Work-Based Learning
Work-Based Learning

The Center for Careers and Technology offers additional experiences outside of the school setting for students interested in learning about careers. Capstone Cooperative Education Experience is designed for students who are completing a Career and Technical Education program to continue their learning outside of school through employment in business or industry. Placement must be made within the student’s vocational area of study. The Career Exploratory Program is an independent study offering. Working with the Cooperative Education Coordinator, students are able to examine various careers both within and outside the school. Outside work with employers can be during school hours or after school and is non-paid in nature. Diversified Occupations is a work-based experience for students with an interest in a career that is not offered through programs of the Center for Careers and Technology. Examples would be banking, machining, retail sales, or warehousing. Diversified Occupations students are also required enroll in the Workforce Education course for employability skill training.

General Requirements for all Work-based Learning Programs

Students who wish to be considered for this program are required to identify a specific area appropriate for vocational training and complete an application for admission to the Co-op program. Parents are required to sign this application. The Director of Careers and Technology and the Cooperative Education Coordinator review the applications. If approved for these programs, the student needs to locate a suitable training site for his or her experience. The Cooperative Education Coordinator is available to assist in the search for a training site if necessary. Students are informed of tentative approval or rejection no later than the end of April. Students’ participation in a Capstone Cooperative Education experience is addressed on an individual basis throughout the year. Students for whom a suitable training program can be located are scheduled to participate after review of their course elections by the counselor. The coordinator notifies students, parents, principals, counselors, and the Director of Careers and Technology of the training arrangements. The coordinator meets with the student to complete all necessary arrangements including the signing of a cooperative education (diversified or capstone) contract and a list of (tasks) competencies to be achieved through the training.
The following information applies to all students in these programs:
-Students must have attained a grade of “C” or higher in other academic and elective courses to be eligible for the programs.
-Students must maintain passing grades during their work based learning experience. Grades are monitored every three weeks; students with failing grades will be placed on probation for three weeks. Students who fail to maintain passing grades after this probationary period are removed from the program.
-Students are released from school based on his or her training site work schedule and the flexibility of the educational schedule.
-Students are required to submit weekly logs of activities relative to agreements and training plans.
-Student must complete the Regional Employability Certificate process.

Work-based Learning Programs

Work-based learning is a structured method of instruction, combining school-based classroom learning with productive work-based learning in an occupation matching the student learner’s academic and career objectives. At the secondary level, work-based learning involves a planned partnership with specified connecting activities and responsibilities among students, parent/guardians, schools, employers, labor organizations and government. These specified connecting activities and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
School-based learning activities including career awareness, career exploration and counseling, and the initial selection of a career objective by interested students. Student enrollment in a PDE-approved career and technical education program, which facilitates linkages with postsecondary education, a coherent multi-year sequence of instruction and the opportunity for full-time employment.
A written training agreement outlines responsibilities and a training plan details the work-based competencies relevant to the student’s career choice.
Student learners receive pay comparable to entry-level wage.
Supervision, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of student progress and performance between the school-based and work-based learning components are performed by appropriately certified professional school personnel because school credit is to be awarded for this experience. A minimum of one on-site visit per month is required.
An employer/employee relationship exists; therefore, all state and federal laws regarding employer/employee relationships are enforced. Particular attention shall be given to the Child Labor Law regarding work permits, working hours, insurance, workers’ compensation, safety and hazardous occupations.
Cooperative Education Coordinators shall complete a training agreement and training plan and receive copies of each student’s employment certificate or work permit and proof of workers’ compensation before the student is placed at the work site.