With graduation rapidly approaching, I was extremely interested in finding an internship with a growing company, especially one that may provide opportunities for the future. As a senior Psychology and Criminal Justice major at Saint Anselm College, I began my search in the fall, not entirely certain of which direction I was headed. I wanted to find something completely different from the internship experience I had first semester working for Hampshire House, a halfway house for convicted felons. Word of advice – take advantage of your connections! I am currently interning at College for America.
College for America is a non-profit college built specifically for working adults and their employers. College for America partners with employers nationwide to offer their employees a rigorous college degree program that is entirely online, affordable and self-paced. Students are expected to complete a series of competencies which demonstrates what they know and how they are able to actively problem solve. Students receive mastery on a competency once a reviewer has read over their work and sees that the student has demonstrated proficient knowledge in the subject matter. College for America offers both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs.
I work most closely with the Associate’s students. I assist the coaching team who are the backbone and social support of the students, similar to a counselor or academic advisor at a traditional school. During the first half of my internship, I looked at reviewer feedback from various competencies that students had submitted and wrote a series of tip sheets to make coaches aware of common problem areas. In these cases, students had to submit their competencies multiple times before receiving mastery. The College for America coaching team has an amazing relationship with the students, viewing each individual as creative, resourceful, and whole.
I find my work extremely fulfilling. I am an active member of the coaching team and have worked on numerous tip sheets, edited videos for the student portal, and am about to start working on an ethnological report next week. Through working at College for America, I have been able to apply my social sciences background to higher education, promoting the growth and development of each and every one of our students. Internships are extremely beneficial because you are given a new found sense of independence and trust in the professional workforce. My supervisor trusts that I will complete the projects she gives me and to ask relevant questions when needed. I have learned so much over the past few months, and the knowledge I have gained is truly invaluable.