| by Carolyn Meyer

Campus Notes

Early group of IPSS interns from 2006
Students from the 2006 IPSS cohort celebrate after presenting research from their practicum internship experience. 2022 will mark the 20th anniversary since the IPSS experiential learning internship program began in 2002.  (Credit: Molly Calvert )

The International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) experiential learning practicum course is celebrating 20 years in 2021 with the launch of the first summer cohort. Six students from the MA in International Environmental Policy, Master in Public Administration, and MA in International Policy and Development  degree programs are participating in the summer course. 

Experiential Learning Internship Program Celebrates 20 Years

Since the IPSS program’s inception in 2001 (with the first intern cohort in 2002), over 500 students have served 300 organizations around the world. 

IPSS is one of the many Middlebury Institute immersive professional learning courses that combine academic guidance with real-world experience. 

A Web of Support

IPSS relies on a student cohort model that includes a web of support for each practicum student. Students are assigned peer accountability partners, alumni mentors, and an academic mentor to guide them during the program. Students work upwards of 20 hours at an organization for three to four months.

A key ingredient in the practicum course is the completion of a field project. This project is developed by the student in consultation with their host organization. Field projects topics for summer 2021 include the development of a professional development training program, a program evaluation, and a report on an emerging environmental sustainability issue. 

The launching of the IPSS program was another big step in MIIS giving its students the opportunity to gain global experience integrated into an academic setting. These pioneers used this experience to start their careers with a leg-up on their peers from other schools.
— Dr. Edward Laurance, Professor Emeritus and IPSS Founder
Organizations where students are interning for their practicum course summer 2021
Students are interning at these six organizations as part of a new summer-version of the IPSS internship practicum course.

Summer 2021 IPSS Practicum Assignments

Breana Chavez* (IEP ‘21) California Climate Action Corps EV Equity Project

Daniel Delgado (IPD ‘21) Plug and Play Tech Center-Global Overseas Acceleration & Learning (GOAL)

Kyla Grau* (MPA ‘21) Everybody Wins! Iowa

Jerome Siangco* (IPD ‘21) National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) 

IEP Student-Confidential (‘21), U.S. Government Accountability Office

*Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV)


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Well-Represented

Three of the six 2021 IPSS group are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV). Breana Chavez served in The Gambia. Kyla Grau completed her service in Benin, and Jerome Siangco served in China. 

The International Professional Service Semester practicum is offered every fall, spring, and summer for students in the NPTS, IEP, IPD, and MPA degree programs. For more information visit http://go.miis.edu/ipss

Immersive Professional Learning Students Through the Years
As the IPSS practicum internship program celebrates 20 years, we take a look back at images from UN internships, send-off receptions, and pre-departure trainings. 

For More Information

Carolyn Meyer, PhD
Director of Immersive Professional Learning