Frequently asked Questions

How are interns selected?

Interns are typically referred to the program through their schools, a family member, or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and apply in the winter and spring in the year prior to entering the program. A team representative of all the partners: Project SEARCH instructor, host business liaison, VR Counselor, and other appropriate personnel carry out the selection process. The process includes tours, student interviews, and scoring on a rubric related to entrance considerations.

Do I have to apply?

Yes. Applications are taken starting at the beginning of the school year, and up until the February cut-off date. Interviews are held in March.

Do interns get paid?

Yes! While most sites are unpaid internships, South Dakota Project SEARCH Sites offer a monthly stipend for their students.

Do I get to choose my rotations?

Your students choice is one of the driving factors that determine their rotation placement. We combine their choice along with availability of rotation and the student’s skills to try and create the perfect fit!

What rotations are available?

Rotations vary from year to year, depending on student interest. We have had rotations in Dietary, Lab, Pharmacy, Rehab, Environmental Services, Human Resources, Admissions, and many others. If it is a rotation we have not had in the past, there is always the possibility of creating one.

Do I have to rotate to other internships if I like the first one?

Project SEARCH is designed to give student interns the opportunity to have a variety of work experiences, to explore different careers, and to learn competitive work skills in a wide range of settings. This process helps to refine each student intern’s career goal and to prepare each student intern for employment. However, if a student intern can gain additional marketable skills and if there is a strong possibility of being offered a competitive job, it is often productive for that individual to do multiple rotations at a single internship site.

What do I wear during the Project SEARCH day?

Rapid City Regional Health asks that the  interns wear business casual, scrubs, or other attire suitable to the student’s rotation. Jeans, shorts or open-toed shoes are not allowed. All Project SEARCH student interns are badged by Rapid City Regional Health, and participate in similar on-boarding and orientation procedures as typical employees.