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Arrange Internships

How do internships work?

At the College of Charleston, internships are unique learning experiences specifically designed to help students gain hands-on training related to their major or career interest. Undergraduate and graduate students in all academic programs at the College know the value of gaining work-related experience before graduation, and they look to organizations like yours for opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom and to "test drive" a career.

What do I need to consider?

Please review our Site Supervisor Internship Handbook, a tool to help you through the beginning, middle, an end stages of hosting a College of Charleston student intern. Offering internships is a time-consuming prospect. You (or a designee within your organization with the appropriate level of expertise) will serve as a supervisor to your interns, mentoring them and helping direct their learning experiences. Make sure you can commit the time, energy, and resources it will take to teach students about your field of work, answer their questions, and complete the paperwork required by their program. Understand that the time-intensive nature of supervising interns may actually hinder your own workflow at times.

While the primary benefit of internships is for the students, your organization can thrive on the fresh perspective, inquisitiveness, and sheer energy that College of Charleston interns bring to the workplace. In very practical terms, you can create a candidate pool for potential full-time hires, using your internship program as a recruiting tool. You can also feel good about helping college students find their career path and make decisions about their future.

Before posting your internship at the College of Charleston, please review the College's Policies and Guidelines for Posting Jobs and Internships to ensure that your internship meets all of our criteria.

For further assistance, please refer to our Employer Guide to help you navigate our online job board. When you are ready to post your position, you will need to create an account in CougarJobLink, our online job and internship portal. 

What is the time frame for internships?

Internships typically last for one semester (14-15 weeks) or one summer in accordance with the College of Charleston's academic calendar: Fall semester internships take place from August to December, Spring internships span January to April, and summer internships run from May to August. Internships can be part-time (10-20 hours per week) or full-time positions.

Must the internships be paid?

Generally, the College of Charleston does not require that you offer paid internships, though some academic departments have specific policies about compensation. Paid internships can be more attractive to students, but they will choose unpaid internships that provide the opportunity to gain substantial real-world work experience. If you opt to offer unpaid internships, consider the following legal ramifications:

According to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the US Department of Labor specifies that an internship can legally be unpaid in the “for-profit” sector ONLY if the primary beneficiary of the arrangement is the student. The following seven factors are to be considered as to whether the employer or student is considered the primary beneficiary:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

Can students earn academic credit?

At the College of Charleston, internship credit is awarded solely at the discretion of academic departments. Students must meet the eligibility requirements of their major to earn credit (if available), and arrangements for credit must be made at least one semester in advance.

Students who are unable to earn academic credit may participate in the Career Centers' non-credit Certificate Internship Program.  Because the program provides campus oversight of non-credit internships, you may encourage or require your students to participate if they won't be supervised by a faculty member in a credit-bearing program. Contact the Internship Coordinator in the Career Center at 953-5692, for details.

How do I list my internship opportunities?

For campus-wide distribution, post your internship listings on CougarJobLink, the Career Centers' web-based job posting system.

Whom do I contact for more information?

General internship inquiries: Internship Coordinator, Career Center, 843.953.5692