Opinion: college should offer out of state work credit

Emma Shafer, Lamp staff

I spent this semester in Cape Town, South Africa seeing amazing things, meeting new people and working an internship with a social enterprise. I sought out an internship abroad after I learned that I would be able to finish my Associate of Arts in a year and a half instead of two years, with only one credit to spare.

It seemed incredibly easy when I asked my adviser if I was able to receive work credit through LLCC, like I had done previously for an internship worked in Springfield. He signed the form almost immediately and seemed excited for the opportunity I had.

However, three weeks before I was set to leave, I was informed that I would not be able to earn credit for my internship because it was not only out of the country but also the state. LLCC only offers work credit for jobs that are worked in the state of Illinois. In my opinion, that’s putting each student that enters through the doors of Lincoln Land at an immediate disservice.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to South Africa, and also lucky that I have an internship that I can work back in Springfield after my trip that fulfills the credit requirement I need. Other students may not be in a similar position, and would not be able to work a job out of state or country if it meant not getting college credit.

According to the Atlantic magazine, seven out of every 10 students work while enrolled in college. This means summer jobs and internships as well. If a student finds a dream internship/job that’s out of state, it’s ridiculous for LLCC to deny them credits that they would need in order to take the position.

Previous work experience is preached to be incredibly important when entering the full-time job market, and Lincoln Land denying that in any way to students seems to be the antithesis of career training that the school stresses that it provides. Moving forward, I believe that Lincoln Land should provide work credit for out of state positions alongside in state.

Emma Shafer can be reached at [email protected].