Additional Learning Opportunities

  • Internships, Practicums, and Clinicals

    Here at Worcester State University, we believe that integrating on-the-job experience—like internships, practicums, and clinicals—into the academic experience is an important component of a good education. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, when you participate in an internship, you have a competitive advantage over those students who do not. New graduates with paid internship experience reported starting salaries more than 20% higher than those who did not hold internships during their time in college.
    At Worcester State, internships, practicums, and clinicals are coordinated by the Career Services Offices or by individual academic departments. Here are the basics:


    Our internships are designed to give you meaningful work experience in your major while at the same time allowing you to explore an industry, company, or career. WSU internships are typically a semester long and provide a strategic opportunity to apply everything you’ve learned in the classroom or laboratory out in the real world. Internships offer valuable work experience and give you a platform for developing new, valuable skills—and a more extensive professional network. As a result, you gain a competitive edge in the job market. In fact, internships very often lead to job offers at the company hosting the internship.  
    We partner with a growing network of businesses and organizations to develop meaningful internship opportunities. Here is a small sampling of the employers we partner with:

    • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
    • ArcGIS
    • AT&T
    • Auburn Public Schools
    • Big Y
    • Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Channel 40 TV, Springfield
    • City of Worcester
    • Commerce Bank
    • DCU Center
    • EMC Corp.
    • Family Services of Central Mass.
    • Fidelity Bank
    • Hanover Insurance
    • Hopkinton Elmwood School  
    • The Jimmy Fund
    • Mass. Dept. of Transportation
    • Mass. State Police
    • Mix 104.1 FM
    • Pulse Magazine
    • RFK Children’s Action Corps
    • Staples
    • The Washington Center
    • UMass Memorial
    • Unum Group
    • Wells Fargo
    • Worcester Art Museum
    • Worcester Business
    • Development Corporation
    • Worcester Center for Crafts
    • Worcester Public Schools
    • Worcester Superior Courthouse
  • Practicums
    If you are studying to become a teacher at Worcester State University, you are required to complete a semester of student-teaching, referred to as a practicum. You should submit your application in the semester before you are planning to complete the student-teaching practicum. Check with the Barbara (Hickey) O’Brien ’57 Education Department for application deadlines.

    As a student-teacher in our early childhood and elementary education program, you will begin with careful observation, transition to working with a host teacher on daily lessons, and assume full responsibility for a classroom in your final 2 weeks. If you are a secondary education teacher candidate, you’ll progress from being responsible for 1 class to 4 classes during a semester.

    Learn more about the Education Department’s practicum.

    Our health-care programs at Worcester State University pioneered community-based, hands-on learning. Guided by their respective accreditation and certification exam requirements, our nursing, communication sciences and disorders, occupational therapy, and health sciences programs have developed symbiotic connections with health-care providers, area schools, and nonprofits.

    Clinics are your chance to put your classroom and lab assignments to the test, caring for others in real-world settings and sharing new ideas, practices, and perspectives with our partners. The experience will increase your confidence and enable you to provide a valuable service to the community.

  • Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Nursing Department
    Each semester, the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Nursing Department places sophomores, juniors, seniors, and students in the Master of Science in Nursing program in approximately 50 clinical settings, including UMass Memorial Health Care, St. Vincent Hospital, Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital, and Worcester Public Schools. In these settings, you will gain experience in long-term care, medical surgical, maternity, pediatrics, psychiatric, community/public health, and school nursing.

    During your senior practicum, you will work side-by-side with a registered nurse caring for patients. If you are in the graduate nursing program, you will spend 250 practicum hours implementing projects on issues such as toxins in the environment and health literacy for immigrants.

    Occupational Therapy Department
    To provide you with fieldwork opportunities in occupational therapy, we have established partnerships with 250 organizations in such areas as rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, acute care providers, school systems, and community-based settings. As an OT student, you will complete two fieldwork assignments—a part-time option that is linked to a course and a full-time commitment that often leads to a permanent job.
    Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
    If you are a graduate student in speech-language pathology, you must complete at least 2 semesters of practicums at one or more of 75+ practicum sites—area public schools, acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, private practices, and skilled nursing facilities. This clinical experience is in addition to the 2 semesters you will spend supporting the work of the WSU Speech-Language-Hearing Center.
    Health Sciences Department
    As a public health student, you will have practicum opportunities with approximately 30 community partners. Partners include The Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., YWCA, YMCA, Lutheran Social Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts, and the Worcester Division of Public Health.