Internships & Cooperative Education
Want to contribute to the 70% of graduating seniors who participate in at least one practical work experience? For more than a decade, ODU has guaranteed internship, cooperative education, clinical rotation, student teaching, or a class containing a real-world, hands-on project or experience.
Handshake has an option that can aid you in tracking experiential learning activities (I.e., internships, co-ops, practicums, etc.). Benefits of utilizing Handshake Experiences include automated approval processes, automated midterm and/or final evaluations, students can have the experience shared to their Handshake profile for employers to see, and it can be customized for your departmental/program needs. Customizable items include (1) Student Contract Agreement
Attachments, (2)Number and order of approvals and approval questions, and (4) evaluations (mid-term &/or final).
If your Department/Program is interested in establishing their own template for students to utilize, start the process with this Qualtrics form template.
Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Dear [Name of Employer]:
This reference letter is provided at the written request of [name of student], who has asked me to serve as a reference on [his/her] behalf. It is my understanding that [name of student] is being considered by your organization for the position of [job title]. Please be advised that the information contained in this letter is confidential and should be treated as such. The information should not be disclosed to [name of student, if student has waived access] or anyone in your organization who would not be involved in the hiring decision regarding this individual. Additionally, the information should not be disclosed to anyone outside of your organization without the consent of the student.
I have known [name of student] for the past [number of months, semesters, years] as [he/she] has taken the following courses which I teach: [list courses, give brief description of content of course]. As [his/her] professor, I have had an opportunity to observe the student's participation and interaction in class, and to evaluate the student's knowledge of the subject matter. I would rate the student's overall performance in these subjects as average. This is evidenced by [his/her] grades-[state the grades].
[One or two specific examples of the student's performance may be appropriate.] As part of [his/her] grade in [name of course], the student was required to prepare a paper. The paper was designed to measure the student's ability to research, to analyze the results of the research, and to write. [Discuss how the paper submitted by the student indicated to you the student's skills in these areas.] Based upon this, I rate the student's skills as competent, but not excelling.
The one area in which the student performed above average was in oral communications. [Give specific example to support this.]
Based upon the student's academic performance and my understanding of the position for which the student is applying, I believe the student would perform (place overall evaluation here).
If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me.
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers
If the career center or faculty prescreen candidates, they are, in effect, acting as an employment agency, and the relevant laws that apply to an agency would apply to the career center or faculty member.
Although federal anti-discrimination provisions typically apply only to "employers," many states have adopted similar provisions that encompass individual employees and third parties. These state law provisions often make it unlawful for any individual or entity to "aid or abet" discriminatory employment practices. Additionally, educational institutions that accept federal funding may run afoul of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and/or the Equal Protection Clause by implementing or endorsing discriminatory prescreening practices.
Once career services staff or a faculty member participate in the selection process, they may have to justify the criteria upon which the screening was based, just like an employer or an employment agency. Problems occur when the criteria are facially discriminatory or have a discriminatory impact, such as when a career services office is asked to refer only minority students or a faculty member is asked to refer just female candidates. A career services staff member or faculty member could not defend the action by saying the employer "told me to do it."
The less directly involved the career services staff and faculty are in making choices for employers, the less likely the staff and educational institution will become embroiled in administrative claims and litigation if a student believes that he or she was discriminated against as a result of not being selected to interview.
by Edward Easterly, Esq., Norris, McLaughlin, & Marcus, Reprinted from the August 29, 2012, Spotlight
As a faculty member, you can support the career aspirations of your students and graduates and complement the work of career services offices on your campus. Helping students in their job and internship searches can sometimes raise unanticipated legal or ethical issues, and this short guide is intended to provide you with guidance in areas that you may encounter. Please note that this guide is not all encompassing: You should contact your institution's legal counsel if you have concerns on how to address a particular issue.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated, provides a set of ethical standards for guiding job and internship searches and the hiring process. The Principles for Ethical Professional Practice are based on two basic precepts: maintaining a recruitment process that is fair and equitable; and supporting informed and responsible decision making by candidates.
These broad principles encourage all those engaged in career advising and recruitment, e.g., students, employer representatives, faculty, and career services staff, to:
1. Practice reasonable, responsible, and transparent behavior;
2. Act without bias;
3. Ensure equitable access;
4. Comply with applicable local, state and federal laws, and
5. Protect confidentiality of students' career and recruitment-related information.
Note that complying with an employer request to recommend or rank student candidates may present a conflict of interest. As agents of the institution, in general, faculty should put the interests of students ahead of the interests of employers when responding to requests for information or referrals; in addition, any information provided must be based upon facts.
Employers may contact you to request the names of students who would be good candidates for internship and job opportunities. At first glance, it may seem harmless to provide the names of your best students. However, there are some potential legal and ethical pitfalls. By identifying individuals for employment on a "regular" basis, you and your institution could be subject to liability if you do not comply with all equal employment opportunity laws, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of an individual's protected classification, such as their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or gender identity.
Guidance: If you receive a request for student referrals, the initial request from the employer should be sent to the college career center so that the position can be posted openly for all qualified candidates. If the opportunity is broadly posted, then it is generally acceptable for you to encourage students to apply for the position as well. Be mindful, however, that if you do choose to encourage students to apply, you should not limit such encouragement to only one class of individuals, or you could potentially expose yourself and the educational institution to a claim for discrimination.
Rationale: We are required to maintain an environment of equal employment opportunity and act in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner without regard of a student's race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, age, economic status, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Publicizing opportunities through the career center helps ensure that all students have access to the opportunity, prevents confusion by providing employers and students with one point of contact on campus, allows the career center to build a recruiting relationship with the employer, and helps protect students from employers whose practices may not meet your institution's recruitment or workplace standards, if any.
REFERRING CANDIDATES of Diverse Backgrounds
Employers may ask for your assistance with their efforts to recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Guidance: You should immediately contact the career center to inform it of such a request. Based upon your institutions policies and procedures, you may also make announcements in class, post signs in your department and notify relevant student organizations, e.g., societies of Hispanic or black engineers, women's organizations, or LGBTQ groups. You should also refer the employer to your college's diversity and inclusion office, if one exists. The diversity and inclusion office may be authorized to provide a list of the members of a requested population. You should not identify any specific individuals based upon their race or perceived race or background.
Rationale: It may be acceptable for you to assist employers in reaching out to diverse student groups, but you have an obligation to provide a system where all students have access to information about career opportunities, not just those you happen to know. There are other legal implications that may be at issue with regard to such requests; consequently, before you provide any information, you should contact the career services center to determine any requirements or limitations.
Guidance: If you are asked by an employer to provide a written or oral reference for a student, either you or the school must have prior written authorization from the student, and you should provide information that is based on facts, not conjecture, and not on personal information unrelated to the student's qualifications for the job in question. If you are unclear of what you can and cannot share, contact your career services office for information and direction. NACE's sample faculty reference letter template provides general guidance that may be useful.
Rationale: You may expose yourself and your institution to legal liability if you share protected students' information without their permission, or limit a student's opportunities through opinion or speculation or by sharing irrelevant information.
Check with your career services office for additional resources that can assist you in assuring a hiring process that is free from discrimination and provides equal opportunities to all qualified students.
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers