Preparing students for the future

General Amherst co-op program opens doors for students

By Jolene Perron

Nothing is worse than spending thousands of money on schooling just to find out you’re not cut out for the job. This is what the co-op program at General Amherst is all about.

The co-op program helps students to get into the work field and understand the demands and expectations of a specific job. It also helps students in future endeavours, allowing them to have experience in that field so they can get a job easier. It gives the student two credits to go towards their high school degree, and takes place either all morning or all afternoon during school hours.

Not everyone can get into the co-op program. Students need to show the co-op teacher, a few key characteristics. First off, students can not have bad attendance record. The first rule of co-op is if a student has three absences, they are kicked out. Also, students need to have reasonable grades which shows their co-op teacher they are responsible and get their work done. Lastly, students have to go through a one on one interview with their co-op teacher, which gives the teacher a better idea of who they are.

Once a student is in the co-op program, they attend a two week long in class training period, which occurs during their co-op time. Students get paper work done, as well as safety training before they can go into the field. During this time, students also get in contact with their workplace to set up an interview. Although students will go to this workplace no matter what, the interview process gives the students a real-life understanding of what it is like to get a job.

“It’s a good experience,” said Melissa Sinasac, owner of Room by Room, “she (her co-op student) is helping us out doing a lot of things, hopefully she is learning”

When the students are finally in the workplace, they must dress according to the job as well as appear at their job on time every single day, except weekends. Unlike other students, they do not get fog days or snow days.

The co-op experience gives students a real understanding of a work field which they would like to work in. For some students, the experience is exactly what they need and gets them excited for school and to get into the workplace. Also, a lot of students get hired after their co-op placement. Unfortunately, some students do not enjoy co-op, and it makes them think about the work they are getting in to.

In a society such as ours that struggles with money, the co-op program is highly recommended.

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