Using Web Technology to Promote Student Internship/Cooperative Education in College of Engineering at Boise State University

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Conference Proceeding

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The Internship/Cooperative (Co-op) Education Program in the College of Engineering, Construction Management Department of Boise State University (BSU) provides an opportunity for students to apply firsthand what they have learned in the classroom. Students gain practical experience in their chosen career fields by working in a professional capacity in business, industry and government. The program allows students to gain valuable on-the-job training in areas of professional interest while earning academic credits and making important professional contacts that supplement their degrees. In the past, information about the availability of student internships was usually provided by word-of-mouth, and by posting notices on bulletin boards. There was a need to improve communications about the availability of internships as well as a need to establish closer contacts with the businesses that might serve as potential sources of internships. It has also been difficult to identify internship positions unless businesses took the initiative to contact the university.

Recently, an internship web site was developed and linked to the College of Engineering Homepage on the World-Wide-Web. This site was designed to facilitate the link between potential internship opportunities and undergraduate students seeking to match their chosen major field of study with work experience in participating organizations. This paper describes: the development of the internship web site on the College of Engineering Homepage; its organization, planning and implementation; industry/academia interactions for interactive and integrative applications; analysis of the historical data collected prior to the availability of the web; and interim results and recommendations for improvements with an emphasis on the need for implementation and expansion of the internship program with the use of Internet technology.

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