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Earn & Learn Internship Program

Lake Michigan College Career Services provides assistance to job seekers as well as local employers. For more information on upcoming job fairs and for information on posting jobs, local employers can use Handshake. For additional assistance or questions about Lake Michigan College Career Services, please email

The Earn and Learn Internship Program is funded by a gift from Whirlpool Corporation and the Whirlpool Foundation. This program was established during the Lake Michigan College (LMC) Fulfill the Dream Advancement Campaign and is administrated by LMC through Career Services. It is designed to encourage LMC students to participate in local internships and for local businesses to support these experiential learning opportunities.

The goals of the Earn & Learn Internship Program are to:

  • Help students gain hands-on experience through an internship in their chosen field
  • Provide businesses with a source of staff at minimal cost
  • Attract students to the College who seek to advance their education and career skills simultaneously
  • Encourage students to remain with a business or in the area following graduation
  • Foster education and training partnerships between Lake Michigan College and local businesses

The annual allocation from the endowment may provide 80% of up to $16 per hour pay rate for the student interns, for 20 hours a week over a period of 12 weeks. The remaining 20% of the student’s pay is to be assumed by the employer. Any additional weekly hours or higher pay rate are assumed by the Employer.  

Employer Applications are now open and will close on January 8, 2024. Employers accepted into the program must be in the Benton Harbor/St Joseph area and shall provide meaningful and practical work that is related to the student’s field of study or career interest. The internship shall integrate knowledge learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development.   

Lake Michigan College Career Services will offer employers the opportunity to meet with students at an Earn & Learn Internship Program Fair on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. This will be a great way to introduce yourselves to the students and encourage them to apply.

Qualifying Criteria for Employers Includes:

  • Apply to participate in the Earn & Learn Internship Program via Handshake starting November 15, 2023 and no later than midnight, January 8, 2024.
  • Once approved for the program, employers must post the internship opportunity on Handshake no later than midnight, January 15, 2024.
  • Optional: Attend the Earn & Learn Internship Program Fair on Wednesday, January 31, 2023.
  • Review and interview student applications as they apply on Handshake beginning February 5, 2024. Students will be applying directly to the employer. Lake Michigan College Career Services will provide each employer with a list of qualified students.  
  • Submit a request-to-hire to Lake Michigan College Career Services once a candidate has been identified.
  • Make an official job offer to the student within 3 business days of being notified by Lake Michigan Career Services of funding and reconfirming student eligibility.
  • Student is officially hired and is considered and treated as an employee of the company.
  • Submit invoices to Lake Michigan College Career Services at the half way point and at the end of the internship.
  • Agree to provide the student an assessment of their work as well as complete a survey about the program in general to Lake Michigan College Career Services.

Qualifying Criteria for Students Includes:

  • Completed one academic semester or earned at least 12 credit hours and are currently enrolled for at least 12 credit hours in the spring 2024 semester. If a transfer student, they must have transferred 12 credit hours and be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours in spring 2024 semester at Lake Michigan College.
  • Earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5.  
  • Having an activated account on Handshake with a completed profile and uploaded resume.
  • One letter of recommendation from a Lake Michigan College faculty or staff member.
  • Have a FASFA on file.
  • Agree to track their internship using the Experience Module in Handshake.
  • Attend 2 Earn & Learn 2024 Internship Program Cohort sessions, one at the beginning of the program and the second midway through the Earn & Learn Internship Program.

How are students selected and hired?

  • Employers submit applications to Lake Michigan College Career Services by January 8, 2024.  
  • Employers accepted into the program post Internship positions on Handshake by January 15, 2024.
  • Students apply to the Earn & Learn Internship Program via Handshake starting February 1, 2024.   
  • Once accepted into the program, students apply directly to employers via Handshake, for specific Earn & Learn Internship Program opportunities, starting February 5, 2024.  
  • Employers will review applications and contact students directly for interviews.
  • Students may accept more than one interview to increase their chances of receiving an offer.
  • Employers select a student and verify eligibility and funding with Lake Michigan College Career Services.
  • Employers extend an offer of employment to the chosen applicant.
  • Students may only accept one internship offer but it is the offer of his/her choosing.
  • Once the offer is accepted, the student will be hired as a regular employee of the company.

Can a company retain a student for more than 12 weeks?

Yes, if the student is willing and there are funds remaining for the year, the employer can request the internship be extended. If there are no funds remaining, the employer can decide to be 100% responsible for the wages.

Can a company pay more or less than $16 per hour?

Yes, employers can pay any hourly amount they feel is justified. However, the Earn & Learn Internship Program Fund will only reimburse 80% of the amount actually paid, with an hourly cap at $16 per hour.

When would students be available to start work?

This is negotiable between the employer and student. The only requirement is that it must end by November 30, 2024.

Is the student an employee of the Lake Michigan College or the company?

Once hired a student is considered an employee of the company and subject to all the policies, rules and regulations of your organization and any applicable federal, state or local laws and ordinances. 

How can my company participate in the Earn & Learn Internship Program?

Apply directly in Handshake.

Email or call (269) 927-6596 with any questions or for more information.

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