Diversified Cooperative Education (DCE) is a course for juniors and seniors that fulfills the Consumer Education requirement and focuses on workplace skills and job opportunities and will be available for the 2016-2017 school year.
“[Working students used to] have the opportunity to work during the day and earn credit through this class,” Dawn Hall, instructional supervisor for the Career and Technology Department, said. “[With] that early release, [students can] jump into their work and get those hours in and get that experience outside of the classroom.”
Students work at least 15 hours per week outside of school, and the course is worth two elective credits, according to Hall. The students are also a part of a class at South which teaches financial responsibility and occupational skills.
“We try to provide these experiences because I think it only adds to your ability to make decisions for your future, your ability to be ready and be successful in that next job surge, or that next position that you have,” Hall said.
Rosie McManamon, a Consumer Education teacher at South, will also be teaching the Diversified Cooperation Education. She explained that the class has run before, but was temporarily postponed due to low enrollment.
“When students hear about it, they go ‘I can’t believe this exists!’ or ‘Wow! I wish I had known about this!’ but it’s always too late in the game for them to take the class,” McManamon said.
McManamon explained that students will get a Consumer Education experience inside the classroom, but there is also a grading project outside the school, which is based on workplace skills and attitude.
“I go to their workplace three times a semester,” McManamon said. “I try not to let the student see me. I want to see how their true behavior would be [even though] I feel like a stalker or a shoplifter, I also give a rubric to their boss because I only see the student three times. I may catch them on a bad day.”
The class also informs students about resolving conflicts in the workplace and building good relationships with employers. According to Hall, the course will allow students to gain experiences in their field of interest and interview employees in that field about their work.
“We’re not saying every student in Consumer [Education] should get a job and do it this way,” Hall said. “We know this doesn’t fit in everyone’s schedule. We know we have a good percentage who do have jobs, and this may just be an option—an alternative—for them to take Consumer as the DCE course.”