Purpose of the Internship Experience
Internships offer opportunities for students to truly get hands-on experience in a chosen profession. During internships, students work with professionals learning the practical aspects of a profession. After such experiences, students can more clearly decide if the profession fits their own personality and academic interests. Moreover, students can better understand how the classroom lectures relate to the everyday professional situations.
Contact hours for an internship experience are 4:1 (4hrs/wk/15 weeks for 1 credit hour - 62.5 contact hours per semester). Because these courses require a lot of time, students should make sure their time commitment between regular classes and work experience is reasonable. Students may enroll in 1-4 hours of credit (internship), in one semester. A maximum of 4 credit hours can count towards an AA or AS degree and a maximum of 6 credit hours towards an AAS degree.
Each department has an internship category, which may be used. For the AAS programs, the 2480 is used and 2470 is used for AA and AS programs.
A full-time Western Wyoming Community College faculty member must supervise all internship experiences.
The job opportunity must be in the student’s major area and directly related to their program of study. In most cases, positions are identified by the college and the students are selected by the department. Thus, an existing position or job that a student already holds does not usually qualify. Eligibility requirements vary. Students must, therefore, check with the department to see if they meet that department’s qualifications. Instructor permission is required.
Students will be required to complete the following minimum requirements in order to receive internship credit:
- Complete the required number of hours of on-the-job work experience (keep a log of hours worked);
- Submit a journal of the experience;
- Meet regularly with the instructor to discuss progress, concerns, etc;
- Receive an evaluation from the on-site supervisor.
Registration for these courses must be completed by the specified date in the schedule. The latest date that these courses may begin is the open-entry deadline each semester (two weeks after midterm). Students and instructors must meet and agree on a course outline before the student may register. A copy of the outline must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator and Mustang Central staff prior to registration.
Internships provide students with an opportunity to evaluate their probable career or college major by working in that career with a local industry or business. Typically, a student is recommended for an internship after they have completed one year of courses.
Internships in the technical areas (Technology and Industry or Office Information Systems) may also provide part-time employment as well as practical professional experience. Afterwards many of these students are hired full-time and complete their AAS while working for a local company. At Western, freshmen or sophomores can take advantage of these opportunities, while at most universities students must be juniors or seniors.
During internships, students can interact with professionals in the work place, can experience the day-to-day routine of a psychologist, an engineer, a teacher, or an archaeologist, and can apply classroom theories to on-the-job situations. The benefit, of course, is that students can decide-based on experience in that profession firsthand-if their chosen major really fits their interests and abilities.
Western offers a variety of internships. Qualifications for an internship vary with departments. Students can should check with the department to see if they meet that department’s qualifications or contact Mustang Success at (307)382-1660 for more information.