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Policies and Guidelines

Student Policies

Be professional and respectful in all correspondence with CDCE staff, students, faculty, and potential employers, whether in person or virtual.

  • Be an active listener, pay attention to what the other person has to say, pay attention to their body language, and try to understand their perspective rather than preparing your rebuttal.
  • Openly receive, apply, and share constructive feedback.
  • Be optimistic, polite, courteous, and kind.
  • Be conscientious of your verbal and non-verbal behavior, and avoid negativity or foul language.
  • Be clear and concise in the message you wish to share
  • Do not be too casual in your communication, address correspondence using proper salutation until otherwise told and proofread your emails and other electronic messages to ensure standard grammar and punctuation guidelines are satisfied. When communicating electronically, use a professional email address.
  • Consider the most appropriate or effective medium to communicate your message (email, phone call, in person or etc.).
  • Dress appropriately. Career events and interviews typically require business professional attire unless otherwise noted.

  • Arrive on time and prepare for appointments and presentations with CDCE or employers.
  • If you arrive 15 minutes or more past your scheduled appointment time, your appointment will be rescheduled.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early and dress professionally for mock interview appointments.
  • Call our office 24 hours prior to your appointment/presentation if a cancellation is needed. 
  • Provide accurate and complete information on all career materials (e.g., Handshake, resume or cover letter).
  • Silence your cell phone and give your full attention to your career coach or presenter.

  • For career events where RSVPs are required, RSVP through Handshake. If you can no longer attend an event, you must cancel your RSVP by the cancellation deadline listed in the event description on Handshake. Pay special attention to the Career Event No-Show Policy and no-show fees for particular events.
  • Turn cell phones to silent and give your full attention to the employer.
  • Dress appropriately.

UWF students and alumni are considered "no-shows" when they fail to show up or cancel their RSVP at least 24 hours in advance of the respective face-to-face or virtual career event, fair, or interview. Prior to registering, students and alumni should make informed decisions and only register for events, fairs, and interviews that fit into their schedules and that they plan to attend.

Late cancellations and no-shows reflect negatively upon both the institution and the entire university community. Therefore, there is a professional expectation that students and alumni will attend any career event, fair, and/or interview for which they RSVP. In the event of an extreme emergency that will prevent attendance, students and alumni are expected to email CDCE at as soon as possible.

Students and alumni who are no-shows for career events, fairs, and/or interviews will have their Handshake accounts deactivated until they meet with a Career Coach in CDCE. If they write and send a letter of apology/explanation to the employer (forward the email to, Handshake access will be reinstated immediately upon sending.


  • Respond promptly to all correspondence with employers.
  • Prepare for interactions with employers by researching the company and/or industry.
  • Provide accurate and complete information in all correspondence with employers.

  • If you are invited to an organization for an interview and do not plan to attend, decline the invitation with the employer either verbally or in writing as soon as possible (preferably at least 24 hours in advance of the interview).
  • Always respond to every offer of employment, whether you accept or reject it.
  • If you accept an offer of employment, withdraw any pending applications when possible and cancel any upcoming interviews.

  • Be respectful and professional in your public comments on platforms such as Handshake, which allow you to engage with employers or other professionals.
  • Be conscientious of the nature and permanence of the digital world and of the long-term implications of your online behavior.
  • Through the utilization of the Handshake resource, you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the UWF Student and Alumni Handshake User Agreement.

All patrons are expected to exhibit appropriate conduct at all times in any interaction or correspondence with CDCE, whether in person or virtually. Conduct viewed as inappropriate or disruptive includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Conduct presents a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of self, staff, other students, or employers (physical or psychological) in CDCE.
  • Conduct presents harm to property (physical or virtual) in CDCE.
  • Conduct is disruptive to the orderly processes and functions of the CDCE office or program.
  • Conduct is deceitful, intimidating, or threatening.
  • Conduct is inconsistent with the practice of this office.

Failure to adhere to the aforementioned Policies and Procedures could result in the following consequences:

  • Level 1 – staff can cease the meeting and ask students to leave, disconnect the call, or remove inappropriate comments online.
  • Level 2 – repeated (twice) inappropriate conduct that staff have had to address; will not schedule additional appointment pending meeting with Director/Executive Director
  • Level 3 – repeated inappropriate conduct, and the Director/Executive Director has addressed concerns. Non-compliant with directives from levels 1 and 2. Will send a referral to the UWF Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) and suspend all services pending the outcome of the OSRR Conduct Process.

UWF is committed to providing all students the opportunity to share concerns and complaints with the University community in order to assist in reaching resolutions that are fair. Please visit the UWF Dean of Students website for more information. 


Employer Policies

Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

This fact sheet provides general information to help determine whether interns and students working for “for-profit” employers are entitled to minimum wages and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Guidelines and information are from the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division website.


Hiring one of our highly qualified international students need not be burdensome, as immigration laws relating to the most common immigration statuses of international students (F-1 and J-1) allow the University to authorize employment related to study. This employment may be comprised of one of the four forms below:

  • Most international students may undertake internships during their studies by seeking approval with their academic advisor and applying with the UWF Office of International Affairs and receiving the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) benefit.
  • Graduating international students who are in F-1 status are typically eligible for 12 months of full-time employment directly related to the major area of study through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) benefit. The student applies for this permission from the UWF Office of International Affairs and the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS). Upon approval, the student is issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which the employer can use to verify employment eligibility. Students do not need a job offer for OPT. Students who graduate in certain STEM fields may have the opportunity to extend their OPT for a 24-month STEM OPT extension.
  • International exchange students who have J-1 visa status may receive up to 18 months of Academic Training; a specific job offer is required for this permission, which is approved by the UWF academic department, UWF International Affairs, and the exchange student’s home institution.
  • Employers may temporarily employ foreign nationals by submitting an H-1B petition to USCIS. This visa is for foreign workers who possess a highly specialized knowledge and possess a bachelor’s degree or higher.


  • Minimal time and paperwork for the employer: All paperwork for F-1 and J-1 students is handled by the students and the school aside from I-9 completion. A company may, in fact, save more time by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements.
  • No cost: The only cost to the employer hiring international students is the time and effort to interview and select the best candidate for the job.
  • Fresh perspectives and unique skills: International students can offer employers a wide range of skills and abilities, including valuable foreign language skills. 

CDCE recognizes that job seekers with disabilities comprise a key focus area for our employers’ inclusive recruitment strategies. As a result, we are dedicated to working closely with you to effectively connect with this population and meet your inclusive recruiting objectives.

Job Postings and Accommodations

  • To save time in recruitment and to ensure that students with disabilities can perform job duties before they go through the application process, please provide clarity regarding the essential functions of positions in job announcements.
  • In a world where technology is a necessary aspect of almost every business, physical ability is seldom a limitation. Assistive technology and other accommodations make it possible for people with a wide range of disabilities to be competitive in today’s labor market. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires that employers with 15 or more employees make reasonable accommodations in the workplace for employees with disabilities. Accommodations are to be made on a case-by-case basis and may not be required when costs create an undue hardship.

Benefits to Employers

Increased retention: Employees with disabilities have a lower turnover rate than non-disabled employees. In fact, employees with disabilities have a job retention rate of 85% after one year of employment.

Qualified employees: Employees with disabilities perform equally to employees without disabilities. A study of 250 supervisors indicates satisfaction with their employees with disabilities’ attendance and performance.

Economic advantage: Multiple tax credits are available including the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credits; Tax Deduction to Remove Architectural and Transportation Barriers to People With Disabilities and Elderly Individuals; and small businesses can take an annual tax credit of up to $5,000 to help make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information on hiring students with disabilities and graduates, please contact the Student Accessibility Resources at 850.474.2387 or visit SAR's website.

The University of West Florida and Career Development and Community Engagement work with employers to post internships, cooperative education opportunities, volunteer and service experiences, as well as full-time and part-time jobs for UWF students and alumni. These opportunities, which shall be referred to as “employment” for the purposes of this agreement, are listed through Handshake.

  • CDCE makes no particular recommendation regarding off-campus employers or agencies.
  • Handshake is to be utilized to post employment opportunities only. Postings that incorporate advertisements of an organization’s goods or services will not be posted.
  • The University is not responsible for the relationship between the student/alumni and the employer/agency.
  • Some Handshake student profile information is self-reported. UWF students and alumni are expected to represent themselves accurately, but CDCE does not regulate student profiles.
  • The University is not responsible for the safety, wages, or working conditions, or other aspects of off-campus employment or work-based or service experiences of the student/alumni.
  • CDCE reserves the right to refuse to post jobs or provide services for employers that do not support the educational mission of the University.
  • All positions are posted at the discretion of the CDCE staff. We will not post jobs that appear to discriminate against applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender (including gender identity and sex), marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

CDCE requires that employers abide by the National Association of Colleges and Employers Principles for Professional Conduct. Employer representatives who do not act in accordance with these guidelines could risk termination of access from recruitment and usage of services. 

Additionally, CDCE requires that employers:

  • Use assessment tools and tests appropriately in the recruiting and hiring processes- Employment professionals engaged in administering, evaluating, and interpreting assessment tools, tests, and technology used in selection must be trained and qualified to do so. Employment professionals must advise students/alumni in a timely manner of the type and purpose of any test that students/alumni will be required to take as part of the recruitment process.
  • Third-party recruiting agency policy- If you are a third-party recruiter posting a job for a client, it is necessary to disclose the client name for which you are recruiting in the Job Description Box. All positions posted by third-party recruiters without the client's name will be deleted from the Handshake system. Third-party recruiters are eligible to participate in career events if they are recruiting for their own organization or if they state the organizations they are representing at the time of the fair.
  • Non-Profit/Service Agency- Non-profit service agencies have access to Handshake to market full-time, internship, part-time, co-op, and volunteer opportunities.
    Temporary agencies or staffing services- Temporary agencies or staffing services are employers, not third-party recruiters, and will be expected to comply with the professional conduct principles set forth for employer professionals. These are organizations that contract to provide individuals qualified to perform specific tasks or complete specific projects for a client organization. Individuals perform work at the client organization but are employed and paid by the agency.
  • Follow CDCE policy when working with external UWF departments- When employment professionals conduct recruitment activities through student associations or academic departments, such activities will be conducted in accordance with the CDCE policies.
  • Follow CDCE event registration policy- Registration fees will be refunded if a cancellation request is received two (2) weeks or more prior to the event. If registration is canceled less than two (2) weeks prior to the event and payment has not been made, the registered organization will be held responsible for payment.

UWF has adopted the following policies regarding remote and work-from-home internships:

  • In order for a remote internship to be posted in Handshake, the business must provide an email address, phone number, and web address. The position must include learning objectives and offer the student professional supervision for the duration of the internship. Additionally, the internship must meet the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements if it is unpaid.
  • Internships requiring students to work from an employer’s residence will not be posted in Handshake.

CDCE strives to provide information that will connect students to the best possible job opportunities. Due to varying employment, business and compensation models used by employers, UWF Career Services will exercise discretion in working with those employers that comply with our established policies and practices including policies with regard to commission positions as applicable. Commission based sales, full-time opportunities must comply with the following criteria:

  • Direct Hire (W-2) positions only.
  • 1099 positions are eligible for posting on Handshake but must include the following disclaimer in the posting:

“This position is not a direct hire (W-2) position and will result in the receipt of a 1099 tax form. Persons paid on a 1099 basis are independent contractors and are self-employed. Independent contractors are required to pay all self-employment taxes (Social Security & Medicare) as well as income tax. Independent contractors generally do not receive any type of employment benefits from the client. For more information please refer to IRS or talk with a tax professional.”

  • With the exception of the Part-Time Job Fair, 1099 independent contractor recruiting is not permitted at career fairs/events nor eligible for on-campus interviews.
  • With the possible exception of obtaining industry licenses, no up-front investment, out-of-pocket, non-refundable fees, purchase of goods, inventories, sales leads required.
  • No part of compensation may be dependent on recruiting others.
  • No repayment/reimbursement for training costs, draws-on-commission/cash advances on salary should the UWF student or alumni decide to leave the position for any reason.

If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact Career Development and Community Engagement at 850.474.2254.

Interviews are designed to allow employers to gauge how well a candidate’s skills and abilities align with the essential functions of the position. They can also be used to determine how well a candidate would “fit” within the organization. However, there are guidelines that should be followed by employers when conducting interviews.

Interview questions should be related only to facts that are relevant to whether a candidate can perform the functions of the job. Some types of questions are protected from being asked by law, such as those that are based on race, color, sex, marital status, number and/or ages of children or dependents, religion, and national origin. Other questions regarding age, sexual orientation, and disability are also prohibited if they are solely used to discriminate against a prospective candidate. Employers must ensure their interview process meets these requirements to recruit UWF students and alumni.