University Relations Office
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
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Great Lakes tested the idea last academic year and UW-Superior was one of 19 Wisconsin colleges and universities to receive a portion of the $2.5 million in funding. Based on the student success from that pilot program Great Lakes awarded new grants and expanded those opportunities to 40 colleges and universities this year for $5.2 million dollars to boost educational and career opportunities for more than 2,000 students. Colleges in Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio are also now part of the initiative. Schools will collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations across the state to create the new paid internships.
UW-Superior will again use the grant to create new paid internships and turn previously unpaid internships into paid internships, for juniors and seniors who don't receive enough financial aid to cover college expenses. The program was so successful a year ago that the 2014-15 grant will go towards continuing this exciting opportunity again thanks to the generosity from Great Lakes.
The UW-Superior Jacket Internship Financial Assistance program was new on campus last year and the social work program was the first group of students who benefited immediately. Through this program students were paid for their valuable contributions to state agencies and nonprofits.
One UW-Superior senior who took part a year ago said the program made a difference. "JIFA has helped me receive credit toward my graduation while getting paid. It has helped me be able to concentrate on my senior thesis as well as decreased my financial burden. I've been able to pay rent on time this entire semester, and that is not always the case during my school career."
The program goals include cultivating new paid internship opportunities with organizations, business and government (or public) agencies. Also a focus will be to support and develop on-campus internship programs as well. Another UW-Superior student who was supported with a paid internship a year ago said, "The program made me work that much harder while I was interning and that reflected on my performance. My internship has even offered me a job in the future."
"We place a premium on ideas that work, and our Career Ready Internship grants help level the playing field for students who receive financial aid," 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."
Participating in an internship did more than just provide these students with a paycheck; it improved their odds of progressing toward college completion. In fact, 98 percent of interns either re-enrolled the next semester or graduated.
This UW-Superior opportunity was the result of hard work by several people on campus and led by Kathy Pykkonen, director of career services; Lynn Amerman Goerdt, assistant professor social work and social work field coordinator; Donna Dahlvang, director of financial aid; Angie Soderberg career services internship coordinator and Kaelene Arvidson-Hicks grants and research administrator.
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