C-GCC and Olana Announce New Partnership – CGCC
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Olana mansion

C-GCC and Olana Announce New Partnership

Olana is thrilled to partner with neighboring C-GCC to provide workforce development opportunities for students enrolled in C-GCC’s business, art, and environmental science classes and those interested in gaining work experience related to their course of study at a vital cultural and historic institution.

“Olana State Historic Site is excited to partner with Columbia-Greene Community College and The Olana Partnership to establish this collaborative internship and work development program,” said Amy Hausmann, director of the Olana State Historic Site. “As a New York State Historic Site, Olana is dedicated to strengthening partnerships and expanding accessibility for members of our local community and we are particularly gratified to partner with our closest neighbor to provide this rich educational opportunity.”

Saved in 1966 by a visionary coalition of private individuals and New York State government, Olana State Historic Site opened to the public in 1967. The act of preservation that established Olana also set aside land for C-GCC’s creation, establishing an historic tie that binds the two New York State institutions.

A new collaborative three-semester program beginning in Fall 2021 will provide an opportunity for Olana State Historic Site to connect and collaborate with C-GCC faculty and students throughout the academic year. As part of this program, Olana State Historic Site and its nonprofit affiliate, The Olana Partnership (TOP), will work collaboratively with C-GCC faculty to provide an opportunity for year-long engagement that culminates in a series of workforce and internship opportunities to serve Olana’s local audience of adults attending college and those seeking career development opportunities.

“As neighbors with shared origins and educational goals, Olana and Columbia-Greene Community College are natural partners,” said Sean Sawyer, Ph.D., Washburn & Susan Oberwager President of The Olana Partnership. “The Olana Partnership is thrilled to partner in this initiative that will enable students of all ages and backgrounds to use Olana as a launchpad to connect their academic work with work experience and career growth.”

C-GCC President Carlee Drummer, Ph.D., said the College extends deep gratitude to the Olana State Historic Site and The Olana Partnership for their role in making this multifaceted collaboration possible.

“This partnership is the first of its kind in the state – and possibly the nation,”she said. “To offer students an array of learning and career opportunities intersecting the arts, business, environmental studies, marketing, and management of a non-profit arts-based organization.”

Students enrolled in C-GCC’s business, art, and environmental sciences classes will be invited to engage with Olana year-round through class visits with Olana staff during the fall semester, a corresponding honors project during the spring, and paid internship and/or employment experience in the summer. Through this tiered internship and work development program, students will be given the opportunity to engage with Olana over the course of a full academic year and sustain engagement with the site through their specific course of study.

These opportunities for year-long engagement will be available for all C-GCC majors with a particular emphasis on business, environmental studies, and fine arts. Students with an interest in local tours and heritage, retail sales, marketing, landscape management, the arts and/or non-profit work are preferred. Participation in the Spring and Summer 2022 portions of the internship will be based on recommendation from participating faculty. Students will be required to apply for the Summer 2022 internship through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation application portal.

During the fall semester, students enrolled in Foundations of Business, Intro to Environmental Sciences, Accounting 101, and Visual Arts 2D classes will engage with Olana Staff through 1-2 staff-led informational sessions and/or class visits to Olana. The goal of the fall semester is for students to become acquainted with Olana, learn more about the history and goals of the site, and to connect with Olana staff. During the spring, students enrolled in key classes will be invited to engage in an honors project connecting their coursework with a deeper understanding of Olana and its operation as a public park and historic site focused on preservation, education, interpretation, and engagement.

In the summer of 2022, students will be invited by C-GCC staff to apply for summer internship and work opportunities on site at Olana. Two to three paid project-based internships will be made available to C-GCC students for the summer semester in which participating interns will engage in specific projects, working collaboratively across the organization to complete their internship project/task. Each internship will be eligible for C-GCC credit corresponding with student’s line of study and will receive a stipend from The Olana Partnership. In addition to these select internship spots, paid seasonal employment opportunities at the Olana Museum Store and within the Visitor Engagement and Interpretation department will be shared with C-GCC community and students will be encouraged to apply.