Helping students succeed in college, career and life through ACI’s College-to-Career Programs.

Work and Life Skills Boot Camps: Boot camps help equip students to meet employers’ expectations and build rewarding lives and careers. Offered virtually, these sessions give students a leg up on successful job searches, networking, interviewing and workplace performance, as well as managing personal finances. Initial funding for this program was provided by a First Opportunity Partners grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) with support from the UPS Foundation.

Career Leaders: The ACI Career Leaders Program which launched Aug. 15, 2022, is a collaborative program created to assist with the challenges of career preparation for underserved students seeking degrees at ACI-affiliated colleges and universities. This program has been funded through a First Opportunity Partners grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) with support from the UPS Foundation and other generous donors.  This program will provide one high achieving senior from each ACI campus access to professional and social development while enhancing leadership skills that will help them successfully launch careers after graduation. Each career leader will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship for recruiting three collegemates to either attend the fall ACI Work and Life Skills Boot Camp or enroll in the ACI Career Mentoring Program.

Each career leader will be selected by the career services staff at member schools.

To help career leaders navigate on their recruitment efforts, ACI developed a toolkit for the student selected from each campus.

Career Mentoring: Upperclass students at member institutions develop mentoring relationships with successful business professionals who can help them build their brands and guide them through the basics of business etiquette and other key success factors. Students are matched with a career mentor. Mentees develop a better understanding of how to translate what they’ve learned in the classroom into the workplace, and in some cases, mentors may assist mentees in finding future career opportunities. Initial funding for this program was provided by a National Venture Fund grant from the CIC.

Micro-Internships: These short-term, paid, professional assignments through ACI’s partner, Parker Dewey, take place throughout the year and involve five to 40 hours of work. Students gain opportunities to demonstrate skills, explore career paths and build networks. Employers connect to a skilled and diverse talent pool, improve the effectiveness of hiring efforts and lower the costs (and risks) associated with integrating new employees into their organizations.

ACI | FORVIS Micro-internship Project by Parker Dewey: To help raise awareness of micro-internships among students attending ACI’s member colleges and universities, FORVIS LLP will sponsor ACI | FORVIS Micro-Internship Scholarships for students attending participating schools. Students from each participating school that apply for at least four micro-internships or secure one micro-internship by Saturday, Jan. 31, 2023, will be eligible for this scholarship. Scholarship recipients will be selected by financial aid staff at participating campuses between Feb. 6 and March 1, 2023. For more information, please contact Daisy Gomez, director of scholarships and events at

Students from ACI member colleges and universities not participating in the ACI | FORVIS Micro-Internship Scholarships can apply for micro-internships at any time. Micro-internships are facilitated via the Parker Dewey platform, making it easy for companies, schools and students to benefit from the program, as there are no administrative barriers.

ACI’s Statewide Career Professionals Network: ACI has built a network of career services professionals across its member campuses. Through annual surveys to assess needs and learn about challenges and opportunities in the field, ACI is creating new opportunities for employers to connect to this valuable network – and to thousands of students this network represents.


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Associated Colleges of Illinois is a not-for-profit corporation exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law. ©2023 Associated Colleges of Illinois

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