8/19/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University has received a $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to help students with financial need reap the educational and career-boosting benefits of internships.
“Colleges receiving grants, like Ashland University, will collaborate with local businesses and nonprofits to develop new paid internships and convert existing unpaid internships into paid opportunities,” said Karen Hagans, director of the Career Services Center at Ashland University. “When internships are unpaid, students who cannot afford to work for free have to pass on the chance to gain a competitive edge in the job market. These new internships will give juniors and seniors with financial need real-world experience within their field of study, and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation.”
Great Lakes is awarding $5.2 million in new Career Ready internship grants to 40 college and universities in four states to help students with financial need. Great Lakes tested the idea with a $2.5 million commitment to 19 Wisconsin colleges and universities during the 2013-2014 academic year.
According to Great Lakes, the results of this test showed that 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, Great Lakes noted that 98 percent of interns either re-enrolled the next semester or graduated. This led to the 2014-2015 grant opportunity being offered again in Wisconsin, and being expanded to include colleges in Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio.
Richard D. George, Great Lakes' president and chief executive officer, said that this year, Great Lakes philanthropy will make a positive impact on 2,000 students who might not otherwise consider—and profit from—an internship.
"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," George said. "This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers."
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###