When it comes to choosing a career, experience is the best teacher. Time spent learning about a profession in a classroom can’t match the firsthand knowledge gained on the job. The Cooperative Education program combines classroom-based education with on-the-job training experiences to help students prepare for and explore career objectives. A co-op experience must be planned and supervised by the school and employers so that it contributes to a student’s education and employability.
What Can Be Gained From Cooperative Education?
The greatest reward from a co-op experience isn’t just a pay check. Intangible benefits will pay dividends throughout a student’s educational and career path.
Setting career goals – Students learn what it takes to get jobs in their chosen field and begin charting a course to attain career goals.
Improved self-image – Students will master new skills, make decisions and get positive feedback; all of which help build self-esteem and confidence.
Increased career opportunities – Students make career connections and gain work experience that will open doors in the future.
Mentor relationships – Mentors offer guidance and encouragement and act as career resources for students during and after co-op.
Knowledge of workplace expectations – Learning what companies are looking for and what it takes to succeed in the workplace better prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation.
Programs that may offer co-op experiences:
Horticulture – Turf & Lawn Management / Nursery, Greenhouse & Garden
Graphic Communications II/III
Media Technology II
Culinary Arts II
Automotive Technology II/III
Automotive Collision Repair II/III
Cyber Security Fundamentals
Machine Tool Technology II/III
Engineering Drafting & Design III
he requirements for students to be considered for co-op are as follows:
Student must be enrolled in an advanced level course or be a Completer within the same program area at Swofford Career Center and be recommended by instructor.
Student must be at least 16 years of age (18 if required by worksite).
Student must pass all high school classes the semester prior & current semester to co-op.
Student must have good attendance the semester prior & current semester to co-op.
Student must complete all necessary forms. (link “forms” to forms page.)
Student must have proof of insurance coverage or purchase school insurance.
Student must have a clean discipline record.
Student must pay all Swofford and program fees.
Student must hold a valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation.
Student must obtain permission from parents, Swofford Administrator, Swofford Instructor, high school principal, and an approved training station.
How to get started:
The co-op program is available any time during the school year, but students must train during program hours and/or after classes at the home high school. The worksite must be within a reasonable driving distance of the home high school and student’s home. A co-op training plan will be outlined for each participant. A training agreement must be on file prior to student starting co-op. No student will be allowed to co-op until the Placement Coordinator has received all required paperwork signed by all parties. If you would like more information on getting started with co-op, place contact Mr. Hill or Dr. Seay (link to our bio page).