George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Missing Link: Making the Connection Between School and Career

A program that prepares high school students for their future.
Edutopia
Edutopia Team
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Each year, ProTech prepares hundreds of Boston inner-city students for both high-skilled jobs and education beyond high school by reinforcing the ties between school and career.

Beginning in the summer after tenth grade, workshops help students adjust their dress and behavior for the workplace, while classes at local colleges help them prepare for ProTech's academic requirements. Once they start eleventh grade, ProTech students alternate classes at their high schools with paid sixteen-hour-per-week internships in health, finance, environmental services, business, or public utilities.

Specialized English and science classes help students link their studies to their jobs. Teachers get help incorporating workplace skills into these academic classes through worksite visits, monthly meetings with ProTech counselors and workplace mentors, and summer curriculum workshops. At school and work, a personal counselor provides ProTech students with whatever it takes for them to stay on track, from tutoring or help with financial aid forms to more personal matters.

So far, ProTech students are making the intended connections. More than two-thirds still work at companies where they apprenticed and more than 95 percent of the class of 1995 went on to two- or four-year colleges, where they can continue to consult with a ProTech counselor until they graduate.

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