Internships are a powerful tool for students. They provide real-world skills and lead to better job opportunities after graduation.
December 14, 2017
Great Lakes Education Philanthropy Update
Career Ready Internships

Early Analysis Highlights Promise of Career Ready Internships

New Issue Brief Examines Program’s Success and Challenges

Internships are a powerful tool for students. They provide real-world skills and lead to better job opportunities after graduation. But many low-income students can only afford to take advantage of an internship opportunity if they get paid for the work, which puts them at a disadvantage. Colleges can address this equity issue and create more paid internship opportunities by covering the cost of intern wages. Through our Career Ready Internship (CRI) Grants, Great Lakes provides colleges with the funds to do that. But perhaps more important, the CRI program aims to discover and help colleges understand what it takes to implement a successful paid internship program, and ultimately help more students complete their credential or degree well-prepared for a good job.

To that end, we enlisted the social policy think tank MDRC to evaluate our biggest Career Ready Internship project to date—$12.2 million over three years awarded to 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. In September, MDRC published an issue brief highlighting some of their early findings regarding how colleges are implementing the CRI program and how its features compares to other internship programs. Read it here.

Dash Emergency Grants

Word is Spreading about the Impact of Emergency Grants

It’s not news to us that emergency aid is a critical tool for keeping low-income college students in school. Economically vulnerable students are often one financial setback away from having to put their educational dreams on hold, sometimes permanently. Over the past year, our Dash Emergency Grant program has been successful in keeping more students enrolled in college.

In October, the Janesville Gazette published an article highlighting the impact of these grants at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. That article was picked up by the Associated Press and subsequently published in 24 newspapers nationwide from Miami to Seattle. Read the article.

Over $100,000 to Our Adopted Schools!

Over $100,000 to Our Adopted Schools!

Great Lakes is known for its nationwide philanthropy aimed at helping more underserved students earn postsecondary credentials or degrees. But we are also committed to supporting the local communities in which our employees live and work. One of the most important ways we do that is our annual United Way campaign.

Great Lakes matches employee donations dollar for dollar with contributions to our adopted schools, who use these funds to promote student success. This month, we presented checks totaling $114,910 to our 10 adopted schools located in Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from Great Lakes

Our philanthropy is driven by an ongoing commitment to the idea that higher education—whether a technical certificate or a two- or four-year degree—is the most effective avenue to a better life for most people. Equitable access for those who desire that education is at the very core of our mission. The holidays are a good time of year to reflect on the values that underlie this work—values so many of you share as we work together to expand opportunity. In that spirit, we at Great Lakes wish all of you a happy holiday season!

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