Internships are a crucial component of the “high impact” practices for student success at the University of Kentucky. Students learn by doing. A well thought-out and executed internship offers a personalized learning experience in its truest sense. There are two forms of internship opportunities offered to students at UK: academic (for-credit) and non-credit.
A student seeking credit for a career-related experience finds a faculty mentor, negotiates a Learning Contract (including an articulation of how the learning will take place and be documented), obtains department approval, submits a time sheet and evidence of meeting the learning outcomes, and receives an evaluation from the learning site coordinator (e.g., an employer). In this highly flexible academic curriculum, students have the opportunity to take leadership roles and earn academic credit for problem-solving and reflection on scholarly issues that are of great importance to themselves, to the most prestigious scholars in the academic disciplines, and to the world around them. An academic internship may be either paid or unpaid.
Academic internships are typically considered a general elective, but can help students engage more directly in finding a major that fits and may also help shorten time to graduation. So internships are useful for colleges to have as an option for all their students, not just certain majors or for those motivated go-getters. Some majors require an internship (see the chart below). Grading is often done on a Pass/Fail basis, with the amount of acceptable credit hours determined by the student’s college or department.
Experiential Learning by Internships/Coops in
UK Undergraduate Curriculum
(internship, field-based courses in majors not using 399)
|Agriculture||ABT, AEC, AED/FCS, ASC/ FSC, CLD, ENT, EQM, FAM, FOR, NRE, PLS||CLD302, CLD362, FAM494-95 & 499, FCS362, FCS371, FCS592, FOR350series, FOR370series, FOR599, GEN302, GEN401, LA890 & 899, MAT340, MAT480, MAT490, NFS403, NFS480/DHN800 series, NRE320, PLS396, PLS406, SAG397|
|Arts & Sciences||ANT, APP, GEO, EES(GLY), GWS, PHI, PS, PSY, SOC, SPA||BIO355, FR375, GEO406G, GER553, GLY223, GLY230, GLY235, GLY323, GLY385, LIN514, PSY499, SPA480|
|Business & Economics||ACC||HMT499|
|Communication & Information||COM, JAT||COM284, JAT241|
|Design||ARC||ARC461, ID427, ID428, ID480, ID490|
|Education||EDC322, EDC362, EDC433, EDC549, EDC501, EDS495, EPE554, IEC260, IEC411, IEC510, IEC523, KHP 361-62, KHP369, KHP577|
|Fine Arts||A-E, A-H, A-S, AAD, TA||A-E538, A-E577-578, A-E670, ART291, FA501, MUS433G, TA390, TA396, TA499|
|Health Sciences||CD481, MLS480-85|
|Social Work||SW444, 445, 595|
|Undergraduate Education||HON||EXP396, EXP397|
|Professional Colleges offering undergrad courses (Medicine, Public Health)||BCH517, HSM511|
The course number 399 is defined in Senate Rules 3.1.2.C. “399 Departmental field based experiential education courses. May be repeated to a total of 30 hours. To provide the opportunity for students with the approval of a faculty member and the department chairman–or his/her designee–to earn credit for work-study experience. The student must work with a faculty member to describe the nature of the experience, the work to be performed, accompanying learning experiences, appropriate course credit for the work, and criteria by which the student’s work may be evaluated. This information must be written and filed in the departmental office and the Office for Experiential Education prior to the student’s registration for the course. Bulletin descriptions of these courses shall include an explicit statement of the need for filling out a learning contract.”
A non-credit internship implies that a student will be working for the benefit of experience gained, but not for any type of academic recognition. This option may be preferable to a student who does not need additional credit hours or does not have departmental approval for credit. Non-credit internships must be paid in order to comply with U.S. Department of Labor laws. Exceptions made are those internship positions affiliated with non-profit organizations. The Stuckert Career Center helps employers create meaningful non-credit internships. They tell companies that at least 75% of the student’s duties should be professional-level, non-clerical tasks. The average hourly rate ranges from $10.00 to $16.00 per hour, depending on the nature of the position and specific to industry (i.e. engineering and accounting co-op or internships positions often pay more than the highest end of this range.)
Here are some of the companies that the Stuckert Career Center has helped students, faculty mentors and departments to find internships. Experiential learning opportunities helps students:
- Obtain professional experience in their areas of academic study
- Create opportunities to work with professionals
- Learn about their own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, values, etc.
- Develop marketable skills such as professionalism, leadership and problem-solving
- Build confidence
- Define career paths
- Make valuable contacts
In addition to supporting the work involved with internships at the department level, the Stuckert Career Center offers online resources to ensure that our students develop career goals that are measurable and promote success toward graduation and beyond.
- Wildcat CareerLink
A career management tool providing access to jobs, internships, and career resources to facilitate a job/internship search process. Employers post positions for which they want to recruit UK students – averaging 400 jobs and internships throughout the year. Students can research companies and track applications all in one place, use the interactive resume builder, view sample documents (i.e., resumes), RSVP for job interviews, etc. Students logged in to Wildcat CareerLink can seamlessly access the Vault databases described below.
access via Wildcat CareerLink or MyUK portal
An online tool (see UKnow article) that allows students to search, store and record job listings at all publicly posted websites and newspapers. Students have access to inside contact information including email addresses for millions of companies as well as UK alumni. Users can also work with Career Shift Career Services to create unlimited e-mail campaigns with their uploaded contacts, resumes and cover letters. In MY CALENDAR, students keep notes and set reminders for follow-ups.
- Career Insider
access via Wildcat CareerLink
An online research tool (see UKnow article) that allows students to look into many occupations, primarily corporate and medical. Users learn more about employers, look for jobs, and gather job search information — compare between competing employers to determine where they will fit in with corporate culture best, where the best salaries are, and where the best opportunities for advancement are present. The Career Insider offers users the “College Career Bible,” which outlines the best educational paths to careers; offers several articles including the “A Day in the Life” series which allows students to realistically imagine themselves in a given profession; and the “Guide to Schmoozing” teaches the art of networking by helping students build their personal brand and create a useful network with other students and professionals through new media, blogs and discussion boards.
This virtual interviewing system allows students to simulate job interviews and record their performances privately from home or in the Stuckert Career Center. Using a webcam, users respond to pre-recorded interview questions and practice both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Afterwards, all interviews are immediately accessible online for career advisors/counselors, coaches, and professors to assess and leave feedback if the student wishes. InterviewStream is used by hundreds of workforce investment boards, and outplacement firms around the globe including nine of the top 10 global MBA Programs and the world’s leading global outplacement firm.
CandidCareer allows the student to gain access to the career advice of industry professionals and see it all on video. CandidCareer.com features informational interviews to help the student discover and explore many career options. Searching by Industry, Career Title, College Major or Keywords, the student gains honest and valuable insight from the men and women working in a particular field.
A self-paced online program (see the UKnow article here) which covers all major aspects of career planning and career decision making. SIGI-3 can help students assess their work-related values, interests, and skills. First the student enters work-related preferences, then SIGI-3 will search its built-in library and find those careers that most closely match his or her preferences. Students can also search for careers related to their major. Additional information on employment outlook, salary ranges, and detailed descriptions of careers is included in the database. Students then register for an appointment to discuss their results with a SIGI-3 career advisor at the Stuckert Career Center.
Resources to Consider
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, a nonprofit organization promoting health equity and social justice housed at the University of Washington, (see especially the CCPH Mentor Network, http://depts.washington.edu/ccph/pdf_files/summer-mentorntwk.pdf)
CIC Committee on Engagement, “Engaged Scholarship: A Resource Guide” (December 2005) http://www.scholarshipofengagement.org/benchmarking/FINAL.doc
“Evaluation Criteria for the Scholarship of Engagement,” (last revised March 2002), Clearinghouse & National Review Board for the Scholarship of Engagement, http://www.scholarshipofengagement.org/evaluation/evaluation_criteria.html
“Points of Distinction: A Guidebook for Planning and Evaluating Quality Outreach,” University Outreach and Engagement, Michigan State University, http://outreach.msu.edu/documents/pod_2009ed.pdf