Courses & Programs

For Community Partners

Explore the information below to learn about academic internships at HCC.

An academic internship is three-way partnership between a student, a faculty sponsor, and a community partner that links classroom learning with real-world experience in a professional setting.

The main priority of an academic internship is to provide students with a learning experience during which they gain new knowledge by performing tasks, working on projects, completing other on-the-job learning experiences, and through mentoring. They are usually the length of a semester, part-time, and can be paid or unpaid. 

Combining productive work with academic learning is a proven method for promoting the academic, personal, and career development of students.

The ExL Program has adopted guidelines and standards developed by a group of career professionals from the 15 community colleges in collaboration with the MA Community Colleges Executive Office.

The committee published the MCC Experiential Education: Internships and Cooperative Education, A Handbook for Practitioners and Administrators, which outlines best practices, success factors, federal regulations, and legal implications for practitioners and program administrators to follow when designing and supervising internships on each of the Commonwealth's community college campuses.

By sponsoring HCC students as interns, you are demonstrating your commitment to our community as students grow and advance through their internship experiences!

Learn more about sponsoring an HCC student intern.

  • Develop future talent
  • Year-round source of highly motivated pre-professionals
  • New perspectives
  • Provide freedom for professional staff to pursue creative or more advanced projects
  • Flexible, cost-effective workforce that does not require a long-term employer commitment
  • Cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential employees
  • Learn the latest strategies and techniques in the field
  • Maintain connections with colleges and increase visibility
  • Recruit other students and generate enthusiasm
  • Create awareness of the field for future hires
  • Enhance your image in the community 
Your future intern is required to meet the following eligibility requirements
  • Current HCC student enrolled in an academic program
  • Sophomore status; successful in their academic programs; and/or have a recommendation from a faculty member 
  • Eager and willing to learn in a "work" environment
  • In compliance with all HCC policies and procedures, and adhere to the MA Community Colleges Student Code of Conduct
  • Agree, in writing, to comply with your organization's rules and policies; work scheduled hours; adhere to confidentiality policies; and demonstrate professional behavior and appropriate dress
  • Sign an Acknowledgment of Risk & Consent Form

Designing an internship program to meet your organization's needs is simple! 

  1. Have a plan: know what you hope to achieve, and how a student intern will fit into your organization's goals and culture.
  2. Write an internship description and submit to Your description should detail the responsibilities and expectations of the internship. It will be publicized to students and departmental faculty. Resumes will be forwarded to you; you decide whom to interview and accept.
  3. Sign and submit a Memorandum of Understanding: the MOU describes the agreement between the college and your organization. 
  4. Assign a site supervisor: The site supervisor is responsible for onboarding (discussing workplace requirements and internship responsibilities); reviewing learning objectives and signing the Learning Agreement; supervising (providing tasks that are career-related and challenging); and assessing (completing two Academic Internship Assessments, mid-term and at the end of the internship).
important information
  • Academic internships are semester-long experiences that normally range between 8-10 hours per week
  • Internships should run concurrent with academic semesters:
    • Fall (early September to mid-December)
    • Spring (late January to mid-May)
    • Summer (early June to mid-July)
  • Start recruiting students about three to four months prior to the beginning of your internship start date (Note: The ExL Program cannot guarantee students for any particular semester)
  • Students earn academic credit (1-3 credits) for completing their internship

It is important to know the legal policies and guidelines regarding the employment of interns. As with other workers, student interns are subject to legal protections and regulations. Protect yourself and your intern by knowing the laws. Review the US Fair Labor Standards Act for more information.

If you do not have an established internship program and would like assistance developing one, contact the Exl Coordinator Andrea Picard at or 413.552.2342 to arrange a worksite visit.