What is a Work-and-Learn Experience?

A work-and-learn experience is an opportunity for an Ivy Tech student to gain real-world experience with an employer, usually before graduation. Examples include internships, micro-internships, apprenticeships, practicums/clinicals, and on-the-job training.

These experiences are important for students to understand the world of work and its future opportunities.

As an employer, work-and-learn experiences allow you to make connections with future employees early and help set your company apart in today’s competitive employment market. 


When two equally qualified candidates are competing for a job opening, employers give the edge to the candidate who has completed a relevant internship:

4.5 out of 5 — the level of influence that a prior internship with their company has on a hiring manager

4.3 out of 5 — the amount of influence having any internship in the industry has on a hiring manager

Source: NACE Job Outlook 2023, October. Rating of 4 = much influence, 5 = extreme influence.



Paid internships are the most common type of work-and-learn experience offered by our employer partners. In-person internship options can range from a short, 8-hour project-based experience to a short-term, non-credit, one-week micro-internship to a 16-week or longer internship (for credit or non-credit). Virtual internships, where communication between employers and interns takes place through a variety of methods such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, telephone, and email, are also viable choices in today's flexible work environment. Virtual internships range from 5–40 hours or in some cases up to 6 months.

Research shows that students hired for a full-time career opportunity after an internship have higher retention rates within the organization, making for a sound return on investment. Work with your local Ivy Tech Talent Connection Manager to determine which internship option is the right fit for your company.

Advertise Your Internships

Have an internship you’re looking to fill? Get the word out to our students and alumni with HireIvy, Ivy Tech’s job portal and career services system. A posting on HireIvy will position you as an employer of choice with our statewide student and alumni network.

Internship Guidelines

As you explore options for bringing interns into your workplace, consider the six areas outlined below that lead to a successful intern experience. 

  1. Orient the student to the company and key contacts.
  2. Identify student learning goals.
  3. Outline employer project goals and weekly expectations for accomplishment.
  4. Schedule weekly meetings: work status updates (should be documented), check-ins, and department meetings (in-person 1:1, email, and/or phone).
  5. Over communicate and involve the intern, not only with work-related projects and tasks but also creative interaction amongst other interns and staff (scavenger hunt; homerooms)
  6. Provide necessary equipment and resources for the intern to accomplish the assigned project.

View/download the PDFs below for more detailed guidelines.

In-Person Internship Guidelines (PDF)
Virtual Internship Guidelines (PDF)

For-Credit Internships

You may also want to consider partnering with our Academics team to provide for-credit internships.

Key Characteristics:

  • An experience that serves to synthesize a student's education and apply it to a workplace setting
  • These are usually undertaken near the end of a student's program of study so as to reflect the whole of the student's educational experience
  • Supervision is provided by an Ivy Tech Community College faculty member
  • On-site supervision is provided by an agency/company employee

Employer Participation (Policy 6.14):

  • 5 contact hours per week (250 minutes)
  • 80 contact hours per semester (4,000 minutes)

Examples of for-credit internships:

  • Human Services has two internships which require 160 hours and reflection papers
  • A Hospitality internship requires 80 hours of work experience and 10 hours of service hours, activity logs, reflection papers, evaluations, skills tests, and a portfolio
  • Criminal Justice has a 4-credit hour internship class
  • Medical Assisting students complete 200 hours of hands-on physicians’ office-based learning their last semester enrolled in the program

Share Your Intern Story

  • Students: Complete this survey to share your incredible internship journey. It might make it on this website to help us celebrate YOU!
  • Employers: Complete this Pledge Survey to celebrate and share incredible Ivy Tech interns you've worked with past and present!
  • Ivy Tech Faculty/Staff: We know you work hard to get our students engaged with meaningful Work-and-Learn experiences - tell us your big wins!


Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects enable students to demonstrate skills, explore career paths and build their networks as they seek the right full-time role. Employers use micro-internships as a feeder into existing internship and early career full-time hiring efforts. You’ll connect with a more diverse network of candidates, attract students who may not have previously considered roles at your organization, and identify candidates that have the skills to succeed. Micro-internships provide companies with immediate support and complement campus recruiting efforts. 

Build a Better Entry-Level Talent Pipeline

  • Typically require 5-40 hours, and can be bundled to create a longer-term experience

  • Each project has a discrete deliverable due within a few days to a few weeks, making it easier for companies and interns to evaluate outcomes

  • Require no onboarding and can be completed with minimal instruction

  • Can be either on-site or virtual, depending on the specific requirements of the project. We typically suggest remote, as this provides more flexibility and accessibility.

  • Available year-round as needed

  • Provides an easy way for companies and interns to build authentic relationships


You as the employer set the price for each project. All projects are fixed-fee, and most are listed between $200-$600, typically implying $15-20/hour based on estimated hours of work. 90% of this fee goes directly to the intern, and there are no obligations or other fees even if the relationship turns into an internship or full-time role.

Key Characteristics of Micro-Internships:

  • Short-term (typically lasting 2-8 weeks)
  • Paid or unpaid
  • Project-based
  • Students work in various capacities to support the company
  • Mentoring from workplace practitioners
  • Rooted in an authentic real-world context and involves students in intentional reflection on that experience, places an emphasis on the development of multiple career readiness competencies defined by NACE, and occurs within traditional classroom environments, in beyond-the-classroom settings either on or off campus, or in virtual/online modalities (CHE)
  • Aligned to student skill set, area of interest, or program area
  • Employer evaluation required

Employer Participation:

  • Suggested 40 hours minimum
  • In-person or virtual

Examples of Micro-Internships:

  • Serve as an intern at an architectural firm during fall break
  • Complete a 30-day seasonal internship




An apprenticeship is when students train on the job—earning wages and doing productive work—while also training in Ivy Tech labs and classrooms to ensure they build the technical skills they need. Apprentices acquire job-specific education and training and oftentimes industry-recognized credentials.

We often think of skilled trades such as plumbing, carpentry, and electrical when we think of apprenticeships, but there are more than 1,000 occupations that can benefit from apprenticeships, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, transportation, and others.

If you have positions with high turnover, an aging but skilled workforce, or significant change in your industry, an apprenticeship can help you.

90% of apprentices complete their training

89% of apprentices are with the same employer five years after completion

150% average return on investment for employers


Apprenticeships enable employers to develop and prepare their future workforce. Partnering with Ivy tech for Apprenticeships has many benefits for employers:

  • Decreased employee turnover
  • Increased productivity, profitability, and your bottom line
  • Ability to offer standardized training so all workers receive the same national industry-endorsed training
  • Ability to customize training and hiring to your exact needs
  • Expanding and diversifying your pipeline with teachable talent
  • Proven model to upskill incumbent workers, providing a career path, not just a job
  • Lower recruiting costs
  • Increased worker safety


Interested in Starting an Apprenticeship Program?

Ivy Tech Employer Consultants can work with employers to develop customized apprenticeship programs. Contact your local Ivy Tech campus to learn more about potential apprenticeship options for your company.



Key characteristics of a practicum:

  • A non-lecture-based experiential application of student learning either from a particular course or from a set of courses in the discipline
  • Supervision is provided by an Ivy Tech Community College faculty member; continuous supervision is provided by an agency/company employee

Employer participation (Policy 6.14):

  • 3 contact hours per week per credit
  • 48 contact hours per credit

Examples of a practicum:

  • One of the first practicum courses for the Early Childhood Applied Associate of Science (AAS) degree involves earning a national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential (students must have 480 hours of work experience before being eligible)

ClinicalS – Nursing

Key characteristics of a nursing clinical:

  • Student learning experiences provided in a health facility appropriate to the curriculum objectives
  • Supervision is provided by an Ivy Tech Community College faculty member; continuous supervision may be provided by a health professional

Employer participation (Policy 6.14):

  • 3 contact hours per week (180 minutes)
  • 48 contact hours per semester (2,880 minutes)

Examples of a nursing clinical:

  • Partnership with clinical affiliates allows students to experience various types of nursing, participate in numerous caregiving opportunities, and develop and refine clinical skill sets necessary for employment as a nurse following program completion

ClinicalS – Health Sciences

Key characteristics of a health sciences clinical:

  • Student learning experiences provided in a health facility appropriate to the curriculum objectives.
  • Continuous on-site supervision is provided by an Ivy Tech Community College nursing or health sciences (for CNA, QMA, HHA) faculty member (60-minute hours, as per ISBN)

Employer participation (Policy 6.14):

  • 3 contact hours per week (150 minutes)
  • 48 contact hours per semester (2,400 minutes)

Examples of a health science clinical:

  • Respiratory Therapy students complete 320 hours of a hospital-based, hands-on clinical their first year and an additional 640 hours their second year in the program


  • Any kind of business! Whether you are a small business, a start-up, or an enterprise-level company, Ivy Tech welcomes the opportunity to partner with you in determining how best to connect you with students who align with your needs.

    Our dedicated team of local Talent Connection Managers—part of our innovative Ivy+ Career Link team—works directly with employers to develop work-and-learn experiences and then markets them to students most closely matching your skill requirements.


  • Our dedicated team of local Talent Connection Managers—part of our innovative Ivy+ Career Link team—works directly with employers to develop work-and-learn experiences and then markets them to students most closely matching your skill requirements.


  • Work-and-Learn Terms and Definitions for Employers

    Below are the four phases of talent pipeline development for employers and the goals of each stage:

    1. Career Awareness (what is your field) – Inform students about your industry: Build awareness of the variety of careers available and the role of post-secondary education; broaden student options.
    2. Career Exploration (who are you and what do you do) – Inform students about your company and available opportunities: Explain career options for the purpose of motivating students and informing their decision-making.
    3. Career Preparation (how do you work) – Provide students learning options: Invite research and learning that develops skills necessary for success in your workplace and for future careers.
    4. Career Experience (what are your projects or departments needing support) – Provide students with hands-on experiential learning: Provide meaningful project work rooted in a real-world context, with an emphasis on employability skill development and evaluation methodology.

    View/Print Work-and-Learn Definitions PDF, 10 pages

    Work-and-Learn Experiences Terms and Definitions page 1 image

  • View/Print HireIvy Quickstart Guide PDF


    1. Create your Account

    Creating your free account is easy. Visit IvyTech.edu/HireIvy/Employers, then click on "Sign Up and Post a Job." Accounts and job postings require Ivy Tech approval; this usually takes 24-48 hours, so consider posting your jobs or internships at the same time you create your account to fast-track your reach to students and alumni.

    2. Post Your Job or Internship

    HireIvy allows you to post full-time, part-time, temporary, and volunteer jobs, as well as work-and-learn opportunities like internships. Click on "Postings and Applicants" on the left menu. You can also access several popular services through this menu.

    If you only want to post on HireIvy, click "This School Only." The other option will redirect you to Symplicity Recruit, a fee-based service.

    3. Get Engaged With Students Early and Often

    Once your account has been approved, you can register for upcoming career fairs and request additional engagement sessions such as:

    • Jobsite tours
    • Job shadows
    • Informational interviews
    • Workshops
    • Mock interviews
    • Panel Q+A

    4. Take Advantage of Additional Benefits

    HireIvy offers value-added resources and tools to help you grow your talent pipeline, such as:

    • Resource toolkit
    • Internships and work-and-learn management
    • Access to view opt-in resume book from students currently looking for internship or job opportunities


We love to celebrate our interns and employers who support them in their career journeys! See how our Ivy Tech Incredible Interns and employer partners benefited from their Work-and-Learn experiences.

Celebrate National and Indiana Intern Day

Last Thursday in July

If you're hosting an Ivy Tech intern, help us celebrate Indiana Intern Day by submitting a testimonial for our #InternIncredibles webpage. We'll also give you materials to help you honor your Ivy Tech intern on social media.

Questions about Work-and-Learn Experiences?

Contact Your Talent Connection Manager

Your Talent Connection Manager is available to assist with identifying work-and-learn experiences that match your company goals and can help connect you to students seeking them.

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