Great Lakes Grant

Kent State University has been awarded a three-year, $444,015 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. An anticipated 270 paid internships (169 new and 101 established) will be available during the 2015-2018 academic years.

Internships are an integral component of the higher education experience and are valuable to students as they connect in-class learning to career goals and seek employment after college. Often, college graduates find their first jobs through their internships.

Some of the goals of the grant are to increase the number of newly paid internship opportunities for low-income students, prepare them through career/work readiness workshops and then place the students in positions at nationally and internationally recognized companies, locally owned businesses, startups and nonprofits.

“The Great Lakes grant gives us the opportunity to focus on a population of students—low-income, first- generation, underrepresented—who, as demonstrated by the data, are less likely to intern,” said Kristin Williams, executive director for the career services center at Kent State University. “Guaranteeing a minimum salary of $1,500 per internship, we hope to see an increased participation from this group of students.”

Kent State is one of 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that have received a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for their students with financial need. Kent State is collaborating with businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide the greatest number of current and future students with an educational opportunity they might not otherwise have.

“Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes president and chief executive officer. “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.”

Following three months of administrative planning, employer outreach and student recruitment, Kent State will target eligible juniors and seniors for the paid internships beginning in January 2016. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, it 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 education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, it has committed nearly $154 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