Student Internship Program - For Managers

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Student Internship Program Information For Managers

The Student Internship Program is designed to nurture the educational and professional development of promising job candidates, which may lead to longer retention of the individual as a County employee. Student Interns will assist professional and technical employees in the performance of their duties under close supervision. Specific tasks will vary with the Agency/Department to which they are assigned for a particular work period. For the Agency as a whole, it is expected that the level of education and capabilities attained by Student Interns will be fully capitalized.

Although paid interns are employees of the County, there is value in referring to the positions as internships, since the recruitment target is students, and a primary driver is a desire to market the County as a potential employer to students. The following is a description of the criteria and level of expertise expected of the four levels of Student Interns:

Level Criteria Responsibility
​Student Intern –
Level I:
  • ​High school students enrolled in regular high school classes​
  • Those enrolled in an alternative vocational high school
  • Students working toward high school equivalency
​They are closely supervised and work as assistants. They are responsible for learning the Agency's or Department’s policies, procedures and methods of operation; collecting and tabulating data; and learning how to interpret such.
​Student Intern –
Level II:
  • ​Freshman or Sophomore year college students
  • Community college students
  • Vocational school students who have completed high school
​In addition to the above, Level II Student Interns should be able to evaluate information gained in accordance with established policies and procedures and assist professional staff members in ongoing project work.
​Student Intern –
Level III:
  • ​Junior or Senior year college students
  • Students with a Bachelor's Degree and working on a secondary Bachelor's degree or professional certification.
  • Student Interns at this level must work in their chosen field of study
​Level III Student Interns would be able to perform all of the above and to participate in project work in an increasingly responsible role. They could also participate in team analysis of problems and in the preparation of reports under the supervision of professionals.
​Student Intern –
Level IV:
  • ​Professional and graduate school students
  • Students with a Master's degree or higher working on a secondary Master's Degree or higher, or professional certification.
  • Student Interns at this level must work in their chosen field of study
​In addition to all of the above, the Level IV Student Intern, under the supervision of professionals, could assume responsibility for preliminary studies, analysis, and recommendations on systems, devices, machines, and procedures of the Agency/Department.

The levels of Student Intern classifications are based on educational levels rather than job duties. The level of appointment is governed by a determination of the student’s standing with respect to their degree objective and not simply by numbers of units earned. Student Interns are unclassified, extra-help. Hours worked are limited to 1,040 hours per fiscal year in accordance with Merit System Rule A25-188–Substitute extra-help Appointments. These hours can be performed full-time during the summer and/or part-time during the school year, with the proposed work pattern approved by the Agency.

Student Interns who are hired to perform tasks or duties similar to classifications represented by Local 521 are categorized as Student Intern – 521.
For a Student Intern - 521, the first 30,000 hours of each fiscal year worked will be counted at half the rate toward the County’s 521 extra-help cap. After 30,000 hours have been worked, each hour will count towards the extra-help cap. For example, 20 hours worked will count as 10 hours towards the County’s extra-help cap.

Student Eligibility

 In order to qualify for the Student Intern classifications, a student must: 

  • Have a legal right to work in the United States
  • High school students under eighteen will require a work permit, which may be obtained through the high school counselor or the Employment Development Department (EDD)
  • Be enrolled in an accredited institution or a school licensed by a state agency or have graduated from such an institution or school within the last six (6) months
  • Have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 on a four-point scale
  • Submit a completed County job application for employment, official/unofficial transcript, and proof of enrollment or course schedule for the current school session
  • May be required to pass a Live Scan background check
  • May be required to pass a health clearance

Pay Structure

The Student Intern classifications are established on a five-step salary structure. Refer to the County of Santa Clara’s Salary Information for the most current salary information: Click here.

Obtaining a Student Intern

Human Resources obtains applications and transcripts from students interested in becoming a Student Intern. The information is kept on file for one (1) year. Departments can request the names of interested students for interview or can find interested students on their own. If a department has identified a potential student intern on their own, the appropriate paperwork must be submitted to Human Resources to ensure that all program criteria are met.

This short video explains how to request a student intern in a few simple steps.

Documentation Required

Interested students must submit the following either to Human Resources, or to the Department hiring manager if already selected:

  • A completed County job application
  • A copy of their most recent transcripts showing a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better
  • Proof of current enrollment (or proof of graduation within last six months).

Once Human Resources receive this information, the information is maintained for one (1) year. Departments can request the names of interested students for interview.

Once a Student Intern has been selected, Departments must complete and/or submit the following to Human Resources for Review:

Verification and Audit Procedures

Prior to hiring a student or recent graduate into one of the proposed Student Intern classifications, departments need to verify both the student’s status with the school and enrollment in a defined program of study that is aligned with the intern position the student will fill. Departmental use of these classifications would be subject to audit from ESA Human Resources to ensure that they are being used for the defined purposes of introducing the County to students as a potential employer and providing practical work experience to local students. The recent graduate category would also be monitored to ensure that no one is working as an intern longer than six (6) months following graduation.

New documentation must be submitted to Human Resources each semester or quarter when retaining a Student Intern, in order to verify the 2.5 GPA requirement, continued enrollment, and level of student intern.

Additional Information

If you have additional questions, contact the Student Intern Coordinator at [email protected].​

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