Program provides real-world opportunities for Colgan High School Seniors
Posted on 09/25/2019
Student intern standing in front of presentation with three cops. Through the Internship Experience, a new program at Colgan High School, seniors are offered an opportunity for authentic, hands-on experiential learning with professionals. Students apply to take part in the program, in which they intern in a career field that interests them.

The program is in its second-year. Over 150 students have submitted an interest form to participate in this end-of-school-year opportunity. To be eligible, students must maintain good grades and attendance.

Colgan High School Assistant Principal Karima Wesseholft explained, “We wanted to create a program where our students left high school feeling like they were prepared for what’s next. And more importantly, it’s our way to get our students excited and keep our seniors engaged until the end of the school year.”

At the beginning of the second semester, students build a website that includes information they have gathered about a career that interests them. They also upload a resume and cover letter. The website serves as a portfolio of their skills and interests that can be used as resource for potential employers to review. It is the responsibility of the students to seek out an internship by contacting businesses.

In May, students spend two-weeks completing an internship, posting updates about their experiences on a blog. Colgan High School staff reviews the blogs and interacts with the students by asking follow-up questions such as “how did the work you did today impact the greater community” and “how do you think this could impact the future?”

The cumulation of the program is a final five to seven-minute presentation about their experience.

Feedback from the program has indicated that the most beneficial result is that after the firsthand look, students are discovering if they really do want to pursue that career. Thus, the program provides the advantage for students to experience the job now, versus after they have already begun or completed after high school education requirements for that career field.

The Internship Experience has increased student attendance as well as provided motivation.