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Grant creates internships for low-income students

Great Lakes 2015-18 Career Ready Internship Grant Recipient

Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) received $175,862 from the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates to fund Career Ready Internships for low-income students attending the College.

“The Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant is an opportunity to provide paid internships for students, as well as build sustainable employer partnerships for the College,” said Julie Poyzer, senior strategist, MCTC Career Services. “The internship opportunities will provide students the chance to apply knowledge, gain or enhance work-related skills, and secure professional references in preparation of a job search after graduation. Additionally, our employer partners will be able to provide new job opportunities that will improve the local economy and help close the skills gap within the workforce.”

During the course of the grant, MCTC Career Services will provide 17 spring/summer 2017 internships, 48 fall 2017 internships and 51 spring 2018 internships with a pay rate of $12 per hour. “Students will be notified of our Great Lakes Career Ready Internship program through academic classes, information sessions, customized emails and technology screens throughout our campus,” said Poyzer. “Interested students will have an opportunity to meet with a Career Services staff member to update their resume and cover letter so they can successfully apply for an internship.

The internships at MCTC will align with the following schools at MCTC: Art and Design, Science and Mathematics, Business and Economics, Information Technology, Liberal Arts and Cultural, and Nursing, Health and Public Services. Grant funds cover internship wages and other expenses as the grantees partner with employers in their communities.  Once an intern is hired, students will be registered for an internship orientation and StrengthsFinder coaching to provide them the tools to increase their opportunity for success.

Increasing student success

“We are confident the internships will increase student success, as participants will have a chance to implement academic learning within their industry of study,” said Poyzer, who is also confident graduation rates will improve for students who have gained valuable employment experience.

The funding received by MCTC was part of a greater initiative that awarded $2.1 million to 16 community and technical colleges across Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. During the spring 2017, fall 2017 and spring 2018 terms, the colleges will work to create more than 1,000 paid internships.

The Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates first started funding the creation of paid internships for low-income students at four-year institutions in 2013. The organization has seen firsthand the benefits of paid internships, grantees reporting 98 percent of the participating students either graduated or continued in their academic programs the following semester. The organization is now seeking best practices for establishing and administering paid internships at two-year colleges like MCTC.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established in 1967 as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for an succeed in post-secondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, the organization 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 educational philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed more than $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 home.mygreatlakes.org