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Kent State Receives State Funds for Expanded Internship and Co-op Programs

Posted April 28, 2014
enter photo description
Kent State University was selected to receive $500,000
in state grant funds for expanded co-op and internship
programs. Kent State will use the funds to expand
relationships with companies and further support
career-related services; create centralized operations
to better support decentralized activities; and use best
practices to create sustainable programs, support
companies and ensure academic integrity of experiences.

Kent State University was selected to receive $500,000 in state grant funds for expanded co-op and internship programs. The funds are part of a state investment of nearly $11 million over the next two years with matching dollars from key industries across the state.

The university will use the funds to expand relationships with companies and further support career-related services; create centralized operations to better support decentralized activities; and use best practices to create sustainable programs, support companies and ensure academic integrity of experiences.

“It is important that our students have opportunities to get real-world business experience,” says Austin Melton Jr., a professor in Kent State’s Department of Computer Science and grant project director.

The grants are part of Gov. John Kasich’s goal to align Ohio’s higher education curriculum with skills that are in demand by Ohio’s companies so that students are better positioned for jobs in Ohio after graduation.

This is the second distribution of the state’s investment in internship and co-op programs. In December 2012, Kent State was awarded $724,553 as part of the governor’s workforce development strategy.

“This new grant is important because it allows our students to have expanded opportunities and allows the university to build infrastructure to sustain the programs,” Melton says.

For example, Kent State University at Stark will hire a graduate student to enhance contacts with the business community. Other campus colleges and departments benefiting from this grant include the College of Business Administration; the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; the College of Public Health; the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Kent State University at Geauga.

“This grant allows different units on campus to build more effective ways to help students take advantage of these opportunities,” Melton adds.

The state funding, from casino license fees, is specifically for this purpose. Funding was awarded to 10 community colleges and 15 public or private universities that are partnering with 30 other postsecondary institutions, including 11 Ohio technical centers. Grantees are required to match at least 100 percent of the awarded money with private funds.

“These grants will provide Ohio employers with opportunities to benefit from the talents of Ohio’s college and career technical students,” says Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey. “And they’ll provide students with valuable internship or co-op experience that will put them on the right track toward a successful career in Ohio.”