Work-Based Learning

For Students

Thank you for your interest in Work-based learning (WBL). Please review the FAQs below to learn more about the program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I get the process started?

As a general guideline, before participating in Work-Based Learning (WBL), students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. But GPA requirements may vary depending on major. Students must be approved by the WBL Internship Developers.

  1. Schedule an in-person or phone meeting with a WBL Internship Developer to discuss requirements. You will find your Internship Developer by reviewing the programs of study that each developer is responsible for on the About Work Based Learning page.
  2. Complete a Work-Based Learning Application.
  3. If you are employed and you want to use your job to earn academic credit, complete a Work-Based Learning Current Employment form.
  4. Email your WBL Internship Developer your resume (unless you are using your own job). The process cannot start without your resume.
  5. Once your resume is received, your WBL coordinator will forward your resume to an employer in your field of study to set up an interview.
  6. After your interview, if the employer would like to host you as an intern, notify your WBL Developer and schedule a time to pick up your workbook and for an internship orientation.
  7. Your WBL Internship Developer will register you for the Work-Based Learning class.
  8. If you are enrolled in WBL during fall and/or spring semesters, you must be registered for three semester credit hours (not including WBL credits). During summer term, students may participate in the WBL program without additional courses.

Work-Based Learning is in my program of study. Are there prerequisites?

Each program of study has different prerequisites or eligibility requirements required to take the class. Check with a Work-Based Learning Internship Developer for details.

When should I have paperwork completed?

Although we take applications up to the start date of the semester, as a general guideline, your application should be completed by:

  • July 1st for the fall semester
  • October 15th for the spring semester
  • April 1st for the summer semester

The paperwork should be submitted to the Work-Based Learning Internship Developer as soon as possible prior to the semester that you want to complete the WBL experience.

What are the hourly requirements?

Over a semester, you will work a set weekly schedule to complete a minimum of either 160 hours for a one-credit class, 320 hours for a two credit class or 480 hours for a three credit hour class. You will coordinate a schedule with your on-the-job supervisor, keeping in mind your class schedule for that semester. Some work sites may offer you the opportunity to work more than the minimum number of hours.

Speak to a WBL Internship Developer for a weekly breakdown of the hours required

Will I be paid for the work experience?

Work-Based Learning experiences can be paid, unpaid or stipend based. We do not interfere with company procedures or policy. We encourage employers to pay students, but not all work-based learning experiences are paid.

Student Benefits

Employers overwhelmingly point to internship experience as one of the most important factors they consider in hiring full-time positions. Internships give students opportunities, such as:

  1. You gain valuable industry knowledge. Every career field operates in a different way and demands a separate set of skills and expertise. Gaining insider knowledge at a firm in your career field will help you realize how to properly prepare yourself for future interviews and for your career. Industry experience will also help you decide whether or not you are in the right field for you.
  2. You get your foot in the door at a company in your field. Spending a few months getting to know a company, the employees and the work expectations will put you in a good position if you ever want to start working for the same firm, or a similar one, in the future. If they liked you and your work, they’ll be more likely to hire you than someone that they haven’t worked with before.
  3. You can develop your professional skills. University learning can only take you so far. You really only start to sharpen and improve the professional skills related to your career field on the job. As an intern you gain practical and pragmatic experience and learn how to do your job well, rather than simply reading about the theory behind it.
  4. You’ve got something to show a potential employer next time you’re in an interview. Though academic records and job experience as a university tutor will say a lot about your work ethic and capabilities, employers prefer to choose candidates that have some experience that is relevant to the position they are hiring for. An internship gives you the opportunity to take on tasks that will be expected from you at your future job as well, so at your interview you’ll be able to tell the hiring manager, “Yes – I can handle that. I did it at my internship.”
  5. You may be recruited to work full-time. An internship is the chance to prove yourself as a hard-working, intelligent and capable professional. If there is an entry-level position available, as an intern you are definitely in a competitive position to be considered for the spot. In fact, the firm will be more comfortable hiring someone who is familiar with how the company is run – like an intern.
  6. You’ll grow your network of professional contacts. A major advantage of an internship is that you’re able to network and establish relationships with working professionals in your field. Fostering those professional connections can be useful for anything from career advice to a job recommendation. Moreover, developing a circle of friends within your career field can also end up being a good support group for when you’re feeling frustrated in your career.