The Voiland Professional Practice and Experiential Learning (PPEL) office inspires students to become leaders in today’s complex global society through participation in experiential learning and professional practice activities with engaged industry partners. The PPEL office provides career-planning services to assist students in clarifying career goals through individual counseling and activities that guide students through the career development process.
PPEL coordinates the College’s internship and cooperative education program and on-campus recruiting, including:
- networking events
- technical career fairs
- information sessions
- job postings
Students learn lifelong job search skills, and employers hire top engineering candidates.
Internships and Cooperative Education
As part of PPEL, the Internship and Cooperative Education (Co-op) program links qualified, interested students with employers to fill engineering positions. These up-and-coming professionals can save the employer time, provide support on special projects, and invigorate the work place. In return, student interns benefit from industry knowledge and experience while exploring their chosen career path and earning academic credit. We look forward to helping students and employers connect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Internships, Co-ops, Practicums, and Externships: What’s the Difference? 1
Internships are typically a one-time work (10-12 weeks) experience related to a student’s major or career goal, often completed in the summer. Normally, an internship does not interfere with college classes, but due to the shorter duration, less training is accomplished.
Internships can be paid or unpaid and the student may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship.
Cooperative education (Co-op) is a partnership between the Voiland College, the employer and the student. It is an academic program designed to give qualified students an opportunity to practice the theory learned in the classroom with on-the-job, full-time career-related work experience. Co-ops typically are a minimum of one semester (14 weeks), but could be up to a full 12 months. Alternatively, students could participate in a Co-op experience that consists of multiple periods of full-time work experience alternating with full-time courses. Due to the longer duration, students receive more job-related training.
All co-ops are paid positions and all involve some form of academic credit.
A practicum is generally a one-time work or service experience done by a student as part of an academic class. Typically, practicums occur over an academic term. Some practicums offer pay, but many do not. Almost all are done for academic credit.
An externship or job shadowing experience allows a student to spend between a day and several weeks observing a professional on the job. Such experiences are unpaid. Externships and job shadowing experiences are generally not done for academic credit.
1 Adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers
Are international students eligible for a co-op/internship?
Will employers be interested in students who don’t have experience?
Do Co-op/Internship credits count toward the student’s degree?
When is the best time to apply for jobs if there is a specific semester the student plans to work?
If a student finds a job on his/her own, can it be a Co-op/Internship?
Can transfer students complete a Co-op/Internship?
Can a Co-op/Internship be extended?
Can a student take classes while working on a Co-op/Internship?
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 3 – 4 p.m., or by appointment
Location: EME 202H
Washington State University
Voiland College Professional Practice and Experiential Learning
355 NE Spokane St., EME Building, Room 202H
PO Box 642713
Pullman, WA 99164-2713