University of Charleston – Externship Highlight

With an externship you can work with experts in your field of study as you learn! This isn’t your typical hands-on learning activity in the lab or classroom. You are immersed in a real-world working environment. WVJC has opportunities for students in different program tracks to participate in externships. An externship is a learning opportunity where students work with professionals in their field of study, side-by-side. Externships are offered in the medical, dental, business and IT programs. Externships are not paid, but the experience is priceless!

For several years, the University of Charleston has teamed up with WVJC to offer an excelled learning opportunity for IT students as an externship. This externship allows IT students to work directly with IT professionals on a college campus that is highly demanding and continues to expand. From administrative offices, instructors, IT access for students and security measures, there many ways colleges depend on IT.

Justin Daggs, a WVJC graduate, assists with facilitating IT externs through the UC Department of IT. He, with other members of his team, work with IT students on daily tasks and management operations. The staff gets to know the students and teams up with them on different projects and tasks. This collaboration shares WVJC core values of work ethic, integrity, caring, accountability, relationships, and excellence.

Chris Johnson, a seasoned member of Justin’s team at UC, says that “a daily schedule or workload for extern students may consist of troubleshooting network issues, pulling cables, setting up wireless access points, computer set up for instructors, network maintenance, equipment regulation, and unique projects.” One project he said that is “pretty exciting” for students to be a part of was a special classroom designed for only a network security course.  Students assist in building the technology in the classroom according to the specialized course needs, to facilitate an optimal learning environment.

Chris said that some of the benefits for the students participating in the IT externship was seeing projects from start to finish, doing real-time troubleshooting, and also planning for expansion with maintaining other projects. “It’s a lot to juggle but learning the inner workings and planning phases helps with overall success!” Chris has been with UC’s IT department for over nine years and said that “Every IT student we have worked with from WVJC has been highly motivated, has a positive attitude and is ready to jump in on any project we ask them to do.”

WVJC offers a wide variety of ways to learn outside the classroom. If you are interested in IT or another program offered at WVJC, please see www.wvjc.edu to learn more about opportunities for learning beyond the classroom!