WBL

Putting Education to Work!

  • At Steel Center we believe that continuous exposure to actual work environments is imperative to the career planning and development process. Therefore, a number of work-based learning(WBL) options are available to students. Some activities are integral to the training program while others are developed based on a student's interests, preparedness, and eligibility.

    Cooperative Education, commonly known as "CO-OP", is a unique plan of education that combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. By partnering with local employers, paid employment opportunities are established for students. They are placed in these approved training sites when the job directly relates to their career-technical program. Students are required to attend Steel Center on a regularly scheduled basis to continue related instruction and participate in school activities. The program is under the supervision of a certified Cooperative Education Coordinator who monitors students' progress and evaluates work performance through work-site visits and grading reports.

    Objectives and Benefits of Cooperative Education:

    For the Student:

    • Learning experience under real working conditions 
    • Gaining actual work experience in occupational area for which the student is being trained 
    • Building self-concept and good work habits such as punctuality, appearance, reliability and responsibility  
    • Stimulates interest in classroom work 
    • Encourages student to remain in the community and become a participating citizen 
    • Paid employment and possible future placement 

    For the Employer: 

    • Source of qualified, mature employees available for part-time employment 
    • Opportunity to train potential full-time employees in their own environment 
    • Receive more direct return for tax dollars 
    • Opportunity to take an active part in a community service 
    • Opportunity to provide input on course content of Career and Technical programs 

    For the School:

    • More realistic training facilities 
    • Better curriculum focused toward actual employer needs 
    • Training and direction by actual practitioner in the field to supplement classroom instructions 
    • Promote cooperation between the community and the school 

    Internship (unpaid) - A work-based learning experience in which a student makes scheduled visits to an approved work-site to learn about a particular industry or occupation. Under the supervision of a work-site mentor(s), the student learns about a profession(s) through observation, personal discussion and hands-on applications. The length of an actual internship is limited to no more than 120 hours per placement. A training agreement must be developed with the host and approved before student placement.

    Objectives and Benefits of an Internship

    • Learn in a “real-life” environment.
    • Acquire new techniques or use equipment not available in the classroom to enhance knowledge and skills.
    • Supervised instruction and practice as transition to independent employment.
    • Develop resources in the community
    • Make informed decisions about careers and training options.
    • Network with career professionals.

    Job Shadowing provides students with the opportunity to visit a career professional during a “typical workday” to experience the work involved in a potential career area. Visiting a work site allows students to get a well-rounded view of a profession through observation and personal discussion. Job Shadowing is a non-paid experience and actual hands-on activities are limited.

    Objectives and Benefits of Job Shadowing for Students:

    • Experience a real work setting.
    • Observe new techniques or equipment not available at the technical school.
    • Learn about career options.
    • Develop communication skills with professionals.
    • Acquire resources in the community.
    • Opportunity to gain a Certificate of Participation for student portfolio.
    • Provides the program with updated information and professional input from the business community.
    • Develop presentation skills.

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