Skip to main content

Experiential learning goes by different names - internships, co-ops, practical experiences, research experiences, volunteering, field experiences, etc. - but the one thing they all have in common is they give students valuable career-related experiences that make a difference in post-graduate employment.

The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) has released a statement on what makes a legitimate internship experience. Career Services uses these criteria when evaluating co-ops/internships to be advertised on campus, in addition to our Employer Recruitment Policies.


National Association of Colleges & Employers' Internship Position Statement

To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

If these criteria are followed, it is the opinion of NACE that the experience can be considered a legitimate internship.




Percent of employers who select schools based on majors offered
2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey


Average offer rate
2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey


Average acceptance rate
2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey


Percent of employers who say social media has changed their recruiting results
2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey


Average recruiting budget
2016 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey


Faculty Coordinators


If you are approving a co-op/internship record and received an email about this approval, you can use the link in the email to approve the student's experience without logging into Handshake. Click the link in your email and follow the steps on the screen to review and approve, disapprove, add notes, etc. to the student's record. If you have questions, please reach out to Career Services at (859) 572-5680.



If you have any questions, please contact Career Services at 859-572-5680.



If a student needs instructions: Click here