Metropolitan State University’s Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship (ICES) has been awarded a $150,000 grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes) to create paid internships for university students. This award comes as Great Lakes expands its Career Ready Internship program, awarding $5.2 million in new grants to 40 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Funded through its Community Investments program, Great Lakes’ Career Ready Internship Grant provides funding for Metropolitan State to create 100 paid internships for students that pay at least $10 per hour. A significant portion of these internships will be created in partnership with the East Side Area Business Association.
The grant’s underlying principle is to help students with financial need reap the educational and career-boosting benefits of paid internships. Students gain meaningful work experiences in their field of study, and are more likely to stay enrolled in college until graduation.
Unpaid internships pose a challenge for Metropolitan State students.
“In order to earn credit for an internship, a student must successfully complete 40 hours on site, with supervision and submission of assigned deliverables, for each credit s/he requests/requires,” said Victor Cole, Metropolitan State community engagement coordinator and Academic Internships and Study Abroad advisor. “The average student at Metropolitan State University is about 35 years old, working full time, with familial/community obligations and taking up to a full load of courses per semester. To add a 120-hour, on-site learning strategy such as an internship can seem daunting, and even more so when it is unpaid.”
“The Great Lakes internship grants program may help students make choices that they may not have been able to before,” Cole continued. This is the first time Metropolitan State has received a grant for developing paid internships for its students.
Strong preference for the grant is given to institutions that are most proactive in coordinating with the business and nonprofit community to create new paid internships.
Metropolitan State’s receipt of the Great Lakes Career Ready Internship grant illustrates the university’s commitment to being the partner of choice in helping meet the workforce and community needs of the Twin Cities. Since its inception in 1971, Metropolitan State has continued to partner with area businesses, working together to identify current business needs and develop matching programs to fulfill those needs.
An important part of the university-local business partnership is ICES. Begun in 1996 as the Center for Community-Based Learning, ICES coordinates an academic internship program where staff act as liaisons for the local businesses and university, providing information to students and potential business participants. Faculty liaisons in each academic discipline oversee the academic component of the internship.
More information about the Career Ready Internship Grant can be found at:
More information about the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship may be found at: http://www.metrostate.edu/msweb/community/ices/
Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is America’s premier university for lifelong learning, providing unsurpassed, competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels while maintaining affordability.