Tom Halasz, director of the Career Center, said the CIP is valuable because students with work experience in their respective fields of study have significant advantages in the job market.
“The Community Internship Program (CIP) is an outstanding program, providing internships to University of South Carolina students during a time when they need them the most,” Halasz said. “Beyond the 113 internships developed through the program, many more students became aware of the importance of internships and subsequently pursued opportunities. In addition to the student benefits, local employers learned about the excellent students at the university and benefitted from matching funds available through the program.”
Dr. Dennis Pruitt, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, called the program a success and thanked the employers who participated in the CIP for their passion to give students the opportunity to advance their talent and experience. Pruitt said the university would commit $200,000 to continue the pilot program in 2011.
“This program is another innovative idea that the University of South Carolina tested, and thanks to the expertise of our staff and the good will and passion of the Chamber of Commerce, local employers and our talented students, it’s been a marvelous success,” Pruitt said. “The results were such that the university simply had to find a way to reinvest in this program. It’s such a great benefit to the students and employers and to the local economy.”
Halasz said the Columbia Chamber of Commerce played an important role in fostering employer participation.
“Working with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce was an important part of the promoting the program, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in working with the chamber, said Halasz.