The students benefit as well, he said.

“They’re being challenged,” Boisjolie said. “We told them it wouldn’t be just busy work, we’re not just going to give you mundane work. The more you keep delivering, the more we’re going to challenge you.”

Alex Citurs, an assistant professor of business information systems at Eastern, said he has several students in the program. Having a facility on campus means that more students can take advantage of internship opportunities.

“In that sense, it’s a win-win,” Citurs said. “The organization gets more interaction and feedback and creative ideas from the students, and the students save money and on travel time and get a more valuable learning experience.”

Rhona Free, the university’s vice president for academic affairs, said the program is part of the school’s emphasis on pre-professional experience before graduation.

“We have a long tradition of what’s called experiential education, the idea that students don’t just learn in the classroom, they should go out into the world and apply what they’ve learned in a supervised setting,” Free said.

Nuñez said that all Eastern students are required to have some kind of pre-professional experience before graduation, whether it’s through an internship, cooperative work experience, community service, or research. The goal is to provide a well-rounded education, she added, a “liberal education that’s practically applied.”

“Their employers can teach them skills, but they can’t teach them to write well and think critically,” Nuñez said.