State Rep. Daire Rendon today voted to expand opportunities for high school students to earn course credit with completion of an internship or work study program.
“Job providers across the state need students with real-world experience,” said Rendon, of Lake City. “This program gives our students the ability to work with companies in Crawford, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties to take advantage of the unique career opportunities in their own backyard. It’s time we allow career exploration and on-the-job training to become an acceptable part of education.”
Rendon also emphasized a professional environment will help a student decide whether or not to pursue a specific career in which they are interested in.
Current Michigan Department of Education guidelines allow work-based internships in grades 9-12. Students can work four to 10 hours a week and, with the local district board of education’s oversight, will receive credit for graduation.
Today’s approved legislation also safeguards funding for school districts, allowing students participating in an internship or a work experience program off campus to continue to qualify as a full-time student.
“Learning does not begin and end in the classroom,” Rendon said. “We’re helping put students into a professional environment where they can learn necessary, real-world experience before getting their high school diploma.”
House Bills 4106 and 5676 advance to the Senate for its consideration.