Sampling of Internship & Practical Experiences
Clarion University values the importance of experiential learning in the preparation
of our students. We understand that by providing the opportunity to apply classroom
learning and skills in the real-world, we provide students a competitive edge in preparing
for graduate and professional school, and the workplace.
This partial list of over 1,800 practical learning experiences provides a glimpse
of our students recent engagement.
Students are encouraged to contact their department internship coordinator, advisor or staff in Career and Professional Development, to discuss.
College of Arts & Sciences
The largest academic unit at Clarion University, the college features more than 40
undergraduate and graduate degree programs across numerous departments, centers and
College of Business Administration and information Sciences
The college believes in bringing real world experiences and learning opportunities
into our classrooms as we prepare students for their careers. All business programs
are accredited by AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools
of Business - placing our programs among the top business programs in the world. Additionally,
our Masters of Library Science is accredited by the American Library Association.
College of Education, Health and Human Services
Housed under the College of Education, Health and Human services the school's education
programs are nationally recognized for the exceptional preparation of our undergraduate
students with our teacher candidates exhibiting a 94 to 100 percent pass rate on exams.
The college offers a variety of high quality programs that provide students exceptional
opportunities for applied learning including, clinical practice, internships and practicums
outside of the classroom. Students gain a competitive edge from the synergy of pedagogical
and clinical learning.
Info on Practical Experiences
Experiential learning will provide you a competitive edge in your career and job search.
By applying knowledge from the class-room to real life work experiences, you will
gain skills employers want.
At CU, some academic programs require internship, externship, co-op, practicum, student
teaching or clinical experiences for graduation, while others provide them as an option.
After reviewing the information, policies and procedures below, be sure to contact
the internship coordinator in your academic program to discuss your options, in particular, if you are considering
a for-credit practical experience.
Experiential Learning: The Basics
- Internships/Externships, Practicums, Co-ops, Clinical and Student Teaching are similar
in nature, as each provides real-life work experiences that apply what you've learned
in the classroom.
- Experiential learning can be for-course credit, or no-credit, paid or unpaid.
- Depending on your academic area of study you may be required to complete a for-credit
practical experience to graduate. This is a good thing!
For-Credit Internship, Co-op, Clinical, Externship, Practicum and Clinical Experiences
For-credit experiential learning courses are listed in the college catalog and are typically numbered as 300 and 400-level courses, but certain academic programs
also provide opportunities for 100 and 200-level courses.
Faculty coordinators from academic departments will advise you, review learning objectives,
and provide evaluations of your performance. You will also have site supervisors who
work with you to meet specific learning outcomes.
Because these types of learning experiences must meet the demands of the respective
profession, as well as the needs of individual students, each college and department
establishes its own requirements for acceptance in the program and for successful
Student Teaching, Block and Observation
Student teaching is required if you are an education major. It provides you the opportunity
to put into practice the knowledge and skills you have developed in the classroom.
Student teaching involves an on-site (for-credit) experience in a partner school and
provides opportunities for formal and informal learning and reflection.
The Office of Field Services (OFS) coordinates placement in observation, block experience and student teaching settings.
The office works with students in the student teacher certification program, the externship
program for students in Communication Sciences & Disorders, and the internship program
for students in Rehabilitative Sciences programs.
Getting Approved to Earn Experiential Learning Credit
To receive academic credit for a practical learning experience, you must meet with
your department chairperson or internship coordinator for approval. Each college and department has specific requirements for students
to be accepted into a "for-credit" practical learning experience.
Before you begin a practical experience for which you wish to earn academic credit,
you must gain approval from your academic department and for certain academic programs
you will need to complete the following agreement, and obtain the appropriate signatures:
- Learning Affiliation Agreement Note: Check with your academic department to determine if you are required to complete
the Learning Affiliation Agreement Form.
Guidelines for Paid and Unpaid Internships (not for academic credit)
Departmental faculty advisors and Career and Professional Development staff will help
you clarify the type of experience you need and help you explore opportunities. In
addition to meeting with faculty and staff, explore internship search strategies for paid and unpaid non-credit internships on Handshake and other internship sites.
Only Non-profit organizations may offer unpaid internships that are not for academic
credit. All other organizations must provide internships that are connected to earning
credits, or they must be paid.
Disclaimer: Students and alumni should personally explore and research openings and organizations,
and consult with their academic advisor prior to submitting a resume to an organization,
or entering into an internship/experiential learning, or employment agreement.
The Value of Practical Learning Experiences
Employers rate internships and other practical learning experiences as the most important
qualification a candidate can have. While an excellent QPA and campus involvement
is important, they want to see evidence of how you have applied your knowledge and
skills in a real-world setting.
Practical learning experiences provide on-the-job experience that gives you an edge
over other applicants. These experiences help you to:
- Narrow down and decide on a specific career direction.
- Decide if your skills are as polished as they should be. You may discover that you
need stronger writing skills. In college, you can take additional writing courses
to strengthen your skills.
- Learn if your career choice is really compatible with your aptitudes, skills, values,
and interests. A practical learning experience provides you the opportunity to develop
good work habits. You become less of a novice and more of a professional, and you
become aware of the reality of the working environment.
- Learn about work environments, organizational cultures, and supervisory styles as
well as challenging your interpersonal and communication skills.
- To test the theories and principles learned in the classroom.
- Develop job search skills. To obtain an internship, you learn skills, such as resume
writing, interviewing, and application letter preparation.
- Gain insight into finding a job in your field, make contacts and seek their advice
about finding a job in the field.
Practical learning experience can transform your life and career in ways you can't
imagine. It is only by doing work associated with a particular career area that you
can feel confident about your career choices.
Pursuing a practical experience
The Center for Career and Professional Development looks forward to working with you
to identify internships and other practical experiences that will help you prepare
for your career. The ideal time to start your search is during your sophomore year.
Follow these steps to identify the best practical learning experience for you.
Explore Resources and Conduct Research
Contact the Center for Career and Professional Development at 814-393-2323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Review Clarion University internship policies and procedures and forms necessary for a for-credit internship, and guidelines for non-credit, unpaid
- Review the five-year sampling of where CU students have completed internships and other practical experiences (majors,
organizations and locations).
- Log-in to Career Connections - Your CU Career Management System: access the calendar of career events, search
the online database of part-time jobs, internships, summer/seasonal jobs, and full-time
opportunities; participate in job /internship fairs, etc.
- Attend Career Events and Job Fairs.
- Use internship sites and resources, and research companies in the fields of your interest. Use search engines such as;
Bing and Google and sites like Glassdoor for Students, LinkedIn, and The Better Business
- Connect through social and in-person networking using LinkedIn and professional networking.
- Identify key words, job titles, industries to use for your search using O'Net: www.onetonline.org.