employment and internship

Here is the information you need to know regarding employment and internships:




Obtaining Your Social Security Card

       A Social Security card and number are used in the United States for taxation, employment, and banking purposes.  When you reach the College of Saint Elizabeth, someone in the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs will help you get your own Social Security number if you need one.  We sponsor trips to the local Social Security office at the start of each semester.  Please visit the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs for more information on this.

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On Campus Employment Program

The Student Employment Program is designed to serve a dual purpose - to provide opportunities to our students and to help fill the employment needs of the College. Beyond the obvious opportunity to help pay some of the expenses of your college education, campus jobs also add another dimension to your experience

  • Working contributes to better time management
  • It provides a way for you to get to know members of the College community and feel connected
  • You will learn new, marketable skills
  • You will make new friends
  • Your supervisor, and others with whom you work, can serve as valuable references for later employment
  • You may even become a better student - current research shows that students who work 8 - 12 hours per week perform academically as well as, or better than students who do not work.

Campus jobs run the gamut of clerical to technical and everything in between. CSE students are found working in all of the Offices of the College: setting up and maintaining Science Labs; tutoring their peers in the Learning Center; troubleshooting and training students and professionals alike on the latest software in the Academic Computer Center; assisting students as well as faculty in Mahoney Library; teaching workshops in the Math & Science Departments; being receptionists or Community Assistants in the Residence Halls; lifeguarding the CSE Pool; producing and/or staring in programs through the TV Studio/Media Services; and being Admissions Ambassadors to prospective students.

Most campus jobs pay $7.25 per hour and require from 8-12 hours per week. A student can earn approximately $750 per semester. Students are paid the 15th of the month. Some jobs, which require more training and skills pay a higher rate.

Generally there are more students looking for jobs than there are jobs; however, by the end of fall semester, interested students are placed. Your success in finding a job will depend largely upon your attitude, desire, and follow-through.

In order to obtain a campus job you must:

1) Complete the necessary paperwork:

  • Student Employment Application
  • W 4 - Employee Withholding Form
  • I 9 - Eligibility Verification Form
  • Student Employment Contract

The I-9 form is available in the Financial Aid Office.  All other forms may be obtained from Career Services.

2) Find out what jobs are available and who to contact for an interview at www.myinterfase.com/cse/student

3) When you have obtained a job, you will return the signed contract to the Career Services Office, at which time you will be given your first time sheet.

Approximately every three weeks student employees submit completed time sheets to the Career Services Office. One week later, you will return to pick up your paycheck.

** Direct Deposit of your paycheck into your bank account is available. Simply stop by the Business Office to complete the Direct Deposit form. You will still need to pick up your pay stub from the Career Services Office.

Student Employees of the College are expected to:

  • Adhere to the work schedule set up with the supervisor
  • Act and dress in an appropriate manner
  • Carry out job related responsibilities as assigned
  • Respect the confidentiality of the department in which they work
  • Show the same level of commitment and performance in an on campus job as would be shown in any other job
  • Notify the supervisor, as early as possible, of absences or schedule changes
  • A student wishing to cease on campus employment must notify her supervisor and Career Services.

Types of Work at CSE:

Regular Student Employment

Any on-campus, part-time job during the academic year or summer held while an individual is enrolled at the College.

Federal Work Study Program

A federally funded financial aid program that provides funds to the College to pay qualified students who work on campus. To qualify, a student must apply for financial aid. If "Federal Work Study" funding is part of the financial aid package, the student will be notified through the official financial aid award letter. This program is not available to International Students.

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Off-Campus Work (including Internships)

Curricular Practical Training (Internships)
Optional Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (Internships)

What Is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus employment that is an integral part of your academic curriculum.  It can be alternate work/study, an internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum.  Work done through CPT must be directly related to your major, and will only be authorized for a particular job with a specific employer at a definite location and for a predetermined period of time.

You may NOT begin working under CPT until you have received approval from the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs.

Who Is Eligible for CPT?

Any F-1 student who has been enrolled in school full-time for one full academic year (i.e., two semesters) is eligible to apply for CPT.

Are There Any Restrictions on CPT?

CPT may be part-time or full-time, as mandated by your course of studies.  Under CPT, you may work full-time for a maximum of 12 months, unless your major requires more.  (Twelve months of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for Optional Practical Training.)  There is currently no time limit on part-time CPT employment, so long as it is an integral part of your academic curriculum.


How Do I Apply for CPT?
Bring the following items to the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs:

  • A letter from your academic advisor stating:
    1. Employer's name
    2. Work location (specific address)
    3. Dates of employment (exact start and stop dates)
    4. Full-time or part-time work
    5. Job duties
    6. Credit-bearing class for which this internship will count
  • Current CSE form I-20
  • All previous forms I-20 (if any), from CSE or from elsewhere
  • Complete an Internship Approval Form from the Office of the Registrar


Once all of these items have been presented to the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs, your Curricular Practical Training may be approved. Please allow one week for approval of CPT after all the necessary papers have been submitted.

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Optional Practical Training

F-1 Employment Authorization Information

What is OPT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus employment authorization that lets F-1 students get work experience in their major field of study. 

  • You are permitted a maximum of 12 months full-time employment for each academic level you complete as an F-1 student. 
  • You can use OPT during or after your studies, all at once, or in several pieces.
  • You can work for any employer, anywhere.

How does OPT work?

You are entitled to a maximum of 12 months of full-time optional practical training for each academic level you complete.  So then:

  • If you work under full-time OPT for 3 months one summer before you graduate, you would have 9 months more OPT to spend after you graduate (12 - 3 = 9). 
  • If you work under part-time OPT (less than 20 hours a week) for two semesters, or 9 months, you would have 7.5 months more OPT to spend after you graduate (12 - 9/2 = 12 - 4.5 = 7.5).  Part-time employment counts at half the full-time rate.
  • If you did both of these things, and worked under full-time OPT for 3 months and under part-time OPT for 9 months, you would have 4.5 months more OPT to spend after you graduate (12 - 3 - 4.5 = 4.5). 
  • Remember: You only get a total of 12 months of OPT for each academic level you complete as an F-1 student.

When can OPT be used?

  • Summer vacation and semester break: either part-time or full-time employment
  • While school is in session: part-time employment only
  • After completion of all course requirements for a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, excluding the thesis or equivalent: part-time or full-time employment
  • After completion of ALL requirements for the course of study: full-time employment only


How can you qualify for OPT?

1. You must have been enrolled full-time for at least two semesters.
2. You must be able to describe how the type of work you are seeking directly relates to your major.  You do not have to have a job offer to apply for OPT; however, if you are applying for OPT before completing your studies, it is wise to be quite sure of getting a job.  Otherwise, you may waste some of your OPT.
3. You must apply before completing your program of study.
4. You cannot already have used 12 months of full-time Curricular or Optional Practical Training, or its equivalent.

How do you apply for OPT?

Pick up an Application for F-1 Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization, fill it out and return it to us.  When you return it, we will review your application to make sure that you qualify.  If we agree that you do, we will recommend that US Immigration authorize your OPT employment, and we will send your application to Immigration for processing of your work authorization. 


How long does applying for OPT take?

After you return your application to the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs, plan on waiting two to three months for your EAD card (Employment Authorization Document) to be returned to us from Immigration.  It could take less time or it could take more, depending on Immigration's workload.  Unfortunately, there is no way to make the process go faster.

It is important to take Immigration processing time into consideration when planning the date you want to start working! YOU CANNOT BEGIN TO WORK UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR EAD CARD!!

What if you want to travel after your have completed your studies and before you start OPT?

Immigration will process your OPT application even if you leave the USA, but traveling while you await approval is risky.  You may have trouble renewing your visa or entering the USA unless you have all of these documents:

  • EAD card
  • Job, or job offer
  • Valid visa and passport
  • Signed I-20 showing OPT authorization

We advise you NOT to travel outside the USA after your classes are completed unless you have all of the items listed above.

What if you don't find a job?

If you don't find a job, the only way you can try to cancel and save your OPT for future use is to contact Immigration BEFORE your employment is authorized. Even then, cancellation may be impossible. Students on post-completion OPT are limited to a maximum of 90 days of unemployment.


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College of Saint Elizabeth Volunteer Opportunities

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