Reverse Internship

Reverse Internship

What is Eastern’s Reverse Internship?

Credit for Lifelong Learning (CLL) is a unique program offered by Eastern for over 30 years.  Eastern has offered this program to eligible adults since 1973 because we recognize that significant learning occurs outside of the “traditional” college classroom.  In order to be considered for CLL, students must be at least 25 years old and have five or more years of significant work experience in fields related to the curriculum at Eastern.  There are two ways to earn credit for your learning outside the classroom—the Reverse Internship and the Professional Experience Portfolio.

The Reverse Internship (RI) provides adults with significant work experience the opportunity to earn from 3 to 9 credits for college-level learning acquired outside of the traditional college classroom.  The Professional Experience Portfolio (PEP) option enables adults to earn up to an additional 51 credits for college-level learning gained through work, volunteer and other experiences once they have successfully acquired 9 credits of college-level learning through the Reverse Internship.  Both the RI and the PEP are two of several nontraditional CLL programs such as CLEP and DSST testing, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) in high school through which students can earn college credit toward their degrees.

Reverse Internship (RI)

The Reverse Internship is for adults with 5 or more years of work experience who intend to graduate from Eastern.  You can earn up to 9 credits for your learning in the areas of “Problem Solving,” “Teamwork/Collaboration,” and “Communication,” either written or oral.  You participate in a two-part, in-person workshop and complete three e-Workbooks in writing, which ask you to reflect about experiences you have had in your previous jobs and/or volunteer work and write about the college-level learning from those experiences that you acquired as they relate to the three areas specified above.  Faculty review your e-Workbook entries and use a learning rubric to evaluate your learning and award college credit.  Students who wish to be considered for the RI must complete the “Application for the Reverse Internship Program” and return it to their advisors before the deadline.  Applications will be reviewed and qualified students will be invited to participate in the RI sessions in January.  The Workshop fee (see below) must be submitted to the Office of Continuing Studies and Enhanced Learning prior to the workshop in order for students to partake in it.

Starting in Winter Session 2017, students who have successfully completed the RI will receive Liberal Arts Works (LAW) designation on their transcripts & diplomas, a distinction that will indicate to potential employers that the students have gained experiential as well as academic college level learning through their participation in the Reverse Internship.  For more information on Liberal Arts Works, please visit this link:

Professional Experience Portfolio (PEP)

Once you have successfully demonstrated through the RI that you have at least 9 credits of college-level learning similar to what you might learn in an internship, you may apply to receive additional credit through the PEP.  In order to obtain credit through the PEP, students need to identify their knowledge as it relates to specific courses, using the university catalog and course syllabi as guides; identify learning outcomes from one or several academic disciplines; and apply for “block” credit and/or specific course credit depending on the breadth and scope of the demonstrated learning.  Students exhibit their learning by compiling an electronic portfolio of their work and presenting it to a faculty committee for review.  Prior to preparing their electronic portfolios, students attend a series of 4 mandatory, non-credit-bearing workshops that instruct them on the electronic portfolio process and the Committee’s expectations for successful demonstration of college-level learning.

Tell me more about the workshop!

The typical workshop consists of several evening or weekend sessions held during the January Intersession for the RI or Summer Sessions for the PEP.  They are followed by ongoing opportunities for individual consultation with the workshop instructor or Program Coordinator, and informal small group meetings as needed.

The workshop helps you create your own electronic Professional Experience Portfolio that specifically details your college level learning.  The basic components of the electronic portfolio are:

  • Expanded Resume
  • Introductory Essay
  • Subject areas in which credit is being requested and the presentation of learning you have acquired
  • Documentation materials

Please note: Registration for this workshop is by invitation only.  A separate announcement/registration form will be mailed to you upon approval of the Program Coordinator.

What happens after I complete the electronic portfolio?

You will then be scheduled for an interview with the Credit for Lifelong Learning Evaluation Committee.  The Committee determines the number and type of credits to be awarded.

In some instances, if specific course credit is being sought, it may be necessary to refer learning electronic portfolios directly to individual academic departments for additional review and evaluation.  Interviews are conducted throughout the fall and spring semesters.  Finally, you are officially notified by mail of the Committee’s decision, and the awarded credits are added to your University transcript.  Please note that CLL credits do not count towards the university’s 30-credit residency requirement.

A maximum of 60 nontraditional credits can be applied toward a bachelor degree at Eastern (a maximum of 30 credits towards an associate’s degree).  Nontraditional credits include those earned through Credit for Lifelong Learning such as the Reverse Internship, Professional Experience Portfolio, through nationally recognized testing programs (such as CLEP and DSST), and for military training.  You are less likely to receive credit in those subject areas in which you have already completed considerable coursework, thus, students are encouraged to meet with the Coordinator early in their academic careers.

What should I know about the programs?

Credits earned through either of these programs cannot be used to meet Eastern’s residency requirements.  No grades are assigned to any credits awarded.  You will still need to complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework at Eastern for the bachelor degree (15 credits for the associate degree).

You have up to one year from the time you complete the portfolio workshop to submit your electronic portfolio for Committee review.

Credits earned through this program are usually applied toward elective credits.  Eastern’s flexible Bachelor of General Students degree (BGS) is ideal for using credits earned through this program because credits may apply toward major and minor concentrations as well as electives.

Credit for Lifelong Learning and Reverse Internship Fees (Subject to change)


RI Workshop Fee (includes assessment of 3-9 credits) $806
PEP Workshop Fee (includes assessment of 1-6 credits) $806
PEP Assessment Fee Schedule:
PEP requesting 7-21 credits $900*
PEP requesting 22+ credits $1,150*
PEP Repeat of Workshop $100*

*Assessment fees are in addition to the $806 Workshop fee.

I’m interested.  Am I eligible?

You are eligible if you…

  • Are officially matriculated and have 9 credits at ECSU
  • Are at least 25 years of age
  • Have a minimum of five years’ paid work experience related to subject areas taught by Eastern.
  • Have experience that includes non-paid learning experiences such as volunteer activities and non-credit training.

You must be able to…

  • Describe your experience
  • Identify the college-level knowledge, skills and understanding
  • Provide documentation to support your learning

Oral Communication Rubric

Problem Solving Rubric

Teamwork Rubric

Written Communication Rubric

Please note:

  • Your work/life experience must be related or equivalent to subjects taught at Eastern.
  • Credits are not awarded for what you have done, but rather for what you have learned.

I think I qualify…What is my next step?

  1. Schedule an assessment interview with June Dunn, the Credit for Lifelong Learning Coordinator at the Office of Continuing Studies and Enhanced Learning.  Call: (860) 465-5100 or Email: <
  2.  Your work/life experience and college record will be reviewed to determine if you qualify and whether your potential credit could be utilized within your degree program at Eastern.
  3. Once the Coordinator has identified you as an appropriate applicant, you will then be scheduled for a required, noncredit workshop.