Central Washington University's Cooperative Education Program provides an opportunity for students to go beyond the classroom and apply what they have learned in a non-academic context. In an internship, you explore future career possibilities, acquire practical experience that will attract employers, and demonstrate the writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills that you have developed in your philosophy and religious studies classes. An internship is not just a job, but a chance to learn the ropes in an organization that wants to train you. It is a valuable opportunity to link the work in your major with your professional goals. Our large plan philosophy major and large plan religious studies specialization (the equivalent of a major) require that students complete a two-credit internship; however, students in our small plans are also welcome to pursue an internship opportunity.
Career Services has a list of established internships with local, regional, and national organizations, but students may also work with the department's Internship Coordinator to develop new positions. A background in philosophy or religious studies prepares you for a variety of professions, so a number of different positions are available through the department. For example, students with an interest in ethics could work with the Kittitas Valley Community Hospital or with nonprofit organizations such as Hospice, ASPEN, Habitat for Humanity, and the Ellensburg Food Bank. For those in religious studies, there are opportunities with the local Ministerial Association and the Washington State Holocaust Resource Center. Students planning to go to law school can work in places like the Kittitas County Prosecutor's Office or the Washington State legislature. Positions in the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute are available for those with interests in animal cognition and the philosophy of mind. Students may also serve as teaching assistants in introductory-level courses, where they will run study groups, provide tutoring, assist in grading assignments, and even teach selected classes. These experiences are especially valuable for students who plan to attend graduate school. There are also positions in college administration, publishing, and business consulting, to name a few. Your advisor and other professors may have contacts in the field in which you are interested. They and the Career Services staff will work with you to identify a relevant work experience.
To be eligible, a student must have completed at least ninety credits (including at least ten credits in the major and fifteen at CWU) and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. You will work with your faculty advisor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies to complete a Learning Agreement that explains the objectives and specifies the activities involved in the position. When it is approved by Career Services, they will register you for PHIL 490, with the number of course credits - between one and twelve - depending on the number of work hours. Positions may be part-time, so that you can continue your regular coursework along with the internship, or they can be full-time, typically over an entire quarter. Internships are usually graded S/U (satisfactory or unsatisfactory), although letter grades can be given in some circumstances.
For more information about internships, contact your major advisor in our department! You many also direct general questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With internships, you apply what you're learning in a professional field that interests you. Put your mind to work!
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