Faculty & Staff Internship Program Information

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

Source: NACE

Components:

  • Established duration – typically an academic term or summer, though the end date may be extended
  • Hours – may be part- or full-time; during an academic term it is more common to be part-time if taking other courses; in the summer, it’s common for internships to be full-time
  • Structure – incorporates a dedicated staff, resources, and projects to guide the experience
  • Reflection – situations are created and designed which allow the intern to review and reflect
  • Evaluation – student is asked to evaluate the internship experience at mid and end points of the internship
  • Credit – the number of credits are determined by NDSU
  • Compensation – may be paid or unpaid; if unpaid, employers are directed to follow guidelines for unpaid internships as outlined by state, regional, or national guidelines

Source: CEIA

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What is the value of an internship?

Benefits to interns include test driving different types of jobs and organizations, earning academic credit, possibly earning salary and/or benefits, skill development, personal reflection, engaging in professional practice, supervisory guidance, increased self-awareness, exercising civic responsibility, expanding social and professional networks, and résumé building.

Benefits to intern organizations may include student’s labor and vitality, strengthening of social capital, access to expertise from students and their faculty advisors, recruitment opportunities, and publicity.

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What is an internship advisor’s role?

An internship advisor sometimes approves or denies proposed internships for credit. Sometimes the Career Center approves or denies, and other times it is a collaborative decision between the Career Center and an internship advisor. The internship advisor works with students to make sure students register for internships using the correct course code. The advisor and student design agreements containing learning objectives, strategies to achieve the objectives, and evaluation methods (assignments to be submitted) to assure learning objectives are achieved. An internship advisor evaluates assignments, and communicates with interns regarding performance and learning outcomes. Sometimes the advisor conducts site visits to intern organizations. And finally, the advisor submits a grade recommendation at the end of the term.

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Why participate in the Career Center Internship Program?

Students can participate in internships by working 1:1 with a faculty internship advisor, or by working with the Career Center Internship Program, which is a partnership between faculty internship advisors and the Career Center. The Career Center Internship Program is best of all worlds because faculty provide academic leadership and the Career Center manages the administrative process. The value of this partnership results in higher quality internships for students because of standardized processes, distributed responsibilities, and financial incentivization to faculty advisors.

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How can faculty help students find internships?

  • Many faculty have relationships with employers who regularly seek interns. Students are encouraged to ask their faculty if they have suggestions of organizations or people to reach out to in a targeted field.
  • The Career Center supports faculty in the continued development of employer relationships by emailing communication pieces via Careerlink to employer contacts, helping maintain strong recruiting pipelines. Faculty are encouraged to advise the Career Center of any contacts they want added to Careerlink.
  • Faculty can be given an administrative login to Careerlink upon request, which enables them to research organizations and contacts that recruit from NDSU.
  • Students find internship opportunities by using a variety of sources, including Careerlink and faculty. The Career Center and/or faculty can help students evaluate whether university credit can be granted for a given internship opportunity.
  • Faculty can direct students to Career Center for Internship Program registration.

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How does an internship affect student status?

Students can maintain full-time student status by registering for Career Center Internship Program credit tied to at least 300 on-site work hours in a semester. In this scenario, no additional classes need to be taken during that semester to maintain full-time student status. A significant benefit of maintaining full-time student status is that student loans do not come due. This arrangement allows students to pursue approved full-time internship opportunities, which can increase students ability to secure desirable positions upon graduation.

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How can internships fit into an academic program schedule?

Internships may be completed during any semester. Options include:

  • Alternating: Enroll in full-time classes during one semester; enroll in a full-time approved internship during another semester
  • Concurrent: Enroll in a part-time internship and take classes concurrently
  • Consecutive:  Enroll in 2 or 3 part-time or full-time approved internships during 3 consecutive semesters

Note: If a student is required to complete a practical experience in his/her program curriculum, the student often needs to be admitted into the program prior to completing the internship experience.

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Enrollment requirements

  • Minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA prior to internship registration
  • Internship is related to a student’s major or career goals
  • Duties are defined and professional or paraprofessional
  • Work is at an on-site location (working remotely is not allowed)
  • If paid, wage must meet or exceed North Dakota’s minimum wage
  • If paid, intern must be covered under employer’s worker’s compensation insurance or comparable vocational training insurance

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How to register for internship credits?

Registration is simple and can be done by contacting the Internship Team in the Career Center by calling 701-231-7111 or emailing ndsu.intern@ndsu.edu.

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How many internship credits can be earned?

Approved credits are earned based on the number of hours worked per semester. NDSU can code “internships” in 3 different ways, and the Career Center can help determine which code best fits your situation.

Option #1: Cooperative Education (known as “Career Center Internship Program”)

  • 1 credit = 100-199 work site hours per semester
  • 2 credits = 200-299 work site hours per semester
  • 3 credits = 300 + work site hours per semester

Course numbers: 297, 397, 497, 897. 3 credits is the maximum number of Cooperative Education credits that would be registered per student per semester. Students can earn credit for multiple internships across semesters. *This is NDSU’s most popular internship option.*

Option #2: Field Experience/Practicum

  • 1 credit = 40-79 work site hours per semester
  • 2 credits = 80-119 work site hours per semester
  • 3 credits = 120-159 work site hours per semester

Course numbers: 196, 296, 396, 496, 595, 695, 795, 895. 1-15 Field Experience/Practicum credits available.

Option #3: Internship

  • 1 credit = 12.5-24.5 hours direct faculty instruction + 25-49 hours of additional student work per semester
  • 2 credits = 25.0-37.0 hours direct faculty instruction + 50-74 hours of additional student work per semester
  • 3 credits = 37.5-49.5 hours direct faculty instruction + 75-99 hours of additional student work per semester

Course numbers: 594, 794, 894. 1-8 Internship credits available. *This option is only available to select graduate students.*

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What is the cost?

Payment for credits is the responsibility of each student, unless covered by an employer or third party.

Option #1: Cooperative Education (Career Center Internship Program)

  • In-state tuition rate for everyone plus university fees. There are no additional continuing education fees.
  • Tuition for credits is charged beyond the tuition cap**.

Option #2: Field Experience/Practicum

  • Tuition rate based on residency and is within the tuition cap**.

Option #3: Internship

  • Tuition rate based on residency and is within the tuition cap**.
  • This option is only available to select graduate students.

** Tuition cap = 13 credits in fall, spring, and summer terms starting in fall 2018. For summer 2018, the tuition cap is 9 credits.

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When is the registration deadline?

The Career Center follows all registration dates and deadlines of NDSU. In addition, the Career Center can register Internship Program credits via class permit beyond NDSU’s registration windows, and we can register internship credits for future semesters. We cannot, however, issue credit for internships that occurred in prior semesters.

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How are internships graded?

Option #1: Cooperative Education (Career Center Internship Program)

  • Pass or Fail (undergraduate)
  • Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (graduate)
  • The Career Center submits a grade based on an employer evaluation and the recommended grade provided by the internship advisor.

Option #2: Field Experience/Practicum

  • Typically graded through department using an A-F scale (undergraduate)
  • Typically graded through department using an A-F scale (graduate)

Option #3: Internship

  • Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (graduate)

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Can waivers be applied to Internship Program credits?

Internship Program credits are in the category of “continuing education.” Therefore no waivers can be applied.

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