What is Off-Campus Education?
- Any program at CHHS that involves students attaining High School credits off the actual school site.
- Work Experience: students working at jobs or volunteer positions part-time during the school year or summer months.
- RAP: Registered Apprenticeship Program- student beginning accredited apprenticeship positions in the trades while still in high school.
- Health Services: Students participating in summer Internship positions in the Health Care Field.
- PFO: Production Filed Operator- students completed an accredited SAIT distance education course during the school year and participating in summer Internships in the Oil and Gas Industry.
- Green Certificate: students working towards the Alberta Green Certificate accreditation.
- Power Engineering Internships:students completed an accredited NAIT distance education course during the school year and participating in summer Internships in Industry.
We believe the Off-Campus Education program offers our Students and our School Community tremendous benefits. The reality of our world is that only 25 to 30 percent of High School students in Alberta go directly on to Post Secondary studies. Trades training and work skills are increasingly being recognized as important components of a High school education.
Our lives are affected daily by fundamental changes occurring in our economic, cultural and social fabric. Global competition, rapid technological change, and an expanding knowledge base are a reality that will continue to affect us all-perhaps to a degree that we have not yet experienced. Our ability to deal with these changes (taking advantage of opportunities and mitigating difficulties) depends ultimately on the education and skill development of our young people
Meeting these challenges requires a commonality of purpose among and between business people, educators, students, parents, and others. Too often there is an absence of information, or there is poor information. Often there are enormous "cultural" differences in the background of educators, business people and others so that one group simply does not understand the other (as one person said: "We are not even playing in the same ballpark."). These differences must be effectively and efficiently bridged if we are to mobilize our resources and successfully prepare our young people for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of them.
Access to improved School/Community Partnerships has the potential to provide:
- improved career information for students; improved decision making;
- more rigorous and meaningful work experience programs;
- high quality business-education partnerships;
- greater interest in non-university careers
- more interest in trades/technologies;
- graduates better prepared for the workplace;
- more students with strong employability skills (as defined by the Conference Board of Canada), namely academic skills, teamwork skills and personal management skills;
- a modified curriculum to better meet community needs
- increased confidence and greater consensus among and between community stakeholders:
- fostering cooperation and collaboration
- avoiding overlap and duplication
excerpts from Alberta Chamber of Resources Document -Skill and Educational Change, Making it happen in your Community.
Educational Benefits of Off-Campus Programming to our Students.
- Students are able to formalize the skill sets they are expected to learn. A learning plan is developed in consultation with the Off Campus Coordinator and the employer as required by Alberta Education. These are updated as the student progresses or advances in his/her job placement.
- Students are able to receive life-long learning skills outside of the regular classroom setting. Any/all jobs come with a set of skills that students will benefit by. These skills include communication (between other employees and the public), team work (with other employees and supervisors), being punctual, reliable, trustworthy, and other important transferable skills. All jobs come with inherent life-long learning skills.
- RAP (trades) offers students tremendous career opportunities. Although RAP is a much more intensive and a narrowed focused-training program the pay-off is also much greater for both the student and the employer. Our business community in South-East Alberta is no different than the rest of Alberta in that it needs more skilled employees (Journeymen). The public high school systems have the apprentices to meet this demand. The high school RAP program provides the means for a Win-Win relationship. We need to match the interests and skills and abilities of our youth to the needs of the regions corporate and business sectors.
- Students, including those at-risk, are given hope. Not only will an enhanced off-campus program allow our students to more easily graduate and receive their high school diploma but they can enjoy a fulfilling career in an area that they are interested in without having to go to University. Meaningful and well managed off-campus education can provide the link between school and work that many of our students are currently missing. This link to the real work-world will contribute to more at-risk students completing high school and graduating. Students are able to take up to 15 credits towards their high school diploma through Work Experience and up to 40 credits in the RAP program which contributes/equates to their first (1st) year Apprenticeship training. Students successfully completing the PFO program earn 13 Energy and Mines and Career Transitions credits and earn a SAIT Production Field Operator Certificate. Those successful in attaining summer internships also earn an additional 15 credits of Work experience.
- Employee stability. Students are more apt to stay at their present job rather than "job jumping" if they know there is a plan in place for their employment (a plan for skill advancement and the introduction of new skills). Many part-time student jobs are menial and repetitive in nature but within true work experience there must be advancement and introduction of new skills. Well managed off-campus education will improve the workplace employment experience of many students
- Improved portfolio. A proper off-campus program will result in an improved documentation and evaluation process. This improved documentation will provide our students with valuable additions to their portfolios. An accurate and timely evaluation process and proper employer's references provide significant benefit when seeking future employment or entering post-secondary schooling.
- Improved High School Grade Averages. Grade averages are very important to any students looking at scholarship applications and access to post-secondary institutions. With proper application and effort, excellent grades are possible which could "prop up" a student's average giving them the percentage average they require.
- Improved Safety for Students in the Workplace. The proper supervision and site approval process within a real off-campus program will result in a safer work experience for our students. The statistics for young people injured within their first years of work are rather shocking. Well-managed off campus education requires worksite approval, scheduled worksite visitations and standard student evaluation forms that include safety awareness and compliance. The completion of mandatory in-school safety training before the student enters off campus programs can also have a real effect on student worker safety. Programs/Courses like HCS3000- Workplace Safety Systems and HCS3010-Workplace Safety Practices, the Alberta Construction Safety Training System, and the Job Safety Skills Society Program may be incorporated.
- The business community and corporations need employees, apprentices, and trainees. Estimates indicate approximately 65% of high school students already have jobs. With proper teacher/coordination supervision, management, and coordination (through learning plans, safety programs, evaluation, and site visitations) these jobs become more meaningful and employees become more responsible. The reality is that the majority of our students are NOT going to College or University (approximately 70%) upon graduation. Well-managed off-campus programs can offer students tremendous career opportunities. We should endeavor to match the interests, skills, abilities and realities of our youth to match the demands of the corporate and business sector.
- Increase in high schools' completion rate and decrease in high schools' drop out rate. Many high school students do not know which career path they want to follow. But they all want to know that they can earn their high school diploma and perhaps even start in a trades program if university is not one of their goals. RAP, PFO, and WE offers increased hope for these students.
- Increased public awareness and school/community relations. Having teacher-coordinators who can meet the employer/supervisor at the job site means a much greater buy-in for all stakeholders. The teacher-coordinator represents the schools' and the Districts' commitment to the Off-Campus program and promotes our school-community partnership (relationship) throughout Medicine Hat. Employers will also have a school liaison if concerns or issues arise with the student-employee. Students also have a liaison with the teacher-coordinator.
- Counselor/student flexibility: Currently, Crescent Heights High must accommodate it's student's credit and high school diploma requirements almost entirely within the regular in-school timetable matrix. Flexibility for course selection by students within the current school timetable matrix is often very limited. Minimum class sizes due to staffing formulas and maximum class size initiatives often make it difficult for students to get the courses they desire or need within the current timetable matrix. We need to examine new options to keep our students interested in completing their high school diploma requirements given today's economic climate.
- Increased Parental Satisfaction: These would include knowing their child has a full timetable (or as close to as possible), their child has an increased chance of receiving their high school diploma, their child is developing skill sets in jobs that will/may be life-long, their child is safer and more closely supervised on the worksite than outside the off-campus program, their child may receive post-secondary certification (PFO), their child has the opportunity to become a journeyman (and have a career) in a trade that they are interested in without having to go to University.
Off Campus Education Coordinator: Mr. Kelly Roach
Office Phone: (403) 527-6641 ext 8295
OC Office Fax: (403) 528-6578
School Fax: (403) 526-2018