Why Should I Participate?

As an employer participant, you can: 
  • Reach target student audiences. Under the Washington STEM Program, opportunities and information can be effectively and efficiently directed to community college students pursuing degrees in STEM.
  • Establish long-term relationships with potential future employees. By involving students early in their education, student and employer expectations are well-established if early opportunities lead to permanent employment upon graduation.
  • Increase overall productivity. Student involvement allows existing staff to focus on higher-knowledge, higher-skill tasks for which they are trained.
  • Respond to cyclic work demands. Under the Washington STEM Program, student involvement can be tailored to meet cyclic work demands by accommodating team or short-duration participation.
  • Enhance perspectives. A student not only provides an extra set of hands but also fresh ideas.
  • Take advantage of flexible participation scenarios. Under the Washington STEM Program, student involvement can be accommodated under various compensation (employer-paid, stipend-based, for college credit only) and duration (summer, academic quarter, on-call) scenarios.

What Things Should I Consider Before Participating?

Consider the following questions before deciding to participate:
  • What is your motivation for participation in this Program? Understanding your initial motivation for participation as an employer will help to focus and define student participant opportunities.
  • Can you provide a meaningful experience that enhances a student’s overall education? If you can identify 3-4 learning objectives that adequately relate the skill-based experience to academic knowledge, the experience will likely be considered meaningful.
  • What knowledge and skill set requirements do you have for student participants? Minimum eligibility requirements are defined for student participants. Participating employers may define more stringent knowledge and skill set requirements by identifying eligible college majors, completion of prerequisite courses, a minimum GPA in excess of 2.5, a minimum number of completed college credits in excess of 15 credits, or other criteria.
  • What timing and duration for student participation makes sense based on current and anticipated workload and project cycles? Employers and students can participate full-time in the summer, part-time during the academic year (for a single or multiple quarters), or on an “on call” basis for up to one year.
  • What type of monetary compensation, if any, can you offer to student participants? Compensation options include employer paid salary, monetary stipend, or unpaid with or without college credit. Monetary stipends can be wholly provided by the employer or the Program or cost-shared between the employer and Program.
  • Does the nature of the work support individual student or student team involvement? Students who are able to work in small peer groups generally have a higher comfort level (particularly in new environments), learn more effectively because they are not intimidated to ask questions, and inspire each other to perform.
  • Who will supervise the student participants? A student participant must have a designated site supervisor who is available to the student on a regular basis, possesses expertise in the subject area, and maintains oversight even if the student rotates through various departments.

How Do I Get Started?

To initiate participation in the Program, you must:

  1. Contact the Program Facilitator, Dr. Jodi L Carson (360-475-7499 or jcarson@olympic.edu), to express interest and discuss opportunities.
  2. Complete the electronic Employer Profile and submit the profile along with a one-two page description or informational summary of your company or agency to Dr. Jodi L. Carson, Program Facilitator, jcarson@olympic.edu for review and approval.

What Happens Next?

Once your Employer Profile and company/agency informational summary have been approved, you must:

  1. Create an online account using OC’s Interfase™ Database System at https://www.myinterfase.com/olympic/employer/home.aspx.
  2. Develop and post internship position(s) online using OC’s Interfase™ Database System.
  3. Preview participating Student Profiles and resumes.
  4. Screen student applicants, arrange for interviews as required, and extend offers to select student.
  5. If a hire is made, sign the cooperative Participation Agreement.
  6. Using OC’s Interfase™ Database System, report a hire and deactivate the internship posting.

Where Can I Learn More?

To learn more, please contact:
    Dr. Jodi L. Carson, Project Lead
    Science & Technology Bldg, Rm 108
    T:360.475.7499 or jcarson@olympic.edu

Additional Program and procedural information is also available in the Washington STEM Experiential Learning Program Guidelines (Carson, Sedillo and Priddis 2013). 

Rev.: July 7, 2014 Karen Osborn