Community Project or Internship
A Community Project (CP) or Internship (I) is the point where the real world meets your AUC education head on. This is when a student leaves “the bubble” and integrates the book learning and lectures with life and even, a potential career.
Students at AUC are required to complete at least one Community Project OR Internship. Students have to enroll in SIS for a CP/I as a separate course, meeting the minimum hour requirements for a 6 ecp. (This means 6 x 28 hours, or 168 hours.) This can be done either in January or June by working fulltime (40 hours per week over four weeks) OR during a semester by working about 10 hours per week during the 16-week semester or during the summer (July and August).
Internship or Community Project?
So what’s the difference? Pros and cons? Community projects and internships differ mainly in their general focus, but also in their contributions to learning goals.
Community Projects offer the student the opportunity to serve a community and develop social and civic awareness. They are intended to promote engagement at local, national and global levels and they are intended to foster personal and social responsibility. Community projects should connect to the AUC’s learning outcomes (ASP 2.3) in general, but must specifically contribute to sections 2.3.6 and 2.3.7.
Internships offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience and/or develop research skills in their field of study and may help prepare students for future professional or academic careers. Internships should also connect to the AUC’s learning outcomes (ASP 2.3) in general, but must specifically contribute to section 2.3.2 of the ASP.
So what this means is in theory, an Internship may offer a more professional skills set to students, but in practice, both a Community Project and Internship may provide you with the extra skills that would give you an edge in the job market.
In fact, some employers say most applicants already have internships, so they use community projects as a filter. Young people who have demonstrated a sense of service and are unselfish about their time and talents by doing a community project stand out and may win over those with “just” an internship. Having said that, most graduates have internships, so it’s almost a given.
The best solution? Do both!