Internships benefit students

By CSU Media | September 3, 2018

Freshmen entering CSU in the 2018-19 academic year will be required to complete one Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) as part of the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) in order to be eligible to graduate.

Before you panic and frantically search the academic catalog, take a deep breath. You must first declare a major; your faculty advisor will be helping you, and internships are usually completed during your junior year.

In order to satisfy the ELR requirement, students must successfully complete one course earning a minimum of one credit hour with an ELR designation. Many ELR courses earn three credit hours. A simple search using ELR in the academic catalog lists eligible courses.  ELR classes include internships, clinicals, practicums, field courses, travel courses, applied learning, career planning courses, and more.

Dr. Nathan Martin, ELI director, said, “The latest research says the more experiences students have, the greater the benefit.” Internships assist students in preparing them for life after graduation.

Some majors have experiential learning built into their curriculum, such as education and nursing, and some majors have been requiring internships for some time. 

Dr. Allison Trochesset, internship director, locates internships for students in area businesses. “Applying for an internship is just like finding a job,” said Trochesset. “Students need to apply and interview.” She advises scheduling an appointment with her the semester before you plan to intern.

In addition to meeting with students, Trochesset networks at local events and is always searching for businesses that will provide a mentorship experience and a hands-on approach for CSU students. She reminds students that some internships offer financial compensation in addition to ELR credit. Martin said, “Allison has done a great job communicating to companies our standards.”

Trochesset said internships prepare students for the work force. Further, Martin said ELR is designed to prepare students for life postgraduation. During the ELR process, students may learn such skills as building a resume, setting up a Linkedin profile, learning how to apply to graduate school and developing a career mindset.

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