What is the Cooperative Education Program?
What is the Pathways2Success Cooperative Education Program? Pathways2Success (P2S) gets students ready for life through work-based or internship-based learning programs in a customized setting that is learner-focused. It is designed to provide Garden Spot High School students the opportunity to earn credits while gaining the skills for 21st-century careers. Students in this class come to school for just part of the day and then leave to work at a job in their interest area.
What is the goal of the Pathways2Success Cooperative Education Program? The goal is to help the student achieve a high priority occupation. A high priority occupation is defined as a job that has high pay, high demand, and high skill. The Pathways Coordinator will assist the student with job changes and reaching career goals. In addition, the Pathways Coordinator will help the student with the transition from high school graduation to the next step which may include some type of post-secondary education (short-term or degree based trainings).
What does a student’s schedule look like in this program? During senior year, a student’s schedule will look like the following:
- A student will take the remaining core credits needed to graduate either in the traditional classroom or online environments. Core credits include math, science, English and social studies.
- In addition, during the 1st semester, the student will participate in a Cooperative Education class that meets during block 1 or 2 of the 1st semester only. In this class, the learning will be customized to meet the needs of the group and the needs of each individual. The Pathways Coordinator will customize the learning environment and provide variety in class and off-campus experiences that may include job tours, college tours, career fairs, etc. These off-campus experiences will be determined based on each student’s individual interest areas.
- Lastly, the student must maintain a job while in the Pathways Cooperative Education Program. The student will earn credit for working in a job. The grade for this credit will be determined by the student’s supervisor at their job.
Block 1: Pathways2Success Cooperative Education Class (1 Elective Credit)
Block 2: English (1 English Credit)
Blocks 3 -4: Out at a job (2 Elective Credits)
Block 1: Math (1 Math Credit)
Blocks 2-4: Out at a job (3 Elective Credits)
How many hours can the students work at their job? Students under the age of 18 who are enrolled in a cooperative education program can work 48 hours per week (but can refuse hours over 44). However, ethically, the maximum amount of hours a typical cooperative education student can handle is most likely between 28-32 hours per week.
When can the student leave the HS campus to go to their job? The student may leave campus after they take the classes that they need to graduate. Please see the example schedule above.
Does the student earn class credit for the Pathways2Success Cooperative Education Program? Yes, the student will earn 1 elective credit for participating in the Cooperative Education class and 1 credit for each block working in a job. For example, If a student is able to leave school after 2nd block, then the student will receive 2 elective credits for working during blocks 3 and 4. Please see the schedule above for an example of a student schedule and the number of credits that this example student would earn. The student’s supervisor at their job will complete an evaluation form each quarter which will determine the grade the student earns for their Cooperative Education.
What is the role of the student on the job? The student and business will determine the job duties/responsibilities that the student will perform. This will be agreed upon and placed on the work agreement document (provided by the school).
What is the role of the supervisor and business? The supervisor will guide the student with job responsibilities and soft skills in order to be successful in a career. The supervisor will be required to evaluate the student’s work performance two times per semester by using the provided evaluation form. The supervisor will also be required to have their clearances if the student is under the age of 18.
Can the job be a paid position? Yes. It is required that every student hold a job where they receive compensation.
Can a 17-year-old co-op student use power tools?
The Garden Spot Pathways2Success Co-Op program is a Diversified Occupations program, and therefore, a student under the age of 18 cannot use power tools and is not eligible for the Capstone exceptions that are given to CTC students.
Does workman’s compensation cover a student participating in a co-op program?
Yes, workman’s compensation covers a student participating in a co-op program. The business is required to submit their workman’s compensation policy number on the student’s co-op training agreement prior to starting the job.
What are the required clearances? If the student is under the age of 18, the supervisor is required to have their clearances. The required clearances are the FBI Federal Criminal History Background Check and Fingerprinting, Pennsylvania Criminal Background Check, and Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Check.
Who do I go to for questions? Please contact Jill Hackman, Pathways Coordinator, with any questions you may have about the program or to find out how you can participate.