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Students can receive academic credit for internships if they apply by Feb. 20

Students+are+able+to+gain+academic+credit+for+internships+that+they+take+within+their+department+as+long+as+they+complete+an+application+by+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+20+and+get+it+approved+by+the+Career+Transfer+Photo+credit%3A+James+Schaap
Students are able to gain academic credit for internships that they take within their department as long as they complete an application by Tuesday, Feb. 20 and get it approved by the Career Transfer Photo credit: James Schaap

Students are able to gain academic credit for internships that they take within their department as long as they complete an application by Tuesday, Feb. 20 and get it approved by the Career Transfer Photo credit: James Schaap

Students are able to gain academic credit for internships that they take within their department as long as they complete an application by Tuesday, Feb. 20 and get it approved by the Career Transfer Photo credit: James Schaap

Stephanie Lamore

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Students can request to receive academic credit for their spring internships as long as they submit an application to the Career Transfer Center by Feb. 20.

With opportunities ranging from ‘Marine Officer Candidate’ to ‘WordPress Website Designer,’ Moorpark College’s list of available paid and unpaid internships has something to fit with every major. Students can gain valuable experience in the workplace, and have the added benefit of potentially receiving academic credit.

“Our most popular internships depend on the department,” says Shannon Johnson, job placement specialist at Moorpark College. “Most active across campuses are Business majors, and they’re the fastest growing for us. Kinesiology, film and television, and Computer Network Systems Engineering departments are also very active.”

Computer Network Systems Engineering students in particular have a high chance of being offered regular employment after an internship, simply because the two year education Moorpark offers in this department qualifies students for many jobs in this field.

Despite one’s major, however, students are able to gain academic credit for internships that they take within their department as long as they complete an application by Tuesday, Feb. 20 and get it approved by the Career Transfer Center. Johnson oversees the internship program and assigns approved students to a faculty advisor for the semester within their department, so that their internship work can translate into credit towards their degree.

Moorpark College offers access to both paid and unpaid internships through the internal job search site, and some research has shown that internships are valuable for students regardless of whether or not they are paid.

“Recent studies have indicated that students graduating with internship experiences, in general, are more likely than students without those experiences to find employment upon graduation,” writes Nathalie Saltikoff on the website for the National Association of Colleges and Employees. “In addition to having employment opportunities evolve directly from their internship sites upon graduation, interns have enhanced employability after successfully completing their internships even prior to graduation.”

At a Ventura County Community Colleges Board meeting in 2017, district board member and trustee Larry Kennedy told the board that stimulating job growth should be a top priority.

“We must create curriculum that trains individuals with skills that match the industries that they need to attract,” Kennedy said. “We need to try to link curriculum and certificates to jobs that are there.”

In keeping with Kennedy’s desire to enhance students’ preparation for the workforce, Moorpark College applied for a Makerspace grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, which would allow the college to offer more internships. These internships would specifically be related to hands-on projects that could be completed in labs across campus. A press release from Moorpark College on July 25, 2017 stated that the college was awarded a quarter of a million dollars under the Makerspace grant.

“We partner with outside organizations to pay for students to work on a maker project versus a discipline-specific project,” said Johnson. “We’re currently working on that now. Shortly we’ll be able to say here’s the list of companies we work with.”

Johnson estimated that 125-150 students per semester receive academic credit for their internships. To be part of this number, apply before Feb. 20 at http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/departments/student-services/career-transfer-center/career-services/internship-credit.

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