DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Check it Off the List: Experiential Learning Credit

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

As a DePaul undergraduate student, one requirement to graduate is to complete an “Experiential Learning” credit, which is typically (although not required to be) done junior year. There are many questions regarding this requirement, and how you can fulfill it. Here’s some good news: You have a few options. One of those options is to take part in an internship and enroll in a class through the University Internship Program (UIP), which is offered through the Career Center. UIP offers a range of classes that allow you to build your professional skills, develop job search tools, connect real world experiences to future careers, and unpack all the tools you’re learning throughout your internship. Here’s what you need to know about UIP, including the benefits:

Why Jump on the UIP Train: 

  • UIP offers one way for you to fulfill your Experiential Learning requirement in order to graduate
  • UIP is very flexible in that the classes are available every quarter
  • The program helps identify and develop your professional skills
  • Past UIP students have said that they learned how to market themselves and create a professional portfolio, while others have said UIP has helped them figure out what they want in an employer and career

While internships are beneficial for experience and to get hands-on training for a potential career path, the UIP course allows you to think about what transferrable skills you are learning as an intern – things you can take with you to other professions. These skills help you discover the type of company you want to work for and the career that’s right for you, all while completing a requirement to graduate. Talk about win-win! There are also no pre-requisites to take UIP; any undergraduate student can take UIP at any point during their college experience – from freshman to senior year.

UIP Enrollment & Orientation:

In order to enroll in a UIP course, you must first secure an internship for the quarter. The internship must be a 10-week opportunity, or go through the entire quarter that you are taking the UIP class. After securing an internship, you submit a proposal where you list the company, your supervisor’s contact information, and your main responsibilities as an intern. This site also lists the deadlines to submit proposals and for enrollment. Our team will look over your proposal and contact your supervisor to confirm your position. It’s a good idea to give your supervisor a heads-up that a confirmation email is coming his/her way to speed up the process, and to keep it out of spam filters.

While the approval process is underway, it is a great idea to complete the required orientation webinar, which provides a comprehensive overview of the program and UIP course requirements. All UIP orientations are listed on Handshake. Orientations are an hour long and online so they can be completed in the comfort of your home – or anywhere you can get Wi-Fi.

Once the proposal is approved and you’ve completed the orientation webinar, you are eligible to enroll in a UIP course. Hooray! The UIP Team manually enrolls students in the UIP course of their choosing.

UIP Courses:

Once you have completed the orientation and your proposal has been approved, you will be asked to choose your top three choices for classes. UIP offers seven courses to fulfill your Experiential Learning requirement, which are listed below:

  • UIP 250: You, Your Work and the World
  • UIP 251: Finding Your Leadership Potential
  • UIP 252: Creativity as a Change Agent in the Workplace
  • UIP 253: Careers for the Common Good
  • UIP 254: Corporate Social Responsibility
  • UIP 350: Navigating the Changing Workplace
  • UIP 367: Global Perspectives (This class is for Global Brigade students only)

If you’re not quite ready to take on an internship or are unsure of your career path, UIP offers two, 2-credit courses. These courses fit within the tuition package for full-time students that are already taking four, 4-credit classes (or less). UIP 240 & 241 help students explore their career and academic options, decide what field they want to go into, and discover what skills they already possess. The 2-credit classes are offered during autumn, winter, and spring quarters.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to enroll for UIP, how to search for internships, or what class would be a good fit for you, please make an appointment with the Career Center!

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