Hiram College students will have improved access to paid internships, thanks to a three-year, $405,700 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. An anticipated 195 new paid internships for Hiram students will be created during the 2015-2018 academic years.
“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.”
Hiram is one of 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for their students with financial need. Hiram College will collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide the greatest number of current and future students with an educational opportunity they might not otherwise have.
Hiram received a similar grant from Great Lakes in 2014-15, which funded 50 student internships from September 2014 to August 2015. Hiram students completed internships at a range of organizations, including the Monica Potter home in Garrettsville, Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine, the office of Congressman Dave Joyce (R, OH-14th District), Lake County Metroparks Farmpark, Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league baseball team, American Golf Corporation and more.
The timing for the grant’s renewal is ideal; under Hiram Connect, an initiative that is building upon Hiram College’s dedication to hands-on learning, all freshmen entering during the 2015-16 academic year and later will be required to complete an internship, study away excursion or research experience before graduation.
“Internships are the perfect bridge between college and career,” said Hiram College President Lori Varlotta, Ph.D. “These opportunities help students apply classroom theories and concepts to the real-world situations they encounter at the internship site. At the same time, they help students imagine themselves in this type of work environment and in this type of career. For most students an internship is a point of confirmation: It confirms that this is the type of career in which they can easily see themselves. But every now and again, the internship becomes a pivotal experience where students come to see that their intended career is not one they would actually enjoy. It is better to come to that realization before (rather than after) they take a full-time job in that industry.”
Hiram College senior Paige Ziegler’s social work internship at Alliance Community Hospital’s Geriatric Psychiatric Unit was funded through the Great Lakes grant during summer 2015.
“There is nothing quite like real life experience,” said Zeigler, a psychology major. “It will either relieve you if you end up loving it, or it will relieve you if it’s not what you expected, because you can still change your mind.”
Following three months of administrative planning, employer outreach, and student recruitment, Hiram College will place eligible juniors and seniors in paid internships beginning in January 2016. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018.
About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.
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, we have 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. Our group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, we have 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 home.mygreatlakes.org.