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English Co-Op and Internship Info

The following is general information about setting up and completing an internship for the Department of English Studies at Western Carolina University.

What is an internship?

An internship is an intensive writing, editing, or research experience with an employer in a professional workplace. The internship is available and encouraged for all English Studies students. 

An internship counts as 3 credit hours and requires students to complete a certain number of hours in the workplace as shown in Table 1. Grades are Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

Important: Final portfolios are required for all internships/co-ops.

Table 1: Internship Courses

English 483: Internship English 589: Graduate Internship
Paid or Unpaid Pair or Unpaid
150-200 hours 150-200 hours
Final Portfolio Contents and Deadlines Final Portfolio Contents and Deadlines

Preparing for an Internship

The internship is the culmination of your course work. You must have sufficient instruction before you can do an internship. In most cases, this means you cannot do the internship until you near the end of your coursework. You also must have permission from the Intership Coordinator before you start looking for and scheduling your internship. This guidance is to ensure that you have sufficient coursework to support the work you will be doing during your internship.

Students may complete internships during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. However, students should plan their course load accordingly during the fall or spring semesters due to the number of hours required for an internship. 

Students search for and obtain their own internships; however, you do receive guidance from the Internship Coordinator and from the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). You should begin looking for an internship six months to one year in advance.

Process and Timeline

Make an appointment to speak with the Internship Coordinator to discuss your internship. Bring a current resume.

The Internship Coordinator has leads on internships and can provide you with contact information for potential internship employers. The CCPD has information about internships and students can use JobCat ( to search for internship opportunities. 

Revise your application materials based on feedback from the Internship Coordinator. Be sure to fulfill and submit all application requirements per the employer.

Students use JobCat to track their internship, and you must attend an orientation to learn how to use this system. Students can RSVP for sessions through JobCat by clicking on Events, then on Workshops, and selecting a date/time that works. 

When you have secured an internship with an employer, ask the employer for a written job description, which you will upload in JobCat. After you have attended the JobCat orientation, completed the internship application, and uploaded your job description, you will receive an email from the Internship Coordinator that you may now register for the appropriate internship class. You will need your alt pin from your advisor to register for this class. Late registration results in late fees, so it is advantageous to ensure all of your paperwork is submitted on time.

You and your employer negotiate your start date. Keep in mind that you have one semester to complete the necessary internship hours, so plan the number of hours you will complete each week and stay on schedule. Keep track of your hours and save the work you complete on the job. You will use your work examples for the electronic portfolio due at the end of your internship.

During the middle of the semester or summer session, you and your employer will be contacted for a mid-term evaluation. You should meet with your employer during this time to discuss your progress and goals for the rest of the internship.

The electronic portfolio is submitted through JobCat and Canvas one week before semester classes end (see due dates on Canvas). 

Near the end of your internship, your employer will complete a final evaluation with the CCPD. You should meet with the employer for an exit interview and discuss your overall evaluation.

Complete a Program Evaluation and Self Evaluation through JobCat at the end of the semester or summer session. You will evaluate your experience on your internship.

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