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Information about Internships

Paid Internships:

Some employers have a paid "intern" job classification, in which case interns are employees and have all the rights and responsibilities of an employee.

Unpaid Internships:

Often internships are unpaid. If the employer is a for-profit entity, unpaid interns are not allowed to supplant a paid employee or otherwise occupy an essential position. The internship in this situation must clearly be educational in nature. That's not to say that the education is not productive, but that it must clearly be for the benefit of the intern.  Learn more regarding unpaid internships from the US Department of Labor.

College-initiated Internships:

A specific program, typically a vocational certificate program, may offer a CWEE course as a "field experience" or "practicum" in order to provide students with the opportunity to integrate classroom learning in a real-world work setting. Learning objectives for the course, based on knowledge and skills learned in the classroom as well as the requirements of the employer, are developed by discipline faculty in consultation with employers or an employer-based advisory committee. A CWEE/practicum course is often paired with a classroom seminar facilitated by a subject-matter expert. This directed, program-specific and focused learning experience, or internship, is typically a "capstone" course – one offered at or near the conclusion of classroom study.

Employer-initiated Internships

A directed program of work-based learning developed by an employer, or industry group, which wishes to be involved in training the workforce, whether for existing positions, future positions, or to generally create a more robust and effective workforce. Learning objectives that either relate to a specific place of employment or, more broadly, to the industry, provide interns with skills and knowledge that are both immediately applicable as well as transferable. Ideally, a "progressive learning plan" is also developed that organizes learning objectives into beginning, intermediate, and advanced objectives. Interns can be a valuable addition to your team, injecting fresh energy and creativity to the workplace. They bring enthusiasm and a "beginner's mind" perspective to the job; mentoring employees are often forced to reexamine policies, procedures and attitudes when instructing or supervising interns.

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