UD shares $800K grant to create internships, co-ops

By: Byron Hoskinson – Staff Writer

The University of Dayton has received an $800,000 state-issued grant to foster student participation in paid co-ops and internship programs in computer science, engineering, and business.

The $800,000, which is shared with Sinclair Community College, was part of an $11 million initiative distributed among 55 Ohio postsecondary institutions, including 15 colleges and universities, 10 community colleges, and 30 technical centers and colleges, according to a press release from ohiohighered.org.

The release said the $11 million was taken directly from casino licensing fees and will supply some 2,500 students with co-op or intern experience over the next two years.

Nancy Zelina, cooperative education coordinator for the school of engineering, said about 40 percent of the grant was earmarked for engineering co-ops, with the remainder spent on a business capstone course and developing new interdisciplinary courses.

The awards were funded as part of Gov. John Kasich’s workforce development strategy to bring the state’s higher education curriculum into line with skills currently in high demand by Ohio businesses.

The UD-SCC award was the second largest of the 25 grants, the largest being the $870,740 allocated to Cuyahoga Community College and Lakeland Community College in Cleveland.

“The individual grant amounts were decided by the [Ohio] Board of Regents” and based on criteria developed by the board, said Jeff Robinson, communications director of the regents.

The awards are funded by the Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT), a board created by Kasich in 2012 to address stagnation in the employment force.

UD and SCC had originally received $253,995 in 2012 upon the creation of the OWT from the workforce development program. The money was used to fund 20 new aerospace, manufacturing, and energy engineering co-ops.

According to a udayton.edu news article released March 11, grant recipients are required to match the state funding with private funds.

As of then, UD had commitments from 13 companies for funding the co-op positions.