Metropolitan State Awarded $150,000 to Support Internships

Metropolitan State’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.

Funded through its Community Investments program, Great Lakes’ Career Ready Internship Grant provides funding for Metropolitan State to create more than 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.

“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,” said Victor Cole, Metropolitan State Community Engagement Coordinator for Academic Internships and Study abroad, “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 grant program may help students make choices that they may not have been able to before.”

This is the first time Metropolitan State has received a grant for developing paid internships for its students. Strong preference for the grant award was 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 between local businesses and university, providing information and support to students and potential business participants. Faculty liaisons in each academic discipline oversee the academic component of the internship.

For more information about the Great Lakes award to Metropolitan State, contact ICES at community.engagement@metrostate.edu or call 651-793-1285. More information about the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship may be found at: http://www.metrostate.edu/msweb/community/ices/.

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