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Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

Need for a Work-Study Program Each fall, the majority of high school seniors begin feeling the pressure of choosing a major and a good college to continue their education. Think back on your own life, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you have the same aspirations as you did in middle school or as freshman in high school? Did they stay the same when you entered college? If youre like me, and the vast majority of high school students, you changed your mind a lot throughout those four years before even entering college. According to The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Approximately 80 percent of Penn State's beginning students express some degree of uncertainty about their choice of major Some students change majors five or six times before graduation. About 25% of the incoming class starts in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, the designation for students who have not selected a major (Current Enrollment Reports, 2012). Some people may argue that taking a year to explore a wide range of classes can be a good thing for students. However, students would gain a better outlook on what career they wish to pursue by actively trying out different jobs, more so than they could ascertain from just sitting in different classes. Unfortunately, many students do not know which field of study or career they want to pursue after high school. The earlier students talk and interact with professionals in various different fields, the faster students will begin to figure out their educational and occupational goals. This policy paper addresses the creation of the Academic Work-Study Program for Carroll County Public Schools. By creating the Work-Study program that allows students to shadow a work place or be employed, they will gain an understanding about how what they learn in school directly applies to problems professionals encounter every day. This policy may not help everyone find their

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

calling, but it will help place students on the right track towards obtaining hands-on practical experience. This strengthens student skill sets and helps them to appreciate the theoretical examples that are taught in schools today. The Academic Work-Study program will help better all of society because it encourages people to begin figuring out what they like to do and what theyre good at earlier on in their careers.

History of Education to Occupation Attempts In 1994, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor passed the School-To-Work Opportunities Act (STWOA) which established grants and funds for high schools across the nation to institute lasting programs to aid in the transition from school to the workforce. Legislators and educators hoped that the Act would create partnerships with local businesses to allow students to obtain a mentor, internship, coop, apprenticeship, or shadow at those companies. The STWOA stated that, Since the early 1980s, researchers, educators, employers, and policymakers have sought ways to make education relevant to students future careers, adapt instruction to the ways in which students learn best, and ensure that students learn the habits and skills that employers value. By adding meaningful context from the world of work, educators hope to engage the interest and intellect of students and help them learn more effectively. (School-To-Work Opportunities Act, 1994) The STWOA was created with the same goals that the Work-Study program hopes to achieve. The Act provided monetary resources to eight different states, one of which was Maryland, for five years as a trial period. The funds directly helped to produce

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

successful STW programs for students seeking to enter the labor force immediately after high school. Based on the STW results, many other states started to participate in the program as well. Unfortunately though, the STW program was not directed to provide technical and experiential training to students on the college track.

Target Group The Board of Education needs to initiate the program when students first start to mature and make decisions that affect their futures, which is in high school. Students should explore prospective career choices and the work environment immediately following 9th grade, by completing a required number of work-study hours before graduation. The purpose of this policy is to encourage students to begin thinking about their futures sooner and to help them discover the types of work they want to pursue after high school and/or in college. Not everyone has difficulty deciding what field is right for him or her. Some students have the means and time to allow for extensive career exploration in college, but these people do not represent the majority population. The policy I propose is directed towards helping the majority of students. A state delegate on the legislative committee for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education stated that, Carroll County is the guinea pig county of the state of Maryland (Krebs, 2012). Therefore, the Work-Study policy will be implemented in the Carroll County Public School (CCPS) System of Maryland. The CCPS has four different programs, or pathways, for students to complete their high school education; the Academic, Completer, Articulated, or Apprenticeship programs. The Academic program is described as fulfilling the requirements for admissions to the University

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

System of Maryland. It requires students to complete English, Math, and Science classes listed as the Common Core State Standards in the Maryland Classroom (Publications Overview, 2013). The Completer, Articulated, or Apprenticeship programs include work-study hours in the curriculum. These students take alternative classesfrom the Carroll County Career and Technology Schoolto meet the core state standards. Students of the Academic Program do not currently have hands-on application of the materials they study; therefore the Work-Study program is designed specifically to introduce those students to professional work environments.

Logistics of the Program Students enrolled in the Academic Work-Study Program for Carroll County Public Schools will be required to complete sixty work-study hours before they graduate. The number of hours was determined by considering 1 full-time work week equating to forty hours, in addition to the required number of hours for Service-Learning in Maryland, which is seventyfive. Sixty hours is the rounded average between a full-time work week and the Service-Learning hour requirement. The Work-Study program will run similarly to the Service-Learning policy in Maryland, which requires students to volunteer in the community to develop responsibility and to gain skills need for civic engagement (Service-Learning, 2003). After completing a service activity each student must fill out a reflection form on the tasks they were responsible for and how it benefited the community. The reflection sheet records the hours students participated in the activityan adult site/organization supervisor signs off for the dates and hours of service and students submit the form to the high school Service-Learning Coordinator for approval.

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

The Service-Learning Coordinator also functions as the Career Connections Coordinator at the majority of schools. Students will complete a work reflection sheet and submit it following the same process listed above for the Work-Study program. An appropriate Work-Study is described as an internship, shadow program, or volunteer position in a professional work environment. Examples of work environments include, but are not limited to laboratories, office spaces, hospitals, automotive centers, department stores, and design studios. Prior to participating in the Work-Study program, students must seek approval from either their Academic advisor or Career Connections Coordinator to ensure that they obtain a suitable position. Students should utilize school resources, such as the Career Connections Coordinator and their School Counselor to secure internships, volunteer positions, or a mentor to shadow in an occupation that relates to their interest. If students choose to only shadow in a particular industry, they must work with two different companies to fulfill the required hours. This stipulation prevents students from only following one relative or family friend in their line of work, and opens students to more career connection opportunities. Conditions of the program include completion of their freshman academic year requirement before earning Work-Study hours. Through the introductory courses, students will start learning which subjects are more interesting to them. Schools will incentivize students to continue logging hours after completing the base sixty hours by providing a prestigious award to one male and female senior who logs the most hours. This award will be promoted as a good resume builder because it demonstrates which senior has the most drive and self-motivation out of the graduating class. The awards will be presented at the In-School Senior Award ceremony, to encourage underclassmen to make winning this award a personal goal.

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

Longevity and Evaluation of the Program The Academic Work-Study program will be piloted for eight years to allow the incoming freshman class to complete the program and report back throughout college and one year postsecondary education. Each school will be responsible for e-mailing the alumni a link to a standardized survey inquiring about current job prospects and rating preparedness for college courses and/or the professional environment. The program will also be evaluated by the percentage of students that enroll in four year colleges, two year colleges, and how many go straight into the work field compared to the amount of students that do not have plans for after graduation. These rates will be compared to previous years rates in the Fact Book produced by the Maryland State Department of Education (Publications Overview, 2013). The Work-Study program is anticipated to decrease the percentage of students without post-graduation plans over the years. If it is a success, the Maryland state legislature and the Maryland Superintendent of Schools will determine implementation of the program for adoption across the state in all public high schools.

Benefits of the Work-Study Program Ultimately, the Work-Study program will develop student responsibility and encourage professional networking. It will train students, which normally would not receive professional exposure in high school, in technical and professional skills through hands-on experience. Being able to see that practical connection will provide students more motivation to study hard and perform better in their current subjects. More importantly, the Work-Study program will make

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

time spent in school more valuable and efficient because students will begin to take a serious consideration of what fields they enjoy working in, earlier on in their education. The majority of students have difficulty deciding what field of study is right for him or her, even throughout college. High schools should help students explore different majors and the reality of the work place to fully prepare them before graduation. Grace Gibbons, a sophomore at Mercy High School, entered her freshman year as a member of the Honors program and the Women in Medicine Program because she wanted to become a neurosurgeon. The program allowed the girls to shadow at Mercy Hospital for at least one day every month. By the end of her freshman year, Grace realized that she no longer wanted to be a doctor. She knew that she loved learning new languages and writing creative literature, but she enjoyed the challenge of science and math courses. Grace no longer knew which career path she wanted to follow and subsequently experienced difficulty deciding which Advanced Placement Courses (APs) would be the most beneficial to her because the credits she wishes to pass out of depend on the major she will pursue in college (Gibbons, 2013). Every decision builds on top of the previous one so if you have no definite end goal, how can you make informed decisions from the onset? Obtaining practical work or research positions can aide significantly in a students education and future job prospects. Ramya Gurunathan is a freshman at Penn State majoring in Material Science Engineering. She said that she always knew she wanted to do something science-related, but it wasnt until she worked in the Frabris Nano-bio Lab at Rutgers the end of her junior year that she discovered material science was her calling. Ramya said, Working in the lab helped motivate me and make me more interested in learning because I knew what I finally wanted to do. I based my college selection

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

exclusive off of a schools material science program, and didnt look at colleges as a whole. I also gained invaluable network connections because many researchers around Rutgers began to recognize me, and many professors at Penn State worked with my Principal Investigator. (Gurunathan, 2013) She said that her lab research experience from the past two summers helped her standout to professors at Penn State which earned her a research position during the first semester. Working over the summer did not take time away from completing school work and it helped to focus which field of study interested her the most.

Feasibility of the Work-Study Program Program costs are expected to be minimal, because it leverages existing Career Connections Coordinators and Academic Advisors. Students are not required to be paid for their work. This is dependent on the type of work secured. This program requires a community with enough jobs available that seasonal workers and adults currently seeking employment are not adversely affected. Since students have a three year period to acquire sixty hourskeep in mind a full work week equates to only forty hoursand students in the Completer, Articulated, or Apprenticeship programs are not required to complete these hours, there should not be a flooding in the job market. Businesses will benefit by receiving fresh, innovative ideas and skills from hosting and employing students. By training students in high school, companies will create lasting professional networks that will help in hiring the most apt employees when students graduate. The Academic Work-Study program will improve the community by providing students valuable experiences early on in their career decision making. This will help students

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

choose fields that excite and interest them, and overall will develop a more productive workforce.

Caitlin Gibbons CAS 138T March 30, 2013 MD State Policy: Work-Study in High Schools

Bibliography Gibbons, Grace. Phone interview. 29 Mar. 2013. Gurunathan, Ramya. Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2013. Krebs, Susan. Personal interview. Feb. 2012. "Current Enrollment Reports." Division of Undergraduate Studies - Pennsylvania State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <http://dus.psu.edu/about/enrollment.html> "Program of Studies 2013-2014." South Carroll High School. Board of Education of Carroll County, 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <carrollk12.org/Assets/file/SCH/Counseling/South%20Carroll%20High%20School%20P rogram%20of%20Studies%202013-2014.pdf>. "Publications Overview." Maryland State Department of Education. N.p., 28 Mar. 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/newsroom/publications/?WBCMODE=P res%25%25>. "School-To-Work Opportunities Act (CFDA No. 84.278)." ED.gov. U.S. Department of Education, 4 May 1994. Web. 7 Apr. 2013. <www2.ed.gov/pubs/Biennial/9596/eval/410-97.pdf>. "Service-Learning." Maryland State Department of Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/programs/servicelearning/>