Inver Hills Receives $159,605 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes

61 new internships will be created exclusively for students with financial need

Inver Hills Community College has been awarded a two-year, $159,605 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. An anticipated 61 new paid internships will be created during the 2017–2018 academic year.
Career Ready Internship Grant“Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes president and chief executive officer. “Students gain meaningful workplace skills and are more likely to earn degrees and use their internship experiences to help secure good jobs upon graduation. Colleges will see increased completion and job placement rates, and employers gain a pipeline to fresh talent. It’s a win-win-win.”
Inver Hills is one of 16 two-year institutions across Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $2.1 million to create more than 1,000 internships. Inver Hills will collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide the greatest number of current and future students with an educational opportunity they might not otherwise have.
“With this two-year Career Ready Internship grant, Inver Hills will partner with businesses and nonprofits to develop new paid internships for students with financial need,” said Tim Wynes, Inver Hills president. “These internships will help increase graduation and job placement rates while showcasing fresh, talented potential employees.”

Inver Hills was chosen for the grant because the college clearly and compellingly described plans to:
  • Implement thoughtful and strategic ways of recruiting students and promoting the internship program to employers
  • Support students throughout the duration of their internships
  • Assign clear and reasonable roles to campus faculty and staff to ensure the efficient administration of the program

Dionna Jones, director of work and community-based learning at the college, reported that colleges and employers will work toward making the paid internship program sustainable, so students can benefit from these opportunities even after the Great Lakes grant period ends.
“Internships allow students to gain off-campus, structured work experiences that directly relate to their major fields of study,” Jones said. “Internships help students apply their learning, receive direct supervision and feedback, develop references and build mentoring relationships while advancing their career and personal goals.”
According to Great Lakes, these two-year grants build upon the success of past one-year grants to four-year colleges and universities. The Career Ready Internship program began as a $2.5 million pilot for four-year colleges at 19 Wisconsin institutions during 2013–2014, leading to $5.2 million in grants for 40 colleges across four states in 2014–2015 and a record $12.2 million awarded to 33 colleges across four states in 2015–2018. Thousands of students have participated in newly created paid internships in their fields of study, and 98 percent of these students either graduated or continued in their academic programs the following semester.
Inver Hills Community College will spend the spring and summer of 2017 on administrative planning, employer outreach, and student recruitment, and will begin placing students in paid internships in September 2017. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed over $172 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates.

To learn more about the Career Ready Internship Grant and the Center for Experiential Learning at Inver Hills, contact:

Dionna Jones
Director of Work and Community-Based Learning

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