Get a jump on career exploration.
Established in 2004, the Internship Academy is an 18-week, one and a half credit hour course offered to WCHS seniors. One of the many goals accomplished through the Internship Academy is providing seniors a glance inside a profession of interest in hopes of aiding them in their future educational decisions. It is a selective program that includes an application and interview. Students chosen have the opportunity to obtain experience in two careers of their choosing. The Internship Academy received an Exemplary School Program award from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
Following acceptance into the Internship Academy in the spring of their junior year, participants will select careers they would like to investigate the following fall. Each student may explore two different career interests. The Internship Academy is a three-period block class offered in the afternoon during the fall semester.
The course is divided into six sections. The first two weeks are for classroom instruction. Topics discussed include client confidentiality, business meeting protocol, business dinner etiquette, communication skills, faith’s impact in the workplace, discipleship through a study of Nehemiah, leadership skills, letter writing, appropriate workplace behavior, and writing an autobiography to be presented to the mentor.
The next six weeks students report to their first placement. The ninth week is spent recapping experiences and preparing for the next placement. The week is a concentrated session on job interviewing, resume preparation, and presentation to a group. Students report to their second placement the next six weeks.
Nearing the end of the semester, each student spends time back in the classroom preparing for their final presentation and creating personal portfolios. The final presentation is the culmination of their placement experiences. The portfolio is a showcase of the student’s work over the semester and contains weekly journals, coursework, and handouts, materials and work product from their internship, a summary of learning that occurred during their placements and a congratulatory letter from the principal.
The last week of class, the seniors are required to share their experiences through a final presentation to which their career mentors, parents, faculty, and fellow interns are invited. This allows the interns to publicly recognize and thank their mentors for the opportunity to intern, as well as demonstrate the experiences and learning that took place under the mentor’s supervision.
Mentor selection offers the senior intern one of two opportunities: a Christian or a non-Christian mentor. Networking within the school produces a large percentage of placement possibilities, but there are usually a few requests that cannot be met from within familiar circles. Being placed with a Christian mentor allows interns the opportunity to experience first-hand how a believer lives out a Christian worldview in a given profession. Placement with a non-believer offers an opportunity to put into practice what has been learned at WCHS.