Stephen F. Austin State University

News

Applied skills internship available to College of Liberal and Applied Arts students

September 14, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - SFA's College of Liberal and Applied Arts is launching the Applied Skills Internship for juniors and seniors in the 2018 spring semester. This is the first program of its kind in the nation.

Students who are chosen for the internship will work on campus in a team under a high-level executive. Students will earn three credit hours toward their degree and gain practical experience.

Eight applicants will be chosen and then split into two teams that will each be overseen by a high-level executive.

"This size enables supervisors to maintain close contact with each student," Dr. Brian Murphy, dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, said. "The internship involves team members working collaboratively to define a solution to a real-life workplace problem."

According to SFA's internship policy, internships allow students to gain practical work experience and academic credit at the same time. Internships are intended to provide students with the opportunity to apply what they are learning in class to real-world situations.

Students who participate in internships tend to be hired more quickly and at a higher salary. In one report from The Chronicle of Higher Education, employers place more weight on professional experiences acquired during school versus academic credentials.

Students also can make connections through internships. Murphy said that students who participate in the Applied Skills Internship "will receive mentoring from a high-placed corporate executive who can attest to their competence to potential employers."

Students will be assessed for seven skills, including collaboration, professionalism and intercultural fluency, among others, and can earn certificates for any of the skills in which they demonstrate proficiency. These skills can be included on résumés.

The college's goal with this internship is to exhibit that liberal arts students hold the skills to succeed in various careers. Research has shown that liberal arts students have the potential to exceed other undergraduate majors in terms of income but it takes longer to accomplish this task.

"We want to prove our students are ready now," Murphy said. "Unlike most programs that award certificates for skills, our program has designed an objective way to verify student skill acquisition."

The selection for the internship will be based on three criteria: prior graduate performance, relevance of career plans to the program's objectives and quality of the application essay. The selection committee will follow college policy on internships. This includes that the applicant must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA or above, completed at least two upper-level courses in his or her major, and be of junior or senior standing.

To obtain an application, send an email request to Dixie Groll at grollda@sfasu.edu. The application must be received no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 1, 2017.