The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Differential tuition funds internships

Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series on differential tuition programs. Differential tuition is a student fee of $50 each semester.

About 1,100 to 1,400 students are assisted in the process of getting an internship with the help of differential tuition, said Jeanne Sinz-Skoug director of Career Services.

Internships and practical experiences were allocated over $170,000 in the 2000-2001 school year from differential tuition. In total, the $100 per year each student pays for differential tuition contributes to nearly $1 million in funding for a variety of different programs.

“Differential tuition has been so important to us,” Sinz-Skoug said. “Several years ago, before differential tuition, we offered less than 100 internships. Last year we had over 2,000 internship postings.”

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About 18 percent of differential tuition funds support having internship coordinators on campus, a cash stipend for unpaid internships and operating expenses, including travel and supplies.

“What companies are looking for is experience in an industry,” said Dale Johnson, associate dean of business. “Employers want to see that somebody has paid you for your skills.”

As a result of differential tuition, Career Services is able to go out and recruit more employers, Sinz-Skoug said. The internship office has 37 percent more employers this year who want UW-Eau Claire students.

“That’s a dramatic increase, especially since nationally, employers say they’re recruiting 20 percent less,” Sinz-Skoug said. Student Senate is evaluating differential tuition programs and how much funding they should receive.

Junior exercise science major Megan Tauer used Career Services to help her find an internship at Barron Memorial Hospital. Career Services did not actually get her the internship, Tauer said. But it taught her networking skills and improved her resume.

“Through learning what to do, I got the internship by myself,” Tauer said.

Of Eau Claire students, 59 percent graduate having had internships for credit. Sinz-Skoug said there is a myth on campus that Career Services only is useful to business majors. She said they offer internship opportunities for all majors. She did not have exact numbers available on Wednesday for the variety of majors placed in internships.

Individual departments also have internship coordinators, who students can also contact for internship information. In these departments, more major-specific internships are addressed.

“I think they are definitely a great resource to have on campus,” Tauer said. “We learn some of the things along the way, but they really know what they’re doing.”

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Differential tuition funds internships