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Co-Op/Internship Guidelines

Guidelines Co-op & Internship Mission Statement

To provide meaningful, hands-on, practical application of classroom knowledge that will enable students to gain skills and experience needed to become employable in their field of study through appropriate opportunities that maintain the integrity of their academic degree.

NACE Standards

The following NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) STANDARDS should be consulted when considering an appropriate internship. To ensure that an experience is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

If these criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship.

Enrollment Information

Students should request credit for the experience through Handshake by the second week of the semester, or within 2 weeks of starting the experience. Every effort should be made to request credit prior to starting the position.

Students must have a minimum of 2.0 institutional GPA to be registered. A declared major, 30 credits hours completed and enrollment at EKU in the semester before the internship are also required. Employers and specific departments/majors may have higher requirements. EX: College of Business requires a 2.25 and 60 completed hours.

Students cannot register for more credit hours than they are able to complete within the semester requested.

 Length/Hour Information

Per the Catalog: Co-op is 16 weeks for spring and fall semesters and 12 weeks for summer term. Internships have more flexibility, but must be pre-approved

  •  An internship or co-op experience should encompass the entire semester. A minimum number of hours (80 work hours per registered credit) must be completed, but the experience should last for the entire length of the semester.
  • A student must work a minimum of 8 weeks over the summer semester/terms and 10 during the academic semester and only when extenuating circumstance apply. Experiences lasting less than a full semester should be discussed with the Office of Academic and Career Services and the Faculty Coordinator.
  • Winter Term internship/co-op experiences will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the Office of Advising and Career Services and the Faculty Coordinator.
  • Credit hours requested cannot be changed during the semester unless unforeseeable instances occur (major illness, leave of absence, employer’s needs change) and require written approval from the Office of Advising and Career Services and the department.

 Experience Eligibility

  • Students cannot use positions in which they are already currently employed in without prior approval of the Office of Advising and Career Services and their Faculty Coordinator. Students given approval to use an already existing employment opportunity must complete additional tasks within their employment to show the additional learned value of the experience.
  • Students can only receive credit for 1 course per semester for each experience.
  • Students cannot be supervised by family members or other students.
  • Experience must be relevant to course of study and give students work experience needed for post graduate employment.
  • Students must be in an environment where they are completing worthwhile, hands-on, industry related tasks and be supervised and mentored by an industry professional who can aid in their professional development.
  • Students should only complete 1 internship or co-op experiences per semester. Should a student wish to complete more than 1, prior approval from the Office of Academic and Career Services and the department must be obtained. A student must be requesting more than 1 credit hour to be considered for this approval.
  • Students cannot use past experiences for credit. Only work completed DURING the semester that the student is registered can be counted for credit. Please consult the time sheet for the semester you intend to co-op/intern for clarification of weeks accepted for counted hours.
  • Positions in direct sales or independent contract work cannot be used for credit.
  • Elected or appointed positions in organizations/clubs/etc. cannot be used for credit

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