School to Work Programs – The Daily Campus

School to Work Programs

School to Work Programs


Most high schools offer programs to prepare students for college or employment after graduation. These programs, also known as school to programs, are meant to help guide students towards the career fields they want to pursue. Unfortunately, the programs offered by schools are not as effective as they should be. One of the main reasons for the failure of these programs is the lack of participation of local businesses. Not interested in participating in the program due to the cost of participating in the program, the time involved in the program, and the loss of business resistance. Concerns for most businesses outweigh the benefits of school-to-program.


In 1994, the United States passed the Law School-to-Work Opportunity Act (STWA) because, unlike other countries, the United States did not have a system to link education to employment where a four-year college degree was not required.

“The School-to-Work Opportunity Act has been transformed into a comprehensive effort to better prepare students for careers and college by providing work-based learning experiences” (Gordon, 2003, p. 211). Some of these experiences include apprenticeships, mentoring, internships and job films. According to Webster's Dictionary, an apprentice is when a person works for another to learn a trade, a mentor is learning from a knowledgeable and trusted mentor or teacher, an internship is a period when an apprentice gains experience in a profession or is usually in the shadow of a profession and job. The student attends a period of time and observes a profession at work.

During the experience listed above, the school-to-program program established three components for students; Learning, action-based learning and integration activities

These elements were designed to:

(A) to encourage all students to stay in school and to achieve high standards of professional and academic performance;

(B) to make education more relevant to students by integrating academic and professional activities; And (c) increase student employment or subsequent post-secondary education opportunities by building effective partnerships between K-12 schools, postsecondary schools, employers, community agencies, students and parents (Collet-Kleinsberg and Kenny, 2000, p.53). School-to-work programs help students transition from high school to workforce. According to Newmark &   Joyce (2001), these programs were created to integrate youth education, job training, and labor market information for faster and more successful success in stable employment from school. These programs are not just for students who want to graduate with a high school diploma and go straight to the workshop. These programs help give students a better idea of   a career that they can pursue during and after college. Programs are not exclusively designed to employ young workers in more permanent jobs, but to increase career decision-making by increasing knowledge of the labor market and young workers' own skills (Newmark &   Joyce, 2001). School-to-program programs are very beneficial for students and businesses. Students benefit from learning about careers and a better understanding of workforce experiences. Businesses benefit by adopting new skills and high productivity from students. This is where a relationship between student and business is formed. According to Newmark &   Joyce (2001), “School-to-program programs have been suggested as a means of encouraging employees to have better matches through double flow of information, including general information in the workplace.

Information about specific employers flowing to students and also information about students flowing to employers (p.717111). Businesses often do not participate in school-to-program due to the cost of participating in the program, the time involved in the programs, and the loss of business competition (Bailey, Barr & Hughes, 2000). This research paper discusses the reasons for this lack of participation and suggests ways to increase business participation with effective school-to-work programs.

Benefits of School-to-Work Programs

According to Gordon (2003), if students are taught skills in the context in which they will use those skills, they can learn most effectively. Work programs from school are very beneficial for students, school and business. Students can first learn how to work in a workshop and what it takes to be successful while learning an education. School-to-work programs give them the opportunity to try new things and find the career they are looking for. Schools also benefit from recognition from the community for all the opportunities offered to students and local businesses. Benefits of participating businesses include:

(A) the value of student labor,

(B) reduction of training and recruitment costs,

(C) higher productivity of students employed as regular employees as compared to other entry-level employees,

(d) improve community relations,

(E) to improve the productivity and morale of the employees and

(F) Diversity in the workplace has increased (Bailey, Barr and Hughes, 2000). According to Wise (2007-2007), “Students may initially have a strong attachment to the business they hire and support. There are various benefits to doing business; First, their process ensures that the best and brightest students are selected to apply for this internship. Second, it is the student's first job to promote loyalty ”(p.22). Strategies such as job shadows or counseling require minimal employer commitment (Bailey, Barr and Hughes, 2000). Companies are more interested in providing internships because of the public interest and self-interest. Employers feel a commitment to their community and look for opportunities to contribute something in a common way to their city and neighborhood. Some of these employers try to do this by helping to strengthen the local education system. “Some interest-motivation is that their participation will give rise to goodwill, which can benefit them both politically and economically” (Bailey, Barr and Hughes, 2000).

Concerns of School-to-Work Programs

Setting up and institutionalizing school-to-work programs is particularly difficult because it requires significant participation of employers (Bailey, Barr and Hughes, 2000). According to Bailey, Barr and Hughes (2000), businesses are reluctant to participate because of the costs, time constraints, and the disadvantages of resisting the organization. And miscellaneous expenses such as tools (Bailey, Barr and Hughes, 2000).

One part where this lack of participation is clearly the shadow of the job is the school-to-program work in high schools. Students in the shadow of the job can get a glimpse of where they are interested in, for a day, to follow someone who is un-unfortunate, it is tough for business and business workers. Businesses lose money because they can't be as productive as they used to be. Internships are useful options for business. An internship allows small parts of the student to do business. This allows the student to get a better idea of   the position and give the business staff more time in their work instead of focusing on the student. However these can still create problems for the business as internships are often offered. Internships can be done in two different ways. A long-term internship is usually 4-6 weeks and involves 20+ hours per week. This type of internship is usually a paid internship. A short-term internship is considered less than 4 weeks. Each of these internships requires individual student training. If the student chooses not to do that business after his internship, the business will lose the money the student had invested. If the student decides not to stay with the company it is definitely a loss of business money.

All of these programs are time-dependent for both school and business. The process of setting an internship or job shadow cutting date that will work for students and businesses is difficult. According to Joyce (2006), some businesses select students through the recruitment process. This includes a preliminary application, attendance at group interviews and disciplinary records and letters of recommendation. Another issue is time to train the person in terms of skills. Some people already want to know how to complete the various aspects required for a business location. There is no time to train students in all areas of location in these businesses.

Retention is a problem in most businesses without the addition of these school-to-program programs. According to Bailey, Barr, and Hughes (2000), businesses are losing out on retention over time and after providing resources for students to learn skills. A study conducted by Newmark and Joyce (2001) shows that students in paid positions equipped as part of a school-to-program are employed in a wide range of industries and receive more training than other students in paid positions. It is from this additional training that the students have moved to different positions and left the business that has invested so much time in them.

Some businesses do not want to hire high school students for the sole reason of presence and efficiency. According to Kendall, Pollack, Scholes and Snyder (200), "colleges and employers are increasingly concerned that high school students lack the knowledge and skills necessary for success after graduation" (p. 1). This lack of knowledge and skills is affecting business participation in school-to-work programs. Employers have expressed some dissatisfaction with the jobs that high schools are doing to prepare their graduates for several workforce skills, saying they are dissatisfied with graduates' ability to read and understand complex materials, to think analytically, to apply what they have learned in real-life solutions. For world issues and verbal communication (Kendall, Pollack, Scholes and Snyder, 2007). Also, students involved in these programs do so voluntarily, which sometimes causes attendance concerns because students prefer to participate in the program during the program period (Armstrong, 2005). However, there are very successful and effective school-to-work programs that have overcome business concerns.

Effective School-to-Work Programs

According to Armstrong (2005), every business participating in school-to-work programs needs to be more personalized. These programs are flexible and can work with anyone who wants to participate in any business. The most important purpose for business participation is to achieve a benevolent goal (Bailey, Barr and Hughes, 2000). Participating in these programs gives businesses a free promotion and helps the community meet its return quota. However, there will still be businesses that do not want to participate in these programs. According to Armstrong (2005), there can always be an arrangement or agreement between school and business so that businesses are not forced to participate in these programs uninterruptedly. These agreements may be specified for participation once a year or annually. The business is still involved in programs through school but is also being productive.

School to Work Program using apprenticeships

Joyce (2006) discusses a successful school-to-work program. Students at South Houston High School in Texas learned the indomitable workplace skills by participating in an apprenticeship program that leveraged an innovative curriculum and created a successful partnership between school and business. Was. Because of this new partnership, the school discovered that the building needed a desk and the construction company was willing to assist in that need.

This program includes about 96 hours of work skilled training and construction activities. Students were selected through a recruitment process that included a preliminary application, attendance at group interviews, and disciplinary records and letters of recommendation. The learning experience of applying school-to-work programs allows students to incorporate academics into the real-workplace scene (Joyce, 2006). The program did not stop with training skills but was part of the academics of the program. The students had a syllabus consisting of five modules with 12 lessons in each module. Students learned critical skills needed to gain employment and build a long-term career. Their projects include interpersonal skills, career preparation, communication, self-improvement and job skills. All of these modules helped to strengthen decision making and confidence while working in a team. Real-life situations help prepare these students to work with conflict and to do their best while in the workforce. Overall, students not only learned how to create a desk but also how to work effectively in a workshop in any location. They found that students were learning tougher math than in the classroom and gaining better writing skills in the workplace.

School-to-Work program using apprenticeships and mentors

Colette-Klingenberg and Kenny (2000) discovered that the Young Apprentice (YA) is a program that collaborates with a manufacturing industry, a public high school and a university. This collaboration provides an alternative education program for juniors and seniors who are not expected to graduate offers at the production site, with young apprentices spending about 20 hours per week at work and another 20 hours on site in the classroom - all on payroll. “This program allows young apprentices to make a responsible transformation into the world of work” (Collet-Kleinberg and Kenny, 2000, p. 52). Almost all of their skill-based school work involves aspects of English, including math, manufacturing, and hands-on involvement. The program meets the manufacturer's needs for skilled high school graduates in rural areas where there is a shortage of such candidates. After two successful calendar years in the program, the young apprentices earned a high school diploma.

The program also focuses on enhancing student achievement, providing equitable opportunities for achievement, and addressing the needs of high-skilled workers. Students must follow the procedure below to be eligible for this program. First, students are nominated by teachers or parents. They must then attend an information meeting about the program in the workplace. This is followed by the application process which includes an interview and a trend test. Eventually, program staff came and took the student and the student's family to their home (Collect-Klinsenberg and Kenny, 2000).

The program's mentor training and morale building opportunities exist for all staff. Production companies offer production-line supervisors the opportunity to become consultants. These supervisors noted the importance of training mentors who work with young apprentices. The consultant and the manufacturing company found that the best solution to any problem that arose was to sit down with the young apprentices and talk privately (Collinkberg and Kenny, 2000). When trainees make mistakes in the production line, they are shown the correct method and how to prevent them from making mistakes again. It provided an educational environment for young apprentices and other staff.

Some of the benefits that apprentices receive are:

(A) the ability to obtain a certificate of professional competence while pursuing a high school diploma;

(B) opportunities for increased self-esteem, improvement of citizenship and self-motivated ownership of education;

(C) beneficial employment with increasing responsibilities; And (d) opportunities to learn about different career opportunities (Colette-Kleinzberg and Kenny, 2000, p. 62).

One of the benefits the manufacturing company received from this program was the reduced turnover of entry-level workers through the recruitment of trainee graduates.

School-to-Work program using mentors and internships

Wise (2007) Looking at a program is a partnership between the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Phoenix and the Automotive Youth Education System (AYES). These students learned the trade and were then able to find employment after graduation. The program’s partnership ensures that the skills that are being taught in her class are the skills that future employers want.

School-to-work program partnerships use both internships and mentoring. According to Wise (2007), a consultant is a motor technician with extensive experience in the automotive business. These mentors help show interns the profession. It is so important for EVIT that interns and mentors work well with each other that EVIT arranges a full day of training. In this training, both the intern and the counselor are told separately the rules, roles, responsibilities, behaviors and attitudes. They are then paired together where interns and mentors can talk about each other’s expectations and programs.


School-to-programs can be very successful in business participation. These programs fail or even non-existent if businesses are unable or unwilling to participate with the school. It is difficult to find a business that is willing to work with high school students, especially when students need to learn basic skills. It takes time, money and patience to have a good experience for both business and students. Three examples of successful school-to-work programs show that the benefits of the programs add to the anxiety and that the programs are worth it in the long run.

Although these school-to-programs were very successful and effective, not all schools will be able to manage these programs properly. All of these programs were very expensive for both school and business. All students were paid a minimum wage to continue their careers. Also, it puts a lot of confidence on the students. Students were responsible for attending classes at work and completing all assignments from the curriculum. Also, these schools had more resources than some rural schools had. These schools were very lucky that some of the businesses they wanted to participate in this program would not get that opportunity from local businesses.

This, of course, shows that a great partnership with business and a curriculum that trains and educates students for staff is achievable through an effective school-to-work program. Partnering with local businesses and creating curricula that can be adapted to any school program that students will enjoy during class and after graduation.

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