Current Grant

See Grant History

2017-2018 CAREER READY INTERNSHIP
GRANT — TWO-YEAR COLLEGES

Since 2013, we have helped four-year colleges develop paid internship programs and we've seen firsthand the benefits for students with financial need. The positive impact at four-year colleges prompted us to investigate how two-year colleges can successfully establish and administer paid internship programs to give their low-income students real-world experience in their area of study. So in January 2017, we awarded $2.1 million in Career Ready Internship grants to 16 community colleges in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Our 16 partner colleges provided paid internships for 700 students from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018. The colleges report that these students earned over $1 million in wages and 90% of them either graduated or re-enrolled the next term.

RECIPIENTS
  • Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire, WI ($107,476)
  • Columbus State Community College, Columbus, OH ($174,515)
  • Hennepin Technical College, Eden Prairie, MN ($178,500)
  • Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, IA ($103,248)
  • Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, MN ($159,605)
  • Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland, WI ($68,945)
  • Lorain County Community College, Elyria, OH ($127,020)
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, WI ($173,005)
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis, MN ($175,862)
  • National Park Community College, Hot Springs, AR ($174,816)
  • North Arkansas College, Harrison, AR ($96,007)
  • North Central State College, Mansfield, OH ($137,905)
  • North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, ND ($154,067)
  • Owens State Community College, Perrysburg, OH ($49,500)
  • Vermilion Community College, Ely, MN ($82,209)
  • Waukesha County Technical College, Pewaukee, WI ($139,968)

2015-2018 CAREER READY INTERNSHIP GRANT — FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES

In October 2015, we made our largest Career Ready Internship grant to date: a record $12.2 million awarded to 33 four-year colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. During the three-year grant period, they created paid internships for students with demonstrated financial need.

Through this grant, partner colleges gave low-income juniors and seniors the chance to work in their field of study—and enter the job market after graduation on equal footing with their wealthier peers. Overall, 5,700 students participated in paid internships. Colleges reported that these students earned $9.2 million in wages and 97% of them either graduated or re-enrolled.

In addition to the funds provided by Great Lakes, four-year colleges contributed incremental matching funds totaling $1 million for program administration and student wages and transportation. By sharing the cost, colleges were better positioned to sustain the program beyond 2018. We’re pleased to note that many of our partner colleges have elevated internships and experiential learning among their top institutional priorities and more than half will continue offering paid internship opportunities.

We also partnered with MDRC, a leading social and education policy research organization, to conduct a multifaceted evaluation of the data collected by our partner colleges, covering such topics as student retention and persistence, college-employer relationships, program implementation, scalability and sustainability. MDRC published its findings in June of 2019 (see sidebar), reporting that colleges were quite successful in placing underrepresented students into valuable internships, and employers embraced the partnership with participating colleges. But sustaining the programs once grant funding has ended has proven to be challenging. We hope this report helps convince institutions that identifying resources to support paid internships is worth the effort.

RECIPIENTS

Ashland University, Ashland, OH

  • $444,015
  • 198 Internships

Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

  • $447,986
  • 223 Internships

Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI

  • $366,391
  • 166 Internships

Carthage College, Kenosha, WI

  • $349,146
  • 198 Internships

Defiance College, Defiance, OH

  • $221,529
  • 220 Internships

Denison University, Granville, OH

  • $300,770
  • 220 Internships

Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

  • $330,048
  • 169 Internships

Heidelberg University, Tiffin, OH

  • $261,756
  • 170 Internships

Hiram College, Hiram, OH

  • $405,700
  • 195 Internships

John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH

  • $349,203
  • 190 Internships

Kent State University, Kent, OH

  • $444,015
  • 270 Internships

Lakeland College, Plymouth, WI

  • $446,706
  • 249 Internships

Loras College, Dubuque, IA

  • $410,540
  • 184 Internships

Marietta College, Marietta, OH

  • $321,687
  • 151 Internships

Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

  • $353,997
  • 177 Internships

Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN

  • $444,429
  • 335 Internships

Ohio University, Athens, OH

  • $448,478
  • 195 Internships

Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI

  • $401,767
  • 192 Internships

Simpson College, Indianola, IA

  • $205,200
  • 150 Internships

St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN

  • $397,793
  • 211 Internships

Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH

  • $304,950
  • 205 Internships

University of Findlay, Findlay, OH

  • $356,312
  • 176 Internships

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN

  • $374,000
  • 170 Internships

University of Minnesota-Morris, Morris, MN

  • $360,830
  • 191 Internships

University of Northwestern-St. Paul, St. Paul, MN

  • $412,238
  • 288 Internships

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI

  • $326,028
  • 225 Internships

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI

  • $441,324
  • 246 Internships

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

  • $360,501
  • 205 Internships

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI

  • $448,500
  • 219 Internships

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI

  • $381,225
  • 240 Internships

University of Wisconsin-Superior, Superior, WI

  • $317,454
  • 240 Internships

Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI

  • $441,758
  • 315 Internships

William Penn University, Oskaloosa, IA

  • $298,431
  • 203 Internships

Questions

Contact Senior Program Officer Sue Cui at scui@ascendiumeducation.org.