Martha Abraham | Reporter
Work-based learning allows seniors with good disciplinary and academic standing, as well as enough space in their schedule and transportation, to leave school for part of the day and do an internship.
The coordinator for work-based learning, Adam Clark, said the program has grown over the last three years, mostly because of Mr. Shockley’s decision to transfer Clark to the business department from the math department to build the program, which has grown dramatically over that time period.
“In years past, there were usually less than 10 that were in the program at any time. Sometimes way less than 10. And we’ve grown it over the last three years, although this year our numbers really fell because of COVID,” Clark said.
Clark said the program is transitioning to be a culminating activity, where students take courses to help them gain an interest and use it in their internship.
“Where we’re moving the program is work based learning is a capstone course, so students can take courses that lead up to this as a culminating experience,” Clark said.
Senior Cameron O’Mara, who is interning with a kindergarten class at Maple Elementary, said that his experience led up to his internship experience.
“I completed the Early Childhood Education program for Area 31 last year, so I had 3 days [a week] where I was working in a kindergarten class,” O’Mara said.
O’Mara said the best part of his internship is being around the students.
“I love little kids and I also enjoy working on anything with them, if it may be a worksheet, or an activity, just to make them successful in the classroom,” O’Mara said.
Senior Emilia Meyers, who interns with Rectify Solar, a solar energy company, said that as well as making connections with fellow employees, she’s learned more about working in the future.
“I’ve learned what it’s like to work in a professional setting in the real world,” Meyers said.
Meyers said that you should look into the company before deciding to do an internship with them.
“I thought my internship was going to be something kind of different from what I am doing now, so you want to look and see what you’re committing to,” Meyers said.
Senior Jessica Ghotra, who interns at Kingseed Family Dental in Plainfield, said that work-based learning helps you learn about being in a professional environment.
“I would recommend work-based learning because you learn a lot through being in a more professional environment than you would sitting in a classroom and it teaches you many applicable skills such as time management and professional behavior,” Ghotra said.
Ghotra said that without her internship, she would not have made changes in her future plans.
“I do not want to study dentistry when I’m older and my future plans are to study data science. I would not have learned that I don’t like dentistry if I hadn’t done my internship,” Ghotra said.
Ghotra said work-based learning offers you the opportunity to choose when you work.
“You have to get ten hours in a week, so you can choose how long you want to intern for. This way you can get off school faster,” Ghotra said.