By Kenya Godette

The Old Dominion University Monarch Internship and Co-Op Office was awarded $200,000 in grant funding from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to supplement associated costs of unpaid internships and to enhance research on student internship experiences. 

Funding was awarded in two $100,000 grants from the Virginia Talent + Opportunity Partnership (V-TOP) in collaboration with the Virginia Chamber Foundation. This partnership aims to connect Virginia businesses offering work-based learning opportunities with students, signifying a concerted effort to stimulate partnerships between public universities and commercial organizations.

“These grants represent a significant investment in the future workforce of Virginia,” said Barbara Blake, executive director for the Monarch Internship and Co-Op Office. “This $200,000, in addition to the recently awarded $5 million Mellon Foundation grant that provides internship support to humanities majors, underscores our unwavering commitment to advance work-based learning statewide.”

The first award is a $100,000 Institutional Award for Student Internship Support Grant. Funds will be used to address financial obstacles that students encounter when participating in internships by providing stipends for unpaid opportunities, transportation costs, professional attire, housing and necessary materials for internship preparation. 

Students can apply for Summer 2024 and Fall 2024 internship support in May.

The second $100,000 award is from the Institutional Internship Data Collection Grant, a statewide initiative that assists higher education institutions in collecting, compiling and reporting data on student internship experiences. With this funding, the office will incentivize students to enroll in zero-credit, tuition-free courses that allow the University to track student internship experiences.

“There are many students at the University who engage in great internships but, unfortunately, ODU may not know about their work,” Blake said. “Some students don’t need a credit bearing course to complete their major, so there is no reason for them to report their internship experiences to us—hindering our ability to collect data.” 

This grant will also provide an incentive to students who participate in data collection events and programs that the internship office will offer.

Through the strategic utilization of these grants, the Monarch Internship and Co-Op Office aims to ensure equitable access to high-quality internship opportunities for all ODU students, regardless of their financial circumstances.

For more information about the Monarch Internship and Co-Op Office and its initiatives, please visit or contact 757-683-JOBS or email