While there have been restrictions on in-the-field work-based learning opportunities this year due to COVID-19, the team at WEMOCO Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center has found a new way to provide students with job-related experience. Seniors in the Criminal Justice program at WEMOCO have been assisting the security team during the 2020-21 school year.
Students in the program are positioned at posts throughout the campus during arrival and dismissal periods, geared with radios and security vests. At times, students are paired with members of the security team, but they also have “shifts” when they are the only person at their station. Responsibilities consist of traffic control, monitoring hallways, checking for parking passes and being another security presence on campus.
Students began the work-based learning at the start of the school year and have already grown, according to their teacher Tim Steves and Safety and Security Coordinator Doug Comanzo. “This opportunity allows students to use the skills they’ve learned in a constructive way,” said Comanzo. “We’ve definitely seen their confidence levels increase, and they have begun to take initiative on their own.”
Everyone involved agrees the real-world, hands-on experience is unbeatable when it comes to preparing for a career in the field of Criminal Justice. There are plans for the program to continue in future years, even after traditional learning opportunities resume.