Workplace experience can be a valuable way to help undergraduate students take the theories and concepts learned in the classroom and apply them in professional settings. The “Workplace Experience” attribute for undergraduate courses makes it easier for students to identify courses that structure meaningful workplace experiences to enhance their education. It provides a consistent messaging by faculty, advisors, deans’ offices, and other academic administrators about the value of and expectations for workplace experiences. It also allows the University to better meet demands for evaluating, tracking, and reporting on these kinds of experiences.
This attribute is associated with for-credit courses in which students are fully immersed in a workplace experience that has a linkage to an academic program. This attribute policy sets a common minimum criteria as a baseline. There is no intention to define and regulate all workplace experience opportunities and some schools/colleges may choose to set additional guidelines.
The term “workplace experience” is meant to be inclusive and descriptive, encompassing internships, clinical work, cooperatives, practica, student teaching, and other credit-bearing experiences based on an immersive workplace experience that is linked to an academic program.
The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) definition of internships (or, more broadly, workplace experiences) was used in the development of this proposal:
A form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional [workplace] setting. Internships [and other immersive workplace experiences] give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
Evidence of the criteria listed above must be included and explained in any proposal for a course requesting or having this attribute.
The attribute is used in the Guide and other systems that may be used for the purpose of searching for and identifying specific courses.
A common identifier for workplace experience courses aids in the efficient and consistent reporting of workplace experiences.
While addressing the criteria above does not necessarily mean that a proposed workplace experience meets all of the conditions required to be an approved course, it does provide a framework that can be used to design a quality workplace experience course that will be useful when designing and proposing courses.
By creating an easy, defined way of identifying workplace experience courses, a course attribute specifically designed for workplace experience will replace the use of directed/independent study courses for this type of activity.
A course attribute of WORK “Workplace experience” and an attribute value of EXPR “workplace experience course” is in SIS and has been attached to all courses that meet the requirements above and are approved for the attribute through the course approval process.
A set of best practices may be developed by schools and colleges offering courses with the workplace experience attribute. The best practices document will provide additional information about standards and expectations specific to the types of experiences offered by that unit.
The Course Search and Enroll allows users to search for courses that have the workplace experience attribute.
Requesting the course attribute will be made a part of the course proposal form for use with new and course change proposals. The workflow includes the usual opportunities for approval by the subject owner, their school or college and the University Curriculum Committee. The schools and colleges may wish to involve their career services unit(s) in the review of courses with the workplace experience attribute and incorporate alignment with their best practices as part of approval. At the campus level, the UCC will be concerned with the reviewing proposals based on the minimum criteria stated above.
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
School of Human Ecology
School of Nursing
School of Business
School of Education