Metropolitan State awarded $444,429 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes

Metropolitan State University has been awarded a three-year, $444,429 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. An anticipated 335 new paid internships will be created during the 2015-2018 academic years.

Metropolitan State University is one of 33 colleges and universities in Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for their students with financial need. This is the second time Metropolitan State has received a grant from Great Lakes for developing paid internships for its students. Last year, 117 paid internships were created with the grant.



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Greg Mellas, director of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship at Metropolitan State University.
Greg Mellas, director of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship at Metropolitan State University.

“It is difficult to overstate just how important The Great Lakes Career Ready award is to the university and Metro State students. During our initial 2014-2015 award period, many students reported that a paid academic internship had been a game-changer for them, altering their career trajectory and opening a new set of opportunities which simply would not have been possible without the funding made available through this award,” says Greg Mellas, director of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship.

“We are thrilled about this new, three-year award. It will be a springboard for hundreds of students who will access opportunities to hone their skills, make valuable professional connections and launch their careers, while at the same time providing compensation to the intern and mitigating the financial barrier that often prevents so many students from realizing the benefits of an academic internship.”

Metropolitan State will collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide the greatest number of current and future students with an educational opportunity they might not otherwise have. Internships will be targeted to undergraduate students studying to enter the science, technology, math, chemistry fields, those in the College of Management, and in areas of social entrepreneurship.

“Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes president and chief executive officer. “Students gain meaningful workplace skills and are more likely to earn degrees and use their internship experiences to help secure good jobs upon graduation. Colleges will see increased completion and job placement rates, and employers gain a pipeline to fresh talent. It’s a win-win-win.”

Strong preference for the grant is given to institutions that are most proactive in coordinating with the business and nonprofit community to create new paid internships.

Following three months of administrative planning, employer outreach and student recruitment, Metropolitan State will place eligible juniors and seniors in paid internships beginning in January 2016. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018. Apply by contacting Metropolitan State’s Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship.

Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is America’s premier university for lifelong learning, providing unsurpassed, competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels while maintaining affordability.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, we have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. Our group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, we have committed nearly $154 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit