Internships (including practicum and field placement) are a vital part of a West Chester University education. Students are encouraged to obtain experience, to apply classroom learning, enrich their college experience, and enhance their skills and competencies that will make them among the best candidates for any desired career. WCU manages credit-bearing internship programs through our academic departments; departmental direction allows programs to meet both student and employer needs. The Twardowksi Career Development Center serves as support for the preparation and execution of the internship search process. Within Handshake, as well as other resources, we manage a database of internship and job opportunities. The center hosts career fairs and networking events that offer a wide range of employers the chance to facilitate connections with students and departments.
In today’s world, students are expected to have experience before applying for jobs – but how do students obtain career–related experience? Internships. Internships are phenomenal experiences for both students and employers.
An internship program is a proven strategy for employers to build a pipeline of talented and 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.
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
For credit-bearing internships, requirements and procedures will vary by department. Generally, a student must be a major in the department, complete a certain course or number of courses before being eligible, and be committed to a certain number of internship hours. We encourage students to review department websites and reach out to their academic advisor or department internship coordinator for all details.
For NON credit-bearing internships, requirements are up to the discretion of the employer offering the internship. These requirements should be made clear in the job description or through the interview process. Students can complete internship at any point in the year. Depending on employer requirements, students can be at any school level.