CSU, Chicos Experiential Education program links the university to business,
industry, and government by giving students an opportunity to combine classroom
study with career related work experience. The program helps students define
their educational goals and prepare for their careers by exploring the
realities of the working world.
Bill Lerch, Director
Valuable teaching and learning can occur outside the classroom. In recognition,
the Office of Experiential Education has formed a partnership with business
and government which provides students with the opportunity to gain academically
related work experience prior to graduation. These practical learning experiences
extend the walls of the university, permitting students to blend theory
and practice at an early stage in their professional growth.
The program provides an excellent source of energetic, highly motivated
employees and enables employers to evaluate interns under actual working
conditions and assess their performance as prospective employees.
Experiential education opportunities are essentially limitless, bound more
by the imagination than geography or type of work. Work experience opportunities
exist throughout the nation and world in a spectrum of subjects from agriculture
to the fine arts. Through the Office of Experiential Education, students
have interned with a vast list of agencies and corporations including British
Petroleum in London; the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C.; Hewlett-Packard,
ChevronTexaco, and Cisco in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Meeks Building
Center in Chico. These experiences allow students to explore their career
dreams, test their abilities in supportive work environments, gain invaluable
insights into various careers, develop skills, and work with equipment
not available at the university.
Experiential education positions can be paid or unpaid, full time or part
time, and normally coincide with the fall, spring, or summer terms. Students
earn academic credit for a university assignment associated with work experience.
A maximum of 15 internship units (courses numbered 089, 189, 289, 389)
may be applied to a bachelors degree at CSU, Chico.
Office of Experiential Education
The universitys cooperative education and internship programs are coordinated
by the Office of Experiential Education. The office assists students, employers,
and academic departments in developing and improving academically related
work experience programs and matching students with employers. The Office
of Experiential Education offers the following services:
Internship Exploration System (IES): An easy-to-use database with more
than 1400 listings in the United States and overseas.
Overall coordination of departmental co-op/internship programs.
Counseling and placement.
Referral to departmental internship programs.
Coordination of the Rural California Nursing Preceptorships program.
Internships and Cooperative Education
Internships cover the broadest spectrum of experiential education. Most
internships are paid and part time. The university also has active departmental
internship programs to assist employers and students. Each departmental
internship program has its own requirements and it is advisable to consult
the department directly.
The Cooperative Education Program (co-op) is also administered by the Office
of Experiential Education. Co-op positions are paid and can be full time
or part time. The work periods are typically from January - June and June
- December; however, summer-only work sessions may be arranged. The salaries
for co-ops range from $1000 to more than $3000 per month and depend upon
the students major, year in school, and the company. Many co-op students
receive permanent job offers from the companies participating in the co-op
Approximately 1500 students are placed annually with nearly 450 agencies
Rural California Nursing Preceptorships
The Rural California Nursing Preceptorship (RCNP) program provides comprehensive
opportunities for a variety of clinical experiences. Senior-level nursing
students and registered nurses can participate. Short-term preceptorships
allow students to evaluate the benefits and career options in rural health,
and gain additional clinical experience before graduating. Placements can
be made throughout the year for periods of four to eight weeks.
Preceptors include RNs, PHNs, FNPs and MDs. Facilities used for placements
include acute care hospitals, community clinics, public health agencies,
and home health agencies. Placement sites are located between San Benito
County and the Oregon border. Participants may choose to earn credit through
their own nursing school, or through Chico State (receiving 2-4 units of
credit). RNs may receive 30 BRN approved CEUs through Continuing Education.