Every semester, many students serve in internships in their desired fields of education or employment. Some don’t realize that they can actually get unit credits for their labors.
“The internship program started in the Business Division, with them offering internship credits,” said Andra Verstraete, head of the job placement center and coordinator of internship programs at GCC.
“Because we had so many students come to the job placement center for internships, we decided to change it from being run by the Business Division to the job placement center,” she said.
Although most students usually find internships on their own, the job placement center can help students locate an internship.
Students can find internship opportunities on the bulletin boards in the San Rafael Building on the second floor, on Monstertrak.com, or by approaching companies or organizations that the students wish to work for.
Once students have found an internship, they connect with a faculty adviser with whom they meet periodically throughout the semester. The adviser helps them with goals and checks in on their progress at their workplace. Many departments list independent study options in the schedule of classes.
“The adviser keeps a file on the student, and the adviser gives me the file at the end of the semester,” said Mona Field, the professor who assigns credit to the students. “I work with the adviser, who gives me the go ahead and helps to decide if the students should earn their units or not.”
Students can receive credit in many fields of study including biology, sociology, culinary arts, journalism, mass communications and business. Job sites include restaurants, nonprofit organizations, and even here on the campus itself.
“We had a vision to create a good program,” said Verstraete. “And I think we did it.”
Grading for the internship program is done on a credit/no credit basis. To obtain one unit of credit, a student must complete at least 48 hours of work at their place of employment. For two units, 96 hours are required, and for three units, 144 hours must be completed.
The other requirements needed to receive credit are attending an internship orientation and a resume writing workshop, completing learning objectives or goals, and doing a final project, which can include a presentation of the student’s work, or journals or blogs documenting their experience.
“About 90 percent of the students are expected to receive credit,” said Field.
Field is the faculty coordinator until June. Starting in the fall, Verstraete will become the faculty member in charge of the program, which includes awarding credit to students in the program.
More information on the internship program can be found at www.glendale.edu/jobplace.