Internships help in student growth, accreditation

By September 29, 2010

USA (MNN) — Shepherds College is entering year three of its ministry, rounding a corner to what could be a pertinent next step.

Shepherds Ministries College program, a schooling environment to help individuals with developmental disabilities flourish in their lives and faith, is up for regional accreditation. This would boost not only the credibility of the school, but hopefully the pride of the students in knowing that they were furthering their education on a collegiate level similar to many across the country.

"This third year is critical," says Brett McCarthy, who instructs Culinary Arts students at Shepherds College. Now that the first ever Shepherds students are three years into their program, it's time for them to do their internships, just like it would be at any other college or university.

"I've often said to the students that are now currently in their internships: ‘You are the ambassadors. You not only have to represent yourselves, but you also are the first interns coming out of a brand new institution and [have] to represent that,'" says McCarthy.

So far, students have been excellent representatives. Of course the real reason for the internships is to nurture and grow these students in their fields of study. McCarthy says students have been learning a lot already and have reported putting many of the things they learned at Shepherds into practice.

There are three students interning from the Culinary Arts program, and all three had a surprisingly simple time finding places that would welcome them aboard as interns. McCarthy says the bakery, nursing home and school that the students work in have been welcoming without being over-accommodating for the students.

"I think that [the students] are enjoying themselves," says McCarthy. "I think that they have shown a real propensity for the industry, and there's been great collaboration between us and the industry."

Some of the students have also used their internships as an opportunity to be true ambassadors for Christ. McCarthy says one of the Horticulture students has been witnessing to his supervisor in his internship.

"[For] the questions that he's not able to answer, he has come to us and asked questions to help him become a better witness for Christ," explains McCarthy. "And I have no doubt that is being replicated throughout the institution, because that is something that we teach."

Shepherds College is helping exponentially more students each year grow in life skills, in knowledge, and in faith. To learn more about the important ministry of Shepherds College, click here.


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