Cooperative Education Program

   Career Coordinator - Mr. Joe Smiach


Educators have long recognized that many students learn better when classroom instruction is supported with real-life hands-on experiences. In career and technical education (CTE), students have a unique opportunity to gain those experiences through the Cooperative Education Program.

SCTC Career Coordinator Mr. Joe Smiach manages SCTC's Cooperative Education Program, acting as a bridge builder between community businesses and SCTC students/instructors. "I really enjoy working with local employers and getting our students into the workforce," said Mr. Smiach. "But the first step is recruiting our students and explaining how the Cooperative Education Program can contribute to their future success. Cooperative Education helps students build their resumes and presents networking opportunities that can lead to immediate employment upon graduation."

Cooperative Education students replace SCTC time with on-the-job time but still follow their sending school's schedule. For example, if the SCTC Cooperative Education student attends North Star High School, they would go to North Star in the morning and then work for the afternoon.

Cooperative Education students are closely supervised by Mr. Smiach and the management staff at the sponsoring company. Cooperative Education students often have mentors assigned to them to provide step-by-step guidance for the job at hand. However Cooperative Education jobs provide greater flexibility for CTE students while on the jobsite. Because of the strict approval process in place between SCTC and sponsoring employers, our students can be exempted from some limitations usually applied to student workers under the age of 18.
Another upside to the Cooperative Education Program - students earn money while learning! Employers are required to pay Cooperative Education students at least minimum wage but most usually pay more. Students can make decent money while gaining invaluable knowledge from trained professionals in the workplace. Over the summer, Cooperative Education students can work full time---40-hour weeks---if the employer has that availability.
At SCTC, we appreciate our Cooperative Education sponsors so much for the experience you provide to our students and are always looking to recruit new employers and businesses to the Cooperative Education program.
CTE is more than programs, buildings, and funding. It’s people – students, parents, educators, and employers – working together to prepare today’s learners for their future careers."

What is the Cooperative Education Program?

  • Bridges the classroom-to-employment gap
  • Provides real-world experience
  • Builds your resume
  • Refines program skills
  • Presents networking opportunities

How Do I Apply?

  • Meet SCTC eligibility requirements
  • Complete co-op application
  • Obtain parent & instructor approval
  • Talk with Mr. Smiach: 814-443-3651 x6130