Goshen College received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. this week to help establish stronger career counseling, foster student entrepreneurship and promote internships and other experiential learning opportunities at the college.
The grant, which is part of the endowment’s “Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations,” is meant to boost efforts to enhance and expand opportunities for college graduates to find meaningful employment in Indiana.
“We’re extremely grateful to the endowment for their continued generosity and support for Goshen College,” said Jim Brenneman, president of Goshen College. “This grant will help us continue to prepare our students with real world experience and skill development, which makes a difference to future employers. In addition, it will help Goshen College maintain its tradition of having a net gain of new graduates who make Indiana their permanent home.”
The college plans to use the grant to fund several initiatives. Some funds will go toward an endowment for the Student Entrepreneurship Grant Program, which has been awarding entrepreneurship grants to students since 2005. The college will introduce a “pathways to careers” program to all first-year students and develop programs for students to interact with local businesses and explore career opportunities. It also will create a new program that partners local businesses with graduates, resulting in real job experience and possible employment.
This week, the endowment awarded a total of $62.7 million in grants to 39 Indiana colleges and universities to pursue activities that improve the job prospects of college graduates in the state. While progress has been made over the past decade, Indiana college graduates continue to have difficulty finding jobs within the state that are suitable to individuals holding a bachelor’s degree.
“We share the endowment’s concern for the long-term implications of not having a sufficient quantity and quality of employment opportunities for our graduates,” said Jim Caskey, vice president for institutional advancement at the college. “Goshen College brings in outstanding students from the region, across the country, and indeed, the world, many of whom stay to live and work locally and throughout the state. We are committed to preparing our graduates for the needs of an enhanced business environment and expanding opportunities for them to find meaningful employment in Indiana.”