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Why Be an Intern?

Gain valuable experience in your chosen career field; connect the classroom with your on-the-job work experience.

About Internships

An internship is an experience where students, while enrolled in college, can gain realistic learning experiences through work. The internship must have educational value for the students employed. The work experience may be paid or unpaid.

There are no class meetings for students enrolled in an internship class. Students are asked to complete online class assignments and class time is spent at the internship site. Students are required to work a minimum number of hours to receive college unit credit (see Work Hours Required below).

Eligibility

  • Must be a continuing SMC student. A continuing student has enrolled and successfully completed a minimum of 6 units during the previous fall or spring semester. 
  • Some internships require that students already have specific skills or educational background in order to qualify.
  • See How to Enroll for step-by-step details on going through the Internship Program.

Grading Criteria

Internship classes are graded on a credit/no credit basis.

Internship Instructors will take the following criteria into consideration:

  • Attendance at Internship Orientation meeting (for first time SMC interns).
  • Adequate completion of learning objectives.
  • Timely completion of required paperwork and online assignments.
  • Working the required number of hours for units of credit (see below for requirements).

Work Hours Required

In order to satisfy the requirements for your internship, you are required to work a specific number of hours to earn internship unit credit. You may work more than the minimum. Please note that your internship working hours do not count until you are enrolled in the internship class and the semester has begun.

Each unit of college credit requires 60 hours of unpaid (volunteer) work or 75 hours of paid work per semester. For example:

Unpaid Work Hours Per Semester

Units TakenHours per semester Approximate hours of work per week Fall of Spring semesters (Summer & Winter Differ!!)
1 Unit60 hours4 hours unpaid
2 Units120 hours8 hours unpaid
3 Units180 hours12 hours unpaid
4 Units240 hours16 hours unpaid

Paid Work Hours Per Semester

Units TakenHours per semester Approximate hours of work per week Fall of Spring semesters (Summer & Winter Differ!!)
1 Unit75 hours5 hours paid
2 Units150 hours10 hours paid
3 Units225 hours15 hours paid
4 Units300 hours20 hours paid

Summary of the Internship Process

(Specific details listed under "How to Enroll")

  1. Find internship: The Internship Program will help you in finding an internship if you are a current SMC student.

  2. Attend Mandatory Internship Orientation: This one-time, 1-hour required meeting at the start of the semester covers all the details of the internship.

  3. Write Learning Objectives: Identify three new or expanded learning objectives (statements of what you want to learn during your internship).

  4. Enroll in an Internship Class.

  5. Participate in the Internship and complete online requirements: Maintain contact with your internship instructor and complete requested assignments.

  6. Complete Learning Objectives.

  7. Keep track of work hours.

Units of Credit and Transferability

For most people, the reason to participate in an internship is the value of the experience to their lives and future careers. But a side benefit is the elective credits that will count toward the Associate of Arts Degree. Internship units are also transferable to California State University system, but not to the University of California or University of Southern California systems.

While the units are not transferable to some colleges, the internship experience is likely to enhance students' applications to these colleges, or any college.

Many employers require that students be enrolled in an internship class in order to cover liability while the student is at the work site on an unpaid internship.