UCR receives grant to fund summer internships

Author: Imran Ghori
December 17, 2021

UC Riverside has received a $50,000 grant from two groups that will provide summer internships for students with the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or APLU, and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities announced on Dec. 15 that UCR was among five universities selected to receive the Collaborative Opportunity Grants which are supported by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The grants support university-community partnerships and enhance workforce skills, and are aimed at aiding low-income, first-generation students.

The UCR Career Center and Undergraduate Education coordinated the grant and will work with the chambers to create a five-week program for up to 50 students. The program will provide academic and entrepreneurial mentors with students working on real-world projects helping the Riverside community.

The campus groups also partnered with tech company Apple’s education program to provide student interns with an online coding course. Students will use that coding experience to work with local businesses and design apps, said Kevin Graham, a University Innovation Alliance fellow working with Undergraduate Education.

The internships are completely virtual. The program will be the third year the Career Center has placed students in virtual internships, which have shown students with improved confidence in critical thinking, problems solving, and team work, Graham said.

“This is an important endeavor as virtual internships have consistently shown to positively impact students career competencies,” he said.

The pilot program is expected to be a model for a permanent academic internship providing students with workforce skills.

“There is an extraordinary and growing demand for workers with 21st Century Skills,” said Christel Perkins, deputy executive director of the coalition and assistant vice president at the APLU. “We’re thrilled to support these public universities as they advance pathbreaking work to pilot and scale community partnerships that strengthen the pathway between college coursework and career success.”