At a Glance
The Cooperative Education Program at A.W. Beattie Career Center offers all students, regardless of their education level, work-based learning opportunities linked to post-secondary education and employment.
A.W. Beattie Career Center (AWBCC) is a regional career technical school that offers eighteen Career Pathways for students in grades 10-12. The Center enrolls approximately 400 students and serves nine area school districts. Pathway programs vary in length from one to three years.
The Cooperative Education Program at AWBCC is an integral part of student life and career guidance. The program aims to have every student, regardless of time in a pathway, participate in at least one work-based learning experience before leaving the school. Cooperative education opportunities span all education levels and include workplace tours and postsecondary school visits for first year students to job shadowing, paid and unpaid internships, clinical work, and junior achievement activities for second and third year students. However, for opportunities beyond tours and visits, students must be recommend by their career and technical education teachers as demonstrating the maturity to participate. Students participating in a cooperative education activity, excluding job tours, are also required to take a drug test.
All cooperative education activities are tracked and managed by the program coordinator. The coordinator also offers many school or class-wide site visits throughout the year to ensure all students – even those with no transportation – are afforded the opportunity to gain career exploration exposure.
Origin / Implementation
The school introduced this program with the philosophy that career exploration and education is a fundamental part of career technical education. Recognizing that gaining employer buy-in for this program would be critical to its success, the program coordinator reached out to multiple businesses and employers to build a database of contacts and garner program involvement. As a result, over 70 businesses have provided students a cooperative learning experience in some fashion.
Results / Impact
The number of students who participate in some aspect of the cooperative education program varies from year to year, but in SY 2014-2015, an excess of 450 career guidance experiences were provided to students. Some students participated in more than one experience.
School: A.W. Beattie Career Center
Name and title: Joanne Vano, Cooperative Education Coordinator