Internship – it’s often a word associated with grunt work for recent college graduates, but in Liberty Central School District, it’s just another example of how students grow to become “life-ready” citizens. While many people may envision internship duties as fetching coffee and filing papers, students in the high school’s new Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP) with Mr. Dan Hart can develop meaningful job skills that align with their career goals.
Spots are still available for the CEIP, a half-year, half-credit or full-year full credit non-paid internship open to all juniors and seniors. CEIP is designed to provide a link between school and possible careers; the program gives students a job-shadowing experience in a variety of careers so that they can become aware of what it is really like to work in those careers.
Students interested in interning go through a process mimicking a job hunt in the “real world.” They must fill out an application, prepare a cover letter and interview for the position. Not every student who interviews is offered an internship and students must maintain GPA and conduct standards to be eligible.
“It’s similar to what many used to call work release or School-to-Work,” Mr. Hart said. “It’s been modified it so it’s a two-part course. It has a classroom portion with me that gives our juniors and seniors an opportunity to learn work skills, plan and prepare for the future, all while following a professional in their chosen area, seeing what the requirements are for that profession.” Mr. Hart is a business teacher at Liberty High School. He is also the advisor of the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club and acts as the schools Work Based Learning Coordinator through CEIP.
Mr. Hart explained that students who wish to take work-based learning will start by taking skill assessments and interest surveys to see where they may want to pursue a career. Then, under his guidance, they’ll reach out to someone in the community in that field in order to job shadow as part of an unpaid internship. If during their job shadowing experience they discover that they are no longer interested in the career that they are shadowing, we can find a new placement in a different career of interest to the student. It is really a nice opportunity that I am able to provide for my students, most times a student might be hundreds or even thousands of dollars into a college degree and decide to change majors and the course work may not transfer over to their new college major.
“They would continue to meet at the high school for their seminar class which would cover lessons on the “soft skills” that employers typically look for: teamwork, adaptability and communication, to name a few.
Mr. Hart also noted that CEIP is great for way for juniors and seniors to dip their toe into the waters of a potential career.
“Not every student knows for certain what they want to do upon graduating – and that’s okay,” he said.
Students should visit Mr. Hart in his classroom (room 313) or e-mail DHart@libertyk12.org. CEIP applications are also available in the Liberty High School guidance office.
More about CEIP: CEIP was developed cooperatively between the New York State Departments of Education and Labor and fulfills a maximum of one credit toward a Regents or a Local diploma. It can also satisfy the fourth or fifth credit in a Career & Technical education sequence. The following are examples of internships that CEIP students may explore:
- Auto Mechanics
- Computer Networking
- Culinary Arts
Through the program, students will gain an understanding of the importance of a positive work ethic, timeliness and good study habits. In addition, they will have an opportunity to improve their teamwork and human relation skills. While interning, students may experience several different work stations with several mentors. Relationships will be developed between the mentor and the student that will possibly result in recommendation for employment, future careers, and/or college.
Individual student interests will be accommodated as much as possible. Internships may occur outside the school day. Students will need to provide their own transportation. Students must intern 54 hours during the semester and attend a class once a week with Mr. Hart and the other CEIP students for a half credit, 108 hours during the year for a full credit.