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Center of Experiential Learning

You don't have to wait until you graduate to put your knowledge to work. Through experiential learning, you can collaborate with local high schools, conduct research with community partners and solve operations issues for organizations.

Contact Information

Emily Johnson
Center for Experiential Learning

Center for Experiential Learning
College Center, 2nd Floor

CEL Links

Career Ready Internship

Program Overview

The Career Ready Internship Program is a grant supported by Great Lakes Affiliates to subsidize internships. Once enrolled in the Career Ready program students benefit from a broad range of support services, including internship application preparation, employer/internship matching and weekly support while in internship.

Internship Program Goal

  • Build experience of careers in Accounting, Business, Human Resources, Education, Information Technology, Human Services and Paralegal programs by providing a combination of professional and personal development, and academic application through work based experiences.

Students are required to complete an internship for academic credit to participate in this program. The internship does fulfill a course elective or course requirement for graduation depending on the major.

Is My Organization Ready to Take on an Intern?

Ask yourself the following questions to determine your needs and qualifications as an employer:

  1. Is the work meaningful and appropriate for a college student?
    Hiring a student to perform busy work (cold calls, data entry, filing, answering phones, faxing, "gophering," etc.) is inappropriate for internship experiences. Hiring an intern to alleviate some of your busy work is acceptable if balanced with meaningful responsibilities.
  2. Will there be sufficient learning opportunities?
    The basis of the partnership between the employer, the student, faculty internship advisor, or Internship Coordinator is a shared goal: the learning, growth, and development of the intern. Will the work you offer the intern meet this goal?
  3. Are you available for on-site supervision?
    Do you have the time to oversee and guide the student's performance? Will you be available to offer constructive feedback?
  4. Will you provide appropriate resources for the student to do the job?
    Student interns require an adequate work environment to perform useful and necessary tasks. Can you be sure the student has an appropriate work station to complete the agreed upon duties? Does the student need a computer? A phone? Pens? Paper? It is unreasonable to expect anyone, including a student, to perform a job function without proper resources.
  5. Are the required skills and responsibilities sufficiently challenging?
    An internship serves as a link between textbook theory and practical application. Will the work require the student to make decisions and learn about the field through hands-on experience?

Starting an Internship

Below are 10 simple steps to assist you in creating a quality internship experience for your organization and our students:

  • a. Do you have seasonal work, projects, departmental support or new opportunities where a student would be able to learn while contributing to your organization?
  • Determine how much time will be needed weekly and if the opportunity can be completed in a 16 week semester.
  • A professional staff member should provide training and general orientation to the intern and their duties. The best candidates for a supervisor are someone who likes to teach or train others and has the resources to do it.
  • Identify a mentor, who may or may not be the supervisor, who can provide assistance with the intern's professional development.
  • Through the Career Ready grant students are paid a wage based upon the major of the internship:
    • Accounting – $17/hour up to 90 hours
    • Business – $15/hour up to 90 hours
    • Education – $15/hour up to 50 hours
    • Human Services – $13/hour up to 150 hours
    • Information Technology – $17/hour up to 150 hours
    • Paralegal – $15/hour up to 180 hours
  • Students are paid directly by Inver Hills Community College.
  • Note: Students have to pay for their internship course to participate.
  • Students are not covered by Inver Hills Community College Workers Compensation while participating in for credit or not for credit internships at your organization. Some employers cover Worker’s Compensation based on employer process.
  • Students should be involved in academic or career-related work with limited clerical duties.
  • In your position description, clearly define the role of the intern, specific job responsibilities, skills, experience, area(s) of study, coursework or what semester in college the student would need to meet the needs of your opportunity.
  • Email your posting to and we will share with students who are registered in the Career Ready Program.
  • Students will apply directly to the organization per the instructions in your job description.
  • Each organization will review and interview student applicants per their defined company process.
  • Once you have made an offer to the student email your plans to hire.
  • Note: timelines for hiring an intern generally follow our semester begin and end dates:
    Fall Semester Third week in August – First week in December (post internship spring and summer semester)
    Spring Semester Second week in January – Second week in May (post internship fall semester)
    Summer Session Last week in May – First week in August (post internship in spring semester)
  • The essential documents for a student to begin an internship are an internship agreement form and learning goals. The documents involve sign-off from the student, the site supervisor and sponsoring faculty or internship program coordinator
  • The learning goals should be completed jointly between you and the intern. Learning goals and objectives create clarity and agreement on what the student will accomplish in the internship.
  • The sponsoring faculty or internship program coordinator will provide final review and signature of approval.
  • Students will complete a bi-weekly timecard. Once an intern is hired by your organization a timecard schedule would be sent to the employer and intern to follow.
  • Provide students with an orientation to the organization, department, staff, company policies and job specific training. Plan professional development opportunities to provide further development.
  • Ensure your intern has the basic supplies to learn and perform their duties such as a computer, space to work, office supplies, and access to staff.
  • For credit based internships two additional documents needed from an internship site are a mid-semester and end of semester evaluation of the student's development and progress toward their learning goals.
  • The evaluations should be conducted by the internship site supervisor and shared with the intern. Evaluations should be sent to the sponsoring faculty or internship site coordinator.
  • The student may also be required to complete a self-evaluation.
  • Set regularly schedule meetings to provide feedback on your interns' development and progress toward their learning goals.
  • Note: Students taking an internship for credit may be evaluated on a Pass/Fail or A-F letter grade by their sponsoring faculty.
  • As a culmination to the experience provide an opportunity for the site supervisor and the intern to share with the organization, department or staff what they have accomplished.
  • Request feedback from your intern on what your organization can do to improve internships for future interns.
  • If your intern has performed satisfactorily provide a letter of recommendation or reference.

Internship Timeline

February Week 1 – May Week 2 Introduce internship program to students
March Week 2 – June Week 4 Employer outreach for internship program
May Week 1 – May Week 4 Provide resume, cover letter, and interview preparation to students
January Week 4 – May Week 4 Invite employers to apply to Career Ready internship program
By April Week 4 – Fall 2017
By October Week 1 for Spring 2018
Employers submit summer internships to for communication to students and faculty.
May Week 4 – June Week 4 Student reviews internships and applies to internships
June Week 3 – July Week 2 Applicants are reviewed and called for interviews
June Week 3 – July Week3 Companies interview applicants
June Week 4 – July Week 3 Candidate review processes (references, etc.)
July Week 3 – August Week 1 Candidates offered internships
May Week 2 – July Week 4 Student registers for the internship.
July Week 3 – August Week 1 Internship agreement form is completed by intern and Site Supervisor and turned in to Faculty of Record or Internship Coordinator.
August Week 4 – August Week 5 Student may begin internship.
August Week 4 – August Week 5 Student completes Learning Goals in partnership with Site Supervisor and turns in to Faculty of Record or Internship Coordinator.
August Week 4 – September Week 1 Faculty of Record or Internship Coordinator reviews and approves Learning Goals.
October Week 2 Supervisor completes a mid-semester evaluation of the student and turns in to Faculty of Record or Internship Coordinator.
December Week 1 Supervisor completes a final semester evaluation of the student and turns in to Faculty of Record or Internship Coordinator.
December Week 1 Student provides internship capstone to internship Site Supervisor and staff (presentation on learnings, etc.)
November Week 4 Student completes internship site evaluation and turns in to Internship Coordinator.

How Do I Mentor and Evaluate an Intern?

Professional Skills

Interns acquire professional skills by participating in a professional work environment. They gain an understanding of office hierarchies and learn to define effective and efficient work practices; develop mentor relationships and a professional network; accomplish tasks or participate in projects that showcase their skills and build résumés and portfolios; and observe professional etiquette, including dress codes and proper forms of communication.

Industry Awareness

Interns learn how an industry works and how various companies and consumer markets differ from one another.

Career Goals and Relating Internships to Classroom Experience

Internships should relate to coursework. For example, an intern might apply information learned in a course to create a tech pack for a fashion company, gain experience using Adobe InDesign or Photoshop by designing a publication, or be exposed to photography studio practices as preparation for establishing a business.

Personal Skills

Interns exercise written and verbal communication skills other soft skills to become comfortable talking to clients and co-workers and confident expressing ideas, and practice listening and accepting both criticism and positive feedback.

Internship Concerns

If you should have any issues or concerns about your intern or organizations' ability to fulfill the internship agreements made, contact the sponsoring faculty or internship site coordinator. You can also contact our department for additional assistance, or 651-450-3683. We are happy to help you resolve any concerns you may have.

Are you Career Ready?

Through the support of the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, eligible students are able to participate in part-time, paid academic internships within their major.

Inver Hills Programs of Participation

Students must be enrolled in an IHCC program: Accounting, Education, Contemporary Business, International Business, Human Services, Information Technology, Networking and Security and Paralegal

Internship Wages

Accounting: $17/hr. up to 90 hours Information Technology: $17/hr. up to 150 hours
Education: $13/hr. up to 50 hours Business: $15/hr. up to 90 hours
Human Services: $13/hr. up to 150 hours Paralegal: $15/hr. up to 180 hours

Note: Students are also eligible for transportation reimbursement while in internship

Eligibility Criteria

  1. In satisfactory academic status
  2. Complete the FAFSA for the academic year in which the internship occurs, and have demonstrated financial need, as calculated by the financial aid office.
  3. Pre-determined financial need eligibility through the Financial Aid Office to determine if you qualify BEFORE applying.
  4. Pre-determined eligibility to register for internship for credit with program faculty coordinator
  5. Be participating in an internship that is directly related to the student’s major.
  6. Completed Career Ready Internship Application.

Due to limitations from the Great Lakes Internship grant, the following are not eligible for funding:

  1. Full-time internships
  2. Internships on campus
  3. Internships involving work on political campaigns or religious ministry
  4. International students

Required Application Materials

  1. Completed Career Ready Internship Application
  2. Resume

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2017: Accepting applications until August 4, 2017
  • Spring 2018: Accepting applications until October 30, 2017


Students will be notified of their application status via e-mail within 2 weeks of the application deadline.

If You Are Selected

Note: the internship award will be considered part of your financial aid package (if applicable).

If you are awarded internship funding you will be required to:

  1. Attend an orientation with Emily Johnson in the Center for Experiential Learning to review the internship process, student expectations and complete any required paperwork.
  2. Complete three online internship modules on professional development(1hr each)
  3. All Career Ready interns are expected to complete a short biweekly reflection survey regarding their internship experience.
  4. You may be asked to share your success story for grant reporting and marketing purposes.

Career Ready Internship Opportunities

Applicants may view a list of eligible internships with preferred partner organizations within D2L - Career Ready once accepted into the program. These organizations have been deemed eligible for a Career Ready Intern. Students will apply directly to these sites.

Questions/Contact Information

To schedule an appointment or to get your questions answered, visit the Center for Experiential Learning, CC208, or email

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