Forty-one Centre College students are receiving a total of $125,000 this summer to fund internships across the United States and the world.
This is a noteworthy increase from last summer’s total of $100,000. Funding made available for internships has steadily expanded over the last decade, helping the College fulfill the Centre Commitment, which guarantees all students who meet social and academic expectations an internship or research opportunity, study abroad and graduation in four years. In fact, 81 percent of last year’s graduating class participated in an internship, undergraduate research or both.
“Internships are a way for students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to the wider world beyond,” says Associate Dean Beth Glazier-McDonald. “Over the past five years, increased funding has led to a dramatic increase in internship participation. The rise in higher-impact, for-credit internships is particularly remarkable.”
Centre has a long history of facilitating student internships, but new sources of funding have become available in recent years. The College now oversees four programs that support summer and CentreTerm internships.
The longest-standing program is Centre Internship Plus, which offers rising juniors and seniors up to $2,000 of funding for summer internships.
The Centre Education Fellowship is an additional source of support, offering up to $5,000 to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors with education-related internships.
A 2013 grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation has also expanded opportunities for Centre students. The $500,000 award is designed to facilitate experiential learning, and a portion of it goes toward funding internships.
Another program that has played a significant role in increasing internship support and participation is the Parents Committee Internship Fund. Established in 2013 and made possible by the Centre Parent Fund, this program provides rising juniors and seniors with awards of up to $4,000.
“This summer, the Parents Committee Internship fund is giving eight students the opportunity to participate in high quality internships that might otherwise be inaccessible to them,” says Glazier-McDonald.
Students receive help identifying and applying for internships from Centre’s Career Services office. Staff members assist them as they develop resumes and cover letters and practice their interview skills.
Applications for internship funding are evaluated based on the value of the internship opportunity, the strength of the application and costs incurred by the student while working as an intern.
“The quality of internships and quality of students seeking them has skyrocketed thanks to the funding opportunities available,” says Glazier-McDonald.
This year’s 41 awardees received an average amount of $3,000 each. They will study in 14 states from California to Massachusetts and in nine foreign countries ranging from the Dominican Republic to China.
“Students are going all over the world,” says Mindy Wilson, assistant director for employer relations and internships (pictured bottom right). “They are adventurous and confident, and they are pursuing exciting opportunities because the funding is there.”
by Laurie Pierce