Internships are carefully designed and monitored educational experiences that provide students the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with practical work experience in a professional setting. They are supervised, mentored, and evaluated experiences that help students test interests, develop new skills, and learn first-hand about the workplace in their field of study.
Internships may be paid or unpaid. Students earn academic credit for the work they provide to their employer. Internship classes at Austin Community College (ACC) are regulated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and have requirements for both the minimum number of hours needed to receive course credit and the relevance of the job experience to the academic degree.
Internships are designed to benefit both students and employers. Students receive real-world experience in positions related to their academic major and career goals while employers benefit from their skills and assistance. Employers recruit students to work on special projects, assist with daily tasks, or provide support during times of higher demand.
An important element that distinguishes internships from short-term jobs is the intentional “learning agenda” structured into each experience. Students have specific learning objectives and supervisors serve as mentors, providing opportunities to meet the objectives as part of or in addition to the specific duties of the internship.
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