Banking on Student Success
Bank of America makes $15,000 grant to connect college with local businesses
Bank of America has donated $15,000 to Clark College’s Career & Service-Learning program that prepares more than 1,000 students with valuable on-the-job training. The funding will assist with community partnerships and program expenses.
The Career & Service-Learning program places students in more than 100 community nonprofits and governmental organizations, including American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, Columbia Springs, Habitat Store, and Hazel Dell Community Garden. Students receive experience that promotes their personal growth and contributes to their understanding of course material.
For example, Clark students have volunteered to build homes with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity; students taking Spanish have read bilingual versions of children’s books at local elementary schools as a service-learning component of their classes. These experiences not only enrich the students’ education, they can give students the real-world work experience that can lead to paying jobs.
The Bank of America grant will boost the resources for such major events as Career Days, which needs more than 100 volunteers to operate successfully. It will also allow the program to offer more service-learning opportunities; elevate awareness of career- and service-learning; and strengthen new relationships with local businesses. Additionally, Bank of America employees will volunteer their own time to participate in Career Days and to educate students about personal finance.
Clark College President Robert K. Knight said the college’s primary goal is to improve the rate of post-secondary completion. “As a result of the alignment with Bank of America, Clark anticipates students will receive high-quality work history experiences—particularly for students with little or no previous work experience—through service learning and community engagement, and opportunities for civic and community involvement, career exploration, life and soft-skill development.”
“Providing grants to local nonprofit organizations that support career readiness is part of Bank of America’s broader effort to help create economically vibrant communities,” said Roger Hinshaw, Bank of America’s president in Oregon and Southwest Washington. “As part of that, we’re proud to support Clark College’s Career & Service-Learning program, which helps prepare college students to enter the workforce and, in turn, support our local economy.”
Clark’s Career Services department, which oversees the Career & Service-Learning program, has a history of aligning college classroom learning with current community needs; promoting personal growth of college students through reflection about self, society and the future; combining experiential with academic instruction to focus on critical thinking and civic responsibility; and organizing on- and off-campus events that provide quality service opportunities for Clark College students, faculty and staff.