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Internships

Internship Education Course Description

The statements below explain both the contents of this course and your responsibilities as a UCF internship student.

Goals of the Course

The internship course provides a means for students to achieve academic, professional and personal outcomes as follows:

  1. Academic - integrate classroom theory with workplace practice and clarify academic goals;
  2. Professional - clarify career goals, understand workplace culture, gain workplace competencies, benefit from professional networking, and have better access to after-graduation employment opportunities;
  3. Personal - determine strengths and weaknesses, develop and enhance interpersonal skills, and obtain earnings to support college expenses.
Internship Grades

An "S" grade is awarded when you satisfactorily complete your LEARNING OBJECTIVES and SEMESTER REPORT (plus other assignments if you are getting credit) on time, and successfully complete your internship work assignment, reflected in a satisfactory EMPLOYER EVALUATION and satisfactory assessment by your internship coordinator.

  1. An "I" will be given when you do not submit these items on time, and will revert to "U" when the above is not resolved in a timely manner.
  2. A "U" will be assigned when you do not complete written assignments, receive an unsatisfactory EMPLOYER EVALUATION, or prematurely terminate your work assignment without consultation and agreement from both the Internship Education Program and your employer.
Academic Credit

It is possible to earn academic credit hours for information you learn on a internship assignment if the credit will count toward your degree program. The cost for internship credit is the same as credit for any other credit course at UCF. To be registered for credit you must have the approval of your internship coordinator prior to going on assignment. Students taking internship for credit will be given additional assignments based on the number of credit hours earned, such as journals and special projects, in additional to the basic requirements listed below. These requirements are agreed upon at the beginning of the term and must be completed by the end of the term to receive a satisfactory grade.

Course Components on the Web

During the term, your coordinator may communicate with you by email as well as by letter, fax or phone. The syllabus for the internship course is available both in hardcopy and on the web so you can complete the course assignments in whichever format you prefer. The web assignment forms are interactive and can be accessed through the internship web page. Also , the internship web course includes a forum in which you can interact with your internship coordinator and other internship students in your major about questions, issues and problems you encounter during your work term. Ask your coordinator for more information about how the web components will be used during your internship assignment.

Information by Department, National and International Options

Students can find internships through the Experiential Learning office or through their department. The Experiential Learning office works with all majors, whereas the departmental internship programs are usually reserved for students of that major.

Each department has specific requirements for participating in internships, and the requirements may vary from major to major. Below is a listing of each departmental internship program. If you do not see your major listed here, please check with your department or academic advisor. To determine your departmental internship coordinator, click here. Remember - the Office of Experiential Learning works with ALL majors, even if your department does not specifically offer an Internship program.

Some internship programs are available to all students, regardless of major. They are not managed by UCF, but we have established partnerships with them. For more information, click here.

Internship Programs

Below is a list of some of the internship programs offered here at UCF. These programs typically accept students of all majors and are unpaid.

The Washington Center

UCF is affiliated with The Washington Center for Internships and Academix Seminars in Washington DC. Eligivle students can attend the Washington Center's semester or summer term program, complete a fulltime internship tailored to their individual interests, take an academic course of their choice, and receive academic credit for their work. Excellent placements are available in the government, nonprofit organizations and corporations -- as well as numerous international organizations. Many students are able to attend The Washington Center at a cost comparable to what they would spend on campus for the same period. For more information, visit The Washington Center website at www.twc.com. Or see your Washington Center liaison here on campus.

National and International Options
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars

The Washington Center maintains ties with thousands of organizations that provide high quality placements in the Washington, D.C. area which include corporations, embassies, interest groups, law and lobbying firms and numerous federal agencies. Interested students may pick up an application packet in the Experiential Learning office.

The Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association is the nation's largest and oldest provider of conservation service opportunities inspiring lifelong environmental stewardship in students. Expense paid internships from 12 weeks to 12 months in over 50 disciplines are available in national parks, forests and historic sites.

The Internship Series on Line

The Internship Series on Line offers the most comprehensive source of internship information on the web. Opportunities available in Fortune 500 companies, sports organizations, government agencies and non profits to name a few are detailed in fourteen online reference books. This site is password protected and UCF students may request the username and password via e-mail to coop@ucf.edu. Be sure to include your name and PID to verify your student status.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

HACU represents more than 350 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI). An important component of HACU is their national internship program open to all undergraduate students. Visit their website for more information and internship description and guidelines.

INROADS

The mission of INROADS is to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership. INROADS seeks high performing African American, Hispanic, and Native American Indian students for internship opportunities with some of the nation's largest companies.

Careers Representing America

The U.S. Department of State tackles issues that affect American citizens at home and abroad every day. Foreign Service professionals carry out the Department's global mission from more than 265 locations worldwide, and Civil Service professionals contribute without leaving the United States. For students exploring career paths, a variety of domestic and overseas positions are also available.

Going Global Career and Employment Resources

Going Global career and employment resources include world-wide job openings, internship listings, industry profiles and country-specific career information. More than 30,000 pages of constantly-updated content is included on topics such as: work permit/visa regulations,resume writing guidelines and examples, employment trends, salary ranges, networking groups, cultural/interviewing advice, corporate profiles and world wide job listings ........ plus much more! VISIT THE GLOBAL FORUM TO CHAT ABOUT LIVING AND WORKING ABROAD!

Overview, Eligibility Criteria and Account Setup

The Office of Experiential Learning is an academic unit in Undergraduate Studies, providing real-world applied learning experiences to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors. These work experiences occur locally, nationally, internationally in business, industry, government and nonprofit agencies. We work with employers to develop cooperative education (co-op) and internship opportunities. We then refer eligible students to employers for multiple semester, paid co-op and one semester, paid or unpaid internship experiences.

When a successful match between student and employer is made, students are enrolled in an experiential learning course, and one of our faculty members guides the student's learning through the use of learning objectives, worksite visits, and reflective assignments. A supervisor at the worksite directs the student's professional activities. Students in certain majors may be eligible for course credit and should check with their academic advisor to see if this is a possibility.

Four criteria determine your eligibility for the Experiential Learning program. To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a full-time degree seeking undergraduate or graduate student at UCF
  2. Have completed a minimum of twenty credit hours demonstrating your readiness to add another commitment to your schedule
  3. For co-op, be available to work at least two consecutive semesters prior to graduation excluding the semester in which you apply. For internship, be available to work at least one complete semester prior to graduation
  4. Maintain a 2.5/4.0 overall grade point average
Eligibility Criteria

Four criteria determine your eligibility for the Experiential Learning program. To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a full-time degree seeking undergraduate or graduate student at UCF
  2. Have completed a minimum of twenty credit hours demonstrating your readiness to add another commitment to your schedule
  3. For co-op, be available to work at least two consecutive semesters prior to graduation excluding the semester in which you apply. For internship, be available to work at least
  4. Maintain a 2.5/4.0 overall grade point average
Account Setup and Essentials
  1. Register and Create an account with OEL at: (link to Student Application Form)
  2. Attend an Introductory Session (Link to schedule)
  3. Log in to your account and update your
    • a. personal
    • b. academic profile
    • c. upload resume
    • d. review and select positions to apply
    • e. meet with your faculty coordinator for referrals/applications
  4. 4. Register internship/co-op for appropriate course (required) after internship/co-op position is secured
Frequently Asked Questions
What is internship and co-op?

An academic program. Work in a student's major field of study. Co-op: Paid experience-Multiple work terms (At least two consecutive semesters). Internship: Paid or unpaid experience-usually one semester.

How does co-op work?

Students participate in co-op in one of two methods: Parallel: Students work part-time year round while attending school full time. Alternating: Students work as full-time co-ops/interns every other term, alternating terms of full-time work with terms of full-time school.

How does internship work?

Generally, students intern part-time while attending school full-time. Sometimes students intern full-time during summer or via special internship programs (e.g., The Washington Center Internship Program).

Who qualifies?

Enrolled full time at UCF as degree seeking graduate or undergraduate. Completed a minimum of 20 college semester hours demonstrating a readiness to add another commitment to student's schedule. Maintain a 2.5/4.0 GPA. Co-op: Able to work at least 2 full semesters. Internship: Able to work at least 1 full semester prior to graduation.

What are the benefits of internship and co-op?

Clarifies career goals. Provides major-related work experience. Offers competitive salaries. Enhances prospects for employment upon graduation. Applies classroom theory to a realistic work setting. Grants access to state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. Opens opportunities for professional networking.

Does internship or co-op delay graduation?

Most students who participate in an internship or co-op graduate in the same time period as those who do not by including summers in their academic schedule. In the case of co-op, those who do take an extra semester find that they save time in job searches after graduation because they are offered professional positions with their internship or co-op employer or employers who give preference to students with professional experience.

How do you apply for an internship or co-op?

Complete the Application online, or come to the Experiential Learning office to fill it out. You will receive an email informing you that we have set-up a webpage for you and how you can access that page to enter your information and upload your resume. The email also guides you to the next step: meeting with your faculty coordinator.

What do I do once I get a job?

Contact your Experiential Learning faculty member and let them know the good news. At your registration interview your Experiential Learning faculty member registers you in the internship/co-op course and introduces you to the course assignments. Maintain contact with Experiential Learning faculty member throughout the semester. Complete all assignments..

What is the difference between CPT and OPT (Optional Practical Training)?

CPT allows you to work -- with certain restrictions -- either part-time or full-time in your major field while completing your degree program; OPT permits you to work without restrictions for one year, in your feild od study.

What is the difference between an "internship" or a "co-op" position?

Though the terms sometimes are used interchangeably by employers when referring to students working professionally in their major, there are some differences. Internships occur over a single semester, usually towards the end of a degree program, allow for earning degree credit for the experience, and may be paid or unpaid. Co-ops work multiple semesters, are always paid, and may or may not receive academic credit, depending on their major.

How is co-op an academic program?

CPT requires academic commitment and is a part of your educational program. The co-op program is responsible for verifying the "curricular practical training" aspect of your paid work experience, which is validated and confirmed through the Learning Objectives you design and describe in writing after you've begun working, and in the Semester Report and the Employer Evaluation you'll submit at the end of each semester you work.

May I earn academic credit for co-op-sponsored CPT?

Co-op for credit is available for students when it will count in their degree programs, either as a general elective or a departmental elective. This is decided in each academic department, usually by an advisor, so getting co-op credit depends upon your major or study program. Students may earn from one to three hours of degree credit for what they learn during each semester they work.

Do I pay anything for co-op?

When you are in co-op, you are registered for a co-op course each semester you work. If you are enrolled for one or more credit hours during the semesters you opt for CPT and are not taking co-op for credit, you do not pay a fee for your co-op course. If you take co-op for credit however, you do pay a fee for the credit as you would for any other credit course. If you are taking no other classes except co-op, you must pay a fee comparable to one hour at the in-state fee level. For instance, you are always enrolled for classes or thesis hours during fall and spring semesters in order to maintain your F-1 Visa status. During those semesters you would not pay a fee for co-op unless you were taking co-op for credit. Over summers however, you may wish to work full time and take no classes, since you would be charged a fee equal to one hour at the in-state fee level for co-op supported CPT. GTAs GRAs and GAs with summer appointments must confirm their eligibility for full time CPR with the ISC office.

Do I need to complete a minimum of 20 UCF semester hours to qualify for co-op?

If you are entering UCF as a freshman or as a first time student in the U.S. in a graduate program, you must complete 20 hours at UCF to qualify. However, if you have already earned 20 semester hours in the U.S., in any higher education institution, you already have enough credits to qualify. Employers prefer students to have completed a year of college work before they offer them professional work experience. USCIS requires students to wait nine (9) months before being eligible for CPT.

What salaries do co-op (CPT) students usually earn?

Hourly salaries vary both by major field and class standing.

How long does it take to get hired?

Some students get hired within the first week of applying for a position, while others may wait weeks or months, depending upon how quickly employers act upon the referrals they receive. There is no guarantee that a student will obtain a co-op position, but given enough time, most students find an appropriate position.

Do employers offer their co-ops or interns professional positions when they graduate?

Oftentimes, they do. While your CPT experience will give you a clear job-search advantage for employment elsewhere, the opportunity to remain with your CPT employer may also be possible. Most co-op employers use their co-op program to identify and train students for career-track positions within their companies.

How do I join the co-op program?
  1. Complete the co-op application online, or come to the Experiential Learning office to fill it out.
  2. Review the account setup page and obtain the required documents.
  3. Meet with your co-op coordinator.
  4. Meet with ISC advisor regarding legal employment authorization.

STUDENT APPLICATION

Please complete the following application to be considered for the co-op/internship programs through the Office of Experiential Learning at UCF.