Internships/Co-ops Student Teaching Practicums
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand
The Elon University General Studies Program promotes experiential learning by requiring that students complete an Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) before graduation. Internships and co-ops satisfy this requirement.
What is an internship?
An internship is a carefully monitored work experience that relates to the student’s academic curriculum and/or career goals and earns academic credit. It is offered by almost all majors, can be part-time or full-time, and can be paid or unpaid. Eighty percent of 2007 graduates reported completing an internship during their college career. Students have completed internships in a wide variety of places, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, The White House, IBM, National Geographic, Merrill Lynch, Walt Disney World, MTV, the major television networks and more.
What is a Co-op?
What are the eligibility requirements?
Co-op stands for Cooperative Education and is similar to an internship at Elon. The co-op program follows the same policies as those in the internship program and is operated by Career Center staff. Co-ops earn elective credit, not major or minor credits.
- Junior or senior standing (sophomores in co-ops with special permission)
- Minimum 2.0 GPA
- Completion of departmental prerequisites
- Approval of Faculty Sponsor/Experiential Education Director/Advisor
Why should I do an internship/co-op?
Internships/co-ops can help you clarify career goals, gain professional contacts, improve interpersonal skills, and ease the transition from college to career.
Academically: Become an engaged and self-reliant learner, improve critical thinking, integrate classroom learning with real-life experiences, develop new interests, earn academic credit, and satisfy Elon’s ELR.
Professionally: Explore career interests and confirm major and career choices, gain valuable relevant experience hone professional competencies and sharpen skills. You can learn how to search for a job, develop a network of professional contacts, gather experiences to discuss in an interview, use state-of-the-art technology, and enhance a competitive edge for employment or graduate school admission. According to the 2006 Experiential Education Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, the conversion rate of interns/co-ops to full-time hires was 53 percent/64 percent. Additionally, 83 percent of employer respondents said “new college hires who come with internship experience gathered through any organization have better retention rates than those who lack that experience.”
Personally: Boost self confidence and maturity, assess strengths, develop professional work habits, prepare for life after graduation, understand different cultures and environments, and make a difference in your community.
Financially: Earn money – approximately half of Elon internships/co-ops are paid. Also, completing an internship can affect starting salaries after graduation: in the NACE 2006 Experiential Education Survey, 46 percent of employer respondents said “they offer higher starting salaries to new college hires who have internship experience. On average, they add 6.8 percent to the position’s entry-level salary.”
How do I find an internship?
Information about numerous internship/co-op programs is available through the Career Center and your departmental faculty advisor. If you would like assistance in exploring how an internship fits into your career/curriculum plan or help in finding one, please contact the Elon Career Center at 278-6538 or go to www.elon.edu/careers.
What is the registration process?
Once you have confirmed your internship with the company or organization, confer with departmental faculty to explore how credit could count in your major/minor disciplines. After you have determined how the credit will count, complete the registration/contract form with your faculty sponsor. Also, contact the Elon Career Center in Duke 101 for registration guidance (278-6538) and visit the Elon Career Center homepage for more information.