Cooperative education in the secondary school

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Cooperative education in the secondary school

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A Project Presented to The Faculty of the School of Education The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Education

by Marlin Don Keats June 1950

UMI Number: EP45904

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.

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UMI EP45904 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code

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T h is project report, w ritten under the direction of the candidate’s adviser and approved by h im , has been presented to and accepted by the F a c u lty of the School of E d ucatio n in p a r t ia l f u lf illm e n t of the requirements f o r the degree

of M a s t e r of

Science in E d u c a tio n .

A d v is e r





INTRODUCTION .......................................


What is cooperative education? . . .............


Historical background





Introduction . . . • .................



Central staff administration . .................


Local level administration.....................




Orientation of student ..............

. . . . . .

16 18

Methods of p l a c e m e n t ............................


Supervision of students



Individual and group guidance IV.

• • • • .


. ...............


THE PROGRAM AT W O R K ..............................


Granting credit



Assigning work h o u r s ............................


Beginning the work e x p e r i e n c e .................


Recognized forms of e m p l o y m e n t .................


Correlating class work with the work e x p e r i e n c e ............................. V.

REACTION FROM THE F I E L D .......................... E d u c a t o r s .............. Students ..................

35 42 42

. . . . . . . . . . .



PAGE Employers




Organized l a b o r ..............................


C O N C L U S I O N ..................................... Why cooperative education?



48 48



Relationships of Personnel, Duties, and S e r v i c e s ......................................


Administration Relationships ...........


School Organization of the Cooperative Education Program

11 12



4 . Payments to Salaried Workers in the U.S.........



Reference and Follow-up C a r d s .................


6 . Employers1 Report on Student Workers ...........



Guidance in the Cooperative P r o g r a m ...........



Change in Non-Agricultural Employment between 1940 and 1946, U.S.A...........................


Trends in American E m p l o y m e n t ..................



Distribution of Employment in California . . . .



Factors Affecting Employee Morale




CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION What is cooperative education?

Experience, according

to John Dewey, is composed of two phases; the Active and the Cognative.

In suggesting a program of cooperative edu­

cation we wish to imply a situation where preparation for a work experience is offered.

Where the work experience is

made available, and where the cognative phase of the work experience may be developed. The Harvard Report, GENERAL EDUCATION IN A FREE SO­ CIETY, points out that high school enrollment, in the seventy years from 1870 to 1940* increased ninety times.

During the

same period college enrollment increased thirty times.


spite these increases the percentage of students that com­ plete high school and enter college has dropped from 75 per cent in 1870 to a very small fraction of that.

Whereas, the

high school curriculum serves its purpose in preparing students for college, today the greater percentage of stu­ dents are not being served by the conventional program.


dition and custom has played a great part in maintaining the curriculum in spite of the changing social, philosophical, and economic factors that have confronted us. Need for cooperative education.

Except for a small


minority, the college preparatory program may be highly in­ effective.

Public education, if it is to Justify its exist­

ence, must prepare the greatest number possible for their places in society.

Though there is ample Justification for

a program of general cultural education, there is a pressing demand for augmentation which will adequately meet the need for enriching experiences. As an approach that has received the approval of such groups as the Presidents Advisory Committee on Education, the Educational Policies Commission, and the American Youth Commission is the "work experience" or cooperative education program. In a cooperative education program the occupational training values are not the only ones to be considered. These values, of course, are not to be relegated to a second­ ary position, but are of co-importance with the last tangible values that contribute to the enrichment of educational ex­ periences.

The development of interests, attitudes, habits,

and talents are more than Just a requisite for a Job or trade.

They are the demand of society for compatible ex­

istence. Historical, background.

Though the cooperative ed­

ucation plan is not new, the recent war gave the program added impetus.

Because of the huge demands the war made

on the labor market, the schools were willing to make

3 some arrangements to assist in supplying students as workers in the war effort.

At the same time an attempt was made to

co-ordinate this experience with the formal schooling pro­ gram, in order to enrich the time the student spent on the job, and make it a valuable work experience. The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 was perhaps, the first attempt at cooperative education.

By this act the federal

government offered financial assistance to the local school district for vocational training.

Though there was no speci­

fication demanding work experience in connection with this program, local administrators, in many cases, found that practical application of classroom theory was of great value. Other approaches to the cooperative education program were the CCC and the NYA projects originated during the de­ pression years of the thirties. Feelings concerning these programs were mixed.


educators were in favor of the programs, pointing out the values available, in addition to the purely vocational aspects.

On the other side v/ere those educators who raised

the cry of "Government Intervention.TT Then, as now, the fear of the federal government interfering with the state*s right and privilege to operate educational and training pro­ grams was rife. Educators, in thoroughly considering these programs,

began to see the value of part time work, not only as voca­ tional training, but as an educational experience that could be of value to nonvocational students, as well as to those that were pursuing a vocational program. conceived for the cooperation program.

Various uses were Everything from using

the program as therapy for the individual student, to making the program an integral part of the over-all curricula, and letting it act as an educational experience for all students. The first appearance of the cooperative education program as a function of the local district was in Nevf York City.

In 1914 ‘the Board of Education authorized the program,

and appropriated $100,000 for the "experiment.”

In 1915 ten

schools of the New York City school district entered into the program by supplying 366 boys and girls as cooperative em­ ployees.

Sixty-three employers offered twenty-three differ­

ent types of employment to these students.

The majority of

girls found employment in clerical work, retail selling, and dressmaking.

The majority of the boys were placed in machine

shop work, clerical v/ork, and selling.

Gimbel Brothers was

the first concern to hire these "part time school and part time work" students, who later were to be known as "Co-ops." Of the many obstacles met by this pioneer group, lack of understanding was, perhaps, the one most frequent­ ly encountered.

"I wouldnft cheat any one out of his educa­

tion by taking him out of the classroom and giving him

5 credit for going to work.”

”Do you mean to tell me that a

youngster needs a high school education to wrap packages in a department store?”

These were but a few of the caustic

comments made about cooperative education when it v/as intro­ duced in New York City. Entry of the United States into World War II, with its huge demand on the labor market, was another impetus to the cooperative education covenant.

The serious labor

shortage made industry willing to try out the value of part time employment, and offered the schools an opportunity to correlate studies in the classroom with realistic, everyday living.

The value of this program was twofold.

In addition

to assisting students in acclimating themselves to the workworld, the program did much to prevent drop-outs, or the premature termination of formal education.

Because of the

ever increasing demands for workers, during the war, pressure was brought to bear on schools to do something to aid in supplying part time workers.

Employment opportunities were

ever increasing, and jobs were being made more and more attractive.

This situation, the easy-to-get job coupled

v/ith high wages, tempted many high school youngsters to leave the classroom and enter industry.

There was a feeling that

education was something that always would be available and could be returned to at a later date.

There was a realiza­

tion that this unprecedented opportunity for employment

6 would not last forever.

The many grim hardships of the

depression days were too real to be forgotten and the desire to guard against another money shortage was too great to be put aside.

Consequently many students were more than eager

to get into the work-world and take advantage of a situation that was, at best, merely temporary. Out of this situation a dangerous condition arose. The many young people who felt they were deriving no bene­ fits from formal schooling and those who were anticipating an early termination of formal education were becoming more and more restless in the school situation, thus making it more difficult than it had been to maintain, in them, an interest in school.

The cooperative education program did

much to retain a large percentage of these students in the school situation. The alarming increase in drop-outs brought with it additional problems.

School administrators felt it was

their duty to aid in solving at least some of these problems. Foremost of these were the unguided selection of positions by students, exploitation of student workers and the problem of Ttdead-endn jobs (jobs that were of war time duration only, with very little, if any, carry-over to peace time activities). In Los Angeles The Central Employment Service did much to turn an almost disastrous situation into an

7 excellent experience for the students in that city.


Vierling Kersey, then Superintendent of Schools in Los Angeles, stated the objectives of the program in these words: History and example teach us that the democratic way of life thrives only in a nation whose people are fully, properly, usefully, and gainfully employed. The adjustment of youth to the usefully, and gainfully em­ ployed; the adjustment of youth to the world of work in such a society is a natural and most important ob­ ligation of the school. For many students such an ad­ justment is best made by participation in actual em­ ployment as a planned, co-ordinated, and supervised phase of their education. The responsibility for this must be understood and shared by employers, labor and teachers to be successful. The provision of opportunity for students1 work experience has long offered the challenge of realistic action to both employer and schools. Wartime pressure and need for manpower have it possible for both to accept it. Hew areas of employment, heretofore considered impossible or im­ practical for students, have been opened and manned. Satisfactory learning and production have resulted. Results of this program were varied and plentiful. .Among these results may be listed the following: 1.

A market curbing of drop-outs.


Improvements in attendance and scholarship.


Benefit to both student and employer by placing the student on a job in keeping with his interest and abilities.


Opportunity for classroom teachers to appraise instructions on basis of actual performance on the job.


Opportunities for guidance counselors to open meaningful exploratory experiences and processes of orientation through job placement.

Despite the wonderful results accomplished there were some abuses of the program.

Although the school was not

8 alone in this, those perpetrated by the school are the abuses to be most guarded against. Some of the misuses of cooperative education that were most common were: 1.

Assignment to part time work as a reward for scholastic achievement.


Assignment of troublesome students to the cooperative program.


Hyper-interest in the program, by some adminis­ trators, who felt that all students should be enrolled in the cooperative program regardless of the need of the individual.

These practices, coupled with many others that were less common, led cooperating employers to express an atti­ tude implying that unless more care were exercised in select­ ing and placing pupils availability of Job openings would be withdrawn. Educational leaders throughout the country want to continue the cooperative education program as an integral part of the high school curricula.

The areas of strength

and weakness revealed in the war emergency program, which served as a testing laboratory, wall be most helpful in making future plans.


CHAPTER II ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION INTRODUCTION In administering a program of cooperative education one must bear in mind that this is not a program of educa­ tion and work.

Cooperative education is predicated on the

basis of education through ¥/ork. Whereas the services of the regular teaching faculty of the high school are needed, the full load cannot fall upon them for proper implementation of this program.


efficiency cannot be attained unless those administering the program are in sympathy with the aims and objectives of that program.

Sufficient time and proper facilities are

other requirements that must be fulfilled if the desired goals are to be obtained.

A workman cannot do a satisfactory

job If he does not have the tools requisite to his job. There have been a variety of ideas expressed as to which students should participate in the cooperative pro­ gram.

Because of this variance there should be a central

authority who has the power to render decisions.


that have been in operation were generally administered along one of two basic lines.

In large school systems,

where several separate schools participated, there was a


central co-ordinating agency that united the efforts of the individual groups.

In cases where an individual school con­

ducted its own program there was a different line of organ­ ization, although the basic objectives were similar.


forms of administrative organization will be discussed be­ cause in the large systems with more than one school partic­ ipating, the individual school should be organized along lines similar to the organization of the single school program. Central Staff Administration, which unites the ef­ forts of several schools, is both operative and advisory. Under this form of organization all administrative functions are channeled through the following offices:

Deputy Super­

intendents, Community Advisory Committee, United States Employment Service, State and Local Employment Services, City Civil Service Board, City Director of Guidance and Pupil Personnel, Supervisors of Vocational Training Depart­ ments of the Local School Board. Each office mentioned has a definite responsibility to a central co-ordinator -who collects information supplied and forwards it to the administrators at the local level. Information is based on reports concerning general school policy, trends of employment in the community, and reports from the individual schools, to the centra,! office, that is



Social Adjustments and Discipline Problems of Student Workers

Administrative Counsel

, Area i Coordinators

Boys Vice-Principal

Attendance Officer

, Central i IEmployment ServiceJ

Girls Vice-Principal

iEmployment! Counselor I Officer i

Curriculum Committee

Record Clerk

Worker Attendance and Work Permits Room Vocations

Punetuone 1 Relationships Administrative Relationships

School Courses and General Curriculum Problems

Permanent Records and Curriculum Recommendations Pile

Duties Personnel Figure 1.




Principal Secretary Boys Vice-Principal

Girls Vice -Principal

Field Work Coordinator

School Work Coordinator



Grade Counselor

Grade Counselor


Ob,]e ct ive

Chairmen of Departments

Chairmen of Departments Teachers

Teachers Students School rrogram Figure 3.

Work Program


14 of general interest and importance.

Services provided "by

the central office include public relations work through the Parent Teacher!s Association and local service organi­ zations, centralized placement of students, guidance and testing facilities, provide personnel to assist in super­ vision of students on the job, and liason between schools, employers and organized labor. Local Level Administration.

Administration which is

centered in the local school is charged with the same basic responsibilities.

Complete administration includes listings

of employment opportunities, supervision of on-the-job stu­ dents, placements activities, guidance functions, and con­ ferring with teachers and employers. From the above list it can be seen that the indivi­ dual administrator has certain freedom of action that is not available to his colleague in the centralized program.


freedom can be utilized to the fullest only when the admin­ istrator is fully cognizant of the local situation, the needs not only of the students, but of the community in general, for it is basically the community that is being served by the cooperative education program. Much of the effectiveness of the program depends on the facilities and personnel available.

An undermanned,

over-worked guidance staff cannot do an effective job because

15 of the variety of duties requisite to proper administration of the program.

Of paramount importance to the successful

cooperative education program is general harmony within the school unit.

Frequently students participating in the pro­

gram need schedule revisions, advisory conferences or other special services.

When there is a lack of cooperation

amongst the school faculty, which will prevent the rendering of these services to the students, there will be little chance for the success of the cooperative education program. In order to insure the success of the program the adminis­ trator must enlist, at least the passive sympathies of the faculty at his school.

CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Selection of students.

The method by which students

are enrolled in cooperative education program depends, in part, upon the general administrative set-up, but is pri­ marily based upon the status of the student in the school, . Merely because a student has a part time job, secured on his own initiative, is no valid reason to admit him to the cooperative program.

The objective of the program is

to offer, in addition to employment, general and specific counselling services that will assist the student in pro­ gressing on a job, once it is found. In determining the eligibility of students for this program several factors must be borne in mind. important factor is the need of the student.

The most No matter how

well qualified in other respects, if the student is not in need of the specialized services offered by the cooper­ ative education program he should not be admitted to that program. Several factors that assist in determining the need of the student are: 1.

Is the student in a position where, unless his finances are augmented, he will be forced to leave school?


Is the student doing poorly (below7 average) in

17 the conventional curriculum even though of average mentality? 3*

Is the student of low mental ability, which pre­ cludes his continuing formal education beyond high school, and precludes his benefiting from the conventional curriculum?


Is the student physically capable to undertake a program of cooperative education?

Positive answers to these questions may be taken as an indication of need for the cooperative program.

By no

means is it to be implied that these are the only indica­ tions of need, nor is it to be understood that cooperative education is the only solution to these problems. All the skill, experience, and training of the coun­ selor must be brought into action when considering a student for the cooperative program.

A study of the student*s cumu­

lative records, coupled with personal interviews will help answer the questions posed to determine the need for enroll­ ment in the program. Following the general screening process, specialized tests should be administered.

Foremost in this battery

should be an examination to determine the studentTs present physical condition.

An unwell person is not a good workman.

The usual psychological tests are next in order.

Tests to

indicate interests and abilities and those to indicate a general direction of personality adjustment are useful tools to the counselor who must select pupils for the cooperative

IB program* Of great importance in the preliminary process is an interview, by the counselor, with the parents.

In this con­

ference the parents should be given a clear understanding of the aims and objectives of the program. are:

Points to emphasize

(l) their child, upon completion of the cooperative

program, will NOT be eligible for college entrance; cooperative program is NOT a placement bureau.

(2) the

It will not

be able to supply a full time job for the student after com­ pletion of the program. Orientation of the student.

Once the student has been

submitted to the cooperative curriculum extensive guidance and counseling must be offered to assist him in deriving the greatest benefit from the program.

There are, throughout

all our school systems, some minimum requirements that must be taught to all students.

In general these requirements

include the teaching of English composition and usage, American history and government, and physical education. Whereas these courses are part of all curricula they can be so arranged as to meet the specific needs of the cooperative student. In addition to the specifically required subjects each cooperative student should attend orientation classes that will assist him in achieving the maximum benefits from

19 the program.

These classes should include discussions of

job opportunities and requirements. By presenting a clear picture of the work field the student will be able to formulate ideas about his future work aspirations.

At this time, if it has not been done,

it should be made clear to the incoming cooperative student that the work assignment he receives will be at the "bottom of the ladder."

Any progress the student is interested in

making will result from the studentTs general application. By presenting the "dark side of the picture" as v/ell as the glamour of the job, the student will be able to arrive at conclusions that will be stable. More advanced classes in work relations, and various phases of labor law should be offered as a background to the actual work experience. Whereas it is advisable for the school to assure list­ ings of available employment, it is highly desirable that the individual student apply for his own job.

The co­

ordinator of the cooperative program can recommend a student to a particular employer who has a position open; but it is up to the student to "sell” himself to the employer.


situation is desirable because it offers the student an opportunity to enter directly into the preliminary stage of the work experience, getting the job. To assist the student in this phase of the program



Break-Down of Nationa1 Income


Salries and Wages

66 8

Unincorporated Enterprises


Corporate Enterprises

12 .8#



classes in meeting employers should be offered.

Such classes

should include instructions on filing applications, filling in questionnaires, responding to interviews, and, of great importance, knowing when an interview is terminated. The next phase of background instruction should in­ clude directions for on-the-job conduct.

Once a student has

a job he must be guided along the proper channels so that he may be a satisfactory employee and retain the position.


constitutes arriving non time1* and what is proper procedure once on the job, are things that every student starting a work experience program should know.

In jobs where meeting

the public is part of the ¥/ork program, students should be interested in their responsibilities to the employer, as well as to the outsider, whether he be customer, salesman, or visitor. Our present day politico-economic situation has made it imperative that all workers have at least a cursory knowl­ edge of some of the more common aspects of labor law.


sentation of this material should be part of the introductory orientation program.

The means and objectives of collecting

income tax through salary deductions, the purpose and value of Social Security and unemployment insurance deductions are important phases of the introductory program.

Also to be

included are presentations of material concerning workmen1s Compensation and Pension Laws, Wage and Hour Laws and

22 Employer-Employee Responsibility Regulations,

By introducing

this material at the beginning of the work situation, a basis for growth to desirable ends v/ill be established. Methods of placement»

Placement is one of the most

important elements of an effective cooperative education pro­ gram,

Many students who apply for admission to the program

may have jobs they themselves have secured.

In some instances

these jobs may meet the requirements of satisfactory workexperiences.

Ordinarily this is not the case, and should not

be accepted just ^because it is a job.TI Before a job can be considered acceptable to the work-experience program it must meet several requirements. 1.

The the not the

employer must be willing to cooperate with school authorities. If this cooperation is forthcoming, the over-all effectiveness of cooperative education program will be lost.


It must be a basis function of the general field of industry. Experience that has no "carry-over" to other work situations is of questionable value, except as a source of temporary income.

To achieve the greatest value from the work-experience phase of the cooperative program, it is advisable for the program co-ordinator to study and consider all work offers that are to be presented to the student. Where more than one school is united in a cooperative education program administered from a central office, it might be found advisable to handle all placements through this cen­ tral office.

This procedure offers the greatest amount of

23 efficiency because it eliminates duplication of effort.


tral office placement also offers the advantage of placing the student in a position located near to the student’s home. This is a service that results only in convenience to the student.

It has

no direct

bearing on the over-all effect of

the program, but

it serves

a morale building function. Be­

cause of the large area covered by central office placement, a bigger supply of workers is available; thus the employer may be better served by having the student who most nearly meets his requirements referred. In addition to these services, the central placement office maintains lines of public relations with employers, labor groups, and community organizations.

It is only through

the cooperation of these groups that the cooperative educa­ tion program can grow. Placement at the local level has certain advantages not found in the central office method.

A more thorough

understanding of the needs of the individual to be placed is perhaps the most important of these advantages. closer proximity

Also a

to the places of employment offers the ad­

vantage of a better

mutual understanding of problems by

school co-ordinators and employer. Supervision of students.

Supervision of students in

the cooperative education program falls into two general

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categories: vision,

in-school supervision, end on-the-job super­

Both are of equal importance and should be of such

flexibility that the needs of the individual student are met; rather than being of such rigidity that it conforms to a pre­ conceived outline, but merely skims over the surface. In-school supervision should be administered by the class teachers as well as by the counseling staff.

The main

purposes are to indicate the significance of the v/ork-experience and to correlate it with the general education of the student.

This phase is the responsibility, primarily, of the

teaching staff. The counselor will hold consultations with the stu­ dent as the occasion demands, and will, at these meetings, discuss problems that have arisen in the field.

Any problems

the student may have encountered on the job, or any reactions from the employer that will assist the pupil, should be brought up at this time. On-the-job supervision consists of a close relation­ ship between the cooperative education co-ordinator and the employer, to insure the best interests of the student and em­ ployer.

It should include investigation of the job perform­

ance of the student to enable the school to improve this per­ formance.

It should not include direction of the student in

the performance of his job. ployer.

That is the function of the em­

Any intervention in this area will be resented. In selecting supervisors for the cooperative program,

26 several factors must receive consideration.

In addition to

the training and background of the supervisor, his personal characteristics must be considered.

The supervisor is in a

public relations position and can either create good will for the cooperative program, or he can do irreparable damage. In addition to the personal qualities, the supervisor should have a clear understanding of the program and should be in general agreement with the goals.

If the supervisor is

"just going through a routine because it is his job,” his services will be ineffectual.

To be qualified for a super­

visory position one must have an understanding of the job requirements from the employerTs point of view, as well as from the standpoint of the school.

A thorough understanding

of child labor laws, and industrial regulations, as they apply to working minors, is another must.

On the job super­

vision in the cooperative education program is a highly specialized task and cannot be allotted on a "drawing straws" basis. Individual and group guidance.

Guidance is an im­

portant factor to the success of the cooperative education program.

Through the services of the guidance staff necessary

adjustments and arrangements can be worked out to best serve the needs of the individual. Guidance functions cover the following areas:




Total Hours Per Week

Date of Employment

What is the QUALITY of this employee 1s work?

Very accurate excellent workmanship

What is the QUANTITY of this employee 1s work?

Unusual volume superior producer

How is this employee fs

Very cooper­ ative. Fine team-worker

COOPERATION with workers

& supervisors How is this employee *s ATTENDANCE at work?

takes direetions exceptionally well Good


Job Title

. Work Period Report

Firm Name

Firm Address

(Quarter Ending) Date of Termination EMPLOYER REPORT ON STUDENT. Please check appropriate blocks, Inaccurate. Work is Very careless Makes Careless. few inexcusable average Low grade errors. errors work Poor work high grade work Volume below Volume limit­ Acceptable Volume ed. Loafs on average * volume. above job Frequently Average average

energetic producer Cooper­ ative . Takes Directions well

producer* Steady worker .

kills time

Fair team worker. Takes Directions

Indifferent to welfare of group. Sometimes

fairly well

ignores directions


Ill-natured. Resents directions


Fa ir Poor



28 Selection of students for the cooperative education program* Secure and evaluate information on job availability. Make recommendations for placement of students. Supervise students in school and on the job. Assemble occupational information and make it available to the students. Assist in the curriculum adjustment and program planning. In addition to these general duties, the counseling staff must assist in the adjustment processes of the student to the job.

This is a phase of the group guidance program

that should be augmented by individual conferences when the occasion demands.

To often a job is "glamourized” beyond

all proportions and proves to be quite the contrary when the student reports for work.

This may lead to on-the-job mal­

adjustment which must be corrected or prevented through the activities of the guidance personnel. The complete orientation of the student to the co­ operative education program is a guidance function.


effectiveness of the program rests upon the effectiveness of the guidance activities.



>« •* *i j



Sub ject Co­ ordinator

s t?

Department Chairman


Senior Problems Teacher ' • ■•

i‘ ■. .

1 *: t ‘ •- -:•• * • • : .•• ;

' k


■r "!

1 1 A' .. ^ ^ ■1 1



School Employment Co­ ordinator A'-/ ■_■

Occupational Information

Employment Testing


i 'I! 1^

Commerce and Industry

Figure 7.



As yet no mention has been made con­

cerning the amount of time spent by the student on the job. This will be considered in the following section where a program of 50 per cent school and 50 per cent work will be discussed.

At this point an evaluation of the on-the-job

time is necessary in order to establish a basis for granting credit.

It will be remembered that the actual work experi­

ence is not to start before the B-ll semester.

The preceding

semesters of the high school program should be devoted to the background material necessary to make the work experience successful.

These classes should be weighed as other curric­

ula subjects.

Classes meeting one period a day, five days a

week can receive one half unit credit per semester.

In addi­

tion to this credit, partial credit may be offered for classes which meet less frequently.

In addition to these

credits regular credit will be offered for all academic work, even though it should be offered in special section for co­ operative students. In granting credit for the work experience part of the program, no rigid schedule can be established.


ation of the job is an essential to establishing the weight of credit.

Under ordinary circumstances, all positions

31 should be weighed equally, but when the student is offered credit for a position he himself secured, caution should be observed,

A youngster working for his father is not receiv­

ing work experience on the same level as is the youngster who is employed by an impersonal company where the student is "just a number" on the payroll. After evaluating the job, the co-ordinator can allot credit on a time basis.

Four hundred hours per twenty week

semester should be the requirement for the full schedule. Where there is a few hours variance no penalty should be charged when the shortage is not directly the result of negligence on the part of the student.

Absences from the

job should be considered in the same light as absence from class; where there is a legitimate reason the absence is ex­ cusable.

A point to bear in mind is; whereas school ab­

sences are explained after the absence, absence from work should be arranged for in advance. his employees.

An employer depends upon

Their absence disrupts his schedule.


achieve the best employer-employee relationship possible a notification of necessary absence should be made in advance. Assigning work hours.

Several types of arrangement

may be made to schedule work hours for mutual convenience. In retail selling, and public service trades, periods of peak demand have been established by the people to be served.


32 employers, as a result of experience, know when these periods obtain, and are particularly desirous of having part time help during those hours.

In fields where there is a more

rigid production schedule, employers are willing to accept the services of part time workers on a more liberal basis. For the retail selling, and the public service trades, it is recommended that class schedules be arranged so that the students will be available for work during the hours of peak demand, which usually occur between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This works a hardship on the school, as It

necessitates a split schedule.

The advantage of this situa­

tion is that constant contact with the student is possible. Problems that have confronted the individual on-the-job may be discussed while the incidents are fresh in mind.


gestions made in class may be put into practice within a few hours, rather than waiting a period of days. In the productive trades, where a job is to be done regardless of whom it is done by, the opportunity of more closely approaching the actual work situation is offered. Here the student can be employed, on a full time basis, for one week and can be in class for one week.

If the coopera­

tive education group is large enough to warrant it, the group may be divided into two identical units.


from one unit will be on the job while students from the second unit will be in a class.

At the end of the week these

33 groups will change places.

It should be borne in mind that

merely dividing the total of enrollments by two will not accomplish a satisfactory division.

Ability, interest, and

personality must be closely matched in the two groups so that individuals may replace each other on the job without working an undue hardship on the employer. Regaining the work experience.

Schools throughout

the country have recognized the necessity of orienting new students to the ways of local school.

Industry has found

that it pays, in small dollars and cents, to spend several days or weeks in assisting nev; employees over the ,ThumpTt of newness to the company. In the cooperative education program orientation is an essential, over and above the orientation program for the incoming students to the school.

The work experience

is but one phase of the entire program.

The importance of

this phase should in no way overshadow the importance of the remainder of the program.

After orientation and adjustment

has been started in the first semester of the high school program,(8-10) background course should be offered to assist the student in making the choice of job area he will event­ ually work in.

In addition, fundamentals of work require­

ments must be offered before the v/ork experience can be successful.

The section of the methodology lists some of

the background courses requisite.

These courses should be

34 distributed through the first year, with the required academic courses. In the second and third years (B-ll, A-ll, B-12, A-12) the actual work experience can take place.

The fundamental

courses are not to be eliminated from the curriculum at this time, but are to continue to more advanced phases.

It is

only through the judicious blending of the practical work that the cooperative education program can result in a service to the student. One of the objectives of the cooperative education program, as has already been mentioned, is to reduce "drop­ outs. !f

To achieve this, actual work experiences must be


The co-ordinator must be able to gauge the number

of job openings available, and limit the enrollment in the cooperative program accordingly.

Inability to fulfill the

work experience promise will increase premature withdrawals faster than the complete absence of the program. Recognized forms of employment.

Employment oppor­

tunities are available in almost unlimited number of fields. The majority of these fields are acceptable to the coopera­ tive education program as a means of offering work experience. These fields in which employers are most willing to accept students under the cooperative program include five basic industries in which the majority of all openings will

35 be found: 1.

Mercantile— includes all phases of the retail selling field.


Commercial— includes phases of specialized, as well as unskilled office work.


Manufacturing— includes unskilled, as well as skilled labor.


General Service— includes all phases of ITmeeting the public,” not included in the mercantile classification.


Common Labor— includes all unskilled labor, not in direct production.

Employment which can be classed in one of the above categories not only offers experience in working, but has features which are transferable to any job situation.


youngster employed on such a job may not find permanent em­ ployment in that field, but he will gain experience that will be applicable to any work situation he may find himself in. It is this basic experience that makes the work experience section of the cooperative program valuable. Whereas almost every work situation has some carry­ over value, those situations where the carry-over value is is at a minimum are not desirable for the work experience program.

Work for w orkfs sake is of questionable value.

Correlating class work with the work experience.


correlating the work experience with class work, two phases of operation are necessary:






37 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 192 6 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945

>restry .shing

3 9.

Service Industries


Agric Total Industry

* *2 * * Number^Employia (In Millions)18


f ^

> ^


38 0.9___



Construction Tra n sp orta 11 on C oranunlca 11 ons and. Tit111 ties






" * ■—







Government Agriculture, Forestry and Fistiing

"^v 8.9


10.6 X.


16.1 24.1


Service and Finance

V\ \\

/ r






/ f



\ \

fi /

Trade /






/ / / / / / / /


24.1 \


\ \








2,514,000 1940

3,671,000 1943

3,642,000 1946


Listed as Rirst in Importance by Employees



Preparing the student, through formal training, for a particular field of employment. This area includes specialized training in use of machines (business and production), technique required in specific work areas, such as typing and shorthand, blue-print reading, etc., and general background information that is necessary to the mercantile trade.

This latter area includes studies dealing with the relative merits of materials and models. The need of correlation in this phase of operation be­ comes more evident as the student continues on the job and recognizes need for augmentation in his technical background. Where on-the-job skills are taught in the schools, opportuni­ ties for increasing proficiency must be offered. 2.

All students, regardless of their work areas, will encounter problems on the job. These problems should be used as a basis for class discussion and as topics for group counseling.

In programing a cooperative education curriculum it becomes necessary to omit some courses of the regular curric­ ulum.

Though no hard and fast rule can be established, cer­

tain factors should be taken into consideration.

Courses re­

quired by the state or local .Board of Education cannot be omitted.

Subjects that require on-the-job training may be

dropped with no hesitation. sidered as basic. should be used.

These two suggestions may be con­

From this point forward much discretion Life Sciences, advanced mathematics, and cul­

tural appreciation subjects (music, art, drama), may be con­ sidered expendable.

The primary consideration in every case

should be the needs of* the individual,

Cooperative edu-

cation is directed towards filling th­it gap v/hich exists in the conventional curricula for a Isirge majority of todayfs high school students*

CHAPTER V REACTIONS FROM THE FIELD In an attempt to bring this proposed program of co­ operative education down from the clouds of pure theory, and place it on a level of practical application the people who make up the various components of the program were inter­ viewed.

The strata considered were educators, employers,

organized labor, and the students themselves.

In all groups

interviewed there were some individuals who had actual ex­ perience with some form of a work experience program, at the level at which they were being interviewed. There was a general approval of the program, but criticisms were made, suggestions were offered, and weaknesses were pointed out. Educators.

Mr. Homer Fetty, Co-ordinator of Business

and Industrial Training for Los Angeles State College, point­ ed out: Through the cooperative education program, pupils get an insight to working before the die is cast. This reveals the true picture of the work-a-day world and eliminates any "halos11 that were built around v/ork in general, or around a particular job. Work experience becomes a practical part of the stu­ dents f education with the following advantages: 1.

Provides a realistic understanding of free enterprise in action.

43 2.

Affords an added opportunity to gain selfreliance while acquiring maturity,


Develops respect for the dignity of work, a sense of craftmanship, desirable work hafrits, cooperation, and productive team work.


Arouses latent vocational interest and increases respect for school offerings by practical demonstrations.


Decreases the number of students who prematurely leave school.


Enables students to prepare for post-high school expense.


Provides an opportunity for adjustment to full time employment under school-employer guidance.

”In addition to these very marked advantages, there is a definite minimum of Tdifficult to handler students in the work experience program.” These statements were made by Mr. Claude Ov/en, Super­ visor of the Work Experience Section, Los Angeles City School Districts. Students.

Student reaction to the cooperative pro­

gram was not quite as unanimous.

Objections raised included

the feeling that a part in the social and civic life of the school would be missed.

Week-end jobs were n0.K.T! and summer­

time employment was thought to be of value by these young­ sters, but employment during the regular school time was of doubtful value. Miss Harriet King, recent graduate of the cooperative

44 program at New YorkTs Textile High, commenteds I spent four years concentrating on dress designing; I worked at all the menial, basic jobs in the garment industry when I was a !co-op*T I won prizes for my original dress designs. After I graduated from Textile, the only jobs I could find were those same menial basic jobs I had while I was in school. I just finished a secretarial course at a business college and now have a job in an office* I t fs not what I want, but it certain­ ly is better than the jobs I could have gotten as a re­ sult of my Tco-opT training. On the other hand, Jim Long, graduate of Los Angeles High, says: I took a business course at high school and I can type and take shorthand pretty well. This gives me an advantage when it comes to getting a job. I have some­ thing to offer. I fve been out of school almost a year now and have had three different jobs in that time. I d o n Tt have any trouble getting a job, i t Ts just that the job and I canTt seem to get along, so I quit. Maybe if I had had a cooperative program I would have learned how to keep my temper on the job and at least ignore the boss, even if I couldnft get along with him. Other comments from students stated they felt short­ comings in the curriculum they were or are, at the present, studying.

These shortcomings included lack of preparation

for a job, and lack of instruction in how to get a job.


students questioned indicated a willingness to enroll in a cooperative education program.

The general concensus was

that such a program would at least help solve some of their problems. Employers.

Employers in the retail selling trades

indicated a high interest in the cooperative education pro­ gram.

They felt that such a program would do much to improve

45 the calibre of employees who meet the public. Two suggestions were offered to improve the operation of the program, from the employers point of view.

Miss Ruth

Shay, Personnel Supervisor of the May Company, Crenshaw De­ partment Store of Los Angeles, said: In recommending students for selling positions as part of their work experience, a mature student should be chosen. When we have cooperated with the schools in such placement, we have relied on the choice made by the schools. In general those students sent to us have worked out very well, but we find that the majority of difficulties encountered center around younger stu­ dents recommended. Students under seventeen seldom have the maturity necessary. This deficiency causes a lack of confidence on the part of our customer, which, of course, is not desirable. Another suggestion from the employer came from Miss Irma Cushman, Personnel Director of Sears Roebuck and Com­ pany, of Pico Boulevard store, Los Angeles. In retailing, we need extra help at certain times of the day when our load is at the peak. If work ex­ perience time allotted to the schools coincide with our times of need, we are more than glad to use cooperative education students, but we cannot be expected to add extra help when our regular staff is standing around with nothing to do. Mr. E. J. Wood, Personnel Manager at Eastern Columbia, Los

Angeles, spoke highly of the cooperative program, telling

of one

of the top executives of the store who started out


a cooperative employee. Other retail sales company personnel directors told of similar instances where students starting as part time work experience employees, have progressed to managerial and

4-6 and executive positions. In the non-selling fields employers stated a prefer­ ence for TTweek on— week offTt schedule.

Their preference v/as

based on the fact, as expressed by Mr. H. R. Robinson, of the Southern California Gas Company: All workmen, no matter how conscientious, need a fwarming-up time1 at the beginning of the work day. As quitting time approaches there is a gradual tapering off. In scheduling our work, these time losses are taken into consideration. By using two workers on the same job, in the same day, this time loss would be doubled. The expense involved in training two workers would be the same (if they worked a half day each, or if they worked a week each), but production levels would be higher if they worked a full shift (rather than a split shift). ' Organized labor.

Organized labor was fully unanimous

in its approval of the cooperative education program.


various unions had various approaches to the unionizing of those part time v/orkers.

Some locals felt that a student

working on a part time job should assume full union member­ ship, which includes payment of full initiation fees and dues. Other groups felt this would work a hardship on the student. Their arrangement was for payment of fees in proportion to the time spent on the job.

(i.e. half time on the job, half fees).

Mr. Charles R. Wolnack, Executive Secretary of the Retail ClerkTs Union, International, stated: In expecting work experience students to join the union, we are not concerned with the revenue from the youngsters. Rather, we have found, in the past, that


some employers take advantage of the situation to the detriment of the union members. The schools protect the students from on-the-job abuse. It is up to the local unions to protect the workers. We can best ac­ complish this by having all workers on a given job members of the union. From the studentfs point of view, union membership can be and should be included as an experience, rich in value, that is an integral part of the over-all co­ operative education program. Cooperation is available from the industrial side if that cooperation is solicited.

Business executives today

are far seeing and progressive.

Any ideas of merit that are

suggested gain their attention.

If the idea is practical

from the business point of view, it will be put into effect. It will not be shunted aside on the grounds that it has not been tried and proven.

TodayTs business men, whether they

represent capital or labor, are the men who try and prove new ideas.

It is the duty of the counselor to convince these

men that the cooperative education program has merit.

CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION Why cooperative education?

The cooperative education

program has its opponents as well as its proponents.


side has solid arguments to support the position. Some of the more common objections offered to the program include the following: 1.

Teachers are evaluated on the progress their pupils make. Pupils in the cooperative educa­ tion program will not evidence the same degree of progress that students in a conventional curricula will.


Students entering the cooperative program definitely eliminate themselves from the possi­ bility of a college education. Students are too young, when they enter the cooperative program, to make such a decision.


Employers with openings want permanent personnel to fill these vacancies.



To do unskilled labor, a high school educa­ tion is not necessary. For specialized jobs, only specialized training should be offered.



Employers do not want to undertake the ex­ pense of training more than one person for a given job.

On the other hand, many valid arguments have been offered in support of the cooperative education program. The program, in various phases has been put to the test of actual application. and offer a service.

It has been found to meet a need,

Some of the educative advantages derived from the co­ operative education program include the following: 1.

Provides a realistic understanding of free enterprise in action.


Affords an added opportunity to gain self reliance while acquiring maturity.


Develops a respect for the dignity of work, desirable work habits and a sense of crafts­ manship .


Decreases the number of students who pre­ maturely leave school.


Provides a chance for adjustment to full time employment, while school guidance is still available.

These, of course, are only the high lights of both sides of the question. The current trend in cooperative education is towards an extension and intensification of the entire program. Occupational research is one of the primary requirements for successful implementation of the program; but to really achieve the ultimate goals, the counselor must get occupa­ tional cooperation.

The schools will increase their serv­

ices to the individual by educating the areas where educa­ tion and training are known to be necessary. In cooperation with this program Industry may, at the outset, encounter expenses beyond those ordinarily encount­ ered, but they will gain in the long run by getting em­ ployees who will more than make up for the initial expend­ itures.

On the whole, industry has nothing to lose by

50 letting the students train their employees. By augmenting the conventional curricula with a course of study that will offer opportunities for gaining enriching experiences, the schools will increase their value to society. Students who are served by the cooperative program will benefit by becoming more substantial members of society because they have received training which will enable them to contribute to that group. Counselors who want a laboratory for testing the efficiency and effectiveness of the guidance program, and a medium for meeting the current student needs will find the cooperative education program worthy of their needs. Services rendered by the cooperative education program meet the needs of many levels of our social structure. Whereas, in the early stages of the program, some of the levels will not immediately realize those benefits, the over-all scope of the program will serve the needs and meet the demands of our complex society.