Lawrence Awarded $150,000 Grant to Expand Student Internship Opportunities

A $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation will support approximately 50 new, paid internships opportunities during the 2014-15 academic year for Lawrence juniors and seniors who qualify for need-based financial aid.

More Lawrence University students will graduate with a competitive edge thanks to a $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant the college has received from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The grant, part of Great Lakes’ Career Ready Internship program, will support an estimated 51 new, paid internships or the conversion of currently unpaid internships into paid ones for Lawrence juniors and seniors who qualify for need-based financial aid.

This is the second internship grant Lawrence has received from Great Lakes. It was awarded a $125,000 grant for a pilot program during the 2013-14 academic year.

The grant will provide opportunities for all students to work in their field of study while still in college, not just those who can afford to go without a salary. When students are unable to participate in an internship for financial reasons, they miss out on invaluable, real-world experience that can make them more competitive in the job market after graduation.

“The Career Services team is excited to help level the playing field by offering financial assistance to students who participate in unpaid internships,” said Patricia Plutz, Lawrence’s internship coordinator. “Nonprofit organizations benefit greatly from the enthusiasm provided by our students who are eager to make a difference. Lawrence is pleased to partner with employers to provide enriching experiential learning opportunities.”

Lawrence’s current internship program provides students numerous resources for understanding, exploring and securing internships with small nonprofits, local businesses, large corporations and government agencies.

“Internships 101” teaches students about internship search tools, resources and the support provided by Career Services. Think Globally Explore Locally site visits offer students on-site glimpses into the workplace while promoting the Fox Valley area as a microcosm of the national and global job market. Employer-led information and tabling sessions provide students with important data about different organizations, including currently or upcoming open positions.

Annual career trips to larger cities around the Midwest expose students to organizations within fields of study and help build relationships with employers, especially alumni employers. Shadowing and networking opportunities during academic breaks enable students to “jump start” an internship or test out an organization or career field before engaging in a full internship.

Lawrence is one of 40 colleges and universities across Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Minnesota to receive some of the $5.2 million in Career Ready Internship grant funds awarded by Great Lakes.

“Our Career Ready Internship grants provide college students real-world experience in their fields of study and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers. We look forward to seeing the impact Lawrence can have on helping more students graduate ready for success in the workforce.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential.