College and University Benefits
The National Commission for Cooperative Education outlines benefits that the university and its faculty gain from having a co-op program on campus:
- Expands the range of educational opportunities for students by integrating learning at the workplace into the academic program.
- Assists in the recruitment and retention of students. Co-op earnings and enhanced prospects for professional employment increase student and parent interest.
- Improves student and faculty access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology by using the workplace as a laboratory extension of the classroom.
- Keeps college curricula up-to-date with changes in industry through constant input from the employment sector.
- Builds a positive relationship between the institution and the local business community.
- Enhances public support for higher education by improving the post-graduation career opportunities for students. Policymakers increasingly request demonstrated outcomes for students, and co-op can enhance the quality and level of employment results for graduates.
Students co-oping have been beneficial to numerous UTC faculty members. It has led to faculty developing research and consulting relationships with many of our co-op employers. Recently, several faculty have developed new class structures built on our students working on special class projects generated by employer demand that benefit both the students and our employers. It has also lead to updated curricular advances and improvements.
An externship is an opportunity for students to engage in practice-based learning in a specific field of interest. In its most simple form, it is an opportunity for students to shadow a more experienced professional in the industry of interest. The duration of an externship is much shorter than that of internships. An externship could last anywhere from a single day to a couple of weeks at the most; whereas, an internship would typically be about eight weeks at the very minimum and can even extend to much longer than that for some fields. Externships give interested students a firsthand look at what it would be like to work in that particular career field and to help them explore their interests further. Students do not get paid during an externship, nor do they receive any school credit for the experience. Externships are the perfect solution for students who are still deciding on a career path.. While observing professionals at work, the student not only learns more about the job or occupation of interest, but also gains a better understanding of the day-to-day activities of professionals in the field. The student can assess whether the career path aligns with strengths and interests. An externship also gives the opportunity to build or expand upon a professional network.
Internships are typically comprised of college or university students who work for a company in a temporary position emphasizing on-the-job training. Internship opportunities usually vary with the level of responsibilities and duties assigned. They may be for college credit or not for credit, short or long term, and part or full time. (When classes are in session, students are advised to work no more than 20 hours per week). Internships (summer or semester) and co-ops are vital experiences that complement a student’s formal education with paid practical work experience directly related to the student’s academic major. Internships and co-ops give students the opportunity to combine the theories learned in class with paid practical experience related to their major. Students have the opportunity to develop the work skills
that most companies look for in the graduates they hire and they may gain up to a full year of professional work experience. Co-ops and internships give employers the opportunity to assist in the student’s development, supplement their workforce with emerging talent, and enhance their long-range recruiting efforts by evaluating students’ potential for employment at graduation.
The college encourages students to take advantage of internship opportunities. Interning provides students with:
- Practical experience
- Insight to potential jobs
- The ability to network with employers
- Help them make career decisions even if the company may not have any full-time positions available
Benefits to the Employer:
- Provide pre-professional personnel who are open to training and highly motivated.
- Meet seasonal needs and release professional staff from work that can be delegated.
- Good public relations on the campus when co-op / internship students have positive experiences within your organization.
- Opportunity to evaluate prospective future employees
- Cost savings of recruiting
- Salary savings by training interns over new hires
A company interning CECS students are invited to the semi-annual Career Fair on the first Wednesday of March and the first Wednesday of November every year. This is an excellent opportunity to meet students and staff in the CECS. In addition, the college works closely with partnering companies to provide additional access to the students in the form of workshops, seminars and speaker series.
The college welcomes feedback on quality of students being interned, potential additions to training to support your industry, and opportunities to further partner. A company interning UTC students are invited to the semi-annual CECS Career Fair on the first Wednesday of March and the first Wednesday of November every year. This is an excellent opportunity to meet students and staff in the CECS. In addition, the college works closely with partnering companies to provide additional access to the students in the form of workshops, seminars, and speaker series.
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