Grant allows for new opportunities for students and businesses

Peter Ludolph, Staff Reporter

Lakeland recently received a grant of $446,000 from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. Work toward acquiring the grant began last spring and is only now reaching its completion. The grants main aim is to allow for students to be paid by the college, when taking an unpaid internship off campus.

Students will be paid $12 per hour by the college in replacement of what they would have been paid by the company they intern for. The internship payment is limited to 150 hours. The payment from the grant is available to students of at least junior standing starting in the spring of 2016 through the summer of 2018. There will be a list of companies that students can work with in conjunction with this grant according to Lucas Dulmes, Great Lakes Grant Coordinator.

However, not all students qualify for payment. Jessica Lambrecht, Director of Career Services and Student Success and Engagement Coach said, “a student basically has to have an outstanding bill from the college that is not covered by loans or grants in order to be eligible to partake in this grant.” It is a need based grant so students who are deemed to have no need cannot qualify for payment.

This grant can be a huge advantage to students who otherwise could not afford to take an unpaid internship.  Dulmes said, “Most students can’t afford to take an unpaid internship because of the amount of hours that they would have to put in towards it. They would have to have some extra money coming in, so this grant will help facilitate those students.”

The money that you would earn in from your internship is not required to go back into your college bills. Rick Herian, Student Success and Engagement Coach said, “it’s just like a job, you get a paycheck but the idea is that you have some financial need toward your education that it could supplement.”

According to Lambrecht, “Students are not required to make the internship a credit bearing internship in order to get payment from the college.” There are approved internships under the grant and according to Dulmes, “There is a restriction on the grant that states that it can’t have any companies with a political or religious affiliation. Also, student teaching and practicum opportunities are not involved because of the hour requirements for these types of internships.”

Lakeland is one of 33 institutions that has earned the grant, according to Lambrecht. The grant varies in size between the institutions involved.

All of Lakelands satellite campuses will also have the ability to partake in the benefits of the grant. All of the internships that are involved in the grant are newly established. The grant has also brought in new companies and more opportunities for Lakeland students.

There will be two information sessions that all students are encouraged to attend to find out more information about the grant. The first is on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. till noon in Laun 209 and the second is Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. till 6 p.m. in Laun 228. Both are also available on Career Connect.

More information to come.