UHV receives grant to fund student internships

For many students, an internship can help set them up for a career after graduation. Now, University of Houston-Victoria students who have internships for the spring and summer semesters will be paid for their work, thanks to a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grant.

Amy Hatmaker

UHV Career Services recently received a $78,678 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to support student internships called the Work-based Learning Opportunity Grant. With this grant, UHV students who were in unpaid, off-campus internships during the spring semester will receive pay for their internship. Students who plan to intern during the summer in unpaid internships will also receive pay through this grant. The funding also will help to increase the wages of students who are in paid internships to bring their pay up to the target market price and expand internship offerings. UHV Career Services works to connect students, as well as alumni, with employers.

“This is big, wonderful news for our hard-working students,” said Amy Hatmaker, director of UHV Career Services. “We are excited to offer this funding to our students who did not expect to get paid for their spring or summer internships. This grant makes all the difference in the world to our students, and we are happy it was made available to us.”

UHV Career Services works to connect students, as well as alumni, with employers. For this program, UHV expects to convert 26 non-paid to paid internships and increase the salaries of nine paid internships, as well as expand internship offerings through the program.

Jay Lambert

Not all the UHV degree plans require an internship. However, gaining work experience has become so crucial that students who graduate without having completed an internship or work experience are already behind in the job market, Hatmaker said. Internships can provide students with opportunities to apply those skills learned in courses in a work-based setting, and it helps them to begin to develop a network of professionals in their field.

“Through this grant program, many of our students will now receive internship experience they might not have received if they were unable to take on an unpaid intern role,” said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for student affairs. “Internships are crucial to learning and attaining skills for careers, and this grant will open up extremely valuable learning opportunities for our students and their futures. We appreciate the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for awarding our university this important work-based grant.”

For UHV senior Krisselda Phan, having access to a work-based grant will help her as she gets ready to graduate this month. Phan, who is from Pflugerville and is majoring in psychology, has spent the spring semester interning with the nonprofit organization Mid-Coast Family Services. She also works as a student director in Career Services.

Krisselda Phan

During her internship, Phan has worked in or observed different areas of the organization, including the Women’s Crisis Center, youth services and homeless prevention. She would like to pursue jobs such as being a case manager or college advisor, or positions in mental health. Phan wasn’t expecting to receive financial compensation for her internship and was relieved when she received the news that she would, thanks to the grant program.

“This grant is really helpful, especially as I am about to graduate and will need a little bit of financial support so that I won’t have to depend so much on my parents after graduation,” Phan said. “With the funds I will receive, I can put money aside for after graduation, which I appreciate.”

Employers interested in partnering with UHV Career Services can call 361-570-4369 or email

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Amber Aldaco