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The Challenge & Promise of Postsecondary Internships

About this event

Please join EHR’s Division of Graduate Education and Matthew Hora, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for this lecture. Register in advance at https://nsf.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Wro_AcduQMWG1jh3Kt_FeQ


The research in Dr. Hora’s lab over the past several years has focused on a range of topics including K-20 partnerships, classroom observations of active learning, organizational cultures supporting instructional reform, employer skills needs and the nature of “soft” skills, and more recently how to effectively design college internships. Current research on internships ties these seemingly unrelated lines of inquiry together in examining – via mixed-methods approaches – how to best design an employer-based learning experience to enhance student learning and skill acquisition.  His team’s studies have documented the critical role of trained supervisors and/or mentors who can craft authentic tasks for student interns, the many obstacles facing low-income and first-generation students in pursuing an internship, disparities across the disciplines with respect to internship quality and compensation, and differences between online and in-person internships.  Drawing on theory and evidence from an interdisciplinary perspective, these studies are contributing to the scholarly literature about what makes a high-quality, accessible and culturally appropriate internship, while also creating tools such as the National Survey of College Internships that can be used by institutions and practitioners to monitor and improve their programs.


About Dr. Matthew T. Hora: Dr. Matthew T. Hora is an Associate Professor of Adult and Higher Education in the Departments of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies (Division of Continuing Education) and Educational Policy Studies (School of Education) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Hora is also the Founding Director of the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions.  After several years of experience in organic agriculture and food systems research, he received his master's degree in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland - College Park before earning his Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences at UW-Madison in 2012.  With funding from the NSF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Hora has published two books (one winning the 2018 Ness Award from AAC&U – Beyond the Skills Gap), and he has published widely in journals such as the Journal of the Learning Sciences, Higher Education, Review of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Journal.  Dr. Hora’s work has also included practitioner-oriented activities such as co-creating the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP), creating datasets for postsecondary institutions to use for continuous improvement of work-based learning programs, and founding an applied research center.  Dr. Hora is considered one of the leading scholars in higher education focused on work-based learning, and is especially known for drawing on cultural models theory, relational sociology and novel approaches to qualitative data analysis to explore issues such as internship design, STEM faculty belief systems, and organizational culture change.