Co-op(ted) for Business

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Matthew (Grade 12)

Students at GVC are learning the skills of the business world through a course offered in GVC. This co-op education program is offered to senior 4's (grade 12) who are given jobs in the community to learn skills that are needed in the work force. Students get to have their choice of occupation and place of work within the community from a group of businesses that have said that they are willing to participate. Not only does this course give students a chance to learn skills needed in the work force, but gives students a chance to sample a few of their choices that may interest them as a career, as Janette W. says, "you get to see if you will enjoy a certain field of work before you have to spend money on getting education for it."

The students of GVC involved in the co-op ed. program are credited according to the amount of hours that they put into a job and hours spent in class. "There are two parts to the grading system, in-class work, and evaluations done by the employer", says Janette. Students will receive 1 credit for every 110 hours worked, and a minimum of 330 hours the student is required to work in order to register for the course. This minimum gives the student 3 credits, and for the in-class work part 110 hours is needed. For the employer evaluations part, 220 hours is expected of the student.

"Student work schedules may vary to suit the employer and employee", says Janette. Participants of the co-op ed. program are allowed to choose which hours that they want to work as long as they are within the hours that the business operates. Also students cannot choose to work hours on Wednesday afternoon because this is scheduled time for their in-class work. Hours for students may vary during the week depending on what is convenient for the employer and the student.

One of the few disadvantages that might occur if you are in this program would be not being there long enough to, as Janette puts it, "learn the ropes". "You hardly get to see your friends...", says Janette which could also be another disadvantage.

This program has many more advantages than disadvantages, participant Janette W. says, "It's hard to think of disadvantages...". Some other advantages that Janette gives are, "you will get to see if you will enjoy a certain field of work before you have to spend money on getting education...", also, "It's a really nice thing to have on your resume...".

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