Hillsdale College Launching Nashville Internship Program

Group of people talking at an internship panel


Hillsdale College, a premier conservative liberal arts institution, told The Tennessee Star that they’re launching an internship program in Nashville. According to plans shared with The Star, the college aims for these internships to be full-time and paid arrangements for freshmen, sophomores, and some juniors. Additionally, the college is arranging affordable housing, social and educational events, and transportation. Hillsdale College is preparing to launch the program by summer 2022.

Ken Koopmans, Hillsdale College’s Executive Director of Career Services, explained to The Star that the growing number of Hillsdale College graduates and opportunities in Nashville inspired the program. Nashville recently landed a top-ten ranking as one of the best-performing cities based on job growth, wage growth, high-tech GDP growth, housing affordability, and household broadband access.

“Hillsdale graduates have achieved remarkable success in Nashville already, and our robust alumni network is a testimony to the synergy between the city and our school. Hillsdale students are intelligent, driven, and strong problem solvers,” said Koopmans. “As a growing hub of industry and culture, Nashville provides the perfect environment for students to develop their skills in the real world. Not only does Nashville contain traditional businesses and nonprofits, but it is also the home of numerous start-ups, grassroots movements, and cultural opportunities. Each of these factors combine into a place where students can match their interests with people who make a living doing what they love.”

The Hillsdale-Nashville internship program is similar to the college’s Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP). Koopmans added that these programs allow students to best apply what they learn in the classroom in the real world.

“From a big picture perspective, we believe the skills our students learn in the classroom have the potential to improve companies and organizations from the inside out, but we also want our students to be fully capable of adjusting to life in a new city as they gain real work experience. This dual purpose serves as the driving force behind our new program,” said Koopmans.

Koopmans projected that this program will create a lasting bond between the college and the bustling Metropolitan hub.

“The Hillsdale-Nashville internship program grew from a desire to create lasting relationships with the employers who hire Hillsdale interns,” said Koopmans. “Very frequently, these employers want to hire more interns the next summer. By creating an internship pipeline in Nashville, we hope to simplify the matching process between excellent students and excellent employers.”

Apart from its celebrity as a conservative institution with a unique approach of teaching students how to think and not what to think, Hillsdale College has another unique attribute. The college doesn’t take any federal or state funding, not even indirect funds from student loans or grants. This means that they’re free from government dictates over key aspects like admissions and curriculum.

According to their “Not One Penny” campaign, Hillsdale College refuses government funding to avoid the “strings attached.”

“‘Not one penny’ safeguards the college’s mission. ‘Not one penny’ preserves the quality and integrity of a Hillsdale education,” stated the college’s campaign. “‘Not one penny’ ensures that Hillsdale continues to be a beacon of independence for all of its students on campus and across America.”

The college relies solely on donors for their student private loans, scholarships, and grants. Around 97 percent of their students reportedly receive this funding.

In 1844, Free Will Baptist abolitionists founded Hillsdale College – the first American institution to prohibit discrimination based on religion, race, or sex, and the second institution to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. She graduated from Hillsdale College in 2019. Follow Corinne on Twitter or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Hillsdale Internship Program” by Corinne Murdock.






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One Thought to “Hillsdale College Launching Nashville Internship Program”

  1. Joy

    Good news! Thanks.