CSU’s LINK Program has for years provided minority students, largely from Greater Cleveland-area high schools, with internship and cooperative education opportunities. Its goals have been both to promote minority student participation in occupational fields that are in high demand as well as to serve as a recruitment and retention tool for promising students. The program has been successful largely because of strong support from corporate and organizational employers and LINK alumni as well as a mentoring program for students that has anchored the initiative.
The following redesign of the LINK Program recognizes these complementary objectives. It builds on the program’s long-standing strengths while sharpening its scope in such a way as to ensure its high performance and its sustainable effectiveness. The Program draws upon the resources and services available through Career Services as well as the other functions of the Division of University Engagement, including the Office of Civic Engagement and the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement.
Under the new program guidelines, the LINK Scholars Program serves up to 45 full-time, undergraduate students of color each year. Students are eligible to apply for the program during spring semester of their first year on campus. Although the program’s developmental structure is suited primarily for rising sophomores, students who transfer into the University with more than 30 credit hours are eligible for consideration. Students receive a $2,000 scholarship upon acceptance into the program. It is the program’s intention to renew the scholarship for each subsequent year that the student is enrolled at CSU and meets program requirements for a total of three years. Students from all majors are eligible to apply, but preference is given to those students who have chosen Career Lines that align with high-growth career areas in Ohio as identified in the State’s “In-Demand Occupations” report (http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/OMJResources/State-BachRelated.stm).