Work-Based Learning Courses
Hello Valued Employer! Thank you for your interest Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Work-Based Learning internship program. If you are interested in hosting an intern, here is our process:
- Please complete an Employer Position Description form to provide us with your employer information and your internship needs.
- Forms can be scanned and emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 704-216-0956. Please allow a 24-48-hour period for us to respond to your request.
- If we are able to identify a qualified student, we will email their resume to you and if you would like to proceed with an interview, we will assist in scheduling one.
- Students will need to intern 160 total hours (minimum) per semester to earn one academic credit.
- For spring and fall semesters, that amounts to approximately 10-11 hours per week for 16 weeks (minimum).
- For summer semester, that amounts to approximately 23-24 hours per week for 7 weeks (minimum).
- Our students are given workbooks and it is their responsibility to complete their workbook and to request employer supervisor signatures on monthly time sheets.
- There are also two brief employer evaluation sheets (in the workbook) for you to complete at the end of the internship assignment.
1. Find future employees. An internship program is a year-round recruiting tool…implementing an internship program means you have an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees. For many, the process of recruiting and hiring is a drain on company resources. One solution: Appeal to tomorrow’s staff members when they’re looking for internships, and all you have to do is choose the best of the bunch when it comes time to hire.
2. Test-drive the talent. It’s a human resources reality: A new employee makes a solid impression in the interview, but then just doesn’t gel with your current team or your company’s way of doing things. When you “try out” candidates via a semester or summer internship, you make fewer mistakes when it comes to full-time staffing; you avoid the pitfall of training a new hire, only to find out they’re not a fit for your organization…or that the entry-level employee doesn’t like the field.
3. Increase productivity. Speaking of additional manpower, setting up an internship program allows you to take advantage of short-term support. The extra sets of hands help your employees be more productive, prevent them from becoming overburdened by side projects, as well as free them up to accomplish more creative tasks or those where higher-level, strategic thinking or expertise is required.
4. Increase employee-retention rate. The proof for the test-driving theory is in the positive employee-retention figures: According to NACE’s 2009 Experiential Education Survey, almost 40% of employers reported a higher five-year retention rate among employees they’d hired via their internship programs.
5. Enhance perspective. It’s not just the extra sets of hands that make interns advantageous. Especially in an organization of only 12 or 15 employees, new people bring with them novel perspectives, fresh ideas, and specialized strengths and skill sets. These augment the abilities of your professional workforce.
6. Give back to the community. As a small business, you likely rely on community support. Creating an internship program is an excellent way to give back. Hiring interns not only helps students in your community get started; it enhances the local workforce as a whole.
7. Support students. Internships provide students numerous perks: They gain experience, develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, learn about a field, and assess their interest and abilities.
Building an Internship Program
Please contact Hanif Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to consult with us on best practices for building a successful internship program that is mutually beneficial for your company and students. And please keep the following in mind when creating your program:
1. Establish an Internship Coordinator within your organization. Focus on having one point of contact for all interns and stakeholders, including internship directors at local colleges.
2. Create structure / provide structure for students. Understand your dates. Understand the schools’ dates. Have a state date, a mid-evaluation date and an end date. Have structured tasks. Students need to have clear parameters.
3. Have an approved task list that contain learning objectives. Ask yourself if the internship duties have a learning component attached to a task. Ask yourself, “What is the student-intern learning that will help them advance in their future career?”.
4. Internship Coordinators are “gatekeepers”. Make sure everyone understands what an intern can and can’t do and that an intern reports to you first. If more than one person is working with an intern establish an “internship chain of command’ so that your intern isn’t being pulled in different directions and performing duties not related to their major.
5. Evaluate interns frequently. Provide constructive feedback to your interns. Students want feedback so that they can flourish.
As a mechanical engineering technology student at Rowan-Cabarrus, Mark Hill participated in an internship at Turnkey Technologies in Salisbury through the College’s Work-Based Learning program. “It was a wonderful chance to take my career for a test drive, gain experience and get paid for it, too,” he said, “It also allowed Turnkey to test drive my skills, work habits, ethics, and compatibility with their employees. I completed my internship, graduated, and was offered employment with Turnkey. I have been promoted several times and am now the project manager for all of the company’s projects. I am a big believer that internships can change someone’s life.”
Mark Hill—Project Manager, Turnkey Technologies & former student, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
“Wolfe, Inc. has had the privilege of hosting Rowan Cabarrus Community College interns throughout the years. We are currently hosting about two interns per year and we have had great experiences. One of the best experiences we had was with an RCCC student with whom we offered a job and she has really turned out to be a valued employee! Our IT department consisted of one person and hiring her has really expanded our capabilities with our internal and external clients. Internships also allow students exposure to our environment and we can determine if students are a potential “fit” in Wolfe’s culture. It is great to work with the internship program at RCCC.”
Mark Jessop—VP of Technology, Wolfe Trusted Employer Solutions
“Our Work-Based Learning experience with interns has been very positive and mutually beneficial to all parties involved! The students who have worked with us have had the opportunity to get involved in project management, facility management, drawing portfolio management and fieldwork with our technicians. The personal and working relationships have been great, and we hope we have provided the students with both meaningful experiences and the opportunity to see the “behind the scenes” activities necessary to keep major facilities running smoothly. The WBL experience has provided us the ability to advance several endeavors – such as running the SchoolDude database enhancements and AutoCAD drawing database for a space management project. Without the assistance and direct involvement by interns, we would not have been able to begin either project. For the SchoolDude project, our intern updated more than 20,000 work order records in one semester to reduce the category fields from over 120 to 17! The intern that worked on our AutoCAD drawings played a significant role in our conversion from paper-based documents to electronic drawings (that we now use on a daily basis to manage the half-million SF space of the college buildings). I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with students for upcoming semesters to continue our efforts for continuous improvement here at the college!”
Danny Carpenter—Director of Operations & Maintenance, Presidents Council, Rowan Cabarrus Community College