Work-based learning takes off

Work-based learning takes off
Coordinator Michelle Ausley
Coordinator Michelle Ausley

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Students at Thomas County Central High School are getting a chance to ditch school, for their own jobs.

Fifty five students in the Work-Based Learning and Youth Apprenticeship program are working with local businesses to learn skills they may not learn in a classroom. Work-Based Learning Coordinator Michelle Ausley says there's only so much a student can learn in a classroom.

"They can listen and they can picture all day. But they are just appreciative to be able to get out there and complete the work and apply the skills they've learned," said Ausley.

Juniors and Seniors at Thomas County Central are finding out what life is like in the workforce.

Students are paired up with local businesses to showcase skills they've learned in class and work for a few hours of the school day.

"First of all they love leaving campus. But when they start working, they come back with a totally different attitude and appreciation of the work field."

Senior Stephen Atkinson says his two years in the program have taught him a lot more than just numbers and grammar.

"You learn a lot of respect. You learn a lot of responsibility. And I've definitely picked up on some of that. And it's helped me so much... In school and out of school."

And it's not just about getting course credit-- these students are beginning to plan for their futures.

"I hope that a college would look at my application and see that he was manager of his school store his senior year and that shows that he's willing to step up and take leadership and responsibility," said Atkinson.

Ausley hopes to attract even more partnerships with businesses to expand the program. "I think the more that we can work together and educate our community and our students, it's going to help each other."

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