Earning Credit for Co-ops & Internships
The Liberal Arts Learning Contract is available to students in all colleges.
The Liberal Arts Learning Contract requires the agreement and approval of a Liberal Arts faculty mentor in the College of Liberal Arts. Career Services can assist the student in identifying a faculty mentor.
The Liberal Arts Learning Contract allows the student to receive 1 to 3 credit hours for their work experience.
As for other credit-bearing classes, fees are charged for Liberal Arts Learning Contracts.
The student is registered and receives credit during the term in which the work occurs.
Learning Contracts are administered through Career Services by the College of Liberal Arts liaison.
Learning Contract Eligibility
To register, students must first meet minimum requirements.
Types of Jobs for the Learning Contract
The job description must relate to the student's major.
The student may have secured the job through Career Services On-Campus Interviewing, Recruiting Days, The Wright Search database, or other Career Services employer contact; or, the student may have secured the job through other means.
A job identified by the employer as either an internship or co-op position may qualify for Liberal Arts Learning Contract registration. However, it is not necessary that the job be labeled by the employer as an internship or co-op, as long as other eligibility conditions are satisfied. Students should speak to the Career Services adviser to determine if the job meets eligibility requirements.
Career Services expectations of internship and co-op positions also apply to positions credited through the Liberal Arts Learning Contract.
Project or Paper Assigned by Faculty Mentor
The faculty mentor assigns a project or paper that they then evaluate at the end of term. The project is also presented to the Career Services liaison, at the end-of-term exit interview.
The project requirement is in addition to satisfactory fulfillment of the duties and requirements of the job, as expressed in the supervisor's performance appraisal.
The Learning Contract Process
- Prior to the semester in which the student begins working, the student visits Career Services and speaks to the Career Services liaison to the College of Liberal Arts, and requests a Learning Contract.
- If the student does not have a faculty mentor in mind, the Career Services adviser can suggest appropriate faculty contacts.
- The student secures the faculty mentor before the semester begins.
- Once the faculty mentor has signed the completed Learning Contract, the student also signs the contract and returns it to Career Services.
All students returning a contract for the first time are required to see a Career Services adviser.
Students who have previously completed a contract are advised according to one of two following cases:
- if contract is completed in its entirety, student can drop it at the front desk
- if the contract is incomplete, student should see adviser, or else registration will be delayed
- Upon receipt of the completed Learning Contract and verifying the student's eligiblity, the Liberal Arts liaison in Career Service:
- registers the student
- sends a copy of the contract to the student and the faculty member
- forwards a copy to the student file.
- A Learning Contract confirmation letter is generated and sent to the employer. Career Services cannot register students who have outstanding amounts due to the university. It is the student's responsibility to monitor their account and maintain a clear record of fee payment with the university.
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- The student reports to work and fulfills assignments from the supervisor and faculty mentor during the term of registration.
- Prior to the last day of classes, the student submits the agreed upon documentation to the faculty mentor, who reviews the material and evaluates it for a grade. A meeting between the student and the faculty mentor is recommended, but is at the discretion of the faculty mentor.
- The faculty mentor forwards the grade recommendation to the Career Services liaison whose name appears on the Learning Contract. At the end of the term, the employer evaluates the student's work performance through a standard form provided directly to the supervisor by Career Services.
- If the performance evaluation is in sharp contrast to the academic grade recommendation, the Career Services liaison contacts the faculty mentor to discuss a course of action in further evaluating the student. After investigation, the liaison and faculty mentor arrive at a plan for advising the student and adjusting the grade, if necessary.
- In the last two weeks of the semester, the student completes an exit interview with Career Services. A copy of the academic project is submitted to Career Services at the exit interview.
- After the student's successful completion of the faculty requirements, the Career Services exit interview and other requirements, the Career Services liaison forwards a grade to the registrar.
Will I be able to get Financial Aid while I am registered to work?
Depending upon the student's individual, financial aid eligibility, the student may be eligible for some forms of aid, based on the number of academic credits carried during the same term. Because the Liberal Arts Learning Contract is a credited course, it may contribute to financial aid eligibility in such circumstances. For full details and eligibility, students must contact the Office of Financial Aid and speak with a Financial Aid adviser.
If I work full time and don't take classes, am I still considered a student at Wright State?
When registered for full-time work experience through the Liberal Arts Learning Contract (or in the cooperative education and internship program), students maintain certain privileges of full-time student status. For example, the student is eligible for student health insurance, student legal services, and use of the recreation center. These services must be contracted separately and paid by the student.
Deferment of student loan repayment may be a benefit of full-time enrollment, depending on the terms of the loan. Some student loans require continuous, full-time enrollment at the university but the manner in which lending institutions determines full-time enrollment may vary. Students must consult with their lending institutions and financial aid to determine whether or not specific types of registration will or will not maintain deferment of loan repayment.
In many cases, preservation of the deferment period for loans may be dependent on timely registration of full-time co-op or internship and prompt payment of fees. Failure to register promptly and failure to pay fees (resulting in dropped courses) can compromise deferment.
What is the cost to register for a Liberal Arts Learning Contract?
Liberal Arts Learning Contract credit is subject to the same fees as other academic courses.Students carrying less than 11 total credit hours or over 18 total are billed per credit hour. Under these circumstances, the Bursar bills the students by credit hour, in an amount based on the date of the student's matriculation.
How many times can I do the Liberal Arts Learning Contract?
The number of Liberal Arts Learning Contracts a student may complete depends upon the student's individual major and transcript. Liberal Arts students are limited to a maximum of 16 Liberal Arts Learning Contract or other internship credit hours.
Does the Learning Contract grade affect my grade point average?
There are two grading options on the Liberal Arts Learning Contract: pass/unsatisfactory option and the letter grade option. The pass/unsatisfactory option does not affect the grade point average. Letter grades are factored into the student's cumulative grade point average.
Does the Learning Contract credit count toward my degree?
Sometimes the Liberal Arts Learning Contract credit fulfills degree requirements. The student's academic adviser and department determine in advance if the credit applies toward the degree. Students are advised to review all crediting options and consequences with their academic adviser prior to the beginning of the term in which they will work.
Points to Consider
Substituting the Liberal Arts Learning Contract for departmental requirements or electives is a decision made by the student's department. Some departments have course options for internship credit or independent study credit.
Co-op registration carries no fees, and is a non-credited alternative to the Liberal Arts Learning Contract. Co-op registration is administered through Career Services. Co-op does not advance a student toward their degree, but is nonetheless reflected on their transcript as a part of their college program.
Generally speaking, if registering for credit will not advance or assist the student in some way (through progress toward their degree, or the potential for raising their GPA) students should consider carefully before incurring the additional expense of a Liberal Arts Learning Contract. Co-op registration might be preferable, financially speaking.
Departmental Options for Credit
Some Wright State University academic departments have internship courses (required or optional) or independent study courses which may confer credit for co-op and internship work experience. Students should consult the departmental office to determine if these options exist in their major. Prerequisites and minimum standards generally apply.
If you have questions about the Liberal Arts Learning Contract, call (937) 775-2556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org