Internships have served as a prime example of cooperation between universities and private- and public-sector employers to provide a cooperative educational service to college students (McGlothlin 2003, 41). These types of experiential learning allows students to apply the knowledge that they have learned in classes to solve problems in real-life situations (Fender and Watson 2005, 36). Employers also benefit from having qualified and well-prepared interns work for them, potentially leading to the improvement of their environmental safety and health programs.
The ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) requires that graduates of accredited Baccalaureate-level and technician-level safety and similarly named applied science programs must be able to "apply principles of safety and health in a non-academic setting through an intern, cooperative, or supervised experience" (ABET 2014). Quality assurance must also be maintained to ensure the continuous improvement of the internship programs so that mutual benefits for students, employers, and universities can be maximized.
Industrial internship is a required course in the ABET-accredited Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment (OSH&E) Bachelor of Science Degree Program at Southeastern Louisiana University. It is designed to provide an alternation of study on-campus and training off-campus as a superior form of education. Students receive on-the-job work experience with selected and approved industrial firms. For three hours credit a student must be employed a minimum of 20 hours per week during a regular semester and a minimum of 40 hours per week during the summer semester.