The Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University has received $150,000 from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation from its Career Ready Internship Grant.
With the grant, WCBA will collaborate with local businesses and nonprofits to develop new paid internships and convert existing unpaid internships into paid opportunities, assisting students who can’t afford to work without pay. The new internships will give juniors and seniors with any level of financial need real-world experience within their field of study, and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation.
In all, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation awarded $5.2 million in new grants to 40 colleges and universities in four states to help students with financial need receive the benefits of paid internships.
Great Lakes tested the idea with a $2.5 million commitment to 19 Wisconsin colleges and universities during the 2013-14 academic year. Participating in an internship did more than just provide 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, Great Lakes reports. The 2014-15 grant opportunity was offered again in Wisconsin, and expanded to include colleges in Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio.
“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.”