Miami University has been awarded $81,000 by the Ohio Board of Regents to increase the number and degree areas of co-ops and internships available to regional campus students. Computer information Technology (CIT) and engineering technology will be the focus areas, although students in all degree programs are eligible for co-op and internship opportunities.
The grant funds to Miami will be used in part to subsidize co-op student’s salaries. New partnerships with area business and industry have been forged in order to increase the number of placements.
Cathy Bishop-Clark, chair of the CIT department, said, "The co-op option gives employers a chance to get to know our students and at the same time gives our students practical, hands-on experience. It is a win-win for all.”
The grant also includes $5,000 to start a co-op/internship scholarship, with Miami pledging to raise a matching $5,000.
The newly awarded state grant funding comes from casino license fees designated for this purpose. Funding was awarded to 10 community colleges and 13 public or private universities and is projected to create up to 3,496 co-op and internship positions.
The grants are part of Governor John Kasich’s workforce development strategies to align Ohio’s higher education curriculum with skills that are in demand by Ohio’s businesses.
“These awards are meant to provide Ohio employers with opportunities to benefit from the talents of Ohio’s college and career technical students,” said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro. “And they’ll provide students with valuable internship or co-op experience.”
Working with industry stakeholders to provide students with meaningful co-op or internship experiences provides benefits to students, who receive a good salary and valuable job skills, and to industry, who reap the benefits of well-prepared student-workers and who recruit talented permanent employees from co-ops. In addition, all stakeholders benefit from the close university-industry partnerships the program provides, which often lead to fine tuning the university curriculum to directly prepare our students for jobs in industry.