The Philadelphia Center

Discover Your Direction in Life

Placement Overview

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Philadelphia Center placement partner. The Philly Off-Campus Experience offers undergraduate students the opportunity to thrive through experiential education. Each term we help students secure professional, accredited internships and independent housing throughout the vibrant and diverse city of Philadelphia. Students explore career paths through real-world applications and rigorous, seminar-style courses. We provide our students with the opportunity to gain independence while learning in a safe and supportive environment.

Our students leave Philadelphia with a strong sense of their abilities, social and professional aspirations, and a plan for their future.

Students in our 16-week semester program earn eight hours of academic credit for their internship, and students in our 8-week summer program earn five credit hours. PHL:EXP affords students an opportunity to learn new skills, make professional connections, and apply their undergraduate coursework to the workplace. Most of our internships are unpaid and students intern four days a week over a period of approximately 11-13 weeks.

We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your organization and to discuss ways we might work together.

Download a placement application.

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How are students placed in their internships?
At the beginning of the semester, students meet with their TPC faculty advisor to brainstorm and research potential internship sites. In keeping with our experiential model, our students interview in-person with at least three organizations. This allows students to practice interviewing skills, and it also helps ensure a good fit. There is a chance that you will interview a student who opts to go elsewhere; while this is always difficult, we appreciate your time and your willingness to help develop our students’ skills. The placement process occurs over a two- to four-week period at the start of each semester. Participants in the 8-week summer program interview by phone or web video before their arrival.

How many hours per week and when are your interns available?
Our students are available to intern 32 hours a week, over four or five days a week. If you do not have four full days to offer, students may opt to split their time between two organizations, assuming all parties are amenable. They are available for roughly 11 to 13 weeks per semester and eight weeks during the summer. Students are available to begin working in mid-September for the fall semester and mid-February in the spring. Summer students work from late May through mid-July. In addition to the internship, students also take courses at TPC.

Are Philadelphia Center interns paid?
Our students receive 16 hours of academic credit for the successful completion of our 16-week semester program and eight hours of credit for our 8-week summer program. Typically, our internship partners offer unpaid positions, and in return our students expect to receive significant experience, acquire knowledge in their field, learn new skills, and make networking connections. Placement sites may elect to offer a TransPass, TrailPass, or a small stipend to defray students’ costs; however, these benefits are not required by TPC. If your company requires financial compensation for interns, please contact our Placement Director.

Is TPC in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act internship guidelines?
PHL:EXP’s internships are in compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act. TPC is managed by Hope College, an accredited four-year undergraduate institution located in Holland, Mich. Students receive academic credit and, with the guidance of TPC faculty, craft a learning plan and portfolio that support, measure, and demonstrate academic progress. All interns work closely with their placement supervisors to ensure that high-quality learning occurs. Our placement partners do not guarantee employment at the conclusion of the semester.

What are my responsibilities as a field placement supervisor and placement partner?
In addition to mentoring, we ask that supervisors participate in two meetings throughout the semester—one during the summer—to set out a plan of action and to assess the student’s learning. These meetings occur at the placement site between the student, the placement supervisor, and the student’s TPC faculty advisor. If you have questions about the internship or your student at any point during the semester please contact us.

How can a student be efficiently integrated into the workplace?
During the first week of the internship we ask that you and your intern discuss the following questions: What meaningful learning experiences will the student have? What title or job description best fits the student’s role? Are the student’s daily responsibilities well-defined? How accessible does the primary supervisor expect to be, and are there others to whom the student will be reporting? Are there technology or space requirements that need attention? What are the opportunities for professional development?

Is it possible for my organization to have more than one Philadelphia Center intern?
Yes. We ask that each intern have separate primary supervisors, individual responsibilities, and that each student has a unique learning experience.
How is the internship graded?
PHL:EXP students earn academic credit for learning through experience. A student’s learning plan is the primary way of identifying, organizing, defining, and documenting learning. This plan serves as a framework for the student’s learning experiences; documents demonstrated progress; provides a set of goals and objectives; serves as a contract between supervisor, student, and faculty; provides a basis for assessment; offers proof of learning for academic credit; and lays the foundation for future learning. Students will collect evidence of learning throughout the semester.