UW-Superior earns $150,000 internship grant from Great Lakes - Aug 19, 2014 - University News - UW-Superior News and Events

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UW-Superior earns $150,000 internship grant from Great Lakes

Posted on Aug 19, 2014
Students earn paid internships thanks to grant from Great Lakes
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UW-Superior earns $150,000 internship grant from Great Lakes

The University of Wisconsin-Superior recently received a Career Ready Internship grant in the amount of $150,000 from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. This grant will benefit students by offering them opportunities to gain invaluable, real-world experience through paid internships in their fields of study.


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.

Kathy Pykkonen, career services director at UW-Superior said, "With the Career Ready Internship grant, we are thrilled to announce the Jacket Internship Financial Assistance (JIFA) Program will be available for another year." Pykkonen said several departments on campus worked together to make this happen.  She added this program does make an impact. "This financial aid will benefit our students and agencies throughout our community.  We are thrilled to once again work with Great Lakes to award this grant."


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.

   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. For additional information, visit mygreatlakes.org/community.

News Contact: Tom Hansen | 715-394-8260 | thansen7{atuws}
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