Q. How long is the internship program?
A. The Hutton Program is an eight week summer internship program.
Q. Are Hutton Scholars paid for their time working with their Hutton Mentor?
A. Yes! Hutton Scholars are paid in total $3,000 over the course of their eight week internship. Students will receive four separate paychecks of $750 every two weeks while they are working alongside their mentor.
Q. What kinds of activities do Hutton Scholars participate in?
A. Each student that is accepted into the Hutton Program and matched with a mentor will participate in a unique internship opportunity for the summer. This is because Hutton Mentors and internship positions are located all over the country and with a wide variety of organizations. The student may work outdoors in the field, on a boat, in a laboratory, and in an office. Possible activities might include:
- taking fish population surveys
- establishing aquatic vegetation and fish habitat
- examining specimens under a microscope
- water quality testing
- data processing
- assisting with children’s educational programs and much more.
Some fieldwork activities can be quite rigorous and can involve overnight, multiple day, or week-long trips. Students should be physically fit and willing to perform the duties outlined by the mentor in their preliminary meeting.
Q. Is the program available in my area?
A. Student’s are selected into the Hutton Program based on their application materials. If there is no mentor identified in the student’s area, we will work with our contacts and network of fisheries professionals to find a suitable mentor for the selected student. It does happen that we are unable to offer student’s an internship position for the summer because of the lack of a mentor in their area.
Q. Are there any pre-requisite classes that I should take to prepare me for my experience?
A. No pre-requisite courses are required; however, past Hutton students have found that science courses such as Ecology, Conservation, Biology, and Geology were helpful as were other courses such as Statistics and Computer Science. If such courses are available at your school, you may wish to take one or two before the summer program begins.
Q. When will mentors and students be notified that they’ve been accepted into in the program?
A. A selection panel meets in March to determine the students who will participate in the program. Final decisions are made by late April/early May, and all student applicants are informed by phone or e-mail of their selection status, with a portion informed that they have been chosen as alternates. Selected students are provided with an acceptance form and information on their mentor match. Mentors will be notified by email and given the students’ contact information. Student-mentor pairs make arrangements to meet together with the student’s parent(s)/guardian to discuss the duties, responsibilities, and summer schedule. If the mentoring arrangement is acceptable to the student, mentor, and parent(s)/guardian, the student accepts the internship by completing the acceptance form, having it signed by the mentor and parent(s), and returning the form to AFS by a pre-determined date by the end of May to reserve the student’s place in the program.
Q. If I was a student in last year’s Hutton Program, can I apply for the program again?
A. No. Students who have participated in the Hutton Program before are no longer eligible to apply.
Student Schedules and Required Hours:
Q. What is a student’s schedule like?
A. Student’s schedules are dependent on their work for the week. Students are required to meet with their mentor prior to the start of their internship to work out the start and end dates to their internship, daily schedule and additional locations for the internship (e.i. field site locations). Students should be working the same amount of hours each week.
Q. How many hours a week are students required to work?
A. It is encouraged that each Hutton Scholars works 40 hours/week during the course of their internship. Students are able to break their 40 hour work weeks into either five 8-hour work days or four 10-hour work days. Due to the nature of the work some students participate in, days may be longer than the usual eight hour work day. In that case, please adjust your/your student’s schedule to have them working no more than 40 hours per week.
Q. What if a student works more than 40 hours in a week?
A. If a student works extra hours in a given week, it is expected that the mentor will allow them to work less than 40 hours in another week.
Q. Can a student participate in the program for longer than the paid internship period?
A. Yes, a student can choose to participate for longer than the minimum required time, but the stipend amount will not change. Students interested in continuing their work should talk to their mentors directly to find out about any opportunities that may be available.
Q. Can a student take a vacation during the program?
A. Vacations and holidays are left up to the mentor’s discretion and will not affect the stipend amount, as long as the student completes the required eight weeks for their internship. If extensive time off is requested, such as a week or more, it is expected that the student will make up that time so that the minimum requirement full participation is achieved. Students should make these arrangements directly with their mentors and notify the AFS Educational Program Coordinator about changes in their schedules.
Q. What happens if a mentor will be out of the office on vacation or business?
A. If a mentor will be unavailable for a portion of the program, they should make arrangements with a colleague so the student can continue to participate in the program in the mentor’s absence. The Educational Program Coordinator must be notified in advance and provided with the colleague’s contact information.
Student Paychecks and Time Sheets:
Q. When can I expect to receive my check?
A. Rather than providing the students with a lump sum at the end of the summer, each student’s stipend will be divided into four equal installments. A time sheet must be filled out and sent to the Educational Program Coordinator every two weeks or 80 hours worked. If a student does not reach 80 hours within the two week period, they must extend the time sheet until 80 hours have been worked. This must stat consistent with the length of their internship. Once the time sheet is received, paychecks will be put in the mail. Students should expect to receive checks approximately one week after checks are mailed, and most checks are sent once the corresponding time sheets and reports have been received by the Educational Program Coordinator.
Q. Who is responsible for filling out the student time sheet?
A. A student my keep track and record hours worked for the two week period. Mentors must approve, sign and send the time sheet to the Education Program Coordinator along with a brief check-in reports on the student’s conduct and participation. The Educational Program Coordinator will send emails to both Hutton Scholar and Mentor reminding them to fill out and submit time sheets a few days before they are due.
Q. Instead of mailing my check, can it be directly deposited?
A. No. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide direct deposit for the scholarship funds.
Q. Are Hutton stipend checks considered income for tax purposes?
A. The Hutton Awards are not considered wages; therefore, no W-4 form needs to be completed by the student when they begin the program, and no taxes are withheld by AFS. However, the awards are considered taxable income according to IRS regulations. Keep in mind, there are various factors that determines ones filling status, such as the amount of earned or unearned income, whether a person is a qualifying dependent. Students are advised to consult IRS regulations regarding educational awards. Use these resources to determine your filing status:
https://www.irs.gov/uac/Do-I-Need-to-File-a-Tax-Return%3F (electronic questionnaire)
Q. If a student needs additional training, are funds available for the student to take an outside course?
A. No. The mentoring agency is required to handle any expenses related to training the student to do the work that they will be involved in during the summer.
Q. Are travel expenses for students paid for by AFS?
A. No. The students are responsible for transportation to and from the job since they are placed with a mentor within a reasonable commuting distance. It is important to note that many mentors have field activities planned for the student which means some days may not have a precise ending time. Therefore, in the past, we’ve found that it is usually best if the student can drive themselves to and from the work site rather than relying on a parent or someone else to pick them up as that person may have to wait and therefore be inconvenienced. However, any expenses associated with travel while on the job (overnight field trips, etc.) are paid for by the mentor’s office.
Q. Can a student go on overnight field trips?
A. Yes. Overnight field trips provide an exciting learning opportunity for students in the program. AFS allows for such experiences, so long as the mentor receives approval from the student’s parent(s)/guardian first and sends a copy of a signed parental permission form to AFS. AFS provides a standard permission form to use; however, mentors may create one that works best for their office. Please note that per diem food expenses for the student for the trip are not covered by AFS.
Q. Does AFS provide insurance should a student be injured during the program?
A. Yes. AFS provides liability insurance for coverage up to $10,000 for each student. Each mentor is provided with the front page of the insurance policy to act as evidence of coverage (individual cards are not issued on such a policy) and a claim form to use should an accident occur. (Completed claim forms should not be submitted to AFS; they should be submitted directly to the insurance company.) As the liability insurance policy has a very high minimum number of individuals that it covers, we are able to cover all mentors as well at no additional cost.
Q. What can I do to help promote the program?
A. We encourage all current and past Hutton Scholars, Hutton Mentors, parents and teachers to reach out to students in their community about the Hutton Program. Up-to-date recruitment materials can be found here: Hutton Program Recruitment Materials