By Benjamin Wideman / Director of Communications
Silver Lake College has been awarded a three-year, $401,767 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.
“This grant continues to assist our students with wonderful professional opportunities,” said Dr. Chris E. Domes, in his third year as President of Silver Lake College. “In addition, it sets a long-term path for Silver Lake College as it moves toward becoming the first Catholic college in the United States to adopt the Work College model.”
Silver Lake College is one of 33 colleges and universities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio that received a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for eligible junior and senior students with financial need. Silver Lake College will collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide current and future students with opportunities they might not otherwise have.
This is the third consecutive year Silver Lake College has received a Great Lakes grant.
Jan Algozine, Director of Experiential Learning and Career Services at Silver Lake College, said that before SLC received its first Great Lakes grant the college placed about 30 students annually in nonpaid internships. Each of the first two years Silver Lake College received the grant, that figure increased to nearly 100 students.
“Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. “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.”
Internships are vital to a strong resume, but not all internships are paid and students with financial need often can’t afford to participate in those opportunities. The Great Lakes grant helps make it possible for those students to take part.
Career Ready Internship grants are effective October 2015 through May 2018. Colleges will spend the first three months on administrative planning, additional employer outreach and student recruitment. Paid internship placements will begin in January 2016. An anticipated 7,000 new internships at the 33 colleges and universities will be created during this three-year period.
Great Lakes believes partnerships between colleges and employers will strengthen as the shared benefit becomes a shared commitment to cover an increasing percentage of funding for internships by the end of the grant period.
“We were thrilled to see so many colleges, including Silver Lake College, recognize that our funding could bolster the reach of their existing internship programs and sponsor new partnerships with area employers,” said Amy Kerwin, Vice President-Community Investments at Great Lakes.
The Career Ready Internship program began as a $2.5 million pilot at 19 Wisconsin colleges during 2013-2014, and led to $5.2 million in grants for 40 colleges across four states in 2014-2015. Silver Lake College received a $150,000 grant each of the first two years.
Thousands of students at those colleges have participated in newly created paid internships in their fields of study thanks to the Great Lakes grant, and 98 percent of those students either graduated or continued in their academic programs the following semester. At Silver Lake College, every one of those students graduated or has continued in their respective programs.
“My goal at Silver Lake College is to have every full-time undergraduate student of junior and senior status in an internship,” said Algozine, noting that internships are approved and supervised by faculty members. “This grant allows them to get practical hands-on experience and build their resume.”
Domes said Silver Lake College is appreciative of Great Lakes’ belief in the mission of the college. “Receiving this grant for the third time reflects positively on the work of our faculty and staff and our commitment to student success,” he said.
For more information about Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, please visit community.mygreatlakes.org.