Defining Workable Education Models: A Closer Look at the “Terms of Engagement” for Apprenticeship Programs
with various backgrounds for today’s technical workforce, we add to the confusion, by not defining the “terms of engagement.” The need to find and use terms that express specific significant learning opportunities for students may seem a low priority task for educators familiar with the various term options, but this is not the case for people in, or just entering the technical education process. This is specifically the case when the term refers to some sort of work experience when educators, politicians, and manufactures use words and phrases like apprenticeship, apprentice-like, co-operative (co-op) education; internship; work-study; job shadowing; mentorship and work experience. Loosely tossing these terms around has two effects. First, when we mismatch the term and the reality of the term, it will cost them at least their time and usually their money. When we misuse one of these terms, it usually means we really don’t have a distinction among these terms, and then we try to generate policies and practices, that at best, do not meet student, or industry needs.
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have a mix of classroom training and on-the-job training, as specified by the registered program. The training could be conducted in a company training facility, or at an educational institution partnering with the company. Some apprentice programs require specific college courses, or are aligned to college courses such that the completed apprentice program is eligible for a number of college credits that can be applied to a degree program. Who pays for the classroom-training portion (materials, instructor, tuition, etc.) of the apprentice program varies, but details are generally defined in in the “registration” papers. Generally, each program defines entry requirements, and most include a high school diploma, or GED, possibly a particular grade point average; aptitude testing, and/or other appropriate applicant filters.