Notre Dame College Receives Grant to Enhance Science Majors’ Career Preparation with Service Component

The Notre Dame College Career Services Center has received a $30,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Fenn Educational Fund to create research internships with nonprofit organizations for ecology and environmental science majors.
This is the fourth, one-year grant─a total of nearly $130,000─in the past six years the College has received from the Fenn Fund for internship, cooperative education and related career preparation.
The newest grant will help transform research field work with a service learning component students currently conduct for community partners as part of classroom assignments into full-fledged job experiences for internship credit.
The program will target placing biology majors in nonprofit organizations like the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, the Alliance for the Great Lakes and Friends of Euclid Creek Watershed, among others.
Student responsibilities will range from teaching environmental science to elementary students and beach cleanup to biodiversity surveys of plants and insects and water quality and conservation studies.
“By focusing on nonprofits, this project supports the mission of the College in that students will be doing good for their community while developing their career experience through internships and co-ops,” said Kim Lane, director of the Career Services Center at the College. “The ecology and environment components also allow students to practice global responsibility by caring for the Earth.”
Tracy Sabransky, the new coordinator for the project in career services, will lead the “Stewardship and Sustainability: Eco-Careers for the 21st Century” effort for 2013-2014 with Tracey Meilander, assistant professor of biology.
In addition to expanding on experiential and service learning, the grant will generate professional development activities for students, like roundtable discussions and networking events with alumni in science careers as well as potential employers.
“Students need real-life work experience just as much, if not more, in the sciences to help them identify career opportunities in the field, as well as make themselves more marketable in their job searches,” Sabransky said.


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