Cooperative Education Program at Auburn High School expands

Posted on: 02/17/2017

~Julie Liccion, Career and Technical Education Instructor/ Cooperative Education Advisor

When the opportunity presented itself, all of the students eagerly jumped at the chance to work in the environment they hoped to be employed in their long-term careers. While doing their job at ACH, the students are exposed to medical terminology they will have to know in their future occupation. They are in a professional setting where they have to display exemplary workplace skills. Since they are constantly around medical personnel, the students have the chance to network and jumpstart their careers ahead of the college years. They are gaining a solid foundation of valuable work experience that they can build upon. This work experience includes the HealthStream online training courses the student workers have to complete. These courses cover important topics such as: Diversity in the Workplace, Ergonomics, Performance improvement in the Workplace, Workplace Violence, HIPPA, Hazard Communication, Emergency Preparedness, Infection Control, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Life Safety Code, Back Safety, ACH Financial Assistance, Customer Service, Electrical Safety, Fire Safety, Fire Watch, General Safety, and Hand Hygiene, to name a few. Much of this useful training can be transferred to future employment. In addition, doing work as Admitting/ Registration Clerks exposes the ladies to a variety of patients and staff. It helps them gain a broader perspective of the real jobs that medical personnel do on a daily basis and it gives them greater insight on their future careers.

The Cooperative Education Program gives students the chance to gain valuable work experience in the career field that interests them. As a requirement to qualify for participation in the program, students must be enrolled in the CAY 101: Foundations for College Success course. It is within this course that they learn and practice strategies that will help them to become successful in college and in careers. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork and collaboration, problem solving, adaptability, critical observation, and conflict resolution are all studied and practiced in the CAY 101 course and outside of class in the workplace. As an added bonus, successfully passing the CAY 101 course yields 3 college credits for the student. Placements in the CO-OP program run the entire school year.

Many local businesses participate in Auburn High School’s Cooperative Education Program. They find that through the program they gain a motivated, hard-working, eager, and productive employee. The student finds it a valuable work experience where they learn hard skills (technical skills) that are not taught in the classroom. Dickman Farms has been a participant since the program started and they continue to hire high school students through the program. Some of the previous CO-OP students still work for Dickman Farms, even though they have graduated. Peggy Dickman has stated that the family owned business enjoys hiring locally and helping give high school students a good start in the world of work. As a matter of fact, she said they are also currently looking for workers for morning shifts (a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents who are looking to make some extra money while the kids are in school). The Auburn Community Federal Credit Union is another partner in the CO-OP program. They employ our students who are looking to get into careers related to finance and business. Furthermore, they opened a school-based credit union where our high school students can conduct business and our CO-OP students can work during the school day!

Local businesses that would like to be a part of this growing program may contact Career and Technical Education Instructor/ Cooperative Education Advisor, Julie Liccion: (315) 255-8300, ext. 2331

Cooperative Education student, Salena Nguyen, Admitting/Registration Clerk working in the lab at ACH with Diane Pettinger.

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