NACE Principles of Professional Practice

The Betty and B. Frank Matthews II ’49 Center for Career Development (Matthews Center) abides by the ethical standards for professional conduct set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). All employers and third-party recruiting organizations that recruit Davidson students and alumni are expected to follow the NACE Principles for Ethical Professional Practice. Organizations that do not act in accordance with these principles will have their recruiting privileges revoked.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is Davidson's policy to admit qualified students and administer all educational, athletic, financial and employment activities without discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law unless allowed by law and deemed necessary to the administration of the college's educational programs or operations. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment as well as all academic, athletic, and other educational admissions, enrollment, participation and programming. Davidson expects that any employer or third-party organization representing an employer that posts a position through the Matthews Center or uses the college's facilities for the purpose of recruiting for full-time, part-time, temporary or intern positions adheres to this policy and complies with federal and state equal employment opportunity laws in its recruiting and hiring.

Prohibited Postings

The Matthews Center reserves the right to prohibit the posting of any position in its recruiting system. Employers and third-party recruiting agencies that recruit students and alumni for any of the following types of positions will not be provided Matthews Center services:

  • All full or part-time positions that do not require a bachelor's degree (excluding internships).

  • Positions requiring majors that do not exist at Davidson.

  • Campus advocate/representative positions that would require students to run or begin a student organization as part of their duties.

  • All positions that would employ students by a private individual (i.e. babysitter, editor of a book, tutor, caretaker, interior designer for your private home, etc.).

  • All positions hiring students to sell or promote an organization's products or services to other Davidson students.

  • Full-time positions compensated primarily or only by commission.

  • All positions from employers, volunteer agencies and third-party recruiting organizations that require students and alumni to either fundraise for the position or pay a fee prior to employment.

  • All positions with organizations that provide financial incentives to staff who recruit new hires for the organization and/or for which the recruiting staff member receives a portion of the new hire's commission.

  • Positions that would require activities that violate any campus policies (including solicitation or fund raising restrictions) or that might require actions that could otherwise interfere with the academic mission of the college.

Posting Unpaid Internships

We encourage employers-particularly those in the private sector-to pay interns whenever possible. As many students focus their search on paid positions out of necessity, offering paid internships often results in a larger, more diverse and more qualified pool of applicants. If your organization is considering posting unpaid internships through the college, you must confirm that those internships meet the NACE guidelines for an experience to be defined as an internship:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom-a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not exist simply to advance the operations of the employer nor should it be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.

  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.

  • The experience must have a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.

  • There must be clearly defined learning objectives related to the student's professional goals.

  • There must be supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.

  • An experienced supervisor must provide feedback routinely.

  • The employer must provide resources, equipment, and facilities that support learning objectives/goals.

Private sector employers also should be familiar with the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines for legally offering unpaid internships. The Department of Labor provides general information to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the services that they provide to "for-profit" private sector employers.

While Davidson does offer a mechanism for granting academic credit for unpaid internships, this credit is only available if it is required by the employer. Employers who mandate academic credit must still meet our criteria for high-quality internships as well as the Department of Labor's criteria for unpaid internships. For information about our academic credit requirements, contact  

Posting Virtual Internships

The majority of internships posted at Davidson are traditional internships, where student interns work at the same physical location as their supervisors and have safe and specific work spaces. If you are interested in posting a virtual internship, you must indicate this in the job title (for example, "Social Media Virtual Intern"). All virtual internship position descriptions must meet the NACE criteria for internships in addition to the below criteria for virtual internships. We will review descriptions carefully to see that both sets of criteria are met before approving the posting.

Criteria for Virtual Internships

  • The internship site must use some type of online project management tool, such as Google Docs or Dropbox, so that work is stored in the "cloud" and not on a personal computer.

  • The internship includes a regular e-mail report (weekly, at a minimum) where the student provides information such as hours worked, challenges or problems encountered, and results obtained, and asks any questions that he or she may have.

  • The internship includes a weekly virtual meeting on Skype or a similar technology (highly preferred); if this meeting is impossible, then phone conversations are expected.

  • For local virtual internships (the site is not far from Davidson, but you are allowing the student to work from campus), you must meet with the student in a public place regularly throughout the internship.

Third-Party Recruiting Policy

Third-party recruiters who wish to post opportunities with the Matthews Center job database, Handshake (login required), must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • The third-party recruiter must agree to disclose the name of the employer, as well as the position description. The client's name should appear in the title of the position.

  • Students and alumni will not be charged a fee for the third-party recruiter's services.

  • The third-party recruiter can be listed as the contact for student/alumni cover letters and resumes.

  • If a student or alumnus/a is not selected for the specific position listed in Handshake, his/her resume will not be put into the recruiter's general pool of candidates without the written consent of the individual.

This agreement will remain in effect for all positions posted through the third-party recruiter. We reserve the right to remove any postings that do not adhere to our terms and conditions. Any violation of these terms will result in the loss of access to Handshake.

Campus Recruiting Policies

Through its campus recruiting policies the college intends to allow students ample time to carefully consider all of their employment options and to make informed decisions about their employment after Davidson. We educate students on evaluating and negotiating job offers and discourage them from hasty decisions that may lead to reneging, which we strongly discourage. In order to better meet student and employer needs, we established the following campus recruiting policies:

Exploding Offers

Employers may not offer incentives or exert undue pressure to students to accept/decline an offer before the deadlines stated below. An offer may not expire before the stated deadlines. Employers failing to adhere to these dates may be restricted from scheduling interviews the first two weeks of the following semester. Repeated offenses may result in restriction from campus recruiting completely.

  • Fall Semester–Full-time Offers from Summer Internships (Conversions):
    Employers extending full-time offers or conversions to previous summer interns must allow students to accept or decline until October 31, or a minimum of four weeks after the date of the written offer, whichever is later.

  • Fall Semester–Full-time Offers from Fall Recruiting:
    Employers must allow students to accept or decline until October 31, or a minimum of four weeks after the date of the written offer, whichever is later.

  • Spring Semester–Internship Offers from Spring Recruiting:
    Employers must give students at least 4 weeks from the date of the verbal offer to accept/decline. For interviews conducted after March 1, employers should give students at least 2 weeks from the date of the verbal offer to accept/decline.

Acceptance of Offers

Should an employer pursue a student for a full-time or an internship position knowing that the student already has accepted an offer (verbally or written) with another organization, the employer may be banned from Matthews Center's on-campus recruiting program for up to one year. This policy is in place to protect the employer from whom the student has accepted an offer and to protect the student from undue pressure.

Rescind Policy

Should economic realities force an employer to rescind an offer, the employer must report this to the Matthews Center prior to contacting the student to rescind. This will allow the Matthews Center to prepare for the student's questions and concerns, and prepare to work with the student on conducting a new search. The Matthews Center also would continue to engage the employer in discussion to determine best steps in moving forward with their recruiting relationship at Davidson and to assist the student who had his/her offer rescinded. Employers who rescind offers may be banned from the on-campus recruiting program for up to one year or longer.

Alcohol Policy

The Matthews Center adheres to the NACE Principles for Ethical Professional Practice, which states that serving alcohol should not be a part of the recruitment process. Therefore, all recruiting activity, including all information sessions, should be alcohol-free.

The Matthews Center adheres to the aforementioned policies and guidelines to ensure the quality of our services and reserves the right to modify these terms and conditions at any time.