Huntington, Ind.— Huntington College students will soon have new and expanded experiential learning and placement opportunities through funds granted to the College by Lilly Endowment Inc. Huntington College is among a number of Indiana higher education institutions receiving funds through the Initiative to Promote Opportunity Through Educational Collaborations, the Endowment announced today.
A $750,000 grant will allow Huntington College to implement initiatives to strengthen and broaden its experiential learning opportunities to encompass all academic disciplines by establishing the “Huntington College Enterprise Resource Center” (ERC) to identify, implement and evaluate experiential learning opportunities in the region. The College plans to use a portion of the funds to further strengthen its internship programs through participation in the regional internship collaborative initiative sponsored by the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council (NEICC).
“We are very grateful to Lilly Endowment for this innovative initiative which will significantly contribute to the creation of new economic opportunities to allow young people to have exciting and viable careers within the state of Indiana,” said Ned Kiser, vice president for advancement at Huntington College.
Huntington College has previously received significant funding from the Endowment. In 1998, $8.55 million was received, including $5 million for its newly built, 90,000 square foot science building. The College is currently finishing the second of two gift-matching initiatives from the Endowment and expects to receive in excess of $2.5 million in matching funds.
“We are so very grateful to Lilly Endowment for its on-going support of Huntington College and strategic funding of projects that benefit the state of Indiana,” said College president G. Blair Dowden.
In an effort to help Indiana prosper in its future, a total of $38.9 million in grants from the Lilly Initiative to Promote Opportunity Through Educational Collaborations were awarded to 37 Indiana higher education institutions based on the total number of students enrolled at each school. Through this initiative, the Indianapolis-based Endowment seeks to encourage and support Indiana higher education institutions in creating and implementing collaborative programs that will result in the identification and/or development of meaningful economic opportunities in Indiana for college graduates. Huntington College is in a position to make a significant impact toward this initiative in northeast Indiana.
Huntington College's Enterprise Resource Center
The ERC will function as a “connector” between the College and area businesses, not-for-profit organizations, social service agencies, churches and local governments. It will provide meaningful “real-world” experiences for Huntington College students with a wide range of majors and interests while helping these community entities to grow and prosper.
The popularized version of the mission of Huntington College is to “educate men and women to impact the world for Christ.” The ERC initiative is particularly mission consistent for Huntington College since it will provide new avenues for the College to be “salt and light” in the regional community and will contribute to the long-term prosperity of the area.
The ERC will be proactively involved within Huntington College and in the Huntington County area community and will thereby identify and organize significant experiential educational opportunities. The ERC will employ a “high-level network-building executive director” to identify and develop meaningful practicum projects, internship opportunities and other “virtual consultancy” concepts. These entities will benefit from access to college-educated human resources while the College and its students will benefit from the experiences themselves.
Northeast Indiana Corporate Council Internship Collaborative
The NEICC is an association of regional businesses that is developing collaborative initiatives with institutions of higher education similar to the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. The NEICC believes that “it is essential to retain the best and brightest of our region’s college graduates in northeast Indiana is to once again enjoy economic growth and prosperity. As a key program of this objective, we propose the establishment of a regional internship program, which links opportunities within area businesses with promising area students.”
To accomplish its objective, the NEICC plans to partner with Indiana INTERNnet to facilitate connections in northeast Indiana between regional businesses, foundations and member colleges. It expects to expand services of the Workforce Development Division of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to cultivate this partnership. It also plans to initiate relationships with regional businesses through the Northeast Indiana Chamber Coalition and the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council.
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