New employers invited to sign up to hire a student
Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) offers a unique opportunity for high school students to earn extra credits during the summer months. Under the supervision of three teachers, students enroled in PWSD's Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) may earn up to 10 high school credits each summer. Grades 10, 11, and 12 students from all eight PWSD high schools are eligible to register, providing that a job-site prep prerequisite course has been completed. Credits earned are applied directly on student transcripts to meet graduation requirements.
Now in its 17th year, the program is much more than just a summer job. On top of the extra credits, students also earn valuable skills and gain insight into possible future career paths in a variety of areas ranging from computers, construction, general labour, food service and farming.
"The foundation of PWSD's Summer Work Experience Program is based on the philosophy that community partnerships can enhance student learning experiences," says Jim Venhola, an Outreach Program Coordinator at PWSD. "It's a win-win situation. The 21st Century student is naturally tech-savvy and tends to approach new experiences with open-mindedness and optimism. The community benefits from the raw skills students bring to the jobs, and the students benefit from the opportunities to hone and apply their skills in real-world settings."
"SWEP is also a reminder to us of the great diversity that exists within PWSD," adds Mr. Venhola. "It gives us a greater understanding of our unique student population base who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Through SWEP, students are working and earning high school credits in commercial, industrial, agricultural, and service industry environments, in both rural and urban settings."
Last summer, approximately 200 student SWEP participants earned nearly 2,000 combined work experience credits.
Grade 11 student Teneille Jarvis and Grade 12 student Kelsy Yoder of Spirit River Regional Academy value the high school credits and work experience they gained through SWEP last summer.
"I worked at the Richardson Pioneer Central Peace Aquatic Centre and Camp Wanago, the FCSS day camp for kids," says Miss Jarvis. "I was able to achieve a significant amount of credits to help me with my future plans for post-secondary education."
"I also worked at the Richardson Pioneer Central Peace Aquatic Center at the front desk and taught dance at Spirit Arts Dance Society," says Miss Yoder. "SWEP gave me credits to help me graduate this year. I haven't quite made a decision on my post-secondary or career paths, but SWEP helped me see what I like and dislike in a job."
The deadline for students to apply to the program is June 24, 2015. SWEP Coordinators have supplied registration kits to PWSD's high schools, and interested students may meet with their Principal to complete the registration information. New employers wishing to participate in the program should contact PWSD's Central Office at (780) 532-8133. Employers will need to grant the PWSD supervisor occasional access to observe and evaluate student performance. PWSD would like to extend thanks in advance to the many participating employers who will play a role in opening doors for local high school students.