Williamson Business College Awarded $150,000 Great Lakes Grant


The Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University has been awarded a $150,000 Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation grant. The college will use the grant to create and expand paid internships for students.

Great Lakes, an organization that helps students in post-secondary education with their student loans, awards grants to different colleges annually.

Nikki Wachter, community investments program manager at Great Lakes, said the grants will provide new opportunities to students with financial need.

“We know that, with this grant, there are a lot of internships,” Wachter said. “We are hoping to level the playing field for low-income students who wouldn’t otherwise have this opportunity.”

YSU will work with various organizations across the area to develop new paid internships, opening up new opportunities for students who could not sacrifice the loss of income from doing unpaid internships.

Wachter said the grant will create 60 new internships within the WBCA. Great Lakes awarded $5.2 million in grants to 40 institutions of higher education in four states.

“[The grant is awarded through] a very competitive contest,” Wachter said. “It is open to Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. We look for programs with a strong base of internships seeking to create new business with the community.”

Betty Jo Licata, dean of WCBA, said the new internships will not only be for business, but will also extend into the News Outlet, the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the College of Creative Arts and Communication.

“By expanding the number of paid internships to students, we hope more students will take advantage of these opportunities,” Licata said. “Students deserve to be paid for the work they complete as part of their internships. This is an important opportunity [for students] to earn $2250, earn academic credit and gain valuable experience. Hopefully students understand the value of the career-related work experience.”

Licata said that internships are an essential part of the college experience.

“Employers want to hire students with experience, and internships are the primary way in which college students can gain this experience,” she said.

Internships are part-time, at 225 hours per semester or 15 hours per week at $10 an hour. Positions are offered for for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations and on-campus jobs.

“Positions for spring and summer semester will be posted on the WCBA Office of Professional Practice online job board, BizLink,” Laura Dewberry, an instructor of marketing in the WBCA, said. “If a student is interested in knowing if they qualify to participate in this program, they can contact me or anyone in the WCBA Office of Professional Practice to find out. Students who are selected for one of these Great Lakes internship positions must register for academic credit either within their major or in the WCBA.”

Juniors and seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher interested in the positions or others with questions can contact Laura at ljmccaskey@ysu.edu or call at 330-941-1870.