Cooperative Work Experience (CWE)
At Irvine Valley College, students may work as an intern or employee while earning college credit. These units are CSU-transferrable. In order to receive credit, students must enroll in a Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) course. CWE courses are discipline specific and students should make every effort to identify the CWE discipline most closely related to the internship or job they have accepted. For a listing of CWE courses offered, visit the Irvine Valley College Course Schedule.
Finding an Internship
Students can search for internships on IVC's job-posting website: www.collegecentral.com/ivc. The application process for many internship programs will be very similar to applying for a job: students should have a résumé and cover letter ready - and also be prepared to complete an application. There are many other great sites to search for internships, two of our favorites are: www.internships.com and www.indeed.com.
Internships vs. Jobs
Internships are a great opportunity for students to gain experience in an organization while under supervision of existing staff. Internships can benefit students by helping them network, explore career paths, and by providing the first steps towards a career. An internship is not a job and there are distinct differences between an internship and employment.
There are provisions for what constitutes an internship vs. a job as set by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (click link for original document). The following six criteria must be used to decide:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
These guidelines protect the intern and the employer.
For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).