Goshen College receives $750,000 Lilly Endowment grant; College plans to develop internships and entrepreneurship opportunities

GOSHEN, Ind. — A new grant from the Lilly Endowment will help Goshen College graduates prepare for the inevitable question, “What will I do after graduate?”

The endowment has awarded Goshen College a three-year grant of $750,000 to help Indiana’s “brain drain” and its negative impact on the state’s economy when college graduates move out of state. Goshen is one of 30 private colleges and seven public universities in Indiana to receive a grant in response to the Lilly Initiative to Promote Opportunity through Educational Collaborations. Totaling $38.9 million, the amounts of the grants were based on student enrollments at each school.

Goshen’s primary plans for implementing the grant are to develop an Entrepreneurship Learning Center, add an internship development coordinator position in the Career Services Department, and establish an Entrepreneurship Inquiry Program to enable students to engage in internships with emerging companies.

“Goshen College’s motto is ‘Culture for Service,’ and we have always valued practical applications of the liberal arts,” said President Shirley H. Showalter. “This grant allows us to help students test their strengths and offer their skills to businesses and other organizations before they graduate. In recent years we have seen an increase in students who want to start their own businesses or work for start-up companies. We will now be able to support both our students and our community with the Entrepreneurial Learning Center. This is an exciting opportunity for mutual benefit.”

The Entrepreneurship Learning Center will offer entrepreneurship courses with a strong focus on technology and the integration of ethics throughout the curriculum; provide experiential learning opportunities for students through internships in entrepreneurial businesses and not-for-profit organizations; establish partnerships with business incubators in Northern Indiana and stimulate the creation of new businesses; and provide educational and consulting resources to enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to succeed in the marketplace.

The internship development coordinator will assist all academic departments in identifying meaningful, challenging, Indiana-based internships opportunities for students. The Internship Development Coordinator will help Goshen College implement its pledge to make an internship opportunity available to every student before he or she graduates.

The Entrepreneurship Inquiry Program will place Goshen College students in an Indiana entrepreneurial setting full time for three months. This internship program will help students explore in a concrete way whether they have the abilities and interest to launch their own business venture.

In addition, the college will make a contribution to the development of the Project INDIANALink as a way to extend employment opportunities throughout the state of Indiana to its graduates. Goshen also plans to cooperate with the University of Notre Dame in posting internship opportunities and by participating in a conference to explore strategies for counteracting the Indiana “brain drain.”

Unlike many other colleges and universities in Indiana, Goshen has been a net importer of college graduates to the state. According to a study done by the collegeÕs Career Services Department, although 35 percent of the GC graduates called Indiana home as first-year students, 37 percent of GC’s graduates remained in the state more than five years after graduation. More than 4,500 Goshen College alumni live in Elkhart County, primarily working in the fields of education, business, health care and church service.

Research for the proposal drew on the findings and conclusions of the Horizon Project under the leadership of Bill Johnson. Additionally, David Daugherty, president of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, provided insight into the local business community. “We are bringing this set of programs supported by Lilly Endowment to the table of economic development in Elkhart County,” said Showalter. “We are confident that our future graduates will join dynamic businesses and organizations as well as create their own. By engaging with the marketplace, they will contribute to a more diversified economy and greater cultural richness.”

Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values — passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership — prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, Kaplan’s “Most Interesting Colleges” guide and U.S.News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

Editors: For more information, contact Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.