The National Association of College Stores (NACS) will support career-oriented experiential learning through Lorain County Community College’s Career Services office with a five-year sponsorship of programs that engage students in learning beyond the classroom.
The sponsorship gift to the LCCC Foundation will establish the NACS/LCCC Experiential Learning Initiative to cover the 2013 through 2017 academic years and will total $30,000.
"This initiative is critical and timely and will enhance the experiential learning program and process at LCCC," said LCCC President Roy Church. "The generous NACS gift will enable LCCC to have the funds to introduce and establish a program that supports career-oriented experiential learning initiatives like work-based learning and service learning. These interconnected career-oriented experiences are an important component of students’ preparation for more advanced education, career and ultimately employment success."
Brian Cartier, Chief Executive Officer of NACS, said experiential learning opportunities for college students benefit both local businesses and the students.
"From the workforce perspective, experiential education plays a major role in bringing newly minted graduates together with employers needing their skills," Cartier said. "Cooperative education and internship programs allow a student to try out a given career path while the potential employer gets to know the individual and whether his or her skills are a good match with the requirements of the job."
Sponsoring this initiative is also an extension of NACS’ mission to help it and the community "Connect, Grow, Succeed," Cartier noted.
Utilizing the financial support from NACS, LCCC’s Career Services office will establish an annual fall semester Internship Fair and a spring semester Experiential Education Celebration and create a V.I.P. Professional Development Program to prepare students for interviewing and networking.
An on-campus internship experience each semester (Career Advantage Student Ambassador program – CASA) that includes a stipend will be initiated along with a performance-based scholarship for students who complete the V.I.P. program, internship fair and who gain an internship or co-op.
"Adopting a comprehensive experiential education model is important to our students’ success," said Marcia Jones, manager of LCCC’s Career Services. "The NACS sponsorship of this program for a five-year period will go a long way in helping to achieve this goal and we are extremely grateful for their participation."