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What is an Externship?
An Externship is an academic program designed to provide work-based learning through a practical work experience. A period of time is spent with a seasoned expert, observing everything that he/she does that is related to the work that is expected to be accomplished as part of the daily routine of the job.

Students work part-time in supervised and structured job settings that relate to their chosen programs of study and/or career goal(s). An Externship is offered as a non-credit course (INTE 1101) through the Division of Workforce Training and Continuing Education. Students who are in enrolled in Externships are paid by their employers.

What is the purpose of an Externship?
Externships afford students the opportunity to integrate classroom theory and workplace practice while improving employment marketability. Students will obtain valuable job search skills, such as experience evaluating a career , writing a resume, and preparing for a job interview. Development of inter-personal skills and professional work habits combined with procurement of the soft skills necessary for success in an ever changing global job marketplace will allow students to negate employers’ concerns over hiring individuals without experience.

Who is eligible for an Externship?
VHCC students who are enrolled in a curriculum and possess a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in that curriculum are eligible. Students seeking to enroll in an Externship must complete the application process and all necessary paperwork. Students also are required to complete Work Keys Assessment and obtain their Career Readiness Certificate before being placed at an Externship work site. The work site must be approved by the Experiential Learning/Job Placement Coordinator.

What is required of students in an Externship?
Students enrolled in an Externship must complete required semester activities per the Externship Education Timeline. Students must be employed at a work site which relates to his/her course of study or career goals that is approved by the Experiential Learning/Job Placement Coordinator. Completion of the Experiential Learning Workbook is required. Students must also be supervised and evaluated by their Work Supervisor(s) and assigned a grade by the Faculty Co-op Advisor.

How will Externship students be graded?
At the end of the academic semester, a grade of S, G, U, I, N, or X will be assigned. Work experience grades are determined by the Experiential Learning/Job Placement Coordinator after a review of the student’s Experiential Learning Workbook and contact has been made with the student and his/her Supervisor(s).

What are the benefits of enrolling in Externships?
To gain the maximum benefits from a work experience, students should learn as much as possible about the available position and the employer. The overall work experience should help reinforce the student’s career choice and provide motivation to complete his/her program of study. The experiences of working in an authority/responsibility relationship and as a member of a group or team seeking common goals allow students to have an “insider view” of the real world.

Students who complete a successful work experience enhance their marketability for the future. Externships combine work based learning with classroom theory to enhance the development and professional preparation of students.