Work Based Learning

Work Based Learning Overview


Joanne Custer – Work Based Learning Coordinator

717-652-3170 Ext. 7441

Brenda Scheidler – Work Based Learning Coordinator

717-652-3170 Ext. 7441



Cooperative Education (Co-Op) is a school- to- career opportunity that enables students to combine academic instruction with Career and Technical instruction through on-the-job training. Co-Op students receive school credit. Cooperative Education at Dauphin County Technical School is a CAPSTONE program, meaning students “Cap Off” what they learned in their Career and Technical Education Program of Study. Co-op employment must be related to the student’s Program of Study. Participation in the Cooperative Education Program is a privilege extended to qualified students to enhance their employability and increase their experience level in preparation for entering the workforce or post-secondary education.

Cooperative Education also includes non-paid Internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships, and service learning opportunities for students:

  • Job Shadowing – The student-learner is an observer of what goes on during a typical day in the workplace. Shadow visits can be for several hours, the entire day, or in some instances, more than one day.
  • Non-Paid Internships – The student performs duties under the close supervision with an experienced worker who serves as the intern’s mentor. The student intern receives training and performs tasks similar to those in their Career and Technical Education Program of Study.
  • Apprenticeships – Present approved apprenticeship programs include the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) pre-apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships combine industry/company designed curriculum and cooperative education placement. Students complete the coursework at Dauphin County Technical School and secure IEC employer cooperative education positions beginning the summer prior to their senior year. Students have the opportunity to complete Year 1 of this program prior to graduation.
  • Service Learning – The student is given the opportunity to combine academic and Career and Technical instruction with a real-world experience. Service Learning experiences are for a limited amount of time and provide no job entitlement. Currently, Dauphin County Technical School provides Service Learning opportunities for the following programs of study: Medical Assistant, Nursing Foundations, Veterinary Assistant, Collision & Refinishing Technology, and Culinary Arts. Service Learning encourages professional experiences, provides growth experiences, and encourages winning behaviors.

Please Note: All Cooperative Education opportunities require supervisors/volunteers of our students to obtain PA State Police, PA State Child Abuse, and/or Federal Criminal History Check/Child Protective Services Volunteer Affidavit.

Cooperative Education


Program Eligibility


Students must meet and maintain the following eligibility requirements to participate in Cooperative Education:

  1. Students must have a seventy percent (70%) grade average or higher in all subjects to participate in the Cooperative Education Program.
  2. The Cooperative Education placement must relate to their Career and Technical Program of Study.
  3. Students must complete all required forms and report to the Cooperative Education Coordinator.
  4. Students must receive approval from the professional staff.
  5. Students must have a positive attitude toward their career objectives, school, and community.
  6. The student must have a satisfactory discipline and attendance record.
  7. Student must provide their own transportation to and from work.
  8. Any student under eighteen (18) years of age must have a transferable work permit.
  9. No student may participate in Cooperative Education without being covered under a Worker’s Compensation Policy. (A student may work with a relative as long as the relative covers the student under a Worker’s Compensation Policy.)
  10. Students must have a junior physical on file with the nurse before participating in Cooperative Education.
  11. Students must have proof of health insurance.
  12. Students will have no outstanding obligations in the business office.
  13. Students must submit a resume and Cooperative Education application.




  • Complete Written Work Reports
  • Turn in Verified Signed Time Sheets
  • When paid, turn in Paystub
  • Meet with Program Instructor each week


  • Attend Monthly Mandatory Co-op Meetings

If sick, contact employer and Mrs. Custer via REMIND



GRADING CRITERIA: The following criterion is used to determine the student’s grade in the
Cooperative Education Program:

  • Submission (on time) of weekly Time Card, Hours, Pay Stubs
  • Regular Attendance without tardiness
  • Submission (on time) Work Reports/Cooperative Education Assignments
  • Attendance at Weekly Meetings Program Instructor and the Co-Op Coordinator

Employer Evaluation, including but not limited to:

  • Personality, Quality of Work Work, Attitude, Attendance, Imitative, Quantity of Work, Housekeeping,
    Responsibility, Communication, Safety

WRITING ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS: Please follow the Collins 3 writing guidelines and submit using Weekly
Work Report Google Form located in the Cooperative Education Schoology Course.


Writing components:

  • Use of complete sentences (5 points)
  • Use of correct spelling (5 points)
  • Use of correct punctuation (5 points)
  • Use of correct capitalization (5 points)

Content components:

  • Use of detailed description (20 points)
  • Accurate use of Program of Study terminology – (10 points)


Weekly Work Report Overview

Collins – Part I

Choose one TASK you completed on the job DAILY and describe:

  • Knowledge you applied to the task
  • Challenges occurred during the task
  • Result/success of the final task


Collins – Part II

Choose one COMMUNICATION EXPERIENCE with a co-worker, supervisor, or customer and describe:

  • Details of communication
  • Outcome of experience
  • Was outcome positive or negative? If negative, how could you have impacted the outcome?


Career Readiness

Employer Overview


Employers interested in hiring a student through the Capstone Cooperative Education Program must:

  • Provide proof of Workman’s Compensation Insurance Coverage
  • Provide clearances (see Clearances)
  • Provide quarterly evaluations
  • Mentor students
  • Adhere to the agreed upon Training Plan
  • Allow site visits and remain in contact with Work Based Learning Coordinator

Employer Checklist


  • Training Plan completed and signed
  • Training Agreement completed and signed
  • Proof of employer’s Workman’s Compensation Insurance
  • Act 34, Act 151 and Act 114 Clearances must be provided by the employer for the student’s supervisor.
  • Employer must comply with the Child Labor Law Rules and Regulations.
  • Cooperative Education Rules and Regulations reviewed:
    • Student absent from school or having unexcused tardy results in students not being permitted to
      work on that day
    • Student is required to attend mandatory meetings, conferences, tests and assemblies throughout
      the school year. Student will keep employer up to date on all school activities. A copy of the
      school calendar is provided.
    • Work schedules will be submitted in advance to the Cooperative Education Coordinator.
    • Time cards and paystubs must be submitted by the student to the Cooperative Education
    • Weekly Work Reports must be submitted weekly by the student and employer can view these reports
      when requested.
    • Students assigned to ISS, OSS, or detentions will be removed from Co-op during the disciplinary
    • Students with a grade lower than 70% in any class will temporarily be removed from Co-op until
      their grade improves.
    • Students may work during school vacations.
  • Supervisors must complete a quarterly evaluation rubric.

Questions: Call Joanne Custer, Work Based Learning Coordinator at 717-652-3170 Ext. 7118 or Barb Lanker, Work Based Learning Assistant, at Ext. 7441 or via e-mail at



Volunteer Disclosure Statement


Clearance instructions and links:

  • Act 34 Criminal Background Check (PATCH): Can be processed on the PA State Police website at The
    background check is free to volunteers. Clearance results are usually received online. Volunteer
  • Act 151 Child Abuse Clearance: Volunteer Clearance Child abuse clearances can be processed on
    line at Online applicants are required to create an account.
  • Signed Disclosure Statement of Volunteers required by Child Protective Service Law (See link above)
    If supervisor has lived in Pennsylvania for less than 10 years, the following clearance is required:
  • Act 114 FBI Federal Criminal History Record: In order to obtain the FBI clearance, you must first
    pre-register at
    The cost is $22.60.

    • Service Code: 1KG6NX
      (You will need to enter this code to begin your pre-registration.)
    • Select preferred fingerprint location and complete the fingerprinting collection process. You
      must present a valid photo ID and proof of registration. Acceptable forms of ID are available
      when registering online
    • Share the provided UEID code with the Cooperative Education Coordinator

Industry Partners







Child Labor Laws


PA Department of Labor and Industry


PA Department of Labor & Industry Bureau of Labor Law Compliance

US Department of Labor

Dauphin County Technical School provides a Capstone Cooperative Education Program. Students approved for
this program qualify as Student Learners, qualifying for the exemptions. Here is an example:

§ 11.31. Employment of minors on outside electrical wiring.

Employment of minors under 18 years of age on outside electrical wiring is prohibited, except for
apprentices, student learners, and graduates of an approved vocational, technical, or industrial
education curriculum which prepared them for employment in the specific occupation.

Student learners – Minors enrolled in a course of study and training in a cooperative vocational
training program under a recognized state or local educational authority or in a course of study in a
substantially similar program conducted by a private school and employed under a written agreement which
provides the following:

  1. That the work of the student learner in the occupations declared particularly hazardous shall be
    incidental to his training.
  2. That such work shall be intermittent and for short periods of time and under the direct and close
    supervision of a qualified and experienced person.
  3. That safety instructions shall be given by the school and correlated by the employer with on-the-job
  4. That a schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed on the job shall have
    been prepared. Each such written agreement shall contain the name of the student learner and shall
    be signed by the employer and the school coordinator or principal. Copies of each agreement shall be
    kept on file by both the school and the employer.

Act – The Child Labor Law (43 P. S. §§ 41-71)



“The participants in the Work Based Learning Program have been a pleasure to mentor. They have always been attentive, on time and receptive to feedback.” Patrick J. Bosworth, Deputy Executive Director – Housing Authority of the County of Dauphin

“We were excited about being part of the co-op program for the first time. Every local business has the responsibility of directing the future workforce, we can make the difference we all hope to see!” – Home Time Renovations

“Integrating well-educated students into our workforce for real-world experience is a mutually beneficial relationship. Students coming out of DC Tech program are a benefit to Feeser’s and have contributed immediately.” – Kerry Mullen, Marketing Manager

“The Cooperative Education program is beneficial to help you get the jump start in your program of study through on-the-job learning, continued education in your field, and opportunities that will allow you to become the professional you want to be.” Gabby Hate – Cosmetology Class of 2019 Legion Hair Studio

“We have enjoyed our relationship with Dauphin County Technical school. Joanne and her team have provided well trained students to extern in our offices, many of which have then become our employees following graduation.” Sue Paul, Vice President of Human Resources, Verber Dental Group

“We believe participating in DCTS’s Co-op Program is a win-win. A student’s win is immediate, gaining on-the-job experience. An employer’s win is long lasting, gaining exposure to bright and energetic students who inspire re-structuring to custom-fit tomorrow’s leaders.” Radle Electric

DCTS has done a fantastic job promoting and supporting the Co-op program for the benefit of both the students and us as an employer. We have had students from the electrical program Co-op with our company for years and have hired some of the best and brightest to be on our team to continue their careers. These young folks have the opportunity to make sure they like the company atmosphere, and we have the ability to witness their engagement and work ethic first hand. This has been very successful for us and the students, and we are looking forward to the next class coming up to continue our growth.”Bruce Seilhammer, ECS Group Manager SECCO Electric

“Faulkner Subaru loves the partnership we have with DCTS. The need for automotive technicians is very high and this program provides the opportunity to help grow these co-op students into a career path where they can succeed and become long term, happy employees. The experience gained will assist in developing confidence, responsibility, social skills, and continued motivation to learn.”Joie Bollman, Service Manager – Faulkner Subaru