Independent Learning Program

The Expeditions Independent Learning Program is an essential component of our mission to get students ready for life.  Instead of taking a traditional Expedition Year, students may apply for an Internship through an existing SPS partnership or work to find their own placement.


  • An Internship is a way of getting students on-the-job training in a specific professional job, for the sake of gaining work-experience and exploring potential careers.
  • Students who take an Internship next year will also take an Internship Class, to help them process what they are learning, share their experiences with others, and gain support working through the challenges of having a full-time job.


  • Students who experience the real "working world" before transitioning to college are more likely to be successful later in life.  It will give you a real world experience in a career of your choosing, so you can see what it is really like to be out of school and contributing in a different way on a day-by-day basis.  You will earn academic credit without even being at school!


  • For the most part, Internships are an opportunity for 12th graders.  Because 11th graders at our schools take a year-long course called "College Readiness," we recommend that they make their plans do complete an Internship during their 12th grade year.


  • Students have done everything from working at NASA, to media production, public relations, lab research, and construction work.  What you do at your placement will depend on the needs and priorities of your organization, and will be geared towards gaining real experience in the working world.
  • The criteria for finding a "good" internship is different for everybody.  Basically, ask yourself: Am I interested in the kind of work this place does?  Do I want to learn more about this career?  Is this in line with what I want to do in the future?  If the answer to one of these questions is "yes," you have probably found yourself a good placement.

  • A student participates in their Internship during the Expeditions dates for their particular school.  Find the dates for 2014-15 at each school site by scrolling to the calendars at the bottom of this page.
  • The specific hours is something you need to determine with your supervisor at your organization.  You might find yourself starting earlier or ending later.  Whatever agreement you come to with the Internship Coordinator and your site supervisor will work, as long as you hit  at least  24 hours a week on site at your internship.


  • All students must formally apply for an Internship in the Spring of the year prior to interning.  The 2016-17 Internship application will be launched in April 2016 at five schools simultaneously:  Summit Prep, Everest, Tahoma, Rainier, and Shasta.
  • Should you receive an Internship, you will be required to meet with either Linda Stevenin or Kathryn Hopkins  to receive a contract and solidify your placement.   You will be required to come to internship workshops at school the first and last day of Expeditions as well as work at your internship site in the days in between .  These total hours are the same amount of classroom-based instruction you would receive if you were in traditional Expedition courses.  
  • If you are in Redwood City at Summit Prep or Everest High School, please email Kathryn Hopkins  ( and if you are in San Jose at Tahoma or Rainier, please email Linda Stevenin ( with questions.