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University Panel brings together providers, educators

Representatives from six educational institutions shared information and answered questions from about 50 people during the recent University Panel: Creating Successful Partnerships in Holyoke.

Co-hosted and facilitated by the Providers’ Council and Human Service Forum, the event focused on how providers can partner with colleges, universities and training programs to find interns and potential future employees.

The panelists included J.A. Marshall of American International College, Lauren Bence of Bay Path University, Maureen Holland of Elms College, Jose Delgado of UMass Amherst University Without Walls (UWW), Giselle Frechette of Westfield State University and Jonathan Edwards of Tech Foundry.

The panelists each gave a brief overview of the internship and career resources programs at their respective institutions and talked about successful partnerships. They all discussed students enrolled in human services courses of study, but also stressed that they encourage nonprofit partners to take interns in administrative, HR and IT roles as well.

Bence, the Director of Employer Relations and Student Career Success at Bay Path, said that 51 percent of students who serve as interns convert those internships into full-time positions.

Answering a question about internships that provide course credit instead of pay, Delgado, the Pre-Admissions Advising & Recruitment Coordinator for UWW noted that “Experience is the most valuable part of the internships.”

The panel was also asked how to make nonprofit provider organizations and human services work more attractive to students as an employer and career opportunity.


Frechette, Associate Director and Coordinator of Experiential Education at Westfield, said that using information sessions, facilitating workshops, giving lectures and working with faculty to speak with students are good ways to forge partnerships and introduce your organization.


A spreadsheet of internship and career placement information is available in the members-only section of

Earlier this year, the Providers’ Council hosted a similar event in Eastern Mass. For information about our efforts to strengthen partnerships with the state’s colleges and universities, please email Ella Froggatt.