Return to Headlines

Internship program gives students work-based learning experiences

Internship program gives students work-based learning experiences

Intern Donovan Powell runs a camera during a taping in WPS' Media Productions department.Fifteen WPS high school seniors are getting work-based, hands-on learning experiences thanks to a new internship program created by the Wichita Public Schools’ department of career and technical education.

The internships are based in several district departments such as Design and Construction, Strategic Communications, Finance and Information Technology. One student is interning with Alloy Architecture.

Providing students with opportunities for work-based learning, college credit and industry-recognized credentials is an area of focus in the district’s strategic plan. The internship program is one of several ways the district provides hands-on learning experiences.

Prior to starting the internship, students attended a workshop where they were offered tips on writing a resume and learned about employability skills and workplace expectations. Students average 10 hours per week in the internships.

“We wanted to open up more opportunities for students to see what their future could be and get work-based experience,” said Carey Keller, the district’s work-based learning coordinator. “Students need to learn what it’s like on job sites and in the industry they’re interested in. This program allows them to get that experience while they’re still in high school.”

There are plans to expand the program to more students next year with the hope of providing more internship opportunities with community businesses.

Jesse Hancock, a senior at Northwest High School who has been interning with the district’s strategic communications department, is interested in graphic design.

“I wanted to learn more about graphic design so that I can be well prepared for the classes I will be taking in college and learn more about the normal day-to-day work in a graphic design career,” said Hancock. “This internship will prepare me in the best ways possible so that I can be more experienced for college and my future career.”

Jake Prater, a special projects technician in the district’s Design and Construction department, has had four students intern this semester and has found ways to include them in the projects he manages.

“I try to give them different things to do so we can find out what their interests are,” said Prater. “One student was able to work on a project in her school where we are planning to redo the auditorium. She helped take laser scans of the space and then drew the space in Revit software.”

The ultimate goal is to encourage students to explore career options and prepare them to be a part of the future workforce.

“Students don’t always know what career path they want to follow,” said Keller. “Our district offers many Career and Technical pathways that are focused on real-world application that students can experience while in high school. Through these programs students also have access to industry professionals, mentors and work-based learning opportunities.”


Posted May 2, 2022