Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ for Students

Yes, Coordinated Internships–190/290 and Cooperative Education–197/297 are general usage courses offered in most Academic Departments at NOVA; these courses are listed at the beginning of the course descriptions in the College Catalog. However, you may not see the exact course you would like to take listed in the schedule of classes. If that is the case, please contact the Coordinator for Curriculum Initiatives (kbalbuena@nvcc.edu) for information on how to register.

Most employers require a student who is engaged in work-based experiential learning to be affiliated with an institution of higher education such as NOVA due to state and federal laws or preferences of the employer. NOVA only provides you supervision and credit for work-based learning experiences through registration in the Cooperative Education or Coordinated Internship courses. You may participate in a structured internship offered by an employer that is not part of your academic program. These independent internships are arranged directly with the employer and you do not earn credit toward your degree or credential. Non-academic or for-credit externships provide valuable work and networking experiences.

It is recommended that you begin searching for an internship a minimum of 10–12 weeks prior to the start of the semester. You should begin the registration process at least five weeks before beginning the Coordinated Internship course.

Students must first visit the Cooperative Education & Coordinated Internships website and review the eligibility requirements. If eligible, you should contact your department to determine if there are additional requirements for an internship in your program. Academic Pathway deans will review the application and determine if your internship meets the qualifications to receive credit.

Once approved you will be given permission to enroll in the appropriate course and should register directly.

You must find your own Coordinated Internship opportunities, but Career Services is here to help. The first source for finding internships is Career Connection, NOVA’s career management system. It contains internship opportunities with organizations that are paid and with government and non-profit agencies that are both paid and unpaid. You can filter based on internships as well as on your program of study or career interests. You are also encouraged to reach out to faculty in your department who may have relationships with employers in the community or have established opportunities for work-based experiential learning offered in the department.

Select degrees and programs of study at NOVA have Cooperative Education or Coordinated Internship courses embedded in the curriculum for the degree or program of study. Some degrees and programs of study do not have these courses embedded in the curriculum; however, there may be opportunities for students to complete Cooperative Education or Coordinated Internship courses within the degree or program of study as “general electives” or “departmental electives.” Many students also register for Coordinated Internship courses as additive credit to a degree or program of study if the course cannot be applied to graduation requirements. You are encouraged to speak to your advisor in addition to reviewing your degree plan to verify graduation requirements. All NOVA degree requirements can be found in our catalog.

If your program of study has a required internship course in the curriculum or you have open space in the curriculum where the internship credit can be used, it may be covered by financial aid. However, many of NOVA’s transfer programs do not have general electives where an internship course can be placed. In these cases, the internship credit may not be covered by financial aid and may not count towards the enrollment credits for financial aid status.

Internship courses provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in their desired career field or the opportunity to explore a field of interest. Internships may not count towards your degree requirements, and therefore, some colleges will not accept these credits in transfer. It is recommended that you check with the institution where you plan to transfer to find out their transfer policy on internship credits.

The discipline where your program is housed will contact faculty to determine interest in teaching an internship course. However, if you have or know of a faculty member interested in teaching the internship course, you can provide the contact information to the dean who will follow up with the faculty member.

You may take 1–5 credits per semester for a Coordinated Internship course and may cumulatively earn up to a maximum of 10 credits total for Cooperative Education and/or Coordinated Internship courses. Most internship courses are offered at 3 credits. However, prior to registering, you can determine the number of credits based on the number of hours you are able to work at the co-op/internship site for that semester. You must register and pay tuition for the corresponding amount of college academic credits for the Cooperative Education or Coordinated Internship course that corresponds to the number of total work hours for the co-op or internship as determined by the corresponding chart:

Co-op/Internship Total Work Hours

Credits

16 Hours–80 Hours (Minimum)

1 Credit (Minimum)

81 Hours–160 Hours

2 Credits

161 Hours–240 Hours

3 Credits

241 Hours–320 Hours

4 Credits

321 Hours–400 Hours (Maximum)

5 Credits (Maximum)

FAQ for Faculty and Advisors

Please feel free to have the discussion to ensure that this is a good fit for NOVA students and the employer. The employer should be completing an internship posting on Career Connection, which is NOVA’s free career services management system that connects students and employers. This ensures equity in access to the internship to all students. If you or the employer would like to speak to someone directly in the Business Engagement Center’s Employer Career Services, please contact Dana Fallon, at dfallon@nvcc.edu.

Please contact a member of Employer Career Services (novacareerservices@nvcc.edu) who may be able to present to your class about current opportunities for part-time, full-time, and internship positions. Please also refer students to Career Connection to search for current opportunities.

Students should be encouraged to participate in an internship to gain experience and demonstrate skills on their resumes. Students who are not receiving credit for their internships secure the internship and establish the work parameters directly with the employer.

If you know of openings, please make sure that you invite those employers to list their information in Career Connection. If you would like someone to reach out to a specific organization about the possibility of an internship, please speak to Karen Carter at kcarter1@nvcc.edu.

From an equity lens, we want our students to receive pay for the work that they do. We know that not all industries have the funds to do that. All for-profit internships listed in Career Connection must be paid opportunities. Many non-profits and government internship employers also see the value of paying interns; however, they are eligible to post non-paid internships in Career Connection.

If the student’s program of study has a required internship course in the curriculum or they have open space in the curriculum where the internship credit can be used, it may be covered by financial aid. However, many of NOVA’s transfer programs do not have general electives where an internship course can be placed. In these cases, the internship credit may not be covered by financial aid and may not count towards the enrollment credits for financial aid status.

NOVA has established the following criteria minimum* criteria for students to be eligible for an internship:

  • Declared a major (degree or program of study) at NOVA.
  • Earned at least six credits from NOVA.
  • Completed 12 semester hours of college credits or the equivalent, including credits transferred to NOVA from other institutions or through Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Completed a minimum of two courses for at least six credits directly related to the program of study and internship.
  • Earned a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.0.
  • Acquired the ability to write in either A.P.A. or M.L.A. editorial style through the completion of ENG 111, an equivalent English Composition course, or individual study.
  • Earned no more 10 credits for Cooperative Education and/or Coordinated Internship courses to be applied to the degree.
  • A satisfactory performance evaluation and/or grades below a “C” for previous Cooperative Education, Coordinated Internship, or On-Site Training courses at NOVA. If student has previously been unsuccessful in the course attempt, they must meet with dean or designee for approval.
  • Current good academic standing (no Academic Probation or Suspension).
  • F1 Visa Students Only: Obtained C.P.T. approval from the Coordinator of the International Students Office. Met all work eligibility, which is dependent on employer requirements.

*These are the minimum qualifications to participate in the credit internship program at NOVA; individual programs may have additional requirements that will also need to be met.

  • Not all NOVA students have a status that permits them to work in the United States legally; it is important that we work for equity for all our students; a different type of experiential learning may provide these students with an opportunity to provide resume-building experience.
  • Financial aid will only be given to students whose internship class is part of their degree
  • F1 international students may only receive permission for an internship when the internship is part of the degree program

Please begin by working through the Discipline Committee/Pathway Councils. The class will need to go through Curriculum Committee as any new class/program change does.

Meet with Employer Career Services in the Business Engagement Center to see if we currently have employers who are posting opportunities in Career Connection for internships in your discipline. Employer Career Services can also assist with networking to businesses to find appropriate opportunities for your students.

Student registration for internships must be done early. Please encourage students to begin the internship search process the semester before and the registration for the internship class as soon as registration opens, but no later than six weeks prior to the start of the semester.

Please note the following about internships:

  • Financial aid will only be given to students whose internship class is part of their degree or can be used to fulfill technical or general electives
  • F1 international students may only receive permission for an internship when the internship is part of the degree program
  • Not all NOVA students have a status that permits them to work in the United States legally; it is important that we work for equity for all our students; a different type of experiential learning may provide these students with an opportunity to provide resume-building experience.
  • NOVA has established the following criteria for students to be eligible for an internship for credit: o List criteria here

The student should be encouraged to first work with Career Counselors in Career Services and review Career Connection to locate an internship.

Once the internship is secured, the student will need to complete a Registration Packet (available online at https://www.nvcc.edu/co-op/) which includes Course Request and Authorization, Internship Job Description, Internship Release of Information Forms, current resume, and job description. These should be submitted to either the dean or the Coordinator for Curriculum Initiatives at least six weeks before the start of the session for which the student would like to receive credit.

The Dean or Dean’s appointee will ensure the internship is eligible for college credit, assign a faculty supervisor, and contact the student about registration for the internship course.

In many cases, the student will still be eligible to take the internship course. The student must meet the eligibility requirements, and financial aid will likely not be available for the course unless it can be counted as part of the curriculum; this may require a course substitution form.

The student will need to complete a Registration Packet (available online at https://www.nvcc.edu/co-op/) which includes Course Request and Authorization, Internship Organization Sponsorship, Internship Release of Information Forms and Job Description. These should be submitted to either the discipline internship contact or the Coordinator for Curriculum Initiatives at least six weeks before the start of the session for which the student would like to receive credit.

The Dean or Dean’s appointee will ensure the internship is eligible for college credit, assign a faculty supervisor, and contact the student about registration for the internship course.

No. If the student has significant work experience, please refer student to take SDV 298: PLACE.

Your number one priority is to ensure learning occurs in the internship experience.

You will be responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the internship provides enough experiential learning that the student should receive college credit for the work done.
  • Course syllabus development and grading. This should include at least:
    • weekly journal from student
    • mid-term and final performance evaluations conducted by the on-site supervisor
    • final project that contains a reflection from the student about the experience
  • Conducting one site visit (in person or virtually) with the student’s on-site supervisor. During this meeting, you should learn about what the student should be expecting in terms of job duties and training.
  • Meeting with the student at least three times throughout the semester, either in a cohort or individually. This should happen:
    • Once in the first week of the semester to go over the syllabus
    • Once before mid-term to help student problem-solve any issues that have arisen
    • Once at the end of the semester

The internship supervisor receives 0.3 credits for teaching one student in a 3-credit internship.

Your number one priority is to ensure learning occurs in the internship experience.

You will be responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the internship provides enough experiential learning that the student should receive college credit for the work done.
  • Course syllabus development and grading. This should include at least:
    • weekly journal from student
    • mid-term and final performance evaluations conducted by the on-site supervisor
    • final project that contains a reflection from the student about the experience
  • Conducting one site visit (in person or virtually) with the student's on-site supervisor. During this meeting, you should learn about what the student should be expecting in terms of job duties and training.
  • Meeting with the student at least three times throughout the semester, either in a cohort or individually. This should happen:
    • Once in the first week of the semester to go over the syllabus
    • Once before mid-term to help the student problem-solve any issues that have arisen
    • Once at the end of the semester