Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions
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- Am I eligible for the Work Experience Program?
- What is the difference between internship and co-op?
- If a co-op position is paid and an internship is not, why would I want to do an internship?
- Must my Work Experience coincide with the academic quarter?
- If I am currently working at a job or find one in my area of study, can I use that job as my co-op position and receive credit for it?
- I am not currently working, but have worked at a job in my area of study. Can I use that job as my co-op position and receive credit for it?
- How do I apply for the Work Experience Program?
- How many hours will I have to work each week?
If you have completed a minimum of 48 credit hours, completed 50 percent of major requirements (In addition programs may require completion of a specific course), and have earned an overall GPA of at least 2.0 (Some programs may require a minimum of 2.5 GPA), you are probably eligible. Depending upon your program and the number of related courses completed, a coordinator will determine your eligibility.
Before noting the differences, it is important to understand the similarities. You will interview and secure the position in a competitive manner. The duties and responsibilities given to the student are very similar. With both, you must register for the class
(you will register once you are placed) in the Academic Office and will be billed as you would for any other class. This allows you to earn 4 hours of credit and a letter grade while you gain practical work experience in a career-related position.
An internship differs from a co-op in that you volunteer 120 hours of your time, whereas co-ops are paid and must work for a minimum of 120 hours for ten weeks to a year.
All Work Experience positions should be evaluated by the same two criteria:
- What experience will I receive from this position?
- What contacts can I make for future employment?
These two points should be considered primary to wages. Other points to consider are:
- Some employers offer more guidance with interns because they understand that students are volunteering their time to gain hands-on knowledge. In a co-op position, they are paying you and often expect you to be productive with far less direction.
- You can complete an internship in as little as three weeks; a co-op commitment is 10 weeks. This could allow you to complete an internship during a break between quarters, which may be more convenient for you.
- If you are receiving any type of financial support that may be jeopardized by your acceptance of a paid position, you will avoid those problems with an internship.
Keep in mind: in order to participate in the Work Experience program, you must be available for either an internship or a co-op.
No, you may begin at any time of the year, but you must be able to register for the four-credit class at the time of placement. There are some exceptions with the Health and Human Services programs.
If I am currently working at a job or find one in my area of study, can I use that job as my co-op position and receive credit for it?
Yes; we do need approval from your employer, which is usually not a problem. If you are interested in pursuing this option, contact your campus Career Services Office for more information.
I am not currently working, but have worked at a job in my area of study. Can I use that job as my co-op position and receive credit for it?
Students must provide evidence of related work experience on to the Career Services Office. A Work Experience Coordinator will inform students of the eligibility requirements for Work Experience Verification. Students who feel they are eligible should contact their campus Career Service Office for more information.
Applications are available in the Career Services Office. Please return the completed application and a copy of your resume to Career Services. After you attend an orientation, the placement procedure will begin. You may not register until you are placed.
That is determined by you and the employer, taking into consideration your class schedule and the employer's needs. As a guide for internship and co-op students, twelve-hour work weeks will give you the required 120 hours over the course of a ten-week quarter.