Northview High School offers a work-based learning program, Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education, to help senior students understand the relevance of their class work. It answers the student's question, "Why do we have to learn this?"
ICE is a planned, managed partnership between NHS and the business community and creates win-win partnerships for the community, students and participating companies.
"ICE helps students understand the nature of work and the opportunities available. More students are assuming responsibility for their own career successes," Penny Groover, ICE coordinator, said.
Guidance counselors at NHS also support the ICE program.
Don Harrison, guidance counselor, said, "The ICE program provides an opportunity for students to explore possible career areas while still in high school and earning credits. It's a great chance to see what the 'real' world is like."
"The ICE program has given our senior students who are seeking jobs an opportunity to emulate real job experiences, make some money and still get high school credits toward graduation," Bob Lancaster, guidance counselor, said.
Jennifer Abrell, guidance counselor, said, "The ICE program provides a unique opportunity for students to get a jump on the job market. When they graduate, ICE students have more experience and confidence than many of their peers."
Work-based learning begins with an educational plan for each student to define experiences and to document learning outcomes and reinforces the development of academic and technical skills. It also helps students obtain critical skills in areas of problem solving, interpersonal skills, information management, communications, technology, responsibility and career development. The proper balance between classroom and work-based experiences results in high academic and technical achievement for students.
Heather Lohrman is employed at Asbury Towers Methodist Home in Greencastle and her mentor is Rhonda Mace. Lohrman's career goal is to become a registered nurse and she is currently taking CNA courses through her employer.
"I really like my job because the residents and the company really appreciate me as a person and the work that I do," she said.
Dan Roeschlein is a sales associate at Wal-Mart in Brazil. He is being cross-trained in three departments that allows for a variety of experiences.
"The work-based learning program allows me to learn on-the-job skills and I still have time to participate in extra curricular activities," he said.
Tim Strader is doing his internship with Rose-Hulman Ventures in Terre Haute with Ronald Hofmann.
"I've learned many new skills related to engineering and technology. The opportunity to work at such a prestigious business would not have happened without the ICE program," he said.
Tia Kirchner is employed with Dr. Richard Frankville at Chiropractic First in Brazil. Her responsibilities include setting patient appointments, working with insurance companies for payments filing and updating patient records on the computer database.
"I love my job," she said.
Jerry Hull is an environmental aide at Clay County Health Center in Brazil. His mentor is Shelly Kelly and he is also training to be a CNA. He recommends the ICE program to Northview High School seniors.
"The ICE program helps students develop good work habits and problem solving skills," he said.
Sarah Emrick is doing her internship with Clearlake Veterinary Hospital. Her career goal is to be a veterinary technician and Danita Slatton is her mentor. Her job responsibilities include answering the phone, scheduling appointments, greeting clients and record keeping on the computer.
"I really enjoy my job, especially the animals.
Tyler Brown is employed with Robert Maurer at Maurer's Mowing. He said the ICE program gives students the opportunity to get quality job experience while attending high school.
"The ICE program is the best program at Northview High School. It enables me to learn about my classmates' jobs and what their job responsibilities are," he said.
Erin Riley is interning at Union Hospital in Terre Haute with Bobbi Nolan as her mentor. Riley's career goal is to become an occupational therapist. She said she believes ICE will also help her in the future by providing part-time employment while she attends college. Working in the admitting area of the hospital, she uses customer service skills, problem solving and decision making skills.
"The ICE program has helped me with time management skills with school and work," she said.
Marcus Thompson is doing his internship at T.G.I. Friday's in Terre Haute with restaurant manager Jimmy Brejcha. He said the image a person projects must coincide with the business' image.
"Friday's has taught me the importance of customer service in the work place. It is important for our customers to be satisfied for repeat business," he said.
Breanna Walden is employed at Pages in Brazil. Randy Phillips, store manager, is her mentor. From her experience, Walden believes customer service should be the primary goal for all businesses.
"The ICE program has given me the opportunity to earn school credit while I learn technical skills on the job," she said.
While the main goal of work-based learning is student education, there are long-term benefits to participating companies. Companies benefit in important ways such as access to achievement-oriented students, positive positioning (school, students and community), goodwill, positive public relations, long-term workforce development, reduced hiring and training costs and direct teacher support.