Co-op study is a general term applied to voluntary service, part-time and full-time employment, and internship experiences.
Co-op courses (300-level) are based upon job assignments that are related to the student's university major or career objectives and provide learning experiences as stated in their respective learning objectives. Faculty coordinators from academic departments advise students, review learning objectives, and evaluate term reports.
Cooperative education procedures are sufficiently flexible to provide for student and employer needs. The program is designed to enhance self-realization and direction by integrating classroom study with planned and supervised experiences in educational, professional, business, and cultural learning situations outside the formal classroom environment. The joint efforts of faculty, participating employers, and students are directed toward the achievement of an educational experience where classroom studies and appropriate work experience combine to reinforce each other. Prerequisite: junior standing, minimum 2.5 QPA, or approval of the appropriate college dean. Offered each semester and on demand.
An internship (400-level) is usually a culminating experience for seniors. Interns should have completed most of the required courses in their major area of study. Internships operate somewhat like student teaching, with the emphasis upon application of knowledge in a realistic setting rather than acquisition of new material. In other words, internships are begun with most entry-level skills at least partially developed, and the intern is expected to render supervised professional services. The length of an internship may be less than a semester or as long as a year. Many internships carry no salary or stipend.
Because internships are tailored to fit the demands of the respective professions as well as the needs of individual students, each college and department is encouraged to establish requirements and criteria for acceptance in the program and for successful completion which go beyond the minimal requirements established by the cooperative education/internship program. Each college is expected to enforce its own requirements through its departments.
Minimally, students must have senior standing and a minimum 2.50 QPA or approval of the department.
Credit Hours for co-op/internship registration carry from one to 12 credits as arranged. Any combination of co-op/internship credits earned in excess of 12 semester hours cumulative total will be entered on student records but will not be counted as credits required for graduation.
Grading of co-op/internship experiences normally carries "credit-no record" evaluation of work performance. Individual students may petition to receive a letter grade at the time of registration. This policy does not apply to the credit-no record regulation promulgated as part of the university grading system.
The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS)
The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) is a prestigious and paid internship in which the student gains an applied understanding of how Pennsylvania state government operates by interning with a branch of government related to his or her major. Each semester, students from schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are selected to take part in this valuable program. The student selected from Clarion University each semester receives a stipend that covers room and board, tuition, and most travel expenses while completing 15 credits in independent study and cooperative education. Sophomore or junior students from any major will be considered as long as their overall QPA is 3.00 or above. This internship is particularly valuable for individuals interested in government work, graduate school, or a legal career. Applications for each academic year are solicited during the previous Spring Semester. Further information is available through the Office of the University Provost, 115 Carrier Hall or the THIS faculty coordinator, Dr. Barry Sweet, 306 Founders Hall.