Connecting Academics & the Workplace
We believe strongly that internships, whether on- or off-campus, are most advantageous when directly related to students’ career development and provide a clear opportunity for networking and transferable skill development. Internships by definition are Immersive Experiences that provide students with rich, impactful experiential learning opportunities that move beyond regular classroom instruction. These experiences may be on or off-campus, for credit or not, and they may or may not be paid.
Essential elements of Immersive Experiences include initial preparation/training, mentoring throughout the experience, and culminating reflection. The INTC-200 companion course for internships is the credit-bearing component of the experience. The course is designed to foster reflection and training throughout the experience and is offered for 0-4 credits each term. A copy of the current INTC-200 syllabus can be found here.
Definition of an Internship
The Center for Career Development endorses and abides by the definition of what an internship is provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). NACE is a professional organization that connects colleges and employers and is a leading source of information on career education. NACE defines an internship as follows (emphasis ours):
“An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths, and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.”
Critical Internship Components
NACE also provides a list of seven points that an experience must fulfill to be considered an internship:
- Be an extension of the student’s classroom learning experience that allows a student to apply their knowledge.
- Skills or knowledge gained through an internship must be transferable to another setting.
- The position has a defined beginning and end, as well as a job description indicating expected duties as well as any relevant qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning goals relevant to the student’s professional goals and academic coursework.
- The intern is supervised by a professional with a background and expertise in the field of the internship.
- The intern is given routine feedback by the supervisor of the experience.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the employer that facilitate the student’s learning goals.