Work-Based Learning Program provides students with real word experiences

June 20, 2017

More than a dozen Amsterdam High School students had the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment this school year. That’s all thanks to the opportunities provided through the Work-Based Learning Program.

Work-based learning collaboratively engages employers and schools in providing structured learning experiences for special education students.

The Work-Based Learning Program at Amsterdam High School allows special education students to gain the necessary work-based experiences they need in order to obtain their Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) credential for graduation. This opportunity gives many special education students the boost they need to enter the working world after high school.

The students begin the program when they are juniors and they are able to choose their site, based on what their career interests are. The students go to their designated work site a few days a week, some with a teacher assistant, throughout the entire school year.

While at the various sites, the students learn basic skills, adult behavior, and a sense of responsibility- all things they will need in order to prepare them for the future and their transition into the workforce.

“I really like working with the people here because they teach me things,” senior Joe Davila said while working at Alpin Haus Fitness Center.

“I want to be a vet tech one day so I can help animals,” junior Carlie Bennett said. “I like working here because I love animals and I get to see what the vet techs do each day.”

Following their work at the site, they discuss their experiences in the classroom. The students also learn interview skills and how to write resumes. In total, the students complete 216 site and classroom hours.

While the program is fairly new, there is hope that it will continue to grow for many years to come.

“Our community has been extremely supportive in offering a variety of work experiences for these students,” said Program Coordinator Carley Green. “This program has been extremely valuable to their success.”

This year, the program had students placed at the Capstone Rehabilitation Center, Alpin Haus Fitness Center, Country Valley Vet Clinic, Catholic Charities, Tecler Elementary School, Ricmar Printing and Publishing, and the Amsterdam Free Library.

Senior Anna Wiseman worked at the Amsterdam Free Library, where she prepared crafts for story time for the pre -school aged children.

Senior Joe Davilia worked at Alpin Haus Fitness Center, where he cleaned, swept, wiped down machines, and folded towels.

Junior Tashayla Williams worked at Capstone Rehabilitation Center, where she took residents outside, did crafts and played games with them, and delivered meals.
Junior Carlie Bennett worked at Country Valley Vet Clinic, where she observed surgeries, played with animals and bathed them, and assisted the veterinary technicians.
Junior Luis Rodriguez worked at Ricmar Publishing and Printing, where he helped with the production of materials for businesses.