Career Services

Experiential Learning


Cleveland State University defines an internship as a meaningful learning experience that provides students or recent graduates an opportunity to gain important knowledge and skills in a particular career field.  Direct supervision from a seasoned professional is a necessary component of an internship.  An internship is not the same thing as a job.  The University expects that sponsors of internship experiences will provide career related experiences that are sufficiently challenging to college-level students.  No more than 20% of the internship should be clerical.

All internships must:
  • Be related to the student's major or career goals and provide meaningful work experience. Jobs based solely on commission, telemarketing, or childcare positions will not be approved.
  • Offer training and supervision regardless of work-site location; Provide exposure to key business practices common to that industry.
  • Be at a company or agency that is registered with the appropriate Department of Labor. The site must also have a published/working telephone number and if requested, promotional literature.
  • Be supervised, so that students may receive feedback and mentoring.
  • Be arranged around the student's academic schedule, so as not to interfere with the student's classes or other academic requirements (please note: Career Services recommends no more than 20 hours/week during Fall and Spring semesters and full-time during the summer or holidays).

For futher assistance to develop an Internship Program please read the NACE's 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs.


Cooperative Education

A cooperative education program is a partnership between students, institutions of higher education, and employers that formally integrates students' academic study with work experience in cooperating employer organizations and that meets all of the following conditions:

  • Alternates or combines periods of academic study and work experience in appropriate fields as an integral part of student education;
  • Provides students with compensation from the cooperative employer in the form of wages or salaries for work performed;
  • Evaluates each participating student's performance in the cooperative position, both from the perspective of the student's institution of higher education and the student's cooperative employer;
  • Provides participating students with academic credit from the institution of higher education upon successful completion of their cooperative education;
  • Is part of an overall degree or certificate program for which a percentage of the total program acceptable to the chancellor of the Ohio board of regents involves cooperative education.

(Reporting Note: Co-ops must be paid and must be for credit; they are integrated into the program and usually required; often alternating with academic work)

Volunteering (Community Service)
  • Volunteer work is unpaid work a person performs for the good of the community. Volunteering allows members of society the opportunity to become civically engaged and solve public problems. Unlike service-learning where there is a deliberate connection of community service to academic learning goals, volunteerism is not inherently a form of experiential education and is not tied to the curriculum. Volunteer opportunities should be shared with the Office of Civic Engagement. Please contact Julian Rogers, Director for Community Partnerships at (216) 687-9229 or
Other Work Experience 
  • Clinical (CL): A clinical laboratory applies only to health technology programs. A clinical is a laboratory section which meets at a health-related agency facility in lieu of on-campus laboratory facilities. Clinical laboratory sessions provide a realistic environment for student learning. During a clinical laboratory session, a regular faculty member directly supervises the class. The instructor assigned to teach clinical laboratory sessions will be a full- or part-time faculty member.
  • Field Experience (FE): Field experience is planned, paid work activity which relates to an individual student's occupational objectives, such as geology or archaeology, and which is taken in lieu of elective or required courses in his or her program with the permission of a faculty advisor. The experience is coordinated by a faculty member of the college who assists the student in planning the experience, visits the site of the experience for a conference with the student and his or her supervisor at least once during the quarter or semester, and assigns
  • Practicum (PR): A practicum is an on- or off-campus work experience which is integrated with academic instruction in which the student applies concurrently learned concepts to practical situations within an occupational field. To assure proper coordination of the experience, the practicum is coordinated by a faculty member who visits the student at least once every two weeks, provides the final grade, and teaches at least one course on the campus.