New College’s Community-Driven Internship Program Earns National Award

Post Date and Author:

- by Abby Weingarten

The staff of the CEO at New College

The Sarasota-Manatee Arts & Humanities (SMAH) Internship Program at New College of Florida has earned a 2022 Cooperative Education & Internship Association (CEIA) Best Practices Award.

Now in its fourth semester, the SMAH Program was developed to increase equity for students and enhance access to paid internships through community-driven projects. The CEIA only one gives out one Best Practices Award annually.

“Historically, this award has typically been given to individuals/career centers with innovative programs or practices at large research universities,” said Maddie Tympanick, the assistant director of the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) at New College, who created the SMAH program. “The recognition of this program truly speaks to the innovative and collaborative community at New College—that we are being recognized as a leader in developing strategies and best practices in career education and work-based learning.”

In Spring 2019, the CEO leveraged an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation II grant to begin offering the internship program to New College students the following fall—capitalizing on the fact that the College is located in such a culturally vibrant area. The for-credit program invited students to apply for several internships in the bi-county region—in fields such as education, youth development, fine art, theatre, community outreach and video production.

Since the program’s founding, there have been 37 funded internships (with 25 more to likely be funded this spring). It is the goal of New College President Patricia Okker that every New College student participates in at least one internship before graduating.

Being recognized by the CEIA so early in its development is a major honor for the SMAH Program. Founded in 1963, the CEIA is recognized nationally and globally as the leader in work-integrated learning and experiential education. The organization seeks to develop thought leaders in the field through peer mentorship and professional development.

According to Ross Johnston, the president-elect and Best Practices Award Chair for the CEIA, the award New College received “recognizes distinguished excellence for developing innovative solutions to a variety of program issues and problems to create a replicable best practice in the field of cooperative education and internships.”

“It’s so exciting to see New College be recognized on a national and international level for the work we’re doing. Research shows that internships are critical for a successful transition into meaningful careers, especially in the liberal arts,” said Tympanick, who will receive the Best Practices Award during the 2022 CEIA Annual Conference banquet in April. “Our programs focus on reducing barriers to work-integrated learning by increasing equity and access to paid internships, so that all New College students can pursue an internship experience. We do that by partnering with the community to develop and fund opportunities around the greatest areas of need. This is uniquely distinct from other internship program models.”

Tympanick has also expanded the types of internships that New College can fund with additional backing from the Isermann Foundation, the Bishop Parker Foundation and a Mellon I grant. She has even been able to launch an internship travel CEO Micro-Grant through private donors and the Cowles Charitable Trust, which helps students with internship travel-related expenses.

“The SMAH Program would not have been possible without the partnership and support from many individuals on the New College campus,” Tympanick said. “That includes the arts and humanities faculty, fiscal liaisons who oversaw the grants, all my colleagues in the CEO, and everyone at New College who encouraged our students to prioritize internships as a part of their academic program.”

To learn more about internships at New College, visit

Interested in recruiting? Contact the CEO at 941-487-5002 or [email protected] for assistance with your New College recruiting strategy.

Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.