The Career Development Center at Appalachian State provides valuable resources to help students in planning for and finding employment by hosting job fairs and clinics for students and alumni. The Center also manages and oversees internships for enrolled students seeking course credit.
The Career Development Center cited the following reasons for needing the Inventory:
- The Center needed to organize, compile, and track internship information and make it available for all authorized personnel.
- In case of emergency, contact information needed to be easily accessible for both faculty members and University administrators.
- To prevent liability issues, the University needed to ensure that only faculty members who have been delegated 'Signature Authority' from the Provost were allowed to sign the contract on behalf of the University.
- Due to Federal legislation, the University must be authorized to operate in a state where a student is seeking to receive credit for an out-of-state internship. The Center needed a way to ensure the University was not granting academic credit for internships in unauthorized states.
Sharon Jensen from the Career Development Center realized that this problem would be resolved more effectively by using a web application that would benefit the entire University. Because software that fulfilled the need did not exist, ESS was selected to create a custom application. Jeremy Hall, from ESS, worked with Sharon and other faculty and staff members throughout the process to better understand the needs of the departments involved.
“Our design process allows us to create software which helps faculty and staff be more efficient because it is tailor-made to their needs and goals," Hall says. This personal and hands-on approach is one of the things that makes ESS a unique and important part of the University.
The Inventory solved the existing problems through the following:
- The software is designed with a clean interface and clearly labeled controls to enhance usability for everyone.
- Students and faculty are guided step-by-step through the internship process with a checklist to ensure all qualifications are met.
- A contract generator, direct links to the Registrar, and an information tracker further standardize the process.
- Data is organized, easy to find, and stored within the Inventory.
The software has revolutionized and simplified the way AppState does internships, and is available as open-source software for other universities to use. Students can now receive credit for their internships quickly and easily.
Jensen says, “It takes a lot of hard work and planning to make something simple," but she couldn’t be happier with the result. Every department at Appalachian now has access to and uses the software to operate more effectively. The Internship Inventory is just one example of the many applications ESS has created for the betterment of Appalachian.
To learn about more of the applications ESS has created, visit our Solution Development page.