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Courses & Programs

For Students

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

An academic internship is three-way partnership between a student, a faculty sponsor, and a community partner, which 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. 

  1. Try out your career choice. Discover if the career you’re considering is right (or wrong) for you.
  2. Apply knowledge and develop skills. Apply what you’re learning in the classroom, and develop professional workplace skills.
  3. Gain job search skills. Create a professional resume, sharpen your interviewing skills, and a practice interacting professionally.
  4. Build a network. Develop a network of professional contacts, mentors, and references.
  5. Increase your marketability. Position yourself for a smoother transition into the workforce.
Weeks 1-5

The first five weeks of the semester, you'll search for and find an internship under the guidance of the experiential learning coordinator. During this time, you'll enhance several skills important for this transition, including written and oral communication, teamwork and collaboration, leadership/followership, professionalism, and work ethic as they pertain to the internship application process, interviews, and expectations of performance in your role as a student intern. You will also complete all required documentation.

Please note: The first five weeks of instruction is required whether or not you have solidified an internship agreement.

Weeks 6-15

During the second part of the semester, you will participate in the actual internship under the guidance of a faculty sponsor and a site supervisor.

This three-way partnership (student, faculty sponsor, and site supervisor) will link your classroom learning with real-world experiences in a professional setting!

  • Current HCC student enrolled in an academic program
  • Eagerness and a desire to learn from a combination of work and academics
  • Willingness to adhere to the MA Community Colleges Student Code of Conduct
  • Agree in writing to follow the employer's rules and policies; to work your scheduled hours; and to demonstrate appropriate behavior, appropriate dress, and confidentiality as required
  • Submit a signed Acknowledgment of Risk & Consent form
  • Course prerequisites vary for each academic program. Contact the ExL coordinator at or 413.552.2342 for details.

Contact your academic advisor or Andrea Picard at

Who is the Experiential Learning Coordinator?

The ExL Coordinator is Andrea Picard. Andrea can be reached at, 413.552.2342, or in Marieb 231.


Don't worry! During the first five weeks of the internship course, we will walk you through an internship search, help you develop professional resumes and cover letters, and teach you interview techniques. You'll also work on: communication, teamwork and collaboration, leadership/followership, professionalism, and work ethic. These skills will help you make a successful transition into your internship role.

if i have an internship, will i still need to attend the first five weeks of the course?

Yes, the first five-week component is required. Not only will you learn how to conduct a successful job search, you will develop or enhance: written and oral communication, teamwork and collaboration, leadership/followership, professionalism, and work ethic. In addition, all academic internships must be approved. Please contact the ExL coordinator for more information.

Can I still get an internship if I have no experience?

Organizations value skills developed through academic work, volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, and other activities. Not all of these skills are job-specific; some are general, such as communication skills and analytical skills, and can be used in different settings. Many types of student jobs can demonstrate to organizations that you have been a successful employee. Obtaining an internship is a great way to bridge this gap.

Do I have to pay for an internship?

Yes. As with any credit-bearing course, you register and pay tuition for an academic internship. If you are planning on doing your internship over the summer, you must contact Financial Aid to discuss summer tuition and whether your financial aid will cover your tuition costs.

Am I allowed to take classes while doing an internship?

Students are able to schedule an internship course with other courses up to 18 credits per term. Please seek advice from your faculty sponsor or the ExL coordinator to determine how this may impact your internship.

How many hours will I be expected to work at my internship site?

The number of required field hours will depend on the number of academic credits earned:

# of credits Total hours
3 135
2 90
1 40

What if there's a school holiday or a snow day?

As a student intern, you are following the organization's schedule. Therefore, school holidays, vacations, snow days, etc. will not apply to you unless your organization is also closed for that day.

What happens if the experience hasn't turned out to be what I expected?

Every experience is unique, so it depends on your specific situation. The ExL coordinator and your faculty sponsor can advise you through any difficulties you may experience. The sooner you connect with either of them, the better they will be able to assist you.

What happens if I get fired from my internship?

Be proactive and professional at all times to prevent that from happening. If you are fired, depending on the reasons for termination, you may or may not have the opportunity to re-do your internship. Please schedule a meeting to discuss options with the ExL coordinator immediately.

What happens if I get injured at the internship site?

Inform your site supervisor right away so they can assess the situation and assist you in receiving proper medical attention. You or your site supervisor should contact the ExL coordinator as soon as possible.

What if I decide to quit my internship?

Before notifying your site supervisor, contact the ExL coordinator and/or your faculty sponsor as soon as possible to discuss your options.

What if my question isn't answered here?

Contact ExL coordinator Andrea Picard at or 413.552.2342.

why an academic internship?

Let Ashley Rivest walk you through the details of the academic internship class.