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Beginning in Fall 2024 and phasing in over three years, this step aims to ensure equitable access to career-building experiences for all students.

LIM College is implementing a new policy requiring that all students be compensated for internships and co-operative (co-op) work experiences at minimum wage or above. It applies to in-person, remote, and hybrid internships and co-op experiences. The new policy will be phased in over three years, beginning this in the Fall 2024 semester and progressing through the 2026-2027 academic year, when it will cover all students.

"Internships and co-op experiences are vital components of a comprehensive education, offering students real-world experiences, the ability to develop professional skills, and the opportunity to build valuable networks within their chosen fields. Unpaid internships can create significant barriers for many students, particularly those from underrepresented, first-generation, or low-income backgrounds who can be locked out of coveted pre-career experiences if they lack the financial resources to accommodate unpaid experiences," said LIM College President Ron Marshall.

"With this new policy, we are creating a more equitable and supportive environment for our students that also recognizes the valuable contributions they make. For employers, this policy will lead to larger, more diverse talent pipelines, fostering inclusivity and driving innovation within their organizations. It is the right thing to do and will ultimately lead to a stronger fashion industry."

Provost Scott Carnz said that the college is committed to working closely with industry employers to prepare for the transition to compensated internships and co-op experiences for LIM students.

"Our college is a leader in preparing students with the highest quality education and career readiness. Since 1939, we have been a pioneer in hands-on learning experiences and career development, enabling students to excel in the global marketplace and realize their dream careers," he said.

"LIM has strong, enduring relationships with hundreds of industry partners, some of which have their own company policies that mandate compensation for interns and co-op students. For others, we are engaging collaboratively through information sessions and other means to help them move to a paid internship model, working to strike a balance between continuing to have a large number of internships available to our students and making sure they are fairly compensated,” concluded Carnz.