20 Macomb seniors to pilot new work-based learning program next school year

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT
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MACOMB (WGEM) - After at least two years of being in conversation, Macomb High School is piloting a work-based learning program for seniors starting next school year.

The program was approved in the latest school board meeting, and no more than 20 students will be in the inaugural class.

The program will allow students to earn class credit while working in a field they have career interest in.

FFA teacher and program facilitator Wyatt McGrew said once the district returns from spring break, the next steps are to partner with businesses that students could work at.

“The big thing is it gives students an opportunity, career readiness is something that is critically important right now and it’s something that a lot of our employers and people in town have said our students need, they need to be career ready,” McGrew said.

Students involved in work-based learning will spend every afternoon of every school day at a local employer. McGrew said, depending on the scenario, a student could also get paid by the business.

“There’s no question that we give students the textbook knowledge here in the high school, the businesses are going to give that student the real-world scenario, the real-world experience,” McGrew added.

Macomb High School Principal Scott Sullivan said several students and their families have shown enthusiasm in recent interest meetings.

While the program will initially only be available to seniors, Sullivan said expansion is a possibility down the road.

“It is a pilot, so we’re hoping to learn a lot, but we’re also hoping to grow a lot,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said that the number of 20 students in the program could also change.

Some of the careers that students have in interest involve health services, law enforcement-justice administration, auto-mechanics and teacher education.

“We want them to be able to learn about that career, have that experience, potentially develop skills and hopefully live and work in our community,” Sullivan added.

One student that will help pilot the program is Josie Calvert.

Calvert, who has interest in multiple professions, said the program could help guide her to what she thinks is the best fit.

“I became interested in it [the program] because I need real life experiences and hands-on experiences to actually have a good look at how the world’s going to be,” Calvert said.

Calvert has interest in being involved with John Deere or the Macomb Park District as part of her work-based learning experience.

Sullivan said he hopes to have all businesses in place before school lets out in May.

Related: Macomb High School looking to implement work-based learning for seniors

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