Written by Andrew Morin
You’ve heard of the CHOICE program…okay, maybe you haven’t really. Oh, whispers of it? Maybe? Well this post will outline this amazing internship program for you, hopefully answering any immediate questions you may have.
Basically, the CHOICE Internship Program pays you for your non-paid internship. Simple enough. The nitty-gritty? The CHOICE program stands for the Community/Hometown Organizations Internships and Cooperative Education program. Ultimately, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts funds the program, giving FSU extra money to pay students for gaining experience from internship sites that otherwise would not give out money. The program impressively pays students up to $2,000. So, it’s safe to say Massachusetts appreciates the cultivation of knowledge. But there are requirements for you, the student, and for the employer who you want to intern for.
- Must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA or higher and be approved by the Office of the Registrar
- Be enrolled as a full-time student
- Meet the Massachusetts in-state tuition residency requirement
- File the FAFSA form and receive Financial Aid approval
- Earn academic credit for the semester that they participate, requiring prior faculty approval and faculty internship supervision
- Be registered on Ramtrack
Not bad, right?
- Must be a Framingham/MetroWest-based academic center, governmental agency, nonprofit business or community organization
- Provide an educational internship experience
- Agree to abide by the intern’s departmental internship guidelines including supervision and evaluation procedures
- Be approved by the student’s Internship Faculty Advisor and the FSU Internship Coordinator
- Post the position on Ramtrack
- Confirm on a bi-weekly basis the intern-submitted actual internship hours worked by the appropriate deadline to the internship coordinator
- Agree to FSU Employer Internship Requirements
Once again, not too bad. As far as finding an employer that fits the CHOICE criteria goes, you can always log on to Ramtrack and see the many employers already involved. Though, as mentioned, if you have an employer in mind that you think meets the criteria, all you need to do is get it approved by the internship coordinator.
Since the start of the program in 2013, over 300 students have successfully completed internships from 141 unique sites. You could do the math yourself, but that’s approximately $614,000 that the program has distributed to students.
It’s an alluring program with nothing but benefits for you, so if you’re interested, come down to the CSER office, room 412 in the McCarthy Center. There, you can take advantage of all the brochures and many lists detailing the opportunities associated with the CHOICE Internship Program. You can meet Jill Gardosik, our internship coordinator, who oversees the CHOICE Internship Program. Plus, you can always schedule an appointment (508-626-4625) with one of the career counselors to answer your questions, and ease your worries.
When you’re looking for an internship, you’ll want to act as soon as possible: meeting with the CSER office and getting an internship in place a semester in advance. The CHOICE program is competitive and students can only use the CHOICE internship once. It’s first-come-first-serve because there are limited funds for the program. Don’t wait, come down to the CSER office and make an appointment.