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Why is it important for departments to offer internship courses?

Internships are a key indicator of student success during and post college. Paid internships benefit students in their initial post-graduation job search resulting in more job offers, higher starting salaries, and a shorter search. In addition, internships benefit colleges and students during their academic career; research has proven student participation in these work-related learning experiences positively affects student retention, degree completion, increased opportunities for departments, and reputation/recruitment of future students.


Internships can lead to greater retention and degree completion in academic departments. Generally, when internships are coordinated through an on campus employee, the student feels comfortable sharing their experience, leading to a sense of college culture and academic expectations for the student. Internships lead to students with a greater vested interest in graduating and ultimately, completing their major.


Colleges with formal internship programs provide a greater reputation and increased visibility of the college and Department. Prospective students more often than not, look for internship programs schools have relationships with when deciding where to enroll. With student enrollment being an important goal for the college, a greater focus could increase overall college enrollment.


Colleges that strengthen connections with industry by providing qualified interns can lead to increased support to the college translating to scholarships, equipment donations and grant funding. This leads to a bidirectional relationship where employers receive high level talent from our students and employers provide the college with new resources.

Information in this page was derived using the following texts in the References below.


Divine, R. L., Linrud, J. K., Miller, R. H., & Wilson, J. H. (2007). Required internship programs in marketing: Benefits, challenges and determinants of fit. Marketing Education Review, 17(2), 45-52. 

Weible, R. (2009). Are universities reaping the available benefits internship programs offer?.  Journal of education for business, 85(2), 59-63. 

Walker II, R. B. (2011). Business internships and their relationship with retention, academic  performance, and degree completion. Iowa State University.

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