What is PDE 400?

PDE 400 is a Professional Development Experience with an online course component. All undergraduate students (except Nursing & Education students) must earn at least 1 credit of PDE 400 in order to graduate. Students should speak with their academic advisor in the second semester of their sophomore year about PDE 400.

The purpose of PDE 400 is to have students:

  1. Make connections between coursework and co-curricular activities
  2. Develop their career and professional goals
  3. Apply their skills and knowledge in a professional setting or project.

To register for PDE 400, the student must complete the application process (instructions are included in the section below).

The Four PDE 400 Experience Categories

The Four PDE 400 Experience Categories
Internship
  • An internship is a learning-based experience on or off campus that allows the student to apply classroom knowledge in a professional setting. 
  • An internship must have a supervisor who works with the student throughout their experience and provides feedback on the student’s performance.
  • The internship involves professional responsibilities, and learning-oriented work that contributes to the organization’s goals, helps the student build professional skills, allows the student to learn about a particular industry, and gives the student the opportunity to apply academic knowledge to a professional setting.
  • For internships, the student must complete all the required internship applications, interviews, background checks, and be offered the position prior to the PDE 400 application process.
Research:
  • A research experience can be completed on or off campus and must involve in-depth study or analysis of a central research question or area of interest. Think broadly; this isn't just for STEM majors. If you have a scholarship that requires research, please talk to the CCD regarding your options for expanding that into a PDE. 
  • This is for when a student wants to conduct their own original research. [Note: If the student will be assisting a professor with their research, whether in a lab or other academic setting, the CCD would categorize it as an internship]
  • A professional or faculty member in the subject field will serve as a supervisor.
  • The student will produce a final product that synthesizes the research findings. The minimum page length for a paper is 10 pages.
  • Research PDEs are limited to 1-credit hour to prevent confusion in tracking hours and final artifact creation. 
Performance/Exhibit
  • A performance or exhibit PDE is a public demonstration of an area within fine arts that showcases a student's work. This can be completed on or off campus. A performance/exhibit that is a requirement in the student’s major curriculum may not also count as PDE 400. 
  • The student will plan, organize, and execute a performance or exhibit by the end of the semester.
  • The student is able to identify a supervisor (e.g. a professor, staff member, instructor, mentor) to serve as a professional resource throughout the semester.
Leadership
  • An experience that allows the student to develop a stronger sense of civic/community engagement. 
  • The student wants to volunteer consistently at a CCD and Lane Center approved non-profit organization. OR The student identifies a social issue that they want to solve. In doing so, they will create a “Common Good Project” wherein they create a new project and implement it either on campus or in their local community. If doing this project, the student identifies a supervisor (e.g. a professor, staff member, instructor, mentor) to serve as a professional resource throughout the semester.
  • With BOTH options, the student will also be required to engage in readings and reflections around leadership and civic engagement. This will be achieved through the completion of a Leadership Workbook (to be provided by the CCD). 
  • Leadership PDEs are limited to 1-credit hour to prevent confusion in tracking hours and final artifact creation.
PDE 400 Application and Registration Process
Pre-Experience Requirements
  • The student must be an undergraduate who is NOT a Nursing or Education Major
  • They will complete 60 credit hours by the beginning of their PDE 400.
Step One: Advising
  • Students should talk with their academic advisor about when they’d like to complete their PDE 400.
  • It is recommended that students begin this conversation in the spring semester of their sophomore year.
Step Two: Finding an Experience
  • The student identifies the type of PDE 400 experience they want to complete. The experience should help a student explore their future career plans.
  • Students are advised to begin searching for and developing details of their experience at least 1 full semester before they plan to take PDE 400.
  • The student confirms with their academic advisor and the CCD that the desired experience fits the PDE 400 guidelines outlined in this handbook and corresponding application.
  • The student must complete all the required internship applications, interviews, background checks, and be offered the position prior to the PDE 400 application process (if applicable).
Step Three: Confirm PDE 400 Details
  • The student meets with the PDE supervisor to discuss duties, expectations, and weekly schedule. 
  • International students should Ivy Word (iword@wesleyancollege.edu) to discuss the CPT (internship authorization) paperwork process. 
Step Four: Download and Complete the PDE 400 Application
  • Applications may be found: WesPortal > WesNet > Career Development > PDE 400 applications
  • The student downloads the appropriate PDE 400 application and reviews the application with their advisor.
  • Email the completed PDE 400 application to Ivy Word (iword@wesleyancollege.edu) 
  • Applications are due four days prior to the official add/drop date of the semester. 
  • International students should apply at least 2 weeks before their PDE begins to allow time for CPT processing.
Step Five: Application Review and Approval
  • The CCD reviews the application and either approves it or returns it to the student for revisions. 
  • The CCD forwards the application to the student's PDE 400 supervisor, academic advisor, and the instructor for the PDE 400 online course. All parties will review the application and either approve it or suggest revisions.
Step Six: Registration
  • Once the approval process is complete, the CCD and the Registrar register the student for the PDE 400 online course. The CCD confirms with the student once the approval process is complete. 
Step Seven: The Experience and the Online Course
  • The student the completes the necessary hours throughout the semester (48 hours per 1 academic credit)
  • During the semester, the student submits assignments for the PDE 400 Canvas Course.
PDE 400 Frequently Asked Questions
When am I eligible to complete PDE 400?

A student is eligible to apply for PDE 400 once they have reached 60 credit hours?

When is the deadline to submit a PDE 400 application each semester?

To allow adequate time for the processing and approval process, the CCD needs to receive applications approximately 4 days prior to the add/drop deadline of each semester. The deadlines are updated on applications at the start of each semester.

What types of experiences have other students completed?

Over the past year students have completed experiences at site locations including: Blue Bird Corporation, United Way of Central Georgia, The Methodist Home for Children and Youth, Georgia Women, The Bibb County Victim-Witness Assistance Program, the Macon Mayhem, the 567 Center for Renewal, and many others. Additionally, students have held internships, teaching assistant positions, or research assistant positions with on-campus departments such as the Willet Library, the Psychology Department, the Center for Career Development, and the Athletics Department.

I am completing research as part of the Munroe or Findlay scholarship. Am I allowed to count that experience as a PDE 400?

In order for your project to be both part of your scholarship and count as the PDE 400, you must add an additional component to the project. For example, if the original project was to perform a lab experiment and synthesize that information, a possible addition for PDE 400 may be creating an additional way of analyzing the information and disseminating your findings to an audience. You may contact the CCD to discuss possible ways of incorporating a new project component. 

I am an international student and have been offered an internship. What is the next step?

Contact Helena Xia (hxia@wesleyancollege.edu) and Ivy Word (iword@wesleyancollege.edu). They will work with you to complete the necessary work authorization paperwork (Curricular Practical Training paperwork). Your academic advisor will be asked to complete a form describing how the internship is an integral part of the student’s curriculum, and the course number/credit load the student will be enrolled in.

When looking at course options on the portal, I see “12.00 credits” next to PDE 400. What does that mean? 

The “12 credits” indicates the total number of academic credits students may receive for experiential learning during their time at Wesleyan College. The student is only required to complete 1 credit hour of PDE 400 to satisfy the graduation requirement.

What resources does the Center for Career Development provide?

The CCD promotes internships via Purple Briefcase, and provides resources and personalized coaching sessions on topics including:

  • Strategies for finding research opportunities and internships
  • Maximizing LinkedIn and Purple Briefcase to identify target employers, find opportunities, and connect with alumnae
  • Creating effective resumes and cover letters
  • Interviewing strategies
  • Clarifying career/professional goals and identifying experiences to fit those goals

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