By Kenya Godette

Old Dominion University is one of four institutions of higher education that received a grant from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to help universities transform on-campus, federal work-study jobs to function more like internships.

“Federal Work-Study jobs provide part-time employment to help students finance the costs of postsecondary education. However, unlike internships, they typically are not geared toward academic learning,” SCHEV Director Peter Blake said. “This effort is meant to improve the connection between student jobs and their coursework.” 

ODU will use its one-year, $25,000 funding to improve administrative functions to better support a Federal Work-Study Internship (FWS) program. 

 Internships and work-based learning are integral to career readiness and positive postgraduate outcomes,” said Matthew P. Cowley, Ph.D., CMCS, ODU director of Career Development Services. “This grant will support the development of a sustainable, University-based internship program at ODU. Career Development Services is ecstatic to work alongside our campus partners to build a program that leverages existing Federal Work-Study funds to provide paid internships for ODU students.”

ODU’s Career Development Services has outlined a plan for an FWS Internship Program. It includes the following goals:

  • Establish a rich ecosystem of on-campus internships by leveraging existing institutional priorities.
  • Reduce barriers to internship participation for ODU students.
  • Expand the number of paid internship opportunities available to ODU students.
  • Form a steering committee responsible for laying the foundation, setting the standards and propelling the program forward.
  • Monitor and analyze milestones of program success.

Aligned with ODU’s promise of Experience Guaranteed, the FWS program will provide all students with relevant experience throughout their college years along with with skills and knowledge needed for their future careers and global citizenship.

The Federal Work-Study Internship program at ODU will be led by Career Development Services in collaboration with Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Financial Aid, the Payroll Office and other key partners.