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Gain Relevant Experience

Gain valuable experience, boost your employability, and build workforce-ready skills by participating in High-Impact Practices (HIPs) and Experiential Learning.

High-Impact Practices (HIPs) and Experiential Learning

HIPs are experiences that can enhance your employability. Whether it's a semester-long internship or a year of research with a faculty member, a HIP experience on your resume will make you more competitive in the job search. Experiential learning is a type of HIP that allows you to gain hands-on experience. Common types of experiential learning include:

An internship is most often a one-semester experience that may or may not be for academic credit. It may also be paid or unpaid, but employers should comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Students typically seek internships in their junior and senior years in college. If you are seeking credit, you should meet with your academic advisor to discover if you are eligible to pursue an internship. You can search and apply for internships through Handshake.

Micro-internships, also known as project-based experiences, are short-term projects (5-40 hours or more) conducted remotely or in-person, either independently or in collaboration with a team, to build connections, gain experience, and develop new skills. These are opportunities posted by companies across the United States through a provider that is partnered with UWF CDCE, Parker Dewey. Visit Parker Dewey or schedule an appointment with a career coach to learn more.

Cooperative education programs (co-ops) are multi-semester experiences that are always for academic credit and always paid. There are two forms of Co-ops: 

  • A parallel co-op student works and goes to school at least 2 semesters in a row, averaging 15-25 hours a week at work and 9-12 academic credits simultaneously. 
  • An alternating co-op student switches between the workplace and school semester-by-semester, working 40 hours a week during work terms and going to school full-time during academic terms. 

To become co-op eligible, schedule an appointment with a career coach through Handshake.

Service learning and field experiences allow you to apply what you learned in the classroom to the world of work while also earning academic credit for your experience. Academic-based volunteer opportunities require establishing learning objectives, an action plan to accomplish those objectives, and reflection about the experience.

If you would like to record non-academic service hours, please log them in Argo Pulse. Contact UWF Student Involvement, Building 22, with questions: 850.474.3155 or

If you are a Federal Work Study student, you are allowed to work off-campus with local nonprofit organizations and receive financial aid work-study funding for hours worked. Community Work Study students are encouraged to choose positions related to their major or interest area as a way to participate in real-world work experiences.

Visit Financial Aid's Student Employment page or schedule an appointment with a career coach for more information.

With Informational Interviewing, you meet with an individual who currently works in your field of interest to ask questions about their career path, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace. With Job Shadowing, you spend a half-day, full-day, or several days shadowing a professional in a field you’re interested in. Schedule an appointment with a career coach through Handshake to learn more.

Get Help Finding a HIP Opportunity 

Experiential Learning Scholarships and Awards

Students who participate in Experiential Learning are eligible to apply for the following awards and scholarships:

  • HIP Scholarship—applications open late fall, and the deadline to apply is early spring. Apply via the UWF Scholarship Portal in MyUWF
  • HIP Showcase Awards—students who participate in the HIP Scholar Symposium as part of the Student Scholar Symposium are eligible for recognition awards related to their HIP Project
  • Certificates and Skill Badges—Students can be designated as ‘Career Ready’ by completing the Argo2Pro: Career Readiness Plan

For questions, please contact our office at or 850.474.2254.