Six Students, Six Organizations, Six Degrees of Interconnection . . .
Grinnell College's Apprenticeships in Nonprofit Management were created in 2010 to create stronger connections between Grinnell's key development organizations while providing a unique professional development opportunity for current students.
Receiving the "Outstanding Nonprofit Collaboration Award" for 2011, the program was recognized for "demonstrating excellence in collaborative efforts that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of services with the long-term goal of enhancing Iowa communities."
For an in-depth look at the award-winning Apprenticeships in Nonprofit Management program, check out the recent feature on our homepage.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, apprenticeships aid postsecondary achievement and serve as a robust resume credential. Grinnell's Apprenticeship Program adapts the traditional apprenticeship model to suit the unique characteristics of a liberal arts education and the realities of small town development through a unique, network-based approach. The program:
- pairs student apprentices with Grinnell township nonprofits where they work one-on-one with the executive management of one of six host organizations.
- encompasses a range of work, from Economic Development to Art Education.
- puts apprentices in direct contact with a few of Grinnell's most active community development organizations
- gives apprentices a support group in which to share professional experiences in weekly lunch meetings that also increase collaboration between agencies.
This network-based approach multiplies opportunities for the apprentices and strengthens connections between the participating agencies. Grinnell's apprentices help bring to life town-wide activities, such as International Walk to School Day.
...For Partner Organizations
The Apprenticeship structure allows local non-profits to build capacity and strengthen programming. Because the apprenticeships are funded and administered through Grinnell College's Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement, the program helps satisfy the staffing needs of Grinnell's prominent organizations at minimal cost to them. The program provides an in-kind value to partner organizations of over $30,000 per year. Equally important, because students have committed to a full year apprenticeship, the organizations are assured that they can take the time to fully train a student and engage them in core functions.
The selected students benefit from an in-depth professional development experience, working one-on-one with a non-profit executive. Students gain hands-on experience with day-to-day nonprofit operations, develop skills and insight into nonprofit management and contribute meaningfully to community enhancement efforts in Grinnell. The network-based structure also allows apprentices to take part in special professional development learning opportunities, such as resume writing, website management or graphic design.
....For the Community
Perhaps the most important component of the program is its role in improving collaboration between participating agencies. Each week, the apprentices meet for lunch to share their projects, challenges, and ideas. This networking opportunity allows the students to develop close professional relationships with each other, in order to better understand and enrich their work. The strength of the apprentice network also enhances collaboration between local agencies by helping to identify areas of common interest and opportunities to work together. The program's motto is, "Six students, six organizations, six degrees of interconnection."
There are currently six Grinnell College students who have chosen to dedicate a full-year of their time to a local nonprofit:
- Molly Miller '13, Poweshiek Iowa Development
- Ellyn Ochs '13, Imagine Grinnell
- Mary Rellergert '13, Grinnell Area Arts Council
- Ami Shrestha '13, Claude W. & Dolly Ahrens Foundation
- Anne Tan '15, Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce
- Tyler Banas '14, Grinnell College Community Enhancement & Engagement
The apprentices will be spending one full year with their respective nonprofits in Grinnell.
Apprenticeship Organizations for 2012-2013
The program places apprentices with five local community development organizations as well as the office of community enhancement & engagement: