Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to fund paid internships during the 2014-15 academic year.
Clarke will use the $149,426 to collaborate with local businesses and nonprofits to develop new paid internships and convert existing unpaid internships into paid opportunities.
“The Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant is so valuable for Clarke University. It supports students by enhancing their classroom learning with real work experience through internships in the community,” said Becky Herrig, assistant director of Counseling and Career Services. “Internships provide a vital bridge between business, education and the community. Our local community can thrive from motivated and skilled workers that become involved members of society.”
However, when internships are unpaid, students who can’t afford to work for free miss the chance to gain a competitive edge in the job market. These new internships will give juniors and seniors with any level of financial need real-world experience within their field of study.
“We place a premium on ideas that work, and our Career Ready Internship grants help level the playing field for students who receive financial aid,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers.”
Following a successful pilot, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporationis dramatically expanding its Career Ready Internship grant, awarding $5.2 million in new grants to 40 colleges and universities in four states to help students with financial need reap the educational and career-boosting benefits of paid internships.
Great Lakes tested the idea with a $2.5 million commitment to 19 Wisconsin colleges and universities during the 2013-2014 academic year. Participating in an internship did more than just provide these students with a paycheck; it improved their odds of progressing toward college completion. In fact, 98 percent of interns either re-enrolled the next semester or graduated, according to Great Lakes. The 2014-2015 grant opportunity was offered again in Wisconsin, and expanded to include colleges in Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio.