The Community High School Internship Program


The logo of the rEDesign group from the University of Michigan that has brought the internship program to Community High School

Last week, Danelle Mosher, Ed Kulka, Marci Tuzinsky and several other Community High School (CHS) teachers met to discuss a new internship program that CHS will be piloting second semester. The program was suggested by a group of students from the University of Michigan called rEDesign that hopes to promote change in education. The internships will be counted as a Community Resource (CR) so they will count as a class credit for the CHS students.

Originally, rEDesign suggested the program as a summer school class since they were not familiar with the CR program that CHS uses. When they heard that Community could incorporate it during second semester of our school year, they were thrilled. However, since the U of M semesters do not directly line up with the semesters at Community High School, the program was broken into three stages so that it would work for both groups of students.

The first stage of the CR Internship program will take place in February and March and will be a “professional development” stage. Students will learn soft skills that will help them succeed in the workplace such as writing resumés and discovering interests and passions. The second part will be the internship. During April and May students will be shadowing their mentors and getting real life experience. The third stage will be a time for debriefing where students will write a presentation and show it to either the group of teachers that started the program, or their forums. The details of the presentation haven’t been decided yet.

Mosher, CR monitor at community high school responsible for our school’s portion of the program, thinks that the internship program is a great resource for all types of students. She believes that the program could make a huge difference for the students that think of graduating high school as a short term goal, and not realizing how their educations can help them in the future. She hopes that the program will be a way to invigorate the CHS students who aren’t excelling in school to become passionate about their learning. Although it could be a great opportunity for this kind of student, Mosher would recommend it to any Community student interested.

Also, students should not be going into the program knowing exactly who they want to be mentored by. Since this idea is just a pilot, the U of M students don’t have connections with many people. At this point, they cannot guarantee that there will be a mentor who does exactly what someone is planning on doing when they grow up. This means that there has to be some flexibility on part of the CHS students.

“This really isn’t a program for students that know that they want to go into nursing or vet science or one thing in particular, it’s for people just trying to examine what they like and what different possibilities there are,” Mosher said.

Since the internship program is just starting out, they are only accepting about 15 students. On Thursday, Dec. 18, students will find out if they are accepted into the program, but if not, they will probably have another chance. It is expected that the program will continue in further years. The students that try the CR this year will play a big role in whether or not the program continues and grows in the future.

It is hoped that students coming back from the program after this year will talk to their friends and family about their experience and how they benefited from it. This will help the program expand. Not only will there be more students interested, but there could also be parents who are willing to offer internships in their workplace or know someone who might. “We’re starting small on purpose, but I think that it could grow in a lot of different ways,” Mosher said. Dean Marci, CHS teachers and the rEDesign students have high hopes for the program and see it being a large change in the Community High experience.