Rochester Semester

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The Rochester Semester: A Dynamic Blend of Courses and Internships

Scheduled to launch in spring semester of 2020, the Luther College Rochester Semester is a new program intended to take advantage of the exciting opportunities available a mere 65 miles to the north of Decorah. It will provide a platform for students to engage in high-impact, career-related experiential learning. Drawing on the college's expansive alumni base in the area, students will have unique access to immersive learning opportunities designed to help them discern their callings; acquire concrete, job-related experience; and facilitate career networking. These internships will be the cornerstone of the Rochester Semester program. In addition, participants will enroll in two courses taught by Luther College faculty, and focused on the Rochester community and the distinctive changes it is undergoing. As part of their internship experiences, students will work in various organizations in the Rochester community for 10-20 hours a week.

The range of internship opportunities is broad and will allow students to tailor their experience to an area of their choosing. They may engage in scientific research in Mayo Clinic laboratories through its education programs, explore a range of small business and government organizations, or engage with the more than 400 not-for-profit organizations in the Rochester area. Students may also consider other opportunities across the Mayo Clinic organization or pursue business and science-related positions in the established companies and start-ups that will reside in Discovery Square, a cornerstone building of the Destination Medical Center's effort to attract new bio-science businesses to Rochester. Our supportive and well-connected Rochester-area alumni base will assist us to identify host organizations and businesses for our student interns, and has indicated that opportunities exist for intensive experiential learning in areas such as outlined below.

Sciences:

  • Research laboratories (Mayo Clinic)
  • Computer/data science
  • Software development
  • Bio-science start-ups
  • Technology (general)
  • Environmental studies

Social Sciences and History:

  • Historical society
  • Museum studies
  • Media/communications
  • Government (state, county, city)
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social work
  • Education
  • Urban planning

Business and Management:

  • Business development
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship/innovation
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Human resources

The Humanities:

  • Spiritual/religious services
  • Writing for businesses and NGOs
  • Arts organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Music/art therapy
  • Language translation

"Rochester will provide students with professional opportunities and partnerships that equip them with hands-on experience and valuable relationships. More than that, the city itself serves as a living lab where Luther students can examine issues and problems in the real world, in real time, from multiple angles."

- Lindsey Row-Heyveld, associate professor of English and Rochester Hub steering committee member