What is the value of an internship?
An internship's value cannot be quantified, but at a time when people of all ages are seeking employment, one thing that will set applicants apart is experience. As a new graduate, the only experience you have to offer is that of earning your college degree; and while that is vital, it speaks volumes to add experience to that degree.
As for the personal value, an internship provides an opportunity to clarify your career choice; a moment to confirm your future! Sometimes it helps to hear from peers who have taken advantage of internship opportunities.
The goal of the Cooperative Education & Internship Office is to help you enhance your education with hands-on experience. Co-op education is a process that formally integrates an undergraduate student's academic studies with productive work experiences in a professional setting. The word "cooperative" signifies a mentoring relationship between you, the employer and the University. The important thing to remember is that students (you) reap the benefits of this relationship.
We work with students to find experiences that provide learning environments and challenging work assignments that are related to their academic and career goals. The Center for Career Development and Internships, along with the employer and a faculty coordinator will monitor student work assignments as well as provide on-going mentoring.
Students in the program are able to
- See the relationships between course work and actual jobs
- Meet potential employers
- Gain employment references
- Establish relationships with mentors
- Use high-tech laboratory and computer facilities
- Gain entry into companies that interest them
- Improve job prospects
- Gain academic credits
- Three credits = 15 hrs/week, 150 total hours
- Six credits = 20 hrs/week, 200 total hours
Earning Academic Credit
Wilkes undergraduates can be involved in part- or full-time cooperative education employment or part-time professional internships for academic credit. Students generally decide to intern or co-op on a part-time basis while completing degree requirements during 12-14 week semesters.
Each co-op student or intern is assigned to a Wilkes faculty coordinator who has a background related to the student's career experience. Students fulfill learning objectives, which are developed with the guidance of a site supervisor (employer) and a faculty coordinator.
Students are required to complete:
- Weekly reaction papers
- Biweekly time sheets
- An academic term project
Cooperative Education credit appears on students' transcripts as Cooperative Education 399A for 3 credits or 399B for 6 credits. Students may receive
more departmental credits for a full-time professionally appropriate and academically
challenging position, with the approval of the department chairperson. Some students
carry course loads that do not allow the commitment necessary to earn three co-op
credits; lesser-credit options are available. If a portion of the credit is taken
in a participating department, a special department course number appears on the transcript.
Since Cooperative Education is a credit-granting program, normal tuition policies are followed during the fall and spring semesters. Tuition costs for the summer sessions are one-half of the current tuition rates.
Requirements for Eligibility
- Full-time undergraduate standing
- At least sophomore standing
- Minimum 2.00 grade-point average
- Signed permission from the student's advisor and department chairperson's approval prior to internship placement.
Undergraduate students who meet academic standards and have completed a minimum of 30 credits are eligible to participate in the fall, spring, or summer programs.
Ready to pursue your own internship or co-op opportunity? Learn more about the application process.