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CCE announces lowering of prices for summer internship courses

Murphy Hall, which hosts the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, as well as the Registrar’s office, is shown. The Center for Community Engagement recently announced an initiative to lower fees for summer internship courses. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Lilly Wellons

May 29, 2024 6:58 p.m.

The cost to obtain UCLA credit for a summer internship through 195CE courses will soon be cut by over 80%, with a decrease from $1,325 to $208.

The Center for Community Engagement announced the initiative April 8 as part of a plan to reduce costs, as the number of scholarships available for students doing internships increases to 18. The 195CE internship course program, offered by various departments during the academic year and summer sessions, allows students to supplement workplace experience with guided research opportunities, according to the center.

Shalom Staub, the CCE’s assistant dean and executive director, said that, although unpaid internships may pose an economic obstacle to some students since many spend their summers working paid jobs, unpaid internships provide important pre-professional experience.

“They (internships) are a way to deepen your learning and to explore opportunities that align with your future career interests,” he said. “The reason that we encourage students to do the internship course accompanying the internship experience itself is that it helps students make connections to their academic work.”

Staub said that during the academic year, students may enroll in internship courses without incurring fees beyond their normal tuition. However, students who take the internship course during the summer have to pay a per-unit fee, Staub added.

He added that the tuition change came in response to students’ concerns about the costs of the program.

“We committed to doing two things,” Staub said. “One was removing the barrier of the tuition, and two, creating the incentive to identify new funds that would support students’ scholarships for unpaid internships.”

Any incoming third- or fourth-year student – including incoming transfer students – who is eligible to enroll in the 195CE summer internship course can apply for a scholarship of $2,500, said Christina-Marie Santillan, the CCE’s academic coordinator, in an emailed statement. The increase in scholarships came as a result of a partnership with the UCLA Career Center, according to the CCE website.

Santillan said in the statement that students with local internships in California will be prioritized for the scholarship.

“In addition to financial need, we are looking for students with local internships who have a potential for substantive experiential learning through the internship and a potential for the internship to support their career exploration,” Santillan said in the statement.

Undergraduate psychology student Chelsea Cleary received an internship scholarship last summer. In an emailed statement, Cleary said the scholarship allowed her to pursue her interests in immigration law.

“The Summer Internship Scholarship allowed me to engage in meaningful work in the nonprofit sector as well as immigration law and policy,” Cleary said in the statement. “As a prospective asylum lawyer, this provided me with the opportunity to gain experience in my future career as well as support towards my UCLA tuition.”

Cleary said in the statement that the program provided resources and assignments to help fit her experiences from the internship into the perspective of social change and justice. She added that the scholarship paved the way for her current position at a research initiative working in refugee health.

Staub said he recognizes the program is still not entirely accessible to all students and is working to secure more established funding. The CCE is committed to getting new donor support to finance transportation and ensure that availability of transport and costs is not a factor in students ability to participate in the program, he said.

Staub also said the CCE plans to create more courses that promote community engagement.

“For faculty to have the time and resources to develop these courses translates very quickly into new opportunities for students across the undergraduate curriculum,” he said.

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