DANVILLE — With one in five high school seniors participating and a constantly increasing number of participants, Danville High School’s cooperative education program has grown to new heights.
A total of 37 seniors out of the senior class of 180 are participating in the program.
“We take learning outside of the four wall of this building,” said Laurie Allison, a Danville High School teacher and advisor for the school’s co-op program.
Allison, who has spent the past 16 years at Danville, had previously established the co-op program at Southern Columbia’s school district.
The program is meant to “give kids a chance to investigate their career objectives and make sure it’s what they want to do,” Allison said. While many students find a career they enjoy through the program, just as many realize that another job may be suited to them.
One student had wanted to be a pharmacist, and was place in a paid position at Geisinger through the co-op program.
“It was an eye-opener for him,” Allison said, in that the student realized that this wasn’t what he wanted for a career.
The cooperative education program broke their record for job placements this year, with a total of 36 being offered to students. When Allison started, there were only 10 to 12 offered.
It’s been taking off every year thanks to community support, said Allison. “This is a partnership for the school and community,” she said. The school always sends their best students out to represent the district, she added.
Organizations that offered job placements this year include Geisinger Health System, FNB Bank, Alpine Animal Clinic, Danville Ambulance Association, Weis Market and the Danville Area School District.
Senior Gabby Winger, 17, first became interested in working with animals after a veterinary science class at Danville High School. That led her to starting an internship at Alpine Animal Clinic at the beginning of this school year.