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How long is the program?

There are three different options for students joining the program. Students who begin the fall of their junior year will attend consecutively for two years and end the program in June of their senior year. A second option is to join in January of the student’s junior year, to complete a one year and a half program. Finally, the last option is for students to join for a one-year experience during the fall semester of their senior year.

Where do students attend class?

All of the education centers are located within the facilities of partner businesses and operate according to their calendar. Students do not attend classes at their home high school; however, they can still participate in extracurricular activities at their home high schools.

What does a typical day look like in the program?

A student spends 2-3 hours in the classroom and 5-6 hours in the workplace.  A sample schedule could look as follows:

7 A.M. - 9/10 A.M.  in the classroom

10 A.M. - 3:30 P.M. at work (at a nearby partner facility)

3:30 P.M. dismissal

Can my child still be involved in high school activities?

When a student becomes a part of GPS, they continue enrollment at their high school and have the privileges of any other student enrolled at that high school. If their daily class and work schedule allows for participation, they may take part in school activities.

Will my child participate in graduation at their high school?

Yes, your student will be able to participate in their high school graduation upon completion of the program.

Do the instructors have specialized training?

GPS Education Partners employs state-certified instructors licensed in content areas. The instructors facilitate the learning of core academics and the use of subject matter in technical training.

Will my child receive a report card?

GPS sends semester report cards to the parents and school districts. In addition, we provide a monthly update on the academic and workplace skills progress of the student. Upon completion of the program, a GPS transcript will show letter grades and earned credits of work they have completed.

What will GPS students receive upon completing the program?

Upon completion, students will receive a high school diploma from their home high school along with a certificate of occupational proficiency in manufacturing from Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development.  In addition, the students will have the opportunity to become certified production technicians through the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council.  The students will also have on-the-job training and work experience highlighted in a professional portfolio.

Do the students get time off?

Students will follow the calendar of the business at which they are employed and will have most major holidays off. GPS Education Partners creates a program calendar which will identify times that the education center is closed, but the students may still be required to work.

What type of work do students do?

Each student will participate in up to three job rotations. The first is an exposure rotation in which students experience a variety of different career paths within manufacturing. The second is an experience rotation with the opportunity to dive a little deeper into an area of interest. The final is a credentialed rotation in which students may have the opportunity to earn technical college credits and/or credentials.

Who supervises my child on the job?

Students are engaged in actual production jobs and are considered part of the work team. Each student will be working under the supervision of a trained mentor who is employed by the business partner. Teachers and program coordinators interact with mentors on a weekly (or more frequently, if needed) basis regarding student progress and performance.

How safe are the working conditions for my student?

Today’s manufacturing environments are very different from those of many years ago.  In addition to being much cleaner and more high-tech, the working conditions are extremely safe as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The first testing module students are required to take in the industry certification series is focused on safety awareness.

Do students get paid while a part of the program?

Yes, students have the opportunity to earn up to $20,000 or more while in the program.

Does the school or GPS provide transportation?

Unfortunately, we are unable to transport students to and from the education center for class and their work placement. When placing students at a partner worksite we do our best to take all matters into consideration. However, it is the responsibility of the student/parent(s)/family to provide transportation to the classroom and the workplace.

Can my child still go to a four-year college?

Yes!  The curriculum provided to our students can prepare them for a four-year college. Our team of staff members will help students develop their applications should this be the route they choose after our program. Several GPS Education Partners’ graduates have gone on to earn a degree at a four-year college.

What is the cost?

We have a one-time program cost of $115. This covers the initial drug screen done after registration, uniforms, and first work permit. Additional costs could include extra uniforms if you choose to purchase them, the remaining work permits ($10 each) and any drug screens should you get chosen for a random drug screen. All the costs are outlined on a program cost agreement document that is discussed at orientation.