Huge-News-Banner.jpgCardinal Stritch Catholic High School & Academy is excited to reveal their HUGE news: an innovative new program that will enhance student learning, improve college and career readiness, and have a significant impact on workforce development across our region.

Beginning next school year, Cardinal Stritch students will only be in the classroom four days per week, spending one full day off-campus at an internship at corporations and non-profit organizations across NW Ohio and SE Michigan.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for students to learn the skills necessary to be successful after high school and college, to begin to build their professional network and to assist in identifying and getting hired into the career of their choice,” said Melissa Empie, Associate Head of School & Dean of Academics.

Next year's freshmen will participate in a year-long internship readiness course, called CIP 101, which will prepare them for their internship, including topics such as Microsoft Office, phone etiquette, and social skills such as eye contact and how to shake a hand.

“We are hearing from employers across the region how much they enjoy hiring students from Cardinal Stritch because of their strong academic and moral foundation, and this program allows us to begin those interactions much earlier than second semester of the student’s Senior year,” said Angie Bihn, College and Career Advisor, who is assisting with the launch of a pilot program yet this school year.

The Corporate Internship Program will be available to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors as an optional program, for now. Beginning with the Class of 2023, next year's Freshman class, participation in the Corporate Internship Program will become a graduation requirement.

Students will receive credit for each year completed in their internship and will work closely with their academic advisor(s) to identify their career goals and the chosen internship.

The internships are being coordinated by the school. “Response from the business community has been phenomenal,” said Kevin Mullan, Associate Head of School for Advancement and Strategy. “Every day there are in-demand, high-paying jobs that go unfilled because students aren’t learning about them until it’s too late. This program introduces students to real opportunities in our region and helps them achieve their goals, while meeting the needs of our local workforce. This program is truly a win-win for all involved.”

Dr. Sheri Caldwell is HR Director for the Grain Division at The Andersons, and a 1984 graduate of Cardinal Stritch. “At The Andersons, we are excited to be among the first to partner with Stritch on this innovative program, because we see value in providing experiences to students while at the same time it helps us to assess their potential as future employees.”

So how does the internship work? Students will attend classes four days per week, with all of the same high academic expectations they experience today, including AP courses, College Credit Plus opportunities, rigorous electives in the arts, STEMM and humanities, and continued commitment to faith formation, including attending retreats and weekly Mass. On the day of their internship, students will come to school to check-in before being transported to their internship site by bus or van. For most students, we expect Sophomores to attend their internship on Tuesday, Juniors would attend on Wednesday and Seniors on Thursday. The CIP 101 course for Freshmen students will be offered as a regular part of their course schedule.

“By having an entire class go to their internship at the same time, we are ensuring that students can put as much focus and energy into their internship as we require of them throughout the rest of the school year, without missing vital instruction time,” says Mrs. Empie.

By making some minor adjustments to the academic calendar, Cardinal Stritch is able to ensure that graduates of Cardinal Stritch will still meet the required contact hours in each subject area to obtain a high school diploma in the State of Ohio.

The school is working on a pilot program with approximately 20 students that could start as early as January 2019.

“We are working diligently to identify strategic partners for this program,” says Mullan. “The ideal Corporate Partner understands the intricacies of operating an internship program, aligns with our mission and values, and is a true partner in ensuring success for our students inside and outside of the classroom.”

An Open House for students and parents to learn more about Cardinal Stritch and this innovative program is scheduled for Sunday, November 4 from noon to 3pm at their campus on Pickle Road in Oregon.