We took on some interns who are still in college on the request of one of their teachers. The interns don't have much skill at all and don't seem to be taking things seriously. They lack enthusiasm: missing deadlines, just not really trying it seems. They seem to be taking the internship just for the sake of putting some experience on their resume.
From the start, since they have a lack of knowledge, they have been treating it more as a class than an internship. They seem to only try to learn while in the office and don't even try to go over anything learnt that day at home. Of course this means their progress is really slow since they just tend to try in the office.
I've given them deadlines to learn something by certain dates and they all come back without having gone through a single chapter/lesson. Just today, one of them told me they can't access something. Something I gave them Monday and they are supposed to get done by tomorrow. Had they gone through this all when given on Monday, we wouldn't have run into this issue.
How can we handle this? Are we failing as an internship program? Should we just cut the interns, knowing they are not putting forth any effort?
Thanks all for the feedback. We did communicate clearly that this was different from school and that deadlines are important and what the expectations from them were.
Noted on the feedback that homework shouldn't be assigned. I think that was maybe the biggest mistake to try to get things to move a bit faster. These are part timers, only four hours a day, so going through the material in the office without practice wasn't getting us anywhere. So we basically asked them to practice at home. It is kind of what a real life job would be.
It's frustrating when you try to teach them something like writing a paragraph and they don't know what a sentence is. You spend hours teaching them and a few days later they still don't have any idea what it is. Even though you have taught and given them many resources to figure it out. Then it's teaching the same thing over again.
You are right about the institute not caring. They just sent the students, no follow up or anything. The students don't seem to care much either than just meet the requirement of doing an internship. I think we will just let the time run out and not have them back or deal with that institute again.