VPS Career Connected Learning Program Empowers Students Through Internships

Since its inception in the 2022-23 school year, the VPS Career Connected Learning Program has provided invaluable opportunities for students to gain real-world experience. Student interns complete 90-hour paid internships, earning 0.5 high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) credits and three college credits through Clark College’s Business and Consumer Sciences department. This program, initially serving just 20 students, has expanded to benefit over 150 students annually.

Students have the flexibility to exceed the minimum requirements, as demonstrated by one dedicated participant who completed 300 internship hours this year! This flexibility allows students to gain even more practical experience and enhance their career readiness.

Students in Vancouver Public Schools explore various career options and pursue their career pathway interests by learning in the workplace. They gain hands-on, realistic learning experiences that prepare them for further education related to the training they receive. The program is open to any student within the district, ensuring broad access to these enriching opportunities.

Thanks to generous grant funding from U.S. Bank, the program covers essential expenses such as professional clothing, personal protective equipment (PPE), transportation, necessary training programs, and other expenses. This support ensures that financial barriers do not hinder student participation, “I personally believe education (in this case educating students on entering the workforce) is one of the most important parts of society and needs to be supported as much as possible. I’m proud to serve on the Foundation for Vancouver Public School’s board and work for a company like U.S. Bank – both of whom are constantly striving to support and empower our local community.” Spencer Oien, Assistant Vice President and Business Banking Relationship Manager.

Additionally, the program offers honorariums to students who are not U.S. citizens, equating to the pay their peers receive, thereby fostering inclusivity and equal opportunity. The VPS Career Connected Learning Program is a testament to the power of community support and dedication to student success, preparing the next generation for a prosperous future.

Visit here to learn more about this internship program.