SLICE program enables internship opportunities for students

May 2, 2016

Halle Thornton
hthornto@uccs.edu

Internships in college are known to have no compensation, but they can give students good experience for their resumes.

Through the Service-Learning Internship and Community Engagement Center, students have the opportunity to earn college credits through internships.

SLICE is a campus-community partnership that contributes to student learning, faculty teaching and research, according to SLICE director and associate dean of LAS, Sandy Wurtele, who established the program in 2013.

The SLICE staff recruits agencies and locates local internships, although there have also been partnerships in Denver and Pueblo. Once the center makes the partnerships, they are advertised on the SLICE website.

In order to qualify for internships through SLICE, students have to have good academic standing, but there is no application process.

Internships can be used as college credit, and students may be paid for their work, according to Wurtele.

If students take the internship for credit, they receive an upper level elective credit, and the internship goes on the students’ transcript.

Wurtele said SLICE is looking to expand to accommodate students in natural sciences.

Natural sciences are harder to find partnerships with due to the required lab skills, but SLICE has success in finding a few internship opportunities for those interested in biochemistry and chemistry, according to Wurtele.

“We have partnered with Pikes Peak Brewery, and that gives chemistry students an opportunity to analyze yeast in the microbrews,” said Wurtele.

Junior psychology major Kyleigh Downey started an internship with Adopt Triad Consultants, an agency that works with domestic and international adoption through Colorado Springs.

“The internships are great, because they help you recognize if you want to do a certain profession or not. It gives you experience in the real world,” said Downey.

Downey said that even if an internship is not a good fit, there is still time to change the trajectory and apply for another one.

Junior psychology major Amelia Nunn has also been given an internship opportunity through the SLICE program.

Nunn worked with Deerfield Hills Community Center, and helped with the program Girls on the Run, which assists girls with their body image and encourages them to exercise and stay active.

“I trained in mental health first and then helped implement a curriculum for the center,” said Nunn.

Both Downey and Nunn took PSYCH 3660, Service Learning Internship, which lets them maintain the internship while still gaining college credit.

The students keep a journal to log their experiences working with different companies and organizations as part of the class.

Nunn said that she gained a TA position, job opportunities and has networked with other organizations in the community because of her internship,

Margie Oldham, director of the National Student Exchange program, said that SLICE and NSE have a solid partnership.

“Students who come through NSE can do internships through SLICE, and vice versa,” said Oldham.

Oldham said that students interested in political science and economics can attended universities in Washington D.C. through the NSE program and get an internship at the Capitol at the same time.

“The program has been life changing for a number of students,” said Oldham.

For more information on SLICE, visit www.uccs.edu/slice/index.html or email slice@uccs.edu.