Internships

West Chester University

 


General Information

Why Internships?

In today’s world, students are expected to have experience before applying for jobs but how do students obtain work experience without having had a job to give them any? Internships. Internships are phenomenal experiences for both students and employers.

An internship program is the best way for employers to build a pipeline of talented, young, already trained new hires, boost workplace productivity, and gain workday hours from those with expertise in new technologies and applied learning. Students can gain hands-on experience, network in a desired industry, and set themselves apart from other job candidates.

Internships are not free labor. They are not gofers or errand workers. The idea of an internship is much like an employee in training. Interns are instructed on procedures and given skills so that they can complete entry level work in a selected industry.

Definition - What is an Internship?

"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. "

From the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE); read the NACE Position Paper on Internships

General Requirements

West Chester University internship requirements and procedures will vary slightly by department. This general information will give you an overview.

  • Interns must be a major in the department through which their internship is coordinated.
  • Interns may or may not need to complete departmental courses or obtain specific GPA status before being permitted to work with a company.
  • Departments will ask that interns complete a minimum number of units before they permit interns to work with a company.
  • Internships run concurrently with the Spring, Fall, or Summer sessions.
  • Internships run through WCU are offered for credit whereby a particular number of units link with the number of credits assigned (contact department for details regarding minimum and maximum allowances).
  • All departments have an application process for students to complete.

Timelines

Internships sync with WCU semesters. Students must sign-up for internships the semester previous to their actual work or before. All students and companies must complete the application process and be approved before beginning on or off-campus work.

Who to Contact

Individual WCU departments have Internship Coordinators. This person will be your primary contact for all information specific to a particular department. The department Coordinator may or may not be the person who supervises that student at the assigned job location.

It is important to make connections between specific jobs and interns. It may not be that the department that an employer contacts will see a direct link between the work offered and their program. Employers are encouraged to read through department descriptions to ensure that they are contacting the right department.

Click here to be linked to the page of department contacts and descriptions.

Legal Guidelines

Employers offering internships to WCU students must speak to individual department Internship Coordinators regarding legal responsibilities and/ or necessary paperwork.