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Internship Guidelines and Resources

Internship Guidelines and Resources

Companies and/or job postings requiring donations, application and/or background check fees, fundraising, investments, payment for training, or payment to participate, or offering items or services for sale, will not be provided recruitment services.

We reserve the right to refuse service to employers at the discretion of the SJCC staff due to any objectionable activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Requiring personal information at the time of application, such as bank and social security numbers
  • Misrepresentation, whether defined by dishonest information or absence of information;
  • Fraud
  • Harassment of students, alumni, or staff
  • Breach of confidentiality as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Failure to adhere to SJCC employer guidelines
  • Any violation of San Jose City College rules and regulations
  • Any violation of local, state, or federal law



To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship the following criteria must be met:

  • Must offer a high-impact learning experience with clear job duties, tasks and learning outcomes
  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Internships with for-profit companies should be paid at least minimum wage. For-profit companies offering unpaid, stipend, and/or internships that require credit must uphold the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act Internship Fact Sheet #71


Unpaid Internships

 The U.S. Department of Labor considers the following factors when deciding whether or not an unpaid internship is legal:

  • The extent to which an intern and their employer understands there is no expectation of compensation for the role.
  • The extent to which an internship provides the intern with training that is similar to that which they would receive in an educational environment.
  • The extent to which an internship is tied to an intern’s formal education program through coursework or academic credit.
  • The extent to which an internship accommodates an intern’s academic commitments by working around their class schedule.
  • The extent to which an internship’s duration is limited to the time within which it provides an intern with beneficial learning.
  • The extent to which an intern’s work complements the work of paid employees instead of displacing it.
  • The extent to which an intern and their employer understands that there is no guarantee of a paid position at the conclusion of an internship.


 California Internship Laws

California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has its own set of rules surrounding the legality of unpaid internships. If your company wishes to take on an unpaid intern, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • The internship must be part of an established course at an accredited school.
  • The intern(s) must be trained to work in a specific industry.
  • The intern(s) must not displace any regular employees.
  • The internship must be supervised by a school or agency.
  • The intern(s) must not receive any benefits or health insurance.
  • The intern(s) must be aware that the internship is unpaid.