Internships, Practica and Job Shadows

Experiential learning opportunities place students in off-campus learning environments in which students apply classroom learning to a career field. 

Prior approval is required if students wish to earn college credit through experiential learning. The application process may be initiated through the students’ advisor or through the Enterprise Resource Center. Experiential learning opportunities are normally graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. 

Internships, practica and job shadows are available in any department with permission from a faculty member in the department.

An internship places students with a mentor in an on-the-job learning experience. It is practice-oriented and requires that students put into practice prior mastery of the theoretical foundations and basic skills of the career or profession. Internships are numbered 495 in all departments and may be taken for two to four credit hours. A minimum of 40 contact hours is required for each credit earned.

practicum places students in a practice learning situation. It provides supervised observation of a particular career or profession and exposure to the functioning of an organization through participation in its operations. Practica are numbered 295 or 395 in all departments and may be taken for one to three credit hours. A minimum of 30 contact hours is required for each credit earned.

job shadow is a less formal process, in which students observe the daily routines and activities of employed professionals in the students' field of study. A job shadow provides an opportunity for students to see how skills and knowledge acquired in class are applied in the real world. Job shadow experiences are numbered 195 and are taken for one or two credit hours. A minimum of 30 contact hours is required for each credit earned.

Regular tuition rates apply for internships, practica and job shadow experiences during the academic year.

Summer internship, practicum and job shadow credit hours are available to students at a discounted rate, and students are encouraged to register for the experience during the summer term in which they participate in the internship, practicum or job shadow.

Students are allowed to register for summer internships, practica and job shadows in the fall term immediately following the experience with advance approval of the faculty advisor and the Enterprise Resource Center. Internships, practica and job shadows of this nature should require some work carrying over into the fall term, whether it is the final oral or written debriefing with the faculty advisor or another requirement of the project.

For experiences that do not occur during the summer, students must register for credit for the experience in the term of participation in the experience. Students whose internship, practicum or job shadow experience overlaps two terms must register during one of the terms which the experience overlaps.

Independent Studies, Directed Studies and Tutorials

Independent studies, directed studies and tutorials are individually structured courses for students who are not able to take regularly scheduled courses or who are interested in pursuing an academic interest not covered in a regular course.

An independent study allows a student to pursue an academic interest outside the regular curriculum. Its purpose is to supplement the regular approaches of study rather than to substitute for regular curricular offerings. It should be undertaken only by a student who is primarily self-motivated and requires minimal supervision by the faculty member after the project has been structured.

directed study is an individualized offering of a regular course which the student has been unable to schedule but which is required in the student's program. Course assignments will be outlined by the faculty member. Periodic meetings will be held between the student and the instructor to review progress and clarify material. If desired the student may request consultation time equal to one-half the hours the regular course would meet in which case it would then be considered a tutorial and the student would be required to pay a tutorial fee per credit hour in addition to regular tuition.

If a student wishes to accelerate his/her degree program or complete additional majors or minors or certifications beyond that required for a degree, the student will pay a tutorial fee if the course cannot be taken when offered.

If a student has failed a regularly offered course or failed to register for the course when it was available, the student is responsible for the course irregularity and will pay a tutorial fee. Other courses may be offered to a student as directed studies when scheduling prevents the student from taking the regular course or from taking an appropriate substitution.

Special paperwork is required for all independent studies, directed studies and tutorials.