CHS launches internship and work experience course for students to work in the community

The CHS launched an internship and work experience course this spring.

As part of the Coronado Unified School District’s commitment to preparing students for work, Coronado High School (CHS) recently introduced an expanded internship and credit work experience course available to all CHS students from of the spring semester 2022.

Ten CHS students are currently enrolled in the elective after applying for internships or jobs with Coronado organizations, including Coronado Historical Association, Emerald Keepers, Safe Harbor, Sharp Coronado Hospital, InclusioNado, Coronado Middle School, and Village Elementary School. Students agree to work a minimum of 18 hours during the semester in positions that may or may not be paid depending on the host organization.

The CHS Internship and Work Experience course is led by CHS Guidance Counselor Kristen Ereno. By design, the course helps students make the transition from school to work while providing experience in a possible career path. The classroom component of the course emphasizes self-awareness, social development, and job skills. The internship or work portion of the course emphasizes communication, goal setting, and career planning.

Ms. Ereno shared her excitement about the newly expanded internship and work experience course stating, “There is nothing more exciting than a student finding an interest they are passionate about and having the opportunity to learn more and see it in action in the professional world!”

Participating students register for the Internship and Professional Experience course for the last lesson of the day (4th period) between 1:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Once a month, students meet in a CHS classroom with CHS teacher Ms. Luna to cover assigned course material. On the other class days, the students do their internship (either on the CHS campus or at the host location) during 4th period class time. Upon successful completion of the Internship and Work Experience course, students earn up to 10 credits (most semester courses are 10 credits and students need 230 credits to graduate) and a letter grade included in their high school transcript.

CHS Junior Zoe Quast recently began her internship with the local non-profit environmental organization Emerald Keepers. Zoe shared, “I chose to participate in the course because I have been with Emerald Keepers for a while and its mission is really important. Thanks to the internship, I am even more active in Emerald Keepers and in environmental protection. It’s a great opportunity because we’re getting GPA credit for it and we’re continuing to do a great job.

Emerald Keepers interns spend a minimum of 18 hours working in the CUSD campus garden. Photo taken from the CHS Emerald Keepers Instagram account.

Funding for the CHS Internship and Work Experience course comes from a $347,550 grant to CUSD from the K12 Strong Workforce program in the state of California. The scholarship requirements specify that students must work or complete an internship at a non-residential business with open public access and under safe, moral, and legal working conditions.

After the initial success of the spring 2022 course, CHS plans to further expand the internship and work experience course by offering it in the fall and spring semesters and expanding partnerships with other organizations to accommodate interns.

Questions or inquiries regarding the Internship and Work Experience Course can be directed to Kristen Ereno at [email protected].

Maria D. Ervin