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The Benefits of an Externship

Students can begin making progress towards career goals during their first two years in college. An externship is an excellent opportunity for second-semester freshmen and sophomores, especially undecided majors, to explore potential career fields. Much of the students’ experience is through observation and shadowing. Students are given a small amount of responsibility; however, high levels of supervision and assistance are available.

Students may choose to complete a one or two credit externship experience with a classroom component and 20 on-site contact hours required for each credit. The classroom component of the externship, taught by a Career & Internship Services staff member, will incorporate decision-making strategies to help students narrow choices within a particular career field. Students cannot take the externship course more than once.

Students interested in completing a summer externship from a location outside the Triad area may access the classroom component online.

Requirements for the Externship Course

  • Students must complete an Application in order to be considered for the course: applications must be submitted to Eric Melniczek before enrollment in the course.
  • Applicants  must be full-time, degree-seeking HPU students in good disciplinary standing.
  • Applicants must have earned a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (overall and in major, if a major has been declared).
  • All students must have earned at least 16 credits and no more than 59 credits to be eligible to enroll.
  • Externships are graded Pass/Fail by the instructor.
  • Externship sites must meet established criteria. See list below.
  • On-site visits will occur only if a problem or concern arises that cannot be resolved by telephone, email, or other means of long-distance communication.

Host Site Qualifications for Externships

To provide an effective, positive learning environment, host sites must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Sites must have at least one full-time employee who can serve as a co-educator, mentoring the student and serving as a resource.
  • Sites must agree to all Site Supervisor Responsibilities that apply under the For-Credit Internship Program, including:
    • Sites must have a stated harassment policy.
    • Sites must have liability insurance or offer worker’s compensation, depending on whether the position is paid or unpaid.
  • The workplace cannot be located in a private home.
  • Responsibilities must align with what  can be expected of a second-semester Freshman or Sophomore student. Career & Internships staff will determine which experiences may qualify for credit.
  • The site should be one with which the student has no prior experience. Thus, experiences on the HPU campus cannot be completed for academic credit.
  • While part-time jobs are excellent opportunities to gain experience, they do not qualify as sites for an externship.

For more information about the externship program, contact:

Eric Melniczek
Career Advisor, Career & Internship Services



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