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Coordinated Internships & Cooperative Education

  • receive college credit for related work experience

Coordinated Internship & Cooperative Education Services is an extension of Academic Services that provides work-based experiential learning opportunities through collaboration between academic departments and community employers. The purpose is to bolster workforce pipelines to meet community labor needs. It also enhances the programs of study curricula at the College and enriches academic learning and career development. Students may enroll in Coordinated Internship courses to earn academic credit or participate in an internship as an extracurricular experience.

Most sponsoring employers require students to be affiliated with an institution of higher education such as NOVA and registered for specific courses in order to participate in internship and co-op opportunities under guidelines established by the US Department of Labor.

Internship and co-op opportunities are an extension of your education into the workforce to provide a comprehensive curriculum that combines theory and practice. These opportunities are viewed as entry-level means of acquiring practical job training and valuable resume building experience. Ultimately, the goal is individual career development with an emphasis on both supervision and self-direction.

You may be eligible to receive a salary, stipend or tuition assistance from employers in addition to academic credit from the College. Employers often offer full-time employment in permanent job positions afterward, thus easing your entry into the workforce.

Additionally, you can earn up to 10 academic credits though coursework, which may be used to complete general elective credit, earned as additive credit, or substituted for required coursework in degrees or programs of study with the approval of academic advisors.

Current NOVA Students:

Current NOVA students can take the NOVA internship course if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Declared a major (degree or certificate) at NOVA
  2. Completed 15 college credits or the equivalent (transfer credits may be included)
  3. Completed a minimum of 6 credits (2 courses) at NOVA, directly related to the student’s program of study and the co-op or internship position
  4. Earned a cumulative CGPA of 2.0 and 2.0 in major

Current NOVA International Students:

There are additional requirements for international students to be eligible for a paid Coordinated Internship or Co-Ops or course, which include:

Current F-1 Visa status

  1. Lawfully enrolled on a full time basis for one full academic year
  2. Completed one semester of courses related to their degree at NOVA
  3. Receive internship credit that can be applied toward degree
  4. Confirmation of eligibility for CPT Work Authorization (Internship Specialist will confirm with the Office of International Student Services, if above eligibility is met)

Current J Visa status

  1. Completed less than 30 credits at NOVA
  2. Receive internship credit that can be applied toward 60 hours of professional experience
  3. Confirmation of eligibility to participate (verified with the Office of International Student Services)
  4. Participate in unpaid internships only

To register for courses and to find internship opportunities, students must complete several steps outlined in the Internship Checklist and follow the recommended timeline.

Students wishing to take an internship course must start the process at least 8-10 weeks prior to registration deadline if they do not have an internship site identified. It is recommended that F-1 students begin the process an additional two weeks earlier.

You must register for the required Coordinated Internship or Cooperative Education courses.

The Academic Departments for each degree major and program of study offer Coordinated Internship and Cooperative Education courses as listed under general usage courses in the College Catalog. However, these courses are often not listed in the Schedule of Classes, since the registration process is unique requiring completion of additional registration paperwork.

Coordinated Internships require completion of the Registration Packet and authorization by the supervising Faculty and corresponding Academic Department. The student’s specific department coordinates this process.

Co-ops are managed through the specific program departments that require cooperative education courses to satisfy degree requirements.

The Internship Checklist (PDF) provides step-by-step instructions for students interested in taking an internship course at NOVA.

Once all paperwork is submitted and approved, the academic department must submit your course registration and you will be notified when to pay for the course.

Paying your tuition:
Once registered for the course, you must pay by the payment deadline. Unpaid classes may be dropped from your schedule.

  • Pay with cash or check at any campus business office.
  • Pay online by credit card through NOVAConnect.

Checking your enrollment:

Please click here to view the Internship Timeline.

NOVA Students interested in searching for and applying to jobs, internships, co-ops and volunteer opportunities must register online at NOVA’s Career Connection database.

Once you have created a profile, you can submit your resume for review and posting and then search for internship opportunities.

Employers are encouraged to seek further independent guidance with regard to intern compensation. The Fair Labor Standards Act and Department of Labor regulatory guidelines has a seven-part test to determine whether employers are legally required to pay interns.  Employers should review Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act for full details.  Compensating interns also increases the pool of candidates and provides more equitable access to such opportunities.

The Virginia Chamber Foundation & the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia are partnering to form the Virginia Talent + Opportunity Partnership, or Virginia TOP for short.  Virginia TOP provides information and recourses for employers who what to support and retain talent in the region.   For more details about creating or improving an internship program, please see A Blueprint to Develop Quality Internship Opportunities for Virginia’s Talent Pipeline.

Area employers with internship opportunities may submit detailed position information through NOVA's Career Connection database.

Area employers interested in offering an  internship program for students may contact:
Dana M. Fallon
Career Services Manager