Mentored Internships at City Charter High School
In an effort to better prepare students for the workforce, City Charter High School makes sure every student experiences an off-campus internship, mentored in their field of interest.
An internship at City Charter High School is a unique career exploration that integrates study with planned and supervised career-related work experience. Students are involved as non-paid “authentic employees” receiving academic credit for work experiences. The purpose of the program is to develop and strengthen the student’s educational and career preparation. An internship will expose the student to the interpersonal relationships a job requires, both with co-workers and supervisors that are essential in obtaining a successful, satisfying career. Internships enable employers to assist the high school students in preparing them to work in today’s business environment.
This mandatory 13-week Internship allows students to “try-out” a career while gaining valuable real-world experience.
- They learn time-management skills and the importance of attendance and an overall professional work ethic
- They will be exposed to peers and experts in their field of interest
- They will be technology ready with computer skills, maybe even Microsoft & Adobe certifications
- They will have the confidence needed for interviews and presentations, through mock job interview classes
- They will have a good understanding of business from Workforce Skills training and additional classes in Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship
- They will be guided by a mentor – an expert in a particular field of interest who can share insights and understanding of their profession
- Best of all, students will learn if their career choice is what they really want to do in life.
An internship provides the student with a greater understanding of career demands and qualifications. It allows the student to understand the connection between what is studied and how it is applied in the world of work; thus it provides an opportunity for career awareness as the student begins to realize what he or she enjoys within the workplace. The students are carefully matched to companies or organizations in one of their career field choices.
Students are paired with an approved adult from that business to provide a one-on-one mentoring experience. Mentors and designated supervisors work with the students every afternoon for one trimester, approximately thirteen weeks, exploring the career and helping students gain practical work experience. By design, the Internship is an independent learning experience taking place off-site, yet coordinated and closely managed through the school. Students are responsible for arriving at their Internship location on time and conducting themselves in a professional manner. They are expected to respectfully take direction, demonstrate initiative, and complete tasks and projects with competence and timeliness.
Internships are non-traditional educational experiences for our high school students. It may demand flexible time at school and making up missed class work while carrying out effectively all duties and responsibilities on the job. The Internship Office keeps parents informed of their student’s Internship plan and progress. Parents are invited to attend the initial Internship set-up meeting, allowing the opportunity to meet the Internship Mentor and become familiar with the Internship Site. Parents are both welcome and encouraged to participate in this visit and see first-hand where the student will be interning and what sorts of activities are being planned for the Internship.
Successful Internship Completion
To insure the success of individual internship experiences, the following strategies will be implemented:
- Weekly attendance and performance reports from the mentor at the Internship Site to the Internship Manager
- Internship site visits by the Internship Manager to monitor student progress and overall Internship experience.
- Completion of daily journal entries by student focusing on personal goals and accomplishments
The Internship experience at City Charter High School is a capstone course designed for students to apply and reinforce knowledge and skills gained from the Career Readiness classes. Successful completion of 130+ hours at the Internship with a grade of “C” or above is a graduation requirement.
At the conclusion, students will be able to:
- consistently arrive on time
- show up prepared for internship
- remain at site for full shift
- use time productively
- remain on task
- follow proper call-off procedures
- look for new assignments and opportunities when tasks are completed
- follow worksite dress code rules
- interact appropriately with others at the site
- speak/communicate in a respectful and professional manner
- remain engaged in the experience
- take initiative to advocate for oneself as ideas and opportunities develop
- demonstrate respect for company property
- comply with workplace rules and protocol
For most students the process of college, trade schools, apprenticeships or employment seems overwhelming, and that’s why City High has invested in a Post-High School Planning Team. Here are some of the ways we prepare our students:
- Every student will receive their own FREE laptop for use 24/7.
- Every student will learn resume writing skills and create their own personal resume before exploring an internship.
- Every student can become certified in Microsoft Office and Adobe software.
- Every student will review their transcripts and GPA long before starting college applications to see where they need to adjust their academic efforts.
- Every student will explore the real-world workplace in a junior- or senior-year internship.
- Every student will have access to for-credit college classes.
- Every student will meet weekly one-on-one with their counselor to help them navigate college or scholarship applications, apprenticeship programs, trade school applications, ROTC/ military programs or employment plans.
- Every student will receive individual help with filling out their FAFSA forms to receive financial aid
An integral part of City Charter High School’s Internship Program is developing partnerships with the Pittsburgh business community to expose our students to a variety of industries and help introduce them to careers that are of interest to them to pursue upon graduation.
For a list of companies and organizations in our community that have partnered with us to host our students for their internship experience go here!