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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Student Success

Professional Practice and Experiential Learning (ProPEL)

Overview

The ProPEL program gives students the opportunity to work in their field while earning credit at the same time. It helps them fine tune their career goals and objectives. The relevant work experience also increases their job readiness and marketability after graduation.

The majority of students, while working full time, do not register in classes, but do maintain their full-time student status at WSU while registered in the ProPEL program.

Co-op and Internship Work

Co-op and internship work is usually full time (more than 30 hours per week), but sometimes part time (less than 30 hours per week). Jobs typically start at the beginning of the term or semester – summer, fall, or spring.

Employers hire Voiland College students for a minimum of 14 weeks (one term or semester including summer) up to a maximum of 12 months (three terms or semesters including summer). Many employers prefer an experience that is six months or longer (for example, June through December).

Credit

The ProPEL program comprises a two-part linked course registration. While working on the job, students are registered for ENGR 488. The semester following the work period, students are registered for ENGR 489, a one-credit course. If the student is graduating at the completion of their co-op/internship, they are registered in ENGR 488 and ENGR 489 concurrently.

Credits earned depends on the number of hours worked. Full-time work earns two credits of ENGR 488; part-time work earns one credit of ENGR 488. Often, the credits can be applied to requirements in their major field of study; this varies by department.

ProPEL Advantages

  • All co-op and internship jobs sanctioned by Voiland College are paid.
  • Gain work experience and transferable skills by applying methods and theories learned in class.
  • Benefit from a competitive edge in the job market.
  • Get a foot in the door at a company.
  • Network with professionals in the field, for references, and future job opportunities.
  • Develop new skills and refine others.
  • Gain confidence in your abilities.
  • Students on full-time co-op/internship jobs may be eligible for financial aid, student housing, student insurance, etc.
  • Co-op/Internship income earned while enrolled in the ProPEL program is not counted toward your FAFSA Expected Family Contribution.

Getting Started

It’s always a good idea to meet with your academic advisor to determine how a co-op/internship will affect your time-to-degree, and to meet with the Internships and Career Services office to discuss ProPEL program requirements to get started with the process.

If you decide to earn credit for your experience, you can fulfill a technical/free elective requirement in your major once you satisfy the following conditions:

  1. You are certified in the major.
  2. The internship/co-op experience is at least 420 hours (for example: 10-1/2 weeks at 40 hours per week; 12 weeks at 35 hours per week, 14 weeks at 30 hours per week, etc.), but your internship can last up to 12-months.
  3. The experience is full-time (30+ hours per week) for the duration of the internship. Note: There is an option for part-time work as well, where you can complete the 420 hours over multiple terms.
  4. The internship is completed on site (online/virtual internship work is not allowed).
  5. At least 50 percent of the experience is directly related to your major.
  6. You are assigned a specific mentor/supervisor at the worksite for the duration of the work term.
  7. The experience is paid (hourly wage, stipend, or fellowship payment are examples of acceptable forms of payment).
  8. Apply for the Voiland College ProPEL Internship Program and enroll in the ProPEL 488 course in your major at the same time as the work experience.
  9. Enroll in ENGR 489 (1 credit) the semester after you have completed 420 internship hours. Note: In certain circumstances, ENGR 489 can be completed concurrently with 488.
  10. Both 488 (2 cr.) and 489 (1 cr.) are required to earn the technical/free elective credit in the major.

Interested students should apply for the ProPEL Internship Program by completing an application, available in the Internships and Cereer Services office, as soon as they have secured an internship.

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Contact the Internships and Career Services Office

Location: Dana 138
Phone: (509) 335-8726
E-mail: vcea.internships@wsu.edu
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 1-2 p.m.
By Appointment via Calendly:

Mailing Address:
Washington State University
Voiland College Internships and Career Services
PO Box 642718
305 NE Spokane St., Dana Hall, Room 138
Pullman, WA 99164-2718