Internships are typically unpaid work-based educational experiences that bridge the gap between academics and career exploration. They provide a framework for students to experience structured work settings that are related to coursework and learning in the classroom. Internships differ from job shadows as they are longer in duration which allows more time for the student to get a wider perspective. At the worksite, students engage in meaningful work and projects enabling them to learn about industry and occupations. Often, students are better prepared to make appropriate choices regarding colleges and fields of study as a result of structured work-based learning opportunities. To receive one-half credit, a student must document at least 72 hours with at least eight visits to the jobsite. Students must complete a training plan, weekly production reports, at least one Internship choice project, a term paper and score a minimum of a "meets standard" on the Career-Related Learning Standards performance evaluation. All requirements must be completed within eighteen weeks.
Businesses Profit! When sharing experiences with interns, employees see their careers in a new perspective and have become re-energized. By working with schools, businesses have the opportunity to influence curriculum and teaching methods which better prepare students for the workplace, leading to a higher job pool of prospects.
Students Benefit! In addition to learning how to perform work tasks specific to the occupation, students learn how to learn. Basic academic skills serve as building blocks for career-related expertise, boosting students' self-confidence.