Southern Polytechnic State University

Graduate Academic Catalog 2011-2012

Experiential Education (Internship and Cooperative Education)

Internship Program

The Southern Polytechnic State University Internship program is a short-term or time-limited work experience in a professional environment where the emphasis is on learning versus earnings. It is designed to enhance academic, personal, and professional development and will assist you in making a smooth transition from the classroom to the world of work, or to provide students with insight about potential careers. Usually, an Internship is a one-time experience for a student who has attained at least some academic preparation in a professional field.

Internship Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a registered student the semester prior to going to work
  • Must have completed at least one semester at SPSU
  • Must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA at SPSU
  • Must attend an internship/co-op orientation session and a small group meeting with the program coordinator

International Students

In addition to meeting the internship eligibility requirements, International Students MUST obtain written eligibility authorization from the SPSU International Services Office before beginning EACH working assignment. Due to the INS regulations, International students are not permitted to intern more than one and a half-academic years for undergraduates and one academic year for graduates. Once an Internship is obtained, International students MUST return to the International Office to complete additional paper work. International students failing to do so will be DROPPED from the Internship Program.

Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)

Students alternate semesters of full-time paid work assignments with full-time classroom instruction semesters.  These work assignments are also supervised and closely related to the student's academic program.

Co-op Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have completed nine (9) credit hours in a SPSU graduate program
  • Must be a registered student the semester prior to going to work
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA
  • Must have at least three (3) semesters remaining before graduation
  • Must commit to work two (2) alternating work periods with the same employer

Advantages of participating in the Experiential Education Program include:

  • Providing career related hands-on work experience
  • Earning a competitive salary for school and tuition expenses
  • Learning the company culture
  • Networking with professionals
  • Helping get your foot in-the-door for full-time employment
  • Developing self-confidence
  • Establishing valuable contacts for letters and references
  • Gaining practical experience in the work environment
  • Improving opportunities for post graduate jobs
  • An opportunity to work with professionals in your field