Burlington College made U.S. News & World Report’s short list of Colleges with the Highest Rate of Student Internships , which came out this week. According to the article, 41% of recent college graduates say they are unemployed or underemployed, working in jobs that do not relate – or even require – their college degrees. Even with their degrees, 63% of the same population said they will need more training to get the job they want.
Faced with statistics like these, Burlington College requires students to complete a 96-hour internship, (192 hours for Human Services  students) in order to be eligible for graduation. “Burlington College’s Internship Program provides students with opportunities to gain real-world work experience in their field of study, enriches their classroom learning, and supplies them with valuable interpersonal skills needed for the workplace,” says Dean and VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Stephen St. Onge .
Along with the internship requirement, the College provides a concurrent, semester-long seminar course, a unique and critical part of the program. “The idea is to provide a consistent, weekly forum where students can discuss issues related to their internships, compare experiences, and gain valuable professional insights from their peers,” says Angela Smith , Director of Career Services and instructor of the seminar. Students are required to complete weekly internship journals to summarize and reflect on the work they did during the week. They also prepare resumes that show off the skills and knowledge they have gained in the workplace.
In addition, the College provides one-on-one career coaching services to review resumes and cover letters, perform mock interviews, set goals, and provide networking opportunities. New this year, the College has added a six-week workshop series to develop skills and provide access to field experts. Speakers for the Fall 2013 semester include Michael Adams, the LaunchVT 2013 Winner; Janice Shade, owner of TrueBody products; Carolyn Cooke, owner of Isis; and Michael Jager, co-owner of JDK.
“We are proud that our Internship Program has gained national attention,” says President Christine Plunkett . “Our faculty and staff work hard to ensure an educationally rich experience for our students. Through this experience, and through their internships, our students graduate better prepared for meaningful livelihood after college.”