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+ ACI Awarded $20,000 Challenge Grant for to Promote Micro-Internships
+ Registration Open for Virtual ACI Fall Conference Set for Dec. 1-2
+ Illinois College Joins ACI Peer Mentoring Program
+ ACI Welcomes Four Board of Trustees Members
ACI Awarded $20,000 Challenge Grant for to Promote Micro-Internships
Nov. 8, 2021

ACI will sponsor the the Micro-Internship Project for the fall 2022 semester.

The Council for Independent Colleges, (CIC), Washington, D.C., awarded a $20,000 challenge grant to ACI which aims to get greater numbers of students attending ACI member colleges and universities to apply for and secure micro-internships while they are in school. Micro-internships are paid, short-term, remote, professional projects that link students with employers.

The challenge grant is a First Opportunity Partners grant from CIC, with support from the UPS Foundation. ACI’s commitment is to raise an additional $30,000 to fund the project, for a total budget of $50,000, according to the grant proposal. Called the “Micro-Internship Project,” ACI will sponsor the project for the Fall 2022 semester at its 26 member colleges and universities.

“Our strategic partner for micro-internships, Parker Dewey, has facilitated these opportunities to help college students gain access to top employers, such as Microsoft and Abbott,” said Mick Weltman, ACI executive director. “Despite the great benefits of micro-internships, a limited number of students from ACI member schools have applied for these opportunities. This grant project will help us raise awareness of micro-internships with students throughout Illinois.”

Studies have shown that students who successfully complete micro-internships have a competitive edge in competing for and keeping jobs, according to the grant application. “This is especially the case for ACI students from underserved groups who may not have family or social connections that can open doors to promising careers, but who can benefit from the competitive edge that paid internships can offer,” Weltman said.

The grant will include 260 students, representing 10 underserved students (juniors and seniors) at  each of ACI’s 26 member campuses. Each student is expected to apply for at least four micro-internships by Nov. 30, 2022. ACI will provide micro-webinars to help students write successful applications.

To help students financially, ACI will provide a $500 scholarship for one student and nine $100 Visa gift cards for other participants at each campus. Scholarship recipients will be randomly chosen by computer drawings. Scholarships and gift cards will be awarded in January 2023.

In addition, a student ambassador will be appointed at each ACI member campus to recruit students to apply for micro-internships. Ambassadors will earn $480 for their efforts.

Registration Open for Virtual ACI Fall Conference Set for Dec. 1-2
Conference includes four tracks with three sessions each
Nov. 1, 2021
The ACI Fall Conference is Dec. 1-2.

Registration is now open for the ACI Fall Conference, Dec. 1-2 via Zoom. This virtual event was designed exclusively for staff of member colleges and universities, as well as other ACI affiliates.

The conference will cover four unique tracks on corresponding dates and times shown below. Each track offers three 45-minute sessions. For specific sessions and speaker lineups, please visit the ACI Fall Conference webpage.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

  • Advancement track: 9 a.m. to noon
  • Finance track: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 2

  • Public Relations and Marketing track: 9 a.m. to noon
  • Student Engagement track: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This conference is sponsored by BKD CPAs & Advisors.

Illinois College Joins ACI Peer Mentoring Program
ACI now operates the program on 12 member campuses
Oct. 28, 2021

Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois

Illinois College, Jacksonville, recently became the 12th ACI member to join the ACI Peer Mentoring Program (PMP).

The Illinois College program, managed by Olivia Raya, director of TRIO Student Support Services, will focus on retention efforts for first-generation and low-income students through peer-to peer activities that promote self-reflection, and social and academic enrichment.

“Our goal is to train peer mentors from similar backgrounds to provide intentional and personalized connections to the campus community, creating a culture of engagement and belonging that will improve the four-year graduation rate for minority and first-generation students,” Raya said.

The ACI Peer Mentoring Program’s overall goal is to help underserved students attending ACI member institutions stay in school and earn degrees, said Constance Willoughby, ACI director, programs. This academic year, the program supports 26 mentors and 130 mentees, a total of 156 students statewide, she said.

Foundations supporting the Peer Mentoring Program include the BNSF Railway Foundation, ITW Foundation, Siragusa Family Foundation and an organization that wishes to remain anonymous, said Lauren Holhut, ACI director, foundation relations and grants.

ACI Welcomes Four Board of Trustees Members
Oct. 28, 2021
New ACI Board of Trustees members are, from left, Ruben Abarca, Toya Garcia-Bradow, Christopher Miceika and Patricia Mota.

ACI’s newest board members are, from left, Ruben Abarca, Toya Garcia-Bradow, Christopher Miceika and Patricia Mota.

The ACI Executive Committee approved four new members who joined the ACI Board of Trustees this fall. The new members are:

  • Ruben Abarca, principal consultant of his own company, CorpEdPartners, a subsidiary of Vislario, Inc.. He launched the company in 2019.
  • Toya Garcia-Bradow, environmental, social and governance (ESG), and inclusion and diversity (I&D) senior marketing and communications professional at William Blair. She has worked at William Blair since 2018.
  • Christopher Miceika, market director with PNC Institutional Asset Management. He has worked at PNC since 2019.
  • Patricia Mota, president and CEO of the Hispanic Alliance of Career Enhancement (HACE). She began as interim CEO in 2014 and one year later, was named permanent CEO.

With their addition, the board now includes 34 corporate board members, plus the 26 presidents of ACI’s member colleges and universities.

Higher Education Headlines

Blackburn College Breaks Giving Day Record, Aug. 3, 2021


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