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Summer/Fall
2014
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Internship Program

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What is an internship?

A worksite learning opportunity—hands-on experience allowing you to apply classroom learning and to explore and develop skills/knowledge in a particular field or profession.

  • Builds your resume
  • Helps you decide on a career
  • Apply classroom theories to real life situations

The internship must represent a new, improved or expanded learning experience. It cannot be for work you have already done or are currently doing. It also must be directly related to your major and/or career goal.

What it is NOT—a job. Most internships are unpaid and designed to give you experience. Pay is not our primary motivation and shouldn’t be yours.

How to apply

Contact Career Connections.

Can my job count as an internship?

Typically, no. Sierra College does not offer academic credit for general work experience. Our internship program is limited to occupational development, meaning your placement must be directly related to your major or career area. If you are working within your career industry, the internship through Sierra College must be a new learning experience. You must take on a completely new or different role or responsibility that adds to your career portfolio—and only those hours can count toward fulfilling your internship obligation.

I found a place that wants me as an intern—when can I start?

Until you, the proposed internship tasks, and the site are approved, nothing is set. If the site is already part of our internship program, you will go through the application and eligibility process and if approved, will begin your hours as soon as the semester begins and your paperwork is completed and turned in. If the business is not already an approved site, you will need to bring in all the contact information so we can evaluate the site and proposed internship tasks. Not all sites or placements are approved nor is every intern determined appropriate for every placement.

How many units can I earn? How many hours do I have to put in?

For the Fall and Spring semesters, the average hours per week are indicated below. Since the Summer session is shorter than Fall/Spring semesters, the average hours per week are higher for summer internships. The basic formula is 60 hours per unit for unpaid internships and 75 hours per unit for paid.

How do I find an internship? Which businesses participate?

Many students make contacts to businesses and create their own opportunities or work with their instructors to do so. Sierra Job Link also contains possible internships. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to locate an internship placement. The more time and effort you put into helping arrange your perfect placement, the more likely it is that you will get it!

So, I “get” an internship as long as I’m eligible?

Unfortunately, no. It is a competitive placement process, not unlike getting hired for a job. There has to be an opportunity that matches your interests, your skills and your schedule (not an easy task!). We also do not have internships available in every possible career area—if something cannot be developed in time or is not available in that industry, you won’t have an internship—at least for that session. Internship slots overall are limited and are first-come, first-served so the sooner you apply, get cleared for placement and complete your paperwork, the better. You also may be told that you need to build some additional skills before being referred for placement.

Internship Details

Types of internship

94—Career Exploration Internship (want to discover more about a field)

95—Advanced Internship “Capstone”—step between school and career, already in major, taken approx. 70% of classes). Students who are eligible for 95 level placements have a higher possibility for paid positions because of their advanced skill levels.

Eligibility for internships

  • General
    • Continuing Sierra student
    • 2.0 GPA
    • Must enroll in Internship class
    • Must co-enroll in at least one other class in addition to the internship
  • 94
    • completion of PDev 6, PDev 21 or other career exploration activities
    • internship must be appropriate to career interests
  • 95
    • minimum amount of skills/knowledge as determined by internship instructor
  • Other requirements
    • Some worksites may have additional requirements

Hours/Units Grid

Average Hours per WeekMinimum Hours per Semester/SessionUnits
PaidUnpaidPaidUnpaid

2

2

38

30

0.5

5

4

75

60

1

10

8

150

120

2

15

12

225

180

3

20+

16+

300+

240+

4


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