Zach Osborne and Annie Straka, managers of academic internships and adjunct assistant professors for the UC Center for Cooperative Education, Research and Innovation, say the college credit program – offering academic credit for paid or unpaid internships – is a great fit for undergraduate majors who are looking for professional experience, but are not participating in experiential learning program such as co-op, or a department specific internship program.
Osborne says more than 300 organizations and companies are now participating in the internship program. Students working internships are still attending class, plus working 10-to-30 hours per week at their internships, most of which are here in the Tristate. Students can also pursue internships out of town during a term when they’re not taking classes on campus. They can also take part in more than one internship experience.
The internship program covers two academic quarters. During the first quarter, the students take a class that covers the job search and working in the professional world. They also receive support in landing an internship.
During the second quarter of the program, students work at the internship and participate in an online course that includes a comprehensive evaluation from the student and the employer.
Osborne says that since the program began in the Division of Professional Practice last year, students representing more than 50 different majors have participated, primarily from the Carl H. Lindner College of Business and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). Since the program began, it has secured internships for around 200 students. The UC interns are represented by majors ranging from accounting to biology, psychology, archaeology and communication. Osborne says the diversity of the majors of participating students has grown with every academic quarter.
The Academic Internship Program is unique at UC due to the level of support that students receive in both preparing for the internship experience, and in connecting with internship opportunities. “We’re also doing this in a way that has delivered proven results through cooperative education, so we have more than a century of experiential learning on which to build this program,” he says.
The spring-term internships run from March 26 through June 1.