GPS Education Partners: Frequently Asked Questions for Students

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 two to three hours in the classroom and five to six hours in the workplace.  A sample schedule could look as follows:

7 A.M. - 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. We will work with the student and their employer in the program, to do our best and accommodate for any 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 Education Partners 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 where students experience a variety of career paths within manufacturing. The second is an experience rotation with the opportunity to dive a little deeper into an area of interest or skillset. 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?
When placing students at a partner worksite we will 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 also help students develop their applications if this is 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. Most of your experience is covered by our partners, grants and donors but you will be responsible for registration costs and student consumables, like uniforms, field trips and work related gear. Families are also responsible for all student transportation.