EPIC Advantage Independent Student Experiences

Earlham is one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the United States to offer funded career-discerning experiences to all students. This funding opportunity is called the EPIC Advantage.  The Independent Student Experience program within EPIC Advantage allows each student to identify a career-discerning experience that is truly unique and customized to their personal career goals.


Experience Types and Definitions

  • Internship: Earlham defines an internship as experiential learning in a professional setting that involves at least 120 hours of direct meaningful and project-based work. Internships have a defined start and end date and involve the learning of transferable skill sets. An internship must involve supervision by a professional in the field and regular feedback from a supervisor. An internship must address at least 5 of the 6 Career Education Learning Outcomes listed below.


  • Micro-Internship: Earlham defines a micro-internship as experiential learning in a professional setting that involves at least 40 and up to 120 hours of direct meaningful and project-based work. Micro-internships also have a defined start and end date and involve the learning of transferable skill sets, and they also involve supervision by a professional in the field and regular feedback from a supervisor. A micro-internship must address at least 2 of the 6 Career Education Learning Outcomes listed below.


  • Field Experience/Practicum: a group experiential learning opportunity that has an instructional component and may require ethnographic, scientific, or other reflection. These experiences are often credit-bearing and are planned in cooperation with your academic adviser and/or another faculty member in one of your major, minor, or applied minor fields. These experiences can range in length from as little as two weeks to as much as a full academic term. (Note that the EPIC Advantage award does not provide funding for individualized research projects.) A field experience/practicum must address at least 3 of the 6 learning goals listed below. Examples might include:
      • an archaeological, ecological, biological, or geological field school
      • a practicum experience in event planning
      • a coding ‘boot camp’


  • Professional and Educational Training/Certification: an experiential learning opportunity that involves enrollment in a program offered by another institution or organization and that aligns with your academic and/or professional objectives related to your career discernment. In general, this opportunity will consist of a ready-made training or certification program from a third-party vendor that will allow you to develop and/or grow specific skills related to your intended career path. (Note that you may not use this program to take a class at another college/university that you could have taken as part of the catalog course offerings at Earlham College.) These experiences are planned in cooperation with your academic adviser and/or another faculty member in one of your major, minor, or applied minor fields. They may involve the transfer of academic credit to Earlham College. Training and certification programs must address at least 2 of the 6 learning goals listed below, and you are required to provide proof of completion of the program at the end of the experience. Examples might include:
      • a certification in a programming language not usually taught at Earlham
      • an intensive summer course in a global language not taught at Earlham (e.g., both semesters of first-year Korean)
      • a training course for students interested in working as physical trainers, leading to a certification


To qualify for EPIC Advantage funding, you must:

  • meet all CGCE eligibility requirements for the EPIC Advantage program
  • have not already used your 1 EPIC Advantage funded experience
  • be enrolled at Earlham College at the time of application
  • be enrolled at Earlham College during the academic term the experience is completed OR in the academic terms immediately preceding and following the break (winter/summer)
  • have completed any ONE of these three courses by the time the Independent Student Experience begins:
    • EPIC 171 Professional Foundations (0 or 1 cr.);
    • EPIC 126 Bonner Scholars (0 cr.), in spring semester 2021 onlyor
    • ACEN 146 LIFT: College and Career Connections, open only to students in the LIFT program (1 cr.)

Note: If you are approved for internship/micro-internship funding, you will be required to enroll in either: the EPIC 481 course, a similar internship course in your major/minor department, or at least to complete the zero-credit assignments in the EPIC internship Moodle course (required of all funded interns). You will be able to determine how many credits you want to earn for the internship (0-2) and will complete all necessary assignments concurrent with your internship experience. If your internship occurs during an academic semester, the credit will be applied to that semester.  If your internship occurs during a break, the credit will be applied to the academic semester immediately following.

Secure Your Experience

Before you apply for funding you must find and secure an appropriate experience. Here are the College resources available to help you identify appropriate experiences:

  • Utilize Handshake to search and apply for internships
  • Review the Resources section of each Career Community to identify industry-specific opportunities
  • Meet with you Academic Adviser and/or Career Coach to discuss potential opportunities
  • Reach out to one of the pre-approved third-party providers listed on the programs page in the Resources section of this webpage

Note: EPIC Advantage funding may not be used for any political campaign, or to support attempts to influence legislation by any governmental body, other than through making available the results of nonpartisan analysis, study, or research.

Secure Your Funding

Once you have secured an appropriate experience, you will need to submit your application for funding in Terra Dotta which will include:

  • Verification of acceptance, project description, & faculty adviser recommendation.
  • A detailed budget of anticipated expenses.
  • An Experience Rationale that describes how the experience contributes to your own career discernment and development.

Once your application is completed, it will be screened at the next available screening date (see below). Screening begins on that date, and it takes up to two weeks for CGCE to issue decisions.

Application for EPIC Advantage-Funded Internships (in-person or virtual)

Application for EPIC Advantage-Funded Non-Internship Independent Student Experiences (in-person or virtual)

*Please note that funding is provided in the form of a non-service fellowship award which is considered to be taxable income.

Important Deadlines

Completed applications are screened throughout the year, with screening occurring once each month (except for July). The following are due dates for each screening period:

  • August 1
  • September 1
  • October 1
  • November 1
  • December 1
  • January 5
  • February 1
  • March 1
  • April 1
  • May 1
  • June 1

Career Education Learning Outcomes

  • Integrated Understandings. Student demonstrates ability to connect skills and knowledge across multiple domains including between academics and co-curricular areas, between theory and practice, and between school and life.
  • Adaptive Leadership. Student explores how to approach unscripted situations where the answers are not known with adaptability and resilience.
  • Place Awareness. Student demonstrates place awareness including the ability to recognize community assets, work effectively and sensitively across differences, and develop responsibility within various communities of interest.
  • Vocational Discernment. Student explores a sense of vocation and/or calling (awakening the teacher within), including developing a flexible and reflexive mindset toward meaningful and rewarding career fulfillment.
  • Professional Practices. Student explores how to successfully network with and navigate through varied professional cultures and practices shifting modes of interaction based upon context.
  • Communication. Student practices effective communication strategies and abilities including listening and translating to others, dialoguing with and across differences, and living with compassion and mindfulness.

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Featured Classes

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Caroline Wagner
The Professional Foundations course is a required pre-departure course for students participating in Earlham-funded summer internships and independent student experiences…

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