Applied Learning & Internships
Internships and applied learning help students to build skills that enable them to bridge the gap between college and the workforce.
Making the Most of Your Internship
For college students, an internship or other applied learning experiences can provide relevant experience and allow you to develop the skills that will set you apart as you look to build your career.
The Career Development Center’s applied learning specialist is available to help students explore various applied learning opportunities, and will work with you to develop a strategy for securing applied learning opportunities that are relevant to your intended career path.
In a recent study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 74 percent of employers shared that they preferred to hire students with relevant work experience.
These documents explain the basics and the benefits:
- Applied Learning and Internship Search Toolkit for Students
- Applied Learning Toolkit for Site Supervisors
- An Introduction to Applied Learning and Internships for Faculty Sponsors
Funding, Internships & Options
Applied Learning Opportunities
Students have several options when considering an applied learning opportunity. Some opportunities are for credit, others are non-credit. Below is a list of the categories of applied learning opportunities:
Art Performances and Exhibitions: Exhibition or curation of artwork in an organized setting such as a gallery, art museum, or similar. Publication or performances of musical, theatrical, poetic, or literary works in a public venue and including activities involving design, editing, technical production, and arts venue management.
Capstones/Thesis Projects and Classes: A culminating academic/pre-professional experience, usually faculty led, which synthesizes the totality of undergraduate study in a discipline.
Civic Engagement: A teaching and learning focus on educating students as citizens. Classes or programs include meaningful civic education and activities (i.e. voter engagement, social protests) for social good. Classes and projects have components of substantial and sustained reflection and engagement.
Conference Presentations and Publications: Student presentations of papers or posters based on their academic work and under the guidance of faculty at regional or national conferences related to the field of study.
Cooperative Education: A formally recognized academic program integrating classroom learning and productive paid work experiences in a field related to a student’s academic and career goals.
Entrepreneurship: Students in entrepreneurship activities identify, develop and deliver new services and products for commerce.
Experiences Abroad: Including study away/abroad, international travel with emphasis on cultural learning and immersion.
Field Study: Faculty mentored, self-directed work in a field setting that enables students to learn to gather and analyze data, formulate and test hypotheses.
Internship: Productive work experience in a field related to a student’s academic and career goals. The work experience is formally coordinated with a business, agency, or non-profit organization. Provides students with learning experiences integrating theory and practice. May be credit or non-credit, paid or unpaid.
Leadership Opportunities: Performing in leadership roles in any recognized and approved organization on or off campus. For purposes of applied learning, leadership involves assuming the work of change-making, team-management, mission-development, project-management and outcomes assessment. Examples would include: resident assistant, Student Association senator or executive council, orientation leaders, peer career assistants, peer educators, and teaching assistants.
Practicum Placements (including student teaching and clinicals): A supervised, credit-bearing immersion experience related to the student’s immediate career or academic goals. Some offer pay, but most don't. Almost all are done for academic credit.
Service-Learning: The integration of meaningful community service relevant to a class subject matter. Always for academic credit and requires substantial and sustained reflective learning, as evidenced by a journal or some other method to demonstrate synthesis between classroom content and community application.
Structured Community Service: Volunteerism and community service performed by students for community benefit with clear objectives and purposes, and organized or sanctioned by a university or civic office. This service is not necessarily tied to learning outcomes or a particular program of study and may include structured projects (days of service), smaller group projects, fund-raising events, or individual volunteerism attached to a sustained and organized project and which is acknowledged by the campus.
Research: Faculty mentored, self-directed research or scholarship project that is part of a faculty member’s research program or project, or independent scholarly work by a student under faculty guidance. May include laboratory research, field research, or archival scholarship. May be credit bearing, or not. Wages may be attached if the research is grant funded and wages are included in the approved expenditures of the grant parameters.
The Applied Learning Grant
Funding Your Experience With the Applied Learning Grant
Established in the fall of 2015 and generously supported by SUNY Plattsburgh alumni and the SUNY Plattsburgh College Foundation, the Applied Learning Grant funds students in their pursuit of an internship or other applied learning opportunity. The application process is competitive. Previous recipients have used the funds to conduct internships abroad, for commuting costs to and from an internship site in Plattsburgh, and range of experiences in between. Students who are interested in applying for an Applied Learning Grant should read the Frequently Asked Questions Section Below before filling out an application. Applicants are also encouraged to meet with the Applied Learning Specialist before submitting their application.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Applied Learning Grant?
- Applied Learning Grants are available to students to provide financial support to under- or unpaid applied learning experiences and/or offset direct expenses.
- Funding is made available by through the support of the SUNY Plattsburgh College Foundation
and administered by the Career Development Center (CDC)
What types of experiences are eligible for an Applied Learning Grant?
- Internships, service learning, extended job-shadowing, apprenticeships, mentored/supervised research, co-ops, clinical/field placements, art performances and exhibits, and/or structured and sustained volunteering.
- If you have specific questions about whether an experience will qualify, visit the
What types of expenses can the Applied Learning Grant be used for?
- Allowable expenses include commuting, housing for experiences outside of Plattsburgh N.Y., travel expenses, costs associated with work permits and visas, tuition and/or fees offered by non-SUNY entities, supplies necessary for your experience.
- DISALLOWED expenses include SUNY tuition and fees, wages for on-campus assignments, commuting costs within reasonable walking distance, meals, clothing, and/or personal entertainment.
- Please note that the award you receive may not equal the amount you requested.
- We strongly recommend you talk with a financial aid advisor to ensure receipt of an
Applied Learning Grant will not negatively impact your financial aid package.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Any full-time matriculated undergraduate or graduate student
- Completed at least 12 academic credits
- Achieved a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA
- In academic good standing
- In good standing with Student Accounts
How do I apply for an Applied Learning Grant?
The Career Development Center offers and Internship Shuttle service to bring students to and from internships in and around the city and town of Plattsburgh.
Apply to see more details and information about the program.
Internships Available Through Academic Departments and Majors
Nearly all of our majors have internship opportunities available to you. Find out more information by finding your major and visiting their program page.
- Childhood Education
- Communication Sciences & Disorders
- Communication Studies
- Computer Science
- Computer Security
- Criminal Justice
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- Expeditionary Studies
- Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management
- Hospitality Management
- Human Development & Family Relations
- Social Work
- TV Video Production
Washington Internship Institute
The Washington Internship Institute is a semester-long experience which allows students to fully immerse themselves in an internship in the greater Washington D.C. area.
Along with your internship, the Washington Internship Institute includes 2 academic courses, provides optional housing, and offers many site visits and guest speakers throughout your experience. Students who participate typically earn 15 academic credits.
The Washington Internship Institute is offered in the fall semester, spring semester, and over the summer.
If you are interested in the Washington Internship Institute, be sure to schedule an appointmentwith the Career Development Center’s Applied Learning Coordinator to get an overview of the program and what is required to apply.
- Washington Internship Institute Application
- SUNY Plattsburgh Washington Internship Institute Contract
To learn more about the Washington Internship Institute, visit their website at: wiidc.org
Past Applied Learning Experiences
You can see a list of past opportunities and experience here.