a prerequisite to applying to organizations. This has helped our students in their professional preparation and assisted them in putting forth a more professional image during the internship application process.

If you decide to implement any requirements, please contact the CAPE so arrangements can be made. Some departments have created a form to verify attendance that CAPE counselors sign and date.

As an alternative to attendance at workshops, you may be interested in having a CAPE staff member present the workshop(s) to your interns at a designated time or during your class meeting. Topics include resume, cover letter, interviewing, LinkedIn, and Professional Skills to name a few. Please complete the Workshop Request Form.

Working with Organizations

Organizations seeking to fill internships may contact you to identify potential interns or seek your referral of students. They may also want help in promoting their internship opportunities to your students. Here are some things to keep in mind as you work with new organizations for internship placements:

  • Verify that this is truly a learning experience and not just an employer seeking free labor.
  • To insure this is a bona fide organization and a good site to pursue for your students, ask the organization to provide an internship description and qualifications, and any other relevant information you require.
  • If the opportunity is not relevant for your majors OR if the organization wants to host intern(s) from more than one major, refer them to the Career and Professional Education Center. We will make sure to get the information to the appropriate internship coordinator(s) and to also post the opportunity on BengalLink for all students.
  • If you have any doubts about the organization and would like a CAPE staff member to vet the organization, do not hesitate to contact Lynn Rogers.

Unpaid Credit Bearing Internships

If a for-profit organization wants to set up a credit bearing unpaid internship, there are guidelines set forth by the federal government that they, and you, should consider. Please see the “Primary Beneficiary Test” information below. You need to refer organizations to the link below if you suspect that a for profit organization is seeking an intern instead of hiring an employee.

Once you establish this is a good site to place an intern for credit, regardless if it is for a for-profit and not-for-profit organization, you then need to work the required documents e.g affiliation agreement, learning agreement.

Paid Internships

When organizations are offering to pay interns, the student intern is then considered an employee of the organization. It is up to the Internship Coordinator, based on departmental policy, to determine if credit can/should be awarded for paid internships. If organizations have paid internship opportunities, the Career and Professional Education Center would appreciate if you would share the opportunity so we can post it on BengalLink for all students.

Working with organizations to develop internship programs and partnerships with Buffalo State, is part of the Career and Professional Education Center's mission. We can talk with them to best determine how to recruit and identify students for their internships. CAPE staff will always work with you once the appropriate departments are identified. We post internship opportunities using BengalLink, where students and faculty can search for opportunities. If you have any questions, please contact the Career and Professional Education Center.

Affiliation Agreements

An affiliation agreement is a written document between the campus and an internship site that lists the college's academic expectation of the site and the student while they are interning or training at the site. SUNY offers insurance coverage to host sites for liability protection associated with intern duties and actions at approved programs upon execution of a standard Affiliation Agreement administered by the Buffalo State Financial Operations/Comptroller's Office. SUNY students are not covered by the NYS Court of Claims Act or Public Officers Law Section 17 for defense and indemnification of their negligent acts while serving internships at these off-site locations. Therefore, SUNY procures a commercial liability insurance policy to cover the defense and indemnification of these students.

Affiliation agreements cover clinical and non-clinical disciplines. In order to qualify for insurance coverage, a student must be serving a non-paid credit bearing internship at a site that is covered under an agreement with SUNY and be in an academic program on the approved list of academic programs covered by SUNY affiliation agreements.

If you do not see your academic program/major listed, please consult with the Buffalo State Financial Operations/Comptroller's Office for procedures to have your program added.

The procedures for completing Affiliation Agreements with sites are listed below:

Clinical and non-clinical agreements require a copy of the Internship Course Syllabus be attached to the Agreement document as Exhibit A.

Current required SUNY documents for Clinical and Non-Clinical placements for credit bearing internships:

For Clinical host sites:

Affiliation Agreements must be executed by all parties and filed with the Buffalo State Financial Operations/Comptroller's Office before the Internship begins. (It is not necessary to re-execute an Affiliation Agreement should the signatory site supervisor change, as the Agreement will continue to apply to the organization.)

For Non-Clinical host sites:

For non-clinical sites that do not request such liability protection (typically large corporate entities, e.g. Disney, Sony), a Letter of Agreement suffices.

For additional information please consult the University Faculty Senate Internship and Co-ops: A Guide for Planning, Implementation and Assessment.


SUNY Office of General Counsel has retracted the prior COVID-19 applied learning guidance. Please find the formal retraction memo as well as the prior guidance (for reference) below.

Below are some revised affiliation agreement templates for your use going forward. The revision consists of a new paragraph that has been added pertaining to the affiliated sites' compliance of all COVID-19-related regulations and laws. Below please find a new non-clinical agreement and a new clinical agreement letter. The Affiliation Agreement is a legal document for the college, developed by SUNY Counsel's Office and utilized statewide. Therefore, do not offer to make changes to either the non-clinical affiliation agreement or the clinical agreement implementation letter. The AAMC Universal Agreement itself cannot be changed. Should a potential affiliate ask for any revisions, please contact Carol Stadelmaier. A version of the document will be provided to you in Word to allow red-line changes. Requested revisions will be submitted for the review and approval of SUNY Counsel's Office, and Carol will facilitate this process.

SUNY Counsel's advice on agreements that are already on file is the following:

  1. Leave current agreements in place as is.
  2. Send an email to placement sites reminding them of the language in the agreements related to indemnification and compliance with existing law and relaying our interpretation that the agreements make them responsible for compliance with applicable COVID-19 related laws, regulations and executive orders. This way we have notified them, and if any site should give us a hard time about it, it would be a red flag. – You can do this on an individual basis with your affiliated sites as you place your students.

More Information

For information regarding additional policies and procedures, please refer to the Faculty Handbook for Internships.

Career & Professional Education

Buffalo State University  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Cleveland Hall 306
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5811  •  Fax: (716) 878-3152